Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Speechless and in shock... But oh so thankful!

Last week, as a result of some conversations I'd had with friends and family, I was feeling rather despondent. Some people were saying that perhaps I was rushing things with a return to Mercy Ships. That maybe I was escaping Cape Town. Running away from reality. I don't see myself escaping Cape Town as my heart is no longer here. I am going back to where I feel God calling me.

And this was made clear this past week. As a result of feeling a bit despondent and unclear I was spending some time journaling last Thursday, and really asking God where he wanted me to go. Where is my life heading? Is it indeed a Gateway course in June/July and then Mercy Ships after that? I prayed for some sort of sign or confirmation. The very next day I got it.

I was chatting to a friend and she told me how she was really encouraged seeing my passion and heart for Mercy Ships and Liberia last year. And as a result, she would be willing to continue to support me throughout my time with Mercy Ships. I'm not going to say how much was pledged, but needless to say I was left speechless and in shock. I had no idea what to say and was in awe of how our God provides. Praise Him!

God answered my prayer and had revealed to me that yes, He does want me back on that big white ship of mercy. All my lingering doubts were silenced. So now everything is full-steam ahead for the return of Murray to the Mercy Ship!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Mercy Ships Cycling Gear...

Here are a few photos of me in my Mercy Ships cycling gear, as described in a previous post. I picked them up last Wednesday and they are better than I expected! Thanks to Rapid Sport, a top Cape Town cycling kit manufacturer, for making them!

This is me in the kit in front of my house (above). And then a picture of the front (left) and back (right) of the shirt. Note the Liberian map on the wall.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Be Thou My Vision...

The other day a coworker asked me, when I was telling her about Mercy Ships and my future plans, "Well, don't you want a career?" I was stunned. But I guess I have just done something which makes absolutely no sense to many people. When I think about a career in the business world I shudder. It is not where my heart is. I don't want to be caught up in materialism (Riches I heed not). I'm not saying all the corporate world is like this - certainly not! There are some wonderful Godly people who work in this sector. It is just not for me.

And so we come back to the question, "don't you want a career?" I want my career to be serving God. To follow where He leads. To obey and trust Him at all times and in all things. I want Him to be my vision. And thus I place here the lyrics of this one of my favourite hymns. I have been challenged a lot recently to make God my vision. My prayer is that you would make Him your vision too:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Cycling (Again) for Mercy...

As some of you may know, I am quite a keen cyclist and cycling played a pivotal role in how God led me to become involved with Mercy Ships. And so, with the Mercy Ships South Africa office's blessing, I have had Mercy Ships cycling tops made to create more awareness.

There is a big race coming up in less than three weeks time, the Pick 'n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, presented by the City of Cape Town. It is the world's largest timed cycling event, with 35,000 cyclists taking part. I will be wearing this kit and have Mercy Ships flags mounted to my bike as well, so to show where my heart is. I'll keep you all posted how it goes!

See blog entry from March 14th, 2008, entitled "Home - The Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour..." for more on my cycling and Mercy Ships.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Colours and Faces...

Life in the corporate world is different. It certainly isn't Liberia or Mercy Ships. I've been working in the centre of the business district of Cape Town for over two weeks now, and all I can think about is Mercy Ships and Liberia. It has become clear that I have left my heart there.

I miss the colours and faces of Liberia. I miss my fellow Mercy Ships colleagues and friends visiting orphanages on our Saturdays. The faces filled with hope, anticipation and excitement at God's Children Home. The fun and games with these children as surely we learn more from them than they do from us: learning how to truly love. My Bible Study group at New Matadi: what a privilege to have known such wonderful men. Adventure trips into the heart of the Liberian jungle. The challenge (and adrenalin rush) of driving on such potholed roads. Informal games of Apples to Apples, Sequence, and Ultimate Pictionary played in the Midships Lounge. The Thursday night community meetings followed by ice-cream and cake in Town Square.

But I will not miss these things for much longer. I have prayed about and am feeling led to return later this year. Return to Mercy Ships. And although it won't be Liberia (it will in fact be Benin), it will still be the same friendly West African people whom I have come to love. And so begins a few intense months of presentations, support raising and application forms. But I can't wait to get back to my home.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Employment Provision...

I am employed. Last week I was not employed. I now am.

I will be starting work from tomorrow for a company called Global Migration SA (, which assists foreign nationals with work permits, visas, and anything regarding employment and living in South Africa. Initially I will be spending a couple weeks in Reception just to learn the ropes of the company (it seems I always start in Reception before moving on!) and then I will move into the position of Communications Coordinator. I will be responsible for structuring and organising both internal and external communications in this role. I'm a little nervous, but I pray that I will thrive in this new challenge.

So how did this come about? Well, last Sunday (25th January) I did my Mercy Ships presentation at my church. I showed part of the End-of-Field Service DVD as well as a PowerPoint and another short video I put together. I was amazed at how God really worked during the service. He was so evident throughout. During my presentation I said, half jokingly, that if anyone needed a hardworking writer, editor, proof-reader, receptionist, general admin-type guy, then they should see me afterwards. And that's what happened.

The Managing Director of the company goes to my church and was impressed by my presentation. He told me to send him my CV and we'd set up a meeting. So last Wednesday I was offered the above-mentioned job.

Within the space of four days I went from being uncertain about where this year is heading (I am still planning for a return to Mercy Ships in the second half of the year - which my employer knows about), to having a certainty that God is always in control. I mean, I always knew he was. But it was great to get another example of how He knits circumstances and situations together in accordance with His will for your life.

I'll keep you all posted how it goes.