Easter on the ship was such a unique and special time. I mean to go through HOLY WEEK anywhere is special and always impacts me. I am always a crying, blubbering mess at Easter time. I always look to the cross and think to myself "how could I be so loved that He, Jesus, would choose that horrible betrayal and death to allow me to be rectified and reunified with God?" The enemy always wants to attack at that time and try to whisper how unworthy I am, and remind me of all the dirty scars I would carry. NOT THIS TIME!

I am so grateful that the bible tells us as far "as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our transgressions from us"- Psalm 103:12. Isn't that a beautiful image, they can NEVER reach you again. I love the thought of that. It is important to not take this for granted and call ourselves Christians, but live like sinners.

We went to a service in which we were able to nail our sins to the cross and of course I felt like my list should be a mile long, but I wrote just a few. I sobbed as I watched some of the most humble people I have ever met, also nail their sheets to the cross.

During Holy week we found out a mother at our Home church tragically lost her son, and my heart grieved for her. Each experience I had I thought of her, prayed for her. I still am praying for her! But I was also so thankful during the Easter service as I thought of her son, that because of what Jesus did for us and the resurrection death no longer has it's sting! Christians no longer have to fear death, in fact the opposite, we can rejoice in the fact that our loved ones are sitting with our savior! Of course we grieve for the lose, and our hearts hurt because of the absence, but we have the comfort of knowing we will one day be with our loved ones again if they are saved! This brought a new love for the celebrations we were blessed with on board the ship. On Easter day we entered into the international lounge and were each given a flower to beautify the cross. It was AMAZING.
I stared at that cross for the entire service, just so thankful for the sacrifice that has allowed me to have the life that my family now lives. I mean I still can not believe we live on a ship, in Africa blessed with the opportunity to help so many people. I am ashamed to admit that I allowed myself to take my eyes off the Lord for a few moments and to begin the terrible mistake of thinking about "myself" and it only robbed me of joy. I am so grateful for the Hard work our Chaplains put into Holy week as it left me refreshed, renewed, and refocused with a spirit abounding in love ready to finish this field service well!

I can only pray that you experienced the love of our Savior like I did during Holy Week, and that you know you are so loved. Jesus came for YOU, and would have carried that crossed, experienced the beating and betrayal all for YOU. There is nothing in this world that you could have done too dirty or too much for him to forgive you, He chose you before the world was created. You are His beloved and Jesus wants the opportunity to walk through this messy, difficult and tiring life with you hand in hand. All you have to do is let him! May the Lord bless you and Keep you!



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