Friday 29th July

The Prayer & Fasting was focused about the STEPPER OverNight (2 nights) trip away from the ship. We will be going out in groups of 5, so three groups. The only ones praying were STEPPERs, Our STEP-Mum, and possibly some of the SPs of STEPPERs.

SP stands for “Social Permission” or “Special Permission” or “Special Person”. Ship policy is that we are not to engage in (for lack of a better term) romantic relationships in their first year of being with them, this is so that they can focus on God instead, and, if God does want them to get married, they will anyway, and are by then less likely to be distracted and over-attracted by possibly cross-cultural traits which are not fully understood in the first year.

After a year, couples can apply for SP from the personnel office, which means they are allowed to pursue a more in depth or possibly romantic relationship. Some of the 2 year Douloids already had fiances (spelling?) or girlfriend/boyfriends, and some of the STEPPERs in our group (about 4!) came on the STEP firstly just to see them, a 2 year absence is quite a lot… So they all have SP, (the personnel office has the policy of 1 year, but is not inhuman).

Anyway, enough about SP, already. Today we will be leaving on the OverNight. I think we have got 5 church services planned for the time, and will all be doing preaching, praying, singing, acting, and other stuff like that, as well as probably some practical work in the village or wherever we get to, and other things like that. People who come on board for 2 years generally get to go on 4 “A-teams”, that is, week long or more trips away from the ship, with a small group of others, to do various work.

As well as A-teams, there are other random OverNights which pop up, whenever people are available, or have 2 E-days next to each other.

We had another drama training session with the Creative Ministry team yesterday, they showed us how they perform the Chair Drama, but said “learn it like this, but when you perform it, do it however you want. Improvise! Change stuff! Go mad!” So that’s cool.

At the end they were talking about the different things, and one of them said “I hear you are going on an OverNight, which is why we were asked to do this session with you. If you have a theme which you cant think of a drama for, come to us, and we will tell you about some others. We have one for every thing you could want.”

So OF COURSE, I had to ask a question. Dead serious face, oh woe is me, I know not what to do, I am but a puzzled confused young STEPPER… “Um, we have a pastors conference on our overnight, and have been asked to give a session, can you think of a good drama for Pre-Millenialism…”.

I also went to the puppets workshop again this week. It is very very cool, and I enjoy it a lot. The people are all quite mad, and puppets are so fun. We were particually working on voices, and character linking, at the end of it, I was asked by one sister who partly runs the workshop “So, when will you be coming back for 2 years? I’m leaving at the end of next year, and you must come back so I can use your voice …”. That was rather nice.

Anyway. I am quite looking forward to it. We leave at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and I have many things to do before that. We will be going out to the town this morning, to go to the market and possibly the supermarket as well, so I will try to get some more local money at the ship-kiosk, we have a group meeting at 8am.

I want to borrow the sail-makers thimble (or whatever you call it. It’s a large fingerless solidish leather glove thing) and thread and try and repair my backpack which is still rather torn (I have not used it since the flight), I have to pack, pray some more, prepair food and suchlike, and ask my Big Brother to collect my clothes that I am not taking from the Laundry (our sections wash day is today, so collect tomorrow). And many other things about which I have forgotten.

I’m hungry, and it is breakfast time.