Monday, August 22, 2011

Onboard the Logos Hope!!!

After 30 hours of travel, I arrived safely on the Logos Hope. Thanks be to God! During the last few hours on the long twelve-hour flight (I had two much shorter ones as well), I was terribly motion sick. I know how awful it feels and cannot express how grateful I am to God that my body is fine onboard the ship while it is docked.

I have been assigned to the Angels department along with three other STEPers. The Angels wear red shirts (some departments have different colored shirts) and are in charge of cleaning, laundry, and accomodations.

My cabinmates are very nice. I share a cabin with 7 other Steppers. Normally, there would be 9 others but two of the other STEPer females are older women and they have their own 2 person cabin. There are also 2 boys in our STEP group and they have their own cabin (obviously :)). We share a bathroom with other women on our hall so there are about 16 of us sharing the bathroom altogether. Thankfully, there are 3 showers and 3 toilets in the bathroom! The time limit for each shower is 3 minutes!

The Logos Hope will open to the public in Penang on August 25, 2011. I'm really looking forward to being able to mingle with visitors on Deck 4. This is what part of the large book fair looks like without visitors.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our Trip To Colorado and My Graduation/18th Birthday Party

As you can probably tell just from the title, July was a busy month! Before I leave for Malaysia, I'd like to recap some of what I've been doing here in America :).

First of all, my mom won a free trip to Colorado from Focus on the Family. So in early July, we were able to spend four great days in Colorado Springs. This trip was one of many firsts for me. It was my first time riding on an airplane. It was my first time leaving the Northwest. It was my first time feeding a giraffe. Yeah, here's a picture :).

                                         Feeding a giraffe at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

I really enjoyed our tour of Focus on the Family headquarters. We got to go behind the scenes and learn how they make Adventures in Odyssey episodes. The filmmaker in me really liked the production side of things. We got to record our own short episodes with nice microphones and everything. It was fun!

Everyone at Focus on the Family was really nice. We got to have lunch with Mr. Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family. I was so glad that it was casual and everyone at the table had a great sense of humor (as opposed to being stiff and uptight :)).

              Here we are with Mr. Jim Daly and our wonderful tour guide Mrs. Suzanne Martin.

At chapel (which happens once a month), Dave & Jess Ray performed their original songs. I loved it! They have such pleasant voices and a wonderful ministry. Their CD, "Music for the Radio" is only $7.50 (including shipping) and 100% of the profits goes toward buying handheld radios that broadcast the Gospel to the people of southern Sudan in their native language! Would you like to buy one for yourself? Click here to get your own copy. I really recommend it!


And then, in late July, I celebrated my graduation from homeschool highschool and turning 18 at the same time!

My mom got up to do the introduction. Then dad played 3 worship songs on the piano. Mom went back up on stage to give her speech. We showed a slideshow of me growing up. Then it was my turn to give a speech. God graciously gave me the ability to do it without shaking or even getting that nervous (which is incredible! I've struggled with terrible shyness all my life and am so thankful to God for helping me overcome it!!!). After my speech, I shared two videos about the Logos Hope.Then both Mom and Dad joined me on stage. Mom had me repeat a pledge after her. Dad said a few words and prayed. And then I received my diploma!

You'd think it was finished, right? But Dad surprised me with a song that he had written that morning! He sang and played it on the piano. I am not one to cry in public and I had determined not to cry during my graduation...but I melted into tears as Dad sang the song he'd written for me. It was so brave and sweet of him to sing it in front of everyone!!!

It was now time to eat and mingle :).

Mom, Aunt Annette, and I stayed up making these little caps the night (or should I say early morning ;)?) before my graduation party. I opted not to wear a real cap and gown during the ceremony. These did nicely.

Oooh! More food!

                             Mom came up with the pretty place setting idea for the tables.

Me with two very awesome friends.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weird Sleeping Schedule

A.K.A. My plan to defeat jet lag.

Here's the plan: Adjust my sleeping schedule (close) to Malaysian time for a little over two weeks before I leave so that by the time I get there, my body's clock will have already adjusted to their time, thereby eliminating jet lag.

This involves staying up until 4-5 a.m. and waking up in the afternoon (2-3 p.m.). I've been doing it for awhile now and have become accustomed to it. I really do hope this works and I'll be able to stay alert once I get to Malaysia and board the Logos Hope.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Anticipation Builds...

I will board an airplane in just over 2 weeks!!! I'm nearly finished packing.

I do have an update to share. Due to a failed generator, the Logos Hope will be sailing straight to Malaysia for repairs. This means that the port of Phuket, Thailand was cancelled. I'm disappointed because my mom was born and raised in Thailand, my dad met her there on two short term missions trips, and I studied Thai as my second language in could say that Thailand is in my blood ;). In short, I was really looking forward to visiting Thailand and I still definitely hope to someday.

For now, I look forward to seeing Malaysia and serving onboard the Logos Hope. I can hardly wait.

P.S. As I prepare to leave, I'm posting fun quizzes about OM's ship ministry on my Facebook wall. If you'd like to friend me, I'm "Alyssa Liljequist" and my avatar is of me in a tree :).