Notes from Jan

Sailing on the Unafraid

June 17, 2017

Yesterday we anchored in Alesund, picturesque city, veiled in drizzle. I felt a connection with this fishy place, famous for salted dried cod.  Later,  I learned another linkage between Gloucester and Norway.

“Those who visited the Alesund Museum heard the unbelievable story of four Norwegians who built an egg-shaped lifeboat prototype known as the Uraed, ( Unafraid), and journeyed across the Atlantic in 1904 to prove the life-saving capabilities of the vessel.  After five months in the ultra-cramped quarters (the boat was only 18 feet long!), they landed in Gloucester, MA, the boat leaking too much at this point to make it to their final destination of New York.” ( June 17, 2017 Cruise News)


Then,my thoughts turned to another band of brothers and sisters, daring crossers of oceans.  Missionaries, willing to exchange the safety of the familiar for the love of God and strangers.  Still they crossed, sometimes only once, with their life-saving message.

Last evening, about 8:00p.m. “the sea billows rolled” as if to remind us to examine the truths we blithely sang at 8:00 a.m. “It is Well with My Soul.”  Again, I wondered how many missionaries, once out of sight of family, friends and land, clung to a railing as more than the ocean tossed.

Two days ago I met WonTon (not the soup) a young woman on staff from India. After talking for awhile, I learned we were Christians, as was her family and village.  I wondered who was God’s risk-taker?  What woman (a good chance) embarked on a voyage, not wrapped in an “egg-shaped lifeboat called the Unafraid” but cloaked in a calling, aboard a faith-full vessel, Unafraid,  because of Who called and calmed, not seas but her, whispering as she quaked and clung to a railing, a communion rail, “Fear not, for I am with you.”

God’s holy Enough.


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  • Reply Dan June 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus….

  • Reply Dan June 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus….

  • Reply Shirley M Dubeau June 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Great image, Jan. Unafraid …
    As you may recall, our girl and her family journeyed to N Africa and are riding the billows on that stormy sea confident in His care.

    Their confidence in Him transfers across the waves to give us confidence in His care for them and consequently for us.

    It’s wonder-full how God’s peace works like that.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply David Smith June 17, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Our daughter has been a missionary in Costa Rica for over a decade now…it was just a coupla yrs ago that she finally realized that, try as she might, she was never never going to truly fit in. Despite Spanish skills that even her Costa Rican chums envy, they don’t understand why she wouldn’t want to stay near her family–implied question, “What is wrong with you or your fam?” Yet, after a decade there, North American culture is a bit alien to her: “I feel like i have two homes, but neither one is really home,” says she. [We’ll all talk it over in her third home, in the sweet by’n’bye.]

  • Reply Helen Demsko June 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Funny i often think of the two disciples and then their mother, who ask to set on Christ right side. I know who will – those people who went so far from home to share His message. Our family had dear friends who went , in the late 30’s through 1970, only came home every 10, YES TEN years, who went. I remember one story, when their young son died there, and it was months untill home folks found out. Often think when I get a thought – Pray- I may not know why or what, but….He does!

  • Reply Dale Lefever June 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Jan, thanks for this reminder. The most difficult command (not suggestion) of Jesus for me to obey is “don’t be afraid/fear not.” And, the reason is not that it will all be good in eternity, but that God is with me now – need to move from my mind to my heart.

    Love, brother Dale

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