I live a fun, exciting and sometimes strange life. I'm a writer, speaker and I also work for Premier Christian Cruises as group sales coordinator which means I sail on five or more cruises a year. These are cruises we produce and are filled with Christian singers, bands and speakers. I call it working and living in the Christian bubble! It's a blast, but it can be a bit ….. bubble-like. I don't often spend much time with non-believers. And it's something I miss. I want to be among the world. Not of it, but among it.
On one of my recent cruises, I met Melanie. She's a tiny thing. She comes up to about my shoulder. When she asked me about our sign, I could barely hear her. It was day one of our cruise and everyone around was talking, laughing and chattering. She leaned closer and pointed to the sign that reads: Premier Christian Cruises. “I'm a Christian,” she said with a heavy accent. I was thrilled. We are a Christian company, putting together a Christian cruise filled with Christian speakers, bands, and solo artists and attended by thousands of Christian customers. It's a big ol' Christian bubble. EXCEPT — the cruise staff rarely knows anything about Jesus.
It's really strange to be on this huge ship with all these followers of Jesus and the people serving us know nothing of His saving grace. When I met Melanie, I was thrilled. She told me about her church. At first I thought she meant a chapel, but she was talking about a body of believers who work on the ship and meet together for worship and teaching. Funny that I immediately think of church as a building and Melanie thinks of it as a group of people.
We sailed on Melanie's ship two times in two weeks. I visited with her a good bit. The Premier staff worked with the cruise ship staff to put together a corporate worship. It was amazing. People from all nationalities came to hear worship lead by the band Salvador and listen to teaching from a variety of teachers, including the leader of the ship's church. I stood in awe of men and women who were willing to set aside sleep to worship together. And when the night was over at 1am, they wanted to know why we ended so early (and most of them were to start work at 5am).
I was humbled by their love for Jesus and their desire to hear the Word preached.
As I was leaving the second cruise, Melanie handed me a letter. I was blown away. Her simple words blessed me so much.
“So happy that God is working with us & lead us the way to meet each other. It is not by accident and I know God has a purpose for it… Thanks for all the blessings, love and care you've given to us.”
She thanked me! I didn't do anything. I was just on a cruise ship doing a job and God opened a door. He opened an amazing door.
Melanie is a blessing and a joy. Her spirit is so sweet and true. She showed me a side of church I've never seen.
God gave me a glimpse into a world beyond my white bread Christian bubble and I am forever changed.
Wow Mary!! How beautiful! You are all such a blessing, more than you know. I struggle to find my place in my new town when it comes to church and a “christian family” (that I’ve lived in for 3 years now) but your cruises and company is helping fill a hole in my life right now. Blessings to you and your entire staff.
We went on a short cruise last fall, leaving on a Saturday. The Sunday service was led by crew members. It was an amazing blessing to be invited into their “church”; we were so humbled as they prayed for all of us.