May Feature :: 40 married people who met on one of the ships
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The following 40 people are now 20 married couples thanks to meeting their spouse while serving on one of the four ships. There are many more couples who met while on board and a further listing of names is below that. The SP often mentioned in the stories refers to an organisational policy which is designed to encourage crew and staff to refrain from developing romantic relationships during their first year of service. In the second year individuals can then "request SP" in order to begin such a relationship.
Frank and Berit Fortunato
Frank writes: "As I was going into the director's office to ask for SP for Berit, another guy had been with the director 20 minutes before me asking for the same thing. He walked out and told me his request and I was too embarrassed to say I was there for the same reason. Three years later we reconnected. By that time I was an associate to the ship Director. I had the joy of announcing my own SP. We served for 14 years with the Ship Ministry, on both Logos and Doulos, from 1972-1986. I then went to OM USA and started a music HQ for OM. I currently serve with the honorary title as the OM International Music Coordinator and I also coordinate OM's Heart Sounds International."
Trevor and Manoli Allan
Trevor writes: "We were the first couple to get married while with the ship, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, (March 1981). The rules on Doulos were strict and after obtaining 'social permission', we were supposed to only talk to each other for an hour a day, but since we were both in charge of the intensive training programme we each had a phone in our cabin, and of course we had to talk about our work, every day, and lots! We spent the first year of our married life in Spain, then we left OM and went to work in the north west area of Spain (Galicia), where we have been ever since. Two years ago we were asked to help with the work of OM in Spain, so, at present we are the field leaders of OM Spain. We have three kids, Joel, Ana and Rebeca, who are all in Australia at the moment, working and studying."
Greg and Anni Kernaghan
Greg writes: "We got 'social permission' in March 1980, were engaged in Tierra Del Fuego (Chile) in December the same year and were married while with the ship in Santos, Brazil in July 1981. We continued with Logos and then again Doulos until February 1989. During that time, our son Jaakko was born in Bergen, Norway in May 1983 and our daughter Maria in Mosbach, Germany in August 1985. We then served in Finland 1989–1998 during which time Greg assumed a role in international communications. We moved to Canada in 1998 and continue in that role today. Jaakko served two years on Logos II and Maria has been on OM outreaches as well."
Randy and Jaana Jury
Randy writes: "I joined Doulos in January 1978 in Genoa, Italy while the ship was in dry dock. Jaana joined in Chile in 1980. I was then working in the welding shop and Jaana was working in the crew mess, so we met during meals and tea breaks. One funny memory of our time of SP was while I had been on the ship for four years and we wanted to go on a double date with another SP couple, we had to take a fifth person along with us to chaperone. We rejoined Doulos after getting married in 1983 and served there for another 6 years and left to join OM USA when our two sons, Daniel and Mikael were 6 and 4 years old. We have now served at OM USA for 21 years and Randy for most of those years helped the OM Ships ministry with supplies and support until the team in Florence took over. We have four children, Daniel (25), married to Joanna and Mikael (23) who spent two years on Doulos after high school and now at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS as an art major. Samuel (17) is just graduating high school, and Emily (15) just finishing her first year of high school."
Andrew and Sheila Debney
Andrew writes: "Once the first year was up I went and asked for 'social permission' (or salt and pepper as it was nicknamed on the ship at the time) with Sheila, and one of the women's leaders was dispatched to check with Sheila. When the women's leader spoke to Sheila the conversation went something like this.
