In 2002 God laid on our hearts a desire to give our children the experience of sailing around the world. People were concerned. "You don't know how to sail," they said, and “You’re going to a lot of places where they don’t value human life like we do.” Over the course of five years, we learned to sail and discovered that the second concern arose from a collective fiction we had grown comfortable believing.
God is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow regardless of shifts in humanity, but I believe he communicates with each individual in a unique way. One of the greatest ways I’ve experienced the presence of God within every aspect of life (i.e. physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.) is through nature — more specifically, through surfing.
I have never seen so many colors. The oranges that fade into pink, offset by the many hues of blues splashing beneath our boat. There is no land in sight, only the deep and rich blue of the ocean surrounds us. I find myself looking over all that the Lord has created and begin reflecting on the journey that has been our lives this past year.
While traveling aboard our sailboat in the South Pacific, I happened upon a woman who wore a heavy countenance. Sitting at the bar that overlooked her kitchen, we chatted as she prepared my meal. Our talk turned serious as she began to outline the tattered path that led her to this remote island thousands of miles from her Polish home.
A friend of mine called me for help. He wanted some sailing lessons for a 14-foot Barnett as well as wanting me to assist him with rigging the vessel. I gladly accepted and jumped into the project with little regard to my friend's knowledge of boating, sailing, or safety. After fielding many of his questions, I began to realize that his apprehension was starting to move toward fear.
I imagined sailing into different areas of the world doing ministry. This has not happened yet. The reality is that we are a family of four, living on a sailboat in a marina being thankful for the very basic needs we had previously taken for granted. God needed to get us to a point of weakness where we could do nothing, but pray and wait. So that’s what we do.
It is still dark with only the slightest hint of daybreak when we pile into the car. We are leaving, driving to a new home, a sailboat, in Florida. At times, I am overwhelmed with excitement of what God has called us out to do. Other times, the fear of it all consumes me and all I can do is cry our for God to comfort me.
God knows where He is going to take me and my family and where He wants us to go; my only job is to trust His leading. All the steps of faith, some small, some large, were preparing me for the very large step of faith I am currently considering, sell everything and go.
There we were, enjoying our classroom instruction, quizzing each other and trying to know everything about diving. We had everything we needed- knowledge, equipment and a plan! WATER TIME! However, I quickly learned that being so far from my natural air source really did scare me, no matter what equipment or knowledge I had. What I forgot to do was trust God.
Bonnie Floyd's faith saw her through her deepest pain when her father and step-mother were viciously tortured and murdered while sailing. Bonnie’s faith while facing her nightmare reminds us that each of us can trust God with our faith, even when our heads are barely above the waves.
Gregg Granger discovers that when it comes to understanding cultures, nothing can substitute for a good long visit, or in the Granger family's case, a good long sail. Sailing Faith-Taking the Long Way Home, documents their young family's five-year journey circumnavigating the globe. Much more than a travelogue, it aims to open your mind as they open their sail and experience the people of the world.
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