Friday, April 27, 2007

Castaway

Here are some pictures from our trip to the coast. We went there last month at the end of our time in Santo Domingo. We had a pretty good time there but it turned out to be quite an adventure.
We got there the first evening and played in the water a bit and walked along the beach (we couldn't go swimming cause the water was pretty rough.) Also, I set up a trip to go fishing the next day and we were wanting to return to Sto Domingo that next day. Well, I got up early next morning and we set off after a while. There were two local fishermen and another Dutch tourist who went with us. We went out from shore and set out the nets. Then, we waited a bit and tried fishing with some handlines. We never really had any luck with the handlines (they said the current was too strong for that). However, we caught a ton of fish with the nets. We had planned to come back around 11 or 12. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. By the time we got all the nets in it was a bit before 1. We were on our way back to shore and the motor died. One of the fishermen tinkered with the motor a bit and we got going again, but not for long. We heard a horrible noise from the motor and it died. The fisherman tinkered with the motor a bit more but then said we've got to get out the oars. At first, we were kind of going in circles because of the current but after a while, we were on our way. We really weren't too far from the shore but couldn't land there because there was a rock cliff that we would have crashed into. This rock cliff was quite long and we were trying to get to the end of it, so we could land. We were also hoping another boat would see us and rescue us. However, we only saw two boats and they couldn't see us. The sun came out and was burning us even though I was putting a lot of sunscreen on. I was also starting to get seasick. The worst thing is that I didn't know exactly what was going to happen and I was feeling kind of worried. This is because I'm not a big waterdog. The waves were getting bigger and bigger and we could see them crashing into the cliff. The fishermen wouldn't admit but I could tell they were worried. They told us to put our life jackets on and were telling us to stow everything away. Also, Christine was back at the hostel wondering and worrying where we were because we were supposed to have come back much earlier. Eventually, another boat came along and towed us toward shore. The fun didn't quite end there. Me and the tourist got in the other boat and we pushed the boat we were in towards shore. They made it ok but we turned out toward sea because it wasn't a good time to land. As were going up we'd fly up these huge wages just as they were about to break. I guess those waves were 15-20 ft high. We'd fly over those waves and land hard on the backside of them. We kept having to do this until we finally found a wave we could go in on. At first, I didn't know why we kept going back out and it was pretty scary but we made it ok. I got out of the boat and kissed the sand then got on my knees and pointed up to the sky and thanked God for our safe arrival. It might have been overly dramatic but I didn't care, we had made it back. By the time we had got back it was 5:30 and we had started at 8, so we had been out there for 9 and a half hours, when we had planned for 4 or so. I renuited with Christine and then with the other guys and we ended up having a great seafood feast. Although the adventure was pretty scary it was pretty interesting. I had a good chance to talk with the guys on the boat and it was definitely a faith-building experience. It gave me a chance to pray and rely on God to get us through. I didn't have any pictures from the adventure because I didn't take the camera with me. The pictures that are here were taken before or after the incident. Another thing was that the sea was really high and they said it only gets like that once every year or two. Of course that was the day I was out there. It was really a comedy of errors but I know it all happened for a reason. The fishermen didn't have their cell phone with them when they normally do. The motor had just been repaired. If tide had been low we could have landed much sooner in front of the rock cliff. The other boat didn't rescue us until the end. Again, I knew all of that happened for a reason. Just like in life when we have adversity, it is often meant to teach or strengthen us.
The water that is between the boats hardly ever goes up over where the first row of boats are. This only happpens once every year or two.
Psalm 93:3-4-'The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea- The Lord on high is mighty.'
Being in the sea or near it we can think about how big it is and how powerful the waves can be and we can feel quite small. However, in comparison, God is much great than the sea, for He is its creator. He knows it and directs it.


Here's a sign from a town down there that was named after me...just kidding!





As I close, I want to put another favorite passage from the book of Colossians. As you read it, see what characteristics make the life of Christian different and let's see how we can put these things in practice.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:12-17-'Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.'

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