Roy and Carole Hadland
Roy writes: "We got married in Guadeloupe in March 1988, and since then have been living in Quebec where I am 2nd engineer for Algoma Shipping Company, Great Lakes, Ontario and Carole is relief wheelsman for CTMA Ferries. We are actively involved with the only evangelical church on Magdalen Island, and have also been involved with a mission to Haiti since 1999 and were in Port-au-Prince during the earthquake with 60 others from Quebec. We have 3 kids Gabriel (22) , Lydia (20), and Myriam-Esther (17). Lydia is now on Logos Hope for the Short Term Exposure Programme. Our time with OM was a blessing and transformed us for a life time. Our funny story - since I was bosun and Carole was deckhand we had to work together sometimes, but we didn't have SP then. One day as we were in the paint locker joking around, somehow the paint roller extention handle hit the ceiling; right on the fire detector! A few seconds later the alarm went off. This was in the middle of the afternoon while there were visitors on board… The fire team mustered and so did we. The ship crew and visitors evacuated the ship, lining up along the quayside. Carole was impressed to see how every one responded to the alarm very fast. Then we heard the captain's voice over the radio saying there was a fire in the paint locker. Strange I thought, I was there a few minutes ago and there was no fire! It was only when the fire team reported that the fire detector had been broken that I realised what had happened. I must say it was a little embarassing to explain it to the 1st officer.
Jun and Tita Diaz
Jun writes: "There were over 40 filipinos who joined for the Short Term Exposure Programme at that time. Tita and I were among those who then extended for the 2 year programme. We did not know each other before joining the ship as I am from the south and she is from the north of the Philippines. It was only after over a year that something was growing that led us to explore our relationship. Then we got SP! Our friendship started when we paired in dancing our national dance – Tinkling!. We did not see often as I worked in the engine room while she was in book fair. To make the story short, exactly two months after we finished our commitment on board, we said "I do"! Now we are blessed with two boys; Jireh is 19 and Lael is 15. We thought our involvement with OM will only be for two years but in 1994 we rejoined OM Philippines and served as Reps for Mindanao doing mobilisation ministry. In January 2002 to March 2004, we rejoined Doulos and served as Volunteers Coordinator, K-group Coordinator and then as Internal Ministry Coordinator. Upon our return, the leadership of OM Philippines invited us to join the team in the national office base in Manila. In January 2006, we were asked to give leadership to the work here in the Philippines as Field Leader until to date. Currently, our two boys are actively involved in our local campaigns and our eldest is seriously considering joining Logos Hope once he finishes his IT course.
Glen and Grace Doris
Grace writes: "We got married in 1994 and lived in Australia for eight years, both of us studying at bible college, working, etc. From January 2002 - December 2005, we returned to Doulos. In 2006, we moved to Aberdeen, Scotland for Glen to study his Masters and PhD. He has just finished his PhD now and I have recently started my own cross-cultural coaching and consulting business and Glen is job-hunting. We both desire to be used by God to help bring about change and transformation in the lives of people and within culture and society. We have many funny stories and memories of our time on Doulos. Having a communal dining area is always interesting and sometimes a challenge. Our table was right next to the Director's table and all the guests of the Director would be able to observe everything at our table. I remember one time our son Callum decided to throw up at the dining table while a very important guest of the Director was addressing the Doulos community and standing right next to our table. Trying to clean up while this guest was giving a very important speech right next to us was embarassing but we can look back and laugh about it now! "
Ricky and Monica Feliciano
Ricky writes: "We were friends for two years without any interest in each other. Monica left the ship at Christmas 1995 to go back home and we lost contact. In April 1996 we saw each other in Miami Florida by "coincidence" in a church of a mutual friend. She was on vacation, I was passing by after doing a survey trip for Logos II. We both went to that church to see the same person and after a few minutes we spotted each other. That was a big surprise for both of us. We spent that afternoon having fellowship with our mutual friend's family. After this encounter, we decided to deepen our relationship. Two months later I visited her in Venezuela and we got engaged. In July I went to Los Angeles, California to do line-up for Logos II. In December 1996 during Christmas break, we both flew to Puerto Rico, my home country, to get married. After the ceremony and honeymoon, I went back with her to Los Angeles to finish the line-up. Probably there are few couples who got married while preparing a ship visit. We have been happily married for 14 years have two kids; Josué (10) and Brian (8). Currently we own a wholesale christian books distribution company and a bookstore in Puerto Rico."
