You have heard of the “three hour tour” from Gilligan’s island? Well Susan and I had a fifteen hour tour recently. Nothing seems to be ordinary here in Indonesia. There is adventure to be found around every corner. This story is just one more example.
We were due to fly from Simeulue Island to meet up with our team coming from Venia Church. But a volcanic eruption near the airport in Medan Sumatra temporarily suspended the flight of our small twelve passenger aircraft. Flights resumed again and we thought we were going to make it off the island in time, but literally two hours before our flight was to depart, the volcano erupted again. Meeting up with the team (of which I was the leader) was top priority so Susan and I made the decision to take a ferry 12 hours to the nearest port and then another 12 hours car ride. We threw our belongings into our suitcases and made haste for the harbor. Our hearts dropped as we saw the ferry round the corner and out of sight. We missed it by ten minutes!
Our next option was to charter another boat off the island. I went to the navy ship and explained our situation. The captain of this amazing jet boat, calculated the cost to take us to Nias Island to meet the team. The price would be $5500 US dollars. That option was out. A friend of ours helped us find a man who owned a lobster boat and we negotiated a price of $500 to take us to Nias.
The trip started out very peaceful. We departed at 5:30pm and the sunset was incredible.
As the sun went down the moon began to shine like I had never seen before. It was a full moon with a complete ring around it. The stars were out. The seas were calm. Susan had not gotten seasick. We were feeling blessed to be in this special place, enjoying the scenery from the deck of a lobster boat in the Indian Ocean. Not many people have experience this. We also felt close to the Lord as we were making a sacrifice for Him to meet up with the team.
Then things changed. It was 12:30am just passed midnight. It was getting chilly so I went into the cabin to get a towel from my suitcase to cover Susan up. As I fished for the zipper on my suitcase I stepped to my right and down I went. Being half asleep on a rocking boat in the dark, I had not seen the opening in the deck that lead down to the engine compartment. When I stepped over, there was nothing there and I felt myself falling into the opening. I reacted by sticking out my arms to catch myself. Luckily I didn’t fall al the way through. I caught myself midway but not without injury. Come to find out, I had bruised a few ribs and cut my elbow open. Much better results than a broken arm so I was thankful.
We finally arrived in Nias, but not to the main harbor. Another adventure awaited us. The boat dropped us off on an isolated beach with no one around. Some villagers emerged from the jungle to receive out bags off the boat and soon a man in a becak (motorbike with a side car). Our bags were loaded onto his bike and off we road down the beach. Another experience that tourists will never get!
By a miracle from God we arrived two hours before the team (who had their own adventure which is another blog altogether).
To me, this is what Grace Wave is all about. Walking by faith and letting God take you on the adventure of a lifetime!
Moving on grace,
Gary & Susan