13 Years of Chaplaincy on the High Seas

December 10, 2022 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News, Publication, Research

We began our literal journey of ministry on the high seas in 2009. After exploring the opportunity for several years’ prior and submitting applications to various chaplaincy organizations which dealt with such ministry, the doors finally opened for Cup and Cross.

This search for a ministerial identity and its proper application in the real world coincided with the start of the Master’s in Chaplaincy Ministry Program which we designed for the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute in Sofia around 2008-2009. The long standing relationships with professors, active military chaplains from various fields and countries, and the wisdom of several Generals in the field helped us calibrate our ministry focus with what is needed by real people in the real world.

The new fad “to be real” is not enough in a realistic ministry setting. When 25ft. high storm waves beat the aft and the ship is thrown towards the dark wall of ocean waters ahead, one cannot help but “to be real” and depend on a very real and skilled crew. A captain alone cannot run the boat through a storm even if all systems are reported working. It is the crew deep down in the engine room and making its way on the slippery deck that makes it all happen.

The Crew. Some of them have not seen their families for months or even a year at times. They struggle with the same fears and anxieties as the rest of us. Except, while the rest of us can hold on to something for dear life, the crew is obligated by duty to continue to serve and move the boat ahead. The little chapel on the top deck becomes a passage to a lagoon past the riffs of stormy life where stories are shared, prayers are lifted up together and human lives are reclaimed anew for Heaven.

We have found these nontraditional paths of travel and ministry yielding the most unique encounters and connections for Kingdom growth.  Our family is thankful for these 10 years and looking forward to even more means of ministry outside of the four church walls.  If you would like for us to come to your church as share our journey feel free to reach out to us.

NEW Istanbul canal to link Black and Marmara Seas

May 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, News

To the west of Istanbul, between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, lie diverse landscapes of forest, farms, marshes and ancient settlements. Following a curving line from north to south would connect you through the Terkos Lake, Sazlıdere stream and reservoir and Küçükçekmece lagoon, important water sources for migratory birds – not to mention the city’s residents.

This line, however, is also the path of Kanal İstanbul, a $12.6bn(£9.7bn) mega-infrastructure plan described by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as his “crazy project” when he first mentioned the idea in 2011.

Kanal İstanbul, approved by the environment ministry last month, would be a 45km (28 mile) shipping canal joining the Black Sea to the Marmara, running parallel to the Bosphorus strait, which already cuts through the centre of Istanbul. The government says the canal is needed to reduce water traffic through the city.

Critics – who include the mayor of Istanbul – warn of a great environmental cost, including the potential ecological destruction of the Marmara Sea. There is a delicate ecological balance between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, currently connected by the Bosphorus strait.

Because the Black Sea is 50cm higher than the Marmara, both the level and salinity density would change if the two were connected by the canal. Not only that, the flow of cellular organisms into the Marmara would eat up extra oxygen.