Andrew and Talitha McKibbin
Andy writes: "We've lived in N. Ireland since we last left the ship in December 2001, Shawn (10) is our first son and has two brothers - Niels (7), Matts (4) and one sister Salome (6). I work on oil rigs as a Chief Mechanic looking after maintenance, Tal is busy as a mum of four but also has been involved in photograhy for families and some weddings. We have some involvement in our home church with the teens and twenties. We have just moved into our new house, a renovation of the McKibbin family home, it was a long hard decision to commit to it, but one thing we said before we started is that this house had to be a blessing or we labour in vain, so this is what we want, that we can open our home to others and that God will use it, should it be for a coffee or a week with some of our church youth. It is one thing that the ships leave you with, that people are important to God, and to share the blessing by allowing folk to come in and relax."
Robert and Sharon Sabin
Sharon writes: "One of our first dates we were in the Dining Room watching the movie "Murder at 1600". Just as the movie was getting to the intense scene where they enter the White House through the tunnel, I found myself thrust out of my seat and into Rob's lap as we both went to the floor. Shortly thereafter we heard Captain Graeme Bird's voice over the intercom system saying that we had been hit by another ship and to go to our emergency stations. I don't think we will ever forget that date. We live in the Sacramento region of California, USA. Rob is now an ordained pastor. Sharon is a trained Land Surveyor but currently at home with our two children, Levi (6) and Becca (4)."
Emmanuel and Vicki Masson
"We each did two line-ups during our two year commitment so were only on board at the same time for nine months out of our 24. We married in 2002, lived in the UK until 2006 and now live in the south of France with our two boys Joshua (4) and Ruben (almost 2)."
Paul and Rebecca Webber
Rebekka writes: "Whilst in St. Lucia in 2002 we went for a walk at about 10pm and stopped about 100 metres away from the ship in a small park. We were chatting and then decided to pray. But just as we closed our eyes Paul felt cold metal on his temple. It was a gun. Three men were standing above us and demanded our valuable belongings including Paul's glasses and shoes. We informed the Director upon getting back on board. We felt really supported by the ships company as people donated money and the ship replaced much of what we had lost. We would still go back to St. Lucia on holiday though as it is a lovely place (not that we have the money to do that now!). Paul added: "We continued going out after the ship but had a long distance relationship for two and a half years. Rebekka then moved to the UK and six months later we had three weddings!" They now live in Exeter, UK. Paul works for Belmont Chapel as their 18-30 year olds Pastor and Rebekka is a stay at home mum looking after their two young boys.
Stefan and Minna Schomas
Minna writes: "We got married in May 2004. Now we are living in Eichstetten, Germany, the home village from Stefan. Stefan is working as a marine engineer and service tecnician, Minna is at home with our three children Arne (5), Alisa (4) and Elias (1). We had our first conversation in the bus travelling from the Mosbach Conference to Frankfurt airport to get to the ship. We were sitting behind each other and started talking. Stefan was going to the ship for his second term, this time as an engineer. He asked what Minna would do on board. She told him that she would be the ship's doctor. Stefan couldn't believe that Minna was a doctor and said that she is a nurse. Minna assured him that she is a doctor but Stefan didn't believe her. He only believed on the third time when a person from the ship's office confirmed that Minna really was a doctor. Funny enough Minna doesn't really have a memory of this part of the conversation, but only the following, because the next question always came: How old are you?"
Brian and Miriam Esterhuizen
Miriam writes:"The first time we met was during my Pre-Ship Training in Guayaquil, Ecuador, when Brian came to do some sessions and interviews. We only got to know each other months later when I joined the Programme Department that Brian was leading. We did not break SP and the day we got SP we went out to a very nice restaurant in the island of Tobago in the Caribbean; it was our first date… We left Logos II to get married and had two very special weddings, the legal one in Boerne, Texas, USA (13th December 2004) and the Church one in Arivechi, Mexico (28th December 2004). I come from a small village in the mountains of Mexico of about 800 people - 400 are my relatives and the rest I grew up with. We had never had a South African ever before in my village so when the wedding day came, we had lots of very curious and disappointed people trying to get a glimpse of this African guy that wasn't black, but rather looked like a "gringo". Now we work with OM South Africa's Mission Discipleship Training and have an 18 months daughter, Michelle Alisa.
