Several months ago I saw and ad for a cruise, organized by the Senior Adult Ministry of the Assemblies of God. It came like a clear bolt from Heaven that I should go. Me, go on a cruise? When I saw the not so extravagant price I let myself envision the thought, especially because the guest speaker was our Assistant Superintendent and his wife. I love them. They are such precious servants of the Lord. The big question was, who would be my assistant?
I began thinking of my friend at church that had been so gracious to me at the women’s retreat last fall. Maybe she could go with me? But there was someone else I really wanted to invite—my daughter! How could that work out? God has surprise blessings for us. Her husband’s step-mother wanted to have the kids for a week, and she didn’t mind adapting to the cruise week. Would her husband let her go? Sure! I got busy working with my translations to pay for the trip. All the details fell into place.
Let me tell you why the Lord impressed me to go. Because he cares for his children, and he is especially mindful of widows and orphans, as we read many times in Scripture. One of his treasured widows was taking the cruise together with another lady from her church, who backed off and left this lady by herself. Here comes the interesting part. Ana, as is her name, was married to my former co-worker Guido, an editor at the Spanish department of Gospel Publishing House. (He is now with the Lord.) What an interesting coincidence (no, there are no coincidence with God!) that we should be on the same cruise!
Here she is in a special portrait she had taken in honor of her birthday, which she celebrated on board!
She is smiling happily with her birthday-pie! We had many birthday celebrations that week. The waiters were better in their “waiting” on us than the singing, but they tried to keep a tune, especially our waiter, who happened to speak Spanish, one of the many details in God’s care for Ana.
The seniors were a group of over 200, among 3,500 passengers and 1,500 crew-members. The evening meals were taken in a special dining hall, with fixed assignments for the table-seating. Who assigned the seating? The cruise ship people! Why have I such a conviction that God had his hand in sending me and Carina on the cruise? Guess what table Ana, Carina, & I were assigned to? 531. Do you think we were surprised when we discovered we were sitting together? You bet!
Three happy musketeers
The first stop was at St John. We did a little walking (pushing, for Carina as she had me in a wheel chair). On one of the street corners was Guido, my editor friend and Ana’s late husband. Yes, literally! Oh, we had such a laugh. Ana, especially, because of the hat. Guido always had a hat on!
Ana and Carina taking a little rest from walking.
To have an Hispanic friend all week was a treat for us. In Oklahoma Carina doesn’t get to practice her Spanish. Ana loves to talk, so there was quite a lot of practicing going on. See what I mean? God was looking out for “his” widows. The wording sounds a little funny, but that is what it was. The Lord was looking out for us. I don’t get to practice a lot of Spanish either, so it was good for me, too.
I can literally say I’ve been to GLORY and back!
One of the fun things about the cruise was the towel-animals that appeared in our cabin every evening. I had never seen those creations before. I bought a book so I can learn to do them myself. Here are some of the towel-friends we had.
I’ll wrap up today with a look out the cabin window. I think what I most appreciated was just that, looking out on the calm sea, thinking about Jesus when he used to cross over the Sea of Galilee. I pictured him resting in the boat, calming down from the stress of his demanding ministry. The sea can do that to you—calm you! I was just in awe of God’s amazing creation.
Why is water so calming? That was our first habitat. We spent the first nine months of our life in water! Like my little Sarah, loving to look at her “skeleton” in the ultrasound picture of her. And then there are people who disrespect life before birth so much as to commit murder. From the moment we are conceived we are a person. May God have mercy on our country for the millions upon millions of lives that have been murdered.
This short saga will come to an end tomorrow.