“We were hungry. We were exhausted.
It was 4 hours of driving mountainous terrain and an hour and 1/2 of walking through the mud with boxes. We waited on the beach. Michael started a fire so the smoke would keep the mosquitos away while some of our team threw some pitpit (cane grass) on the fire. I was ready to eat anything at that moment.
We could hear the banana boats before they arrived. Little by little, I could see the shapes emerging from the blackness. There would be no moon and stars to guide us tonight. Our team climbed into 3 banana boats and we paddled into darkness until we were sure we were beyond any reefs.
One engine after another came to life and we fell into single file. Since it was pitch black, I couldn’t see the other boats, but I could see a speck of light in the distance. I closed my eyes and felt the planing of the boat as it skidded across a black ocean and when I opened them again, sparks of florescent algae sprayed from either side of the boat leaving a wake of glitter.
I could only offer praise in that moment; songs of thanksgiving only heard by God through the roar of the engine.
The speck of light was getting larger in the distance and I squinted at it, imagining what it must be like to approach heaven through the valley of the shadow of death. This boat reminded me of a chariot of fire hurling across the darkness towards the light.
The m/v Pacific Link came into view and I sighed with contentment that we were finally home. It is a memory now. Another memory to sustain me and refresh me in this race to the finish line. This is the life God gives us if we choose to trust Him and give up control.
These moments are God’s surprises for us in the midst of physical exhaustion. They are the gold stars for a job well done.”
By Rhonda Hamilton, FNP
YWAM Ships Kona Volunteer