Here begineth mine tale, friends all,
Aren ye sitting wel comfortablye?
Goode. Then I shal beguine.

“When they begin the Beguine
It brings back the sound of music so tender
It brings back a night o…”

OK. I’ll stop now. I couldn’t think of a good way to start this thing, and that seemed like a quite unusual, and quite typical me way of doing it. I was thinking of writing the whole blog in middle english, but after the third line thought “No way”.

Anyway. About 1 and a half years ago, the ship MV Doulos came to Larnaka (where I live) for 10 days or so. I had the privilage of working on board for the time they were here with a friend from Lemesos.

At the time I loved the ship, and the community and wanted to join them properly, but at age 17, I felt I was too young to really do that, and wanted to do a year working at the local theatre group in which I had been envolved. A year later (last December, now), and they came back again for 1 day only, to pick up some new people, and I got to visit again, and meet up with the people in charge of short termers, and meet a whole load of guys who had just finished their STEP (Short Term Exposure Programme) and talk to them.

I sent in the “interested” form from their website,

and waited.

2/3 weeks later, not even an auto-responce. So I sent in another, with an email.

And waited.

Eventually a responce! Yeah! Then they (the UK office) sent me the full application form, which I duly filled out, and sent back, a few more questions went back and forth (it was March by this time) and eventually they said “Well, the time you applied for initially on board (June/August) is full… Is your second choice (August/October) OK for you…” I said “OK”, slightly disheartened. Then they said they needed to wait to ask the ship if there was space on board.

So I waited.

1 month later, I sent an email asking if anything was happening. “Still waiting for the ship to respond” they said.

So I waited.

1 and a half months later, I was getting a bit concerned. My family were wanting to plan for what to do for the rest of the year. We needed to visit the UK to sell our house, and do the usual chuch visits and all that, and we still didn’t know what was happening about the Doulos!

So I had a talk with God about it, and asked “Lord, if you want me to go, please can I have a response, one way or the other, this week…” It would be awfully nice to know…

Next day, an email arrived “Hi Daniel, I have just heard that a vaccancy has become available on the Doulos for the STEP in June. I know that this is short notice but I was wondering if you would be interested??”

Hey, wow God, I wasn’t quite expecting that 🙂 Thanks! This was about 2 weeks ago. These last 2 weeks have been quite busy.

The STEP starts on the 25th, and I had performances with the theatre group (where I have been working this last year as an actor and musician) until the 23rd. We looked up flights online, but the only ones available were on the 19th… So Dad and I went down to the travel agent. It was an afternoon, and my dad was saying “Well, normally it’s very busy at this time of day, I expect we’ll have to wait some time…” we went in, and the only others in the room were sitting behind desks! Once one of them had finished her phone call, we asked about flights, and there was one on the 24th (this Friday!)! Wow! Thanks God!

I have had some of the vaccinations I need, all of the “VITAL, CANNOT ENTER COUNTRY WITHOUT CERTIFICATE THEREOF.” ones, and will get some more of them tomorrow. It looks as if I will be going! I’m quite excited now.

I’m not good at praying. I get distracted all the time, and am never quite sure of what I should be praying about anyway. Often I will ask for something “Hey, Father, it would be awfully nice if it could rain today, you know?” and then half an hour later am shouting “No! Please God, not rain! Tomorrow, maybe, but not today, right?” Thankfully, God is in charge, whatever I pray, and whatever happens, it will be to His glory. I don’t even have a visa yet. Hopefully I can get one at the airport, but if not, and I get turned back, I know that He is in control.