Doug and Alli Miller
"We became great friends, right off the bat. It was a loooong year of waiting, but getting SP was a very exciting event! Shortly after, Doug went to Logos Hope and 7 months after that, Alli followed. Our favourite memories were probably in Trogir, Croatia, working on the Logos Hope project, and going out for ice cream, or a swim and hanging out with friends after a long day at work! We also enjoyed going out in each port and seeing new things, playing Ligretto with our friends, hanging out with the Colenbranders. One time we got a group together and played cards in the main fridge, just because we were too hot! Sometimes our travelling adventures went a bit askew - we lost some ship keys on a drive to Sibenik, Croatia; nearly didn't make it back to the ship after climbing La Soufriere in St. Vincent (due to public transport not really being available on a Sunday); got hit by a car in the ships van on a drive to Split, Craotia, for Alli's birthday. We got married in October 2008 in Washington, USA and are now living in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. Doug is a gold miner in the summer, and diesel mechanic for heavy equipment in the winter. Alli is working as a cake decorator in a very busy supermarket."
Enriko and Alisa Stigter
"After becoming friends we spent the first year trying to convince ourselves that we were only friends and a relationship wouldn't work out. This all changed when Enriko was asked to extend and we discussed the possibility of getting SP. We then spent the next three months that Alisa was in the intensive trainging programme not talking to each other in order to seek God's will about pursuing a relationship. At the end of the three months God had given us permission to move forward, and we were granted SP in Malta in 2007. We got married in May 2010. We are currently living in Singapore, but will be moving to Canada soon so Enriko can pursue a Masters degree in linguistics and exegesis with the goal of becoming involved in Bible translation ministry."
Vanessa and Brad Newell
Vanoosh writes: "Neither Brad, nor I were expecting to meet our life partner on the ship as we were both in our late 30s. I had wanted to find my life partner prior to becoming a missionary but little did I know what God had in store for me once I finally committed to putting Him first in my life. One evening in June 2008 in Landskrona, Sweden, we unexpectedly shared a gorgeous sunset, and although we didn't declare it at the time, we fell in love with each other that night. We spent a day at Legoland in Denmark together with our ship friends having such a laugh and so much fun on all the rides! It was obvious that we enjoyed each other's company! We also got to know each other in a deeper way through a Bible study group on the ship where we saw each other's heart for God. Finally, in September 2008, after Brad left the ship, we finally declared that we felt the same way about each other. In December, I flew home to Australia for a 4 week break to spend time with Brad, and we both knew that this was it ... we had found our life partner! We got engaged on 31 December 2008. After spending another three months on the ship, I returned to Australia in April 2009 and we were married on 5 September 2009. It was a fantastic day - the most wonderful celebration of our love and God's faithfulness! We welcomed a gorgeous baby girl, Kaylah Grace into our lives on 22 January 2011. We are currently living in Narrabeen on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I am a Registered Psychologist, however, I have just become a full time mum. Brad is working in IT, and is also studying a Diploma in Database Administration."
Brian and Nikki Holland
Brian writes: "We first met at the GO conference before pre ship training in Kiel, Germany bound for Logos Hope, but when we started, she was in love with somebody else and didn't really even notice me. I was the Electrical Officer on board, and she was the ship's Journalist and we spent only four months on board with SP before spending nine months apart. Less than three years later we are married and have twin boys! We are living in Binghamton, NY. I'm working for Lockheed Martin, and Nikki is the best homemaker there is."
Ben and Naomi Sahlstrom
Naomi writes: "We met and fell in love in all the Caribbean islands named in the Beach Boys' song "Kokomo" (Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas)! We were married in March 2011 and now live in southwest Minnesota where Ben is an HVAC technician working towards his master plumber's license and Naomi is a stay-at-home wife. We are working on building up a photography career together, specializing in weddings!"
Some other married couples who met on board include (in no particular order):
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