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8. Ministry Happens Where God Is Present




Our vision of forming a small charity which would send a medical ship to the Island of Madagascar in order to help provide healthcare for people with little access to health services, gave a certain limit to where we thought ministry would commence. Yet over and again on this project we have seen that our God is bigger than that.


From the arrival of Island Reach in Conwy, we have seen the Goodness of God in touching and transforming lives for His glory. Perhaps WE were imagining that we were preparing for ministry, but HE was beginning His work without delay.


We are now realising that we should have written comprehensive notes on all the ways in which we have seen Him move in the town, in the church and in the lives of individuals connected to this project. Our collective memory will have to put something together!


This summer I lost my mum, and in our extended visits to the UK we managed a flying visit to Wales in order to drop off some donated items for the ship.(Alone talking about the donations given to this project would form several chapters of this book).


On our arrival onboard one of the volunteers informed me that He was on his way to celebrate an outdoor baptism of another volunteer! What a JOY. This with my knowledge has been at least the third baptism that has taken place around the ship ministry since she arrived in Wales. Pray for Dave as he grows in his faith and understanding of the important step he has just taken.


Please continue to pray for the wonderful volunteer team led by Jeremy, where they are seeing lives touched and transformed all around them as they work together practically.


Let us together remember that the ministry will not start in Madagascar - God is already at work and we are partnering with Him in this project.


SEA PILGRIMAGES TO BARDSEY 2023


It has been wonderful this summer to be able to offer multiple sea pilgrimages to Bardsey Island as we continue to renovate Island Reach. These have been appreciated by everyone who has participated.


Bardsey is a place where we can sense that 'prayer has been valid' (to borrow T.S. Eliot's words), and it continues to host regular short services in the chapel and oratory, as well there are opportunities for private prayer amidst the natural beauty of the island.


These voyages there have increased interest in the ministry and we have seen ongoing donations and larger numbers of volunteers who help with the refit of the vessel.


The pilgrimages also allowed the captains to test Island Reach at sea and further refine and enhance the engine room.


ONGOING RENOVATION UPDATE OF ISLAND REACH


For those who are interested in an update as to the renovations of Island Reach, here follows a brief summary.

  • work has been completed on the main engine cooling system where previously we had experienced some issues

  • a w/c has been fitted for visitor and patient use on the deck level of Island Reach

  • A retired interior designer is now volunteering to upgrade the wall finish in the new accommodation block

  • Complete dental unit removed from Colwyn Bay surgery and stored in Conwy shipping container ready to install once electrics are completed

  • A  donated  all-in-one PC has been fitted to the nav desk in the wheelhouse

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