Ah, the Faroe Islands. A teeny tiny nation of 48,000 people and 80,000 sheep… if ever a country were to write a book on missionary care, it would be this one. Never have I been treated so well by people who didn’t even know me, or so sad to leave them when it was time to go.
in case you were wondering where exactly the faroe islands are
a typical faroese house... with a grass roof!
While the destination of the Faroes was amazing, the journey there was not so much. Things got a little rough on the waters, and I ended up a tad seasick. I thought things would be better if I took some seasick pills we have on board, but quickly learned a lesson: if you take seasick pills once you’ve become seasick, things will only get worse. Upon arrival, though, seasickness was forgotten and celebrations began. We arrived to the faroes earlier than planned, and were bestowed with the first of many blessings: someone donated enough fuel to the ship to allow us to sail around the islands for several hours before officially docking. Thus, we had a relaxing afternoon cruise and were able to lay out on deck 9 (the top of the ship) enjoying the sunshine and the scenery.
enjoying the view from deck 9
the view from deck 9
quaint faroese towns
When it finally came time to head to our dock, we found ourselves surrounded by a dozen boats full of local citizens who had sailed/cruised/rowed out to meet us and escort us into port.
the welcome wagon sails in
The Logos Hope is especially important to the Faroe Islands because it is their ship – formerly named the Noronna, the ship was a car ferry between the Faroes and Denmark. The majority of the people who came on board had been on the Noronna and were able to give our crew more informed tours than we could give them!
And while one of our goals in each port is to build relationships with and encourage the local church, I think much more of the encouragement happened in the reverse direction. We were blessed day after day by donations from the Faroese people, including meat, clothing, bread, and cakes, cakes and more cakes. One local company donated a ton of fish. I don’t say “a ton” in meaning “a lot”… I mean an actual measurable TON of fish.
some slaughtered sea creatures. we were hoping to see whales... didn't see any, only got to eat the meat.
the sea ran red that day...
The biggest blessing by far, though, came in the form of a brother, a sister and 2 minivans. Most people on board the ship typically have Mondays off, since the ship is closed. On our Monday in the Faroes, dozens of locals had volunteered their time, energy, and vehicles to take as many crew as possible out for the day. A group of nine of us went together, in two cars, with Gudny & her brother Rejkva and they took us EVERYWHERE. We saw and did everything possible (and what seemed impossible) in the Faroes, including a cliff picnic, a jumping pillow and some slaughtered sea creatures. Our hosts even took us bowling, bought us postcards, and welcomed us into their home (well, Rejkva & his wife Miriam’s home) for a delicious meal of lamb and a time of singing and laughing together until almost 1 in the morning. It was probably the most memorable and treasured day I have had on the ship thus far.
our cliff picnic
the view from our cliff picnic
the northernmost point of the faroe islands
the sun was still high at 8pm
worship time after dinner
I also was able to be a part of my first church team while in the Faroes. Every Sunday, the ship sends out teams of people to churches in the area, to share about the ship, tell their stories, and encourage local believers. Rejkva & Gudny invited us to their church, and a team of girls from the ship was able to run most of their children’s service that day. I did some teaching, and shared a parable about a lifejacket and how it is similar to Jesus – they both have the power to save us, but in order to be saved we are required to take and action more than just make an acknowledgement. It isn’t enough to know the lifejacket (Jesus) is there and know what it (he) can do for us, but we must put it (him) on and receive the saving power. It was so much fun to be able to talk and sing and play with all the little Faroese kids.
teaching the kiddos
our church team, complete with clowns
In a total of 11 days in the country, we had nearly 15,000 people come to visit the ship – that’s about 25% of the population of the Faroe Islands! They gave us an amazing midnight send off – there were singers, dancers, fire twirlers and fireworks!! Rejkvay & Gudny came back with their families, and our group from our day out sang and prayed together one final time. We were all so sad to leave each other, even though we had only met a week before! We tearfully hugged and said goodbye, then ran up to the top deck of the ship to wave goodbye as we sailed off for Belfast.
the farewell party
our patriotic send-off