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Sunday, June 15, 2003

Hello from Nova Scotia!

Hello Friends,

Thank you for your prayers and your faithfulness in partnering with us and interceding for us. We are just finishing the second week of our PR tour in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It has been truly amazing to watch the Lord work in the hearts of the people in Nova Scotia. The reception we have received here in Halifax or more correctly the reception the Lord has received has truly been incredible. The Christian community here in Halifax is made up of many small (50 – 250 people) churches. Also in Canada, God has not been able to be claimed publicly in many venues.

During our brief stay here there have been several receptions held onboard. The first was hosted by the Mayor of Halifax (he is a Christian) and he invited many people from the business community and it was very well attended and received. Then there was a reception for the Pastors of the local churches and the surrounding area, this was a well attended and informative reception for both the Pastors and for the Mercy Ship personnel. There was a wonderful exchange of ideas and we were blessed by them as we hope they were in turn. On Wednesday night of this week we had a Mariners reception to focus on the seamen, craftsmen, engineers and artisans that are required to maintain a ship of this type in proper working order. They also enjoyed seeing the ship and especially a tour of the engine room! On Friday morning there was a Ladies Coffee for the ladies of the community and it was very well attended. The people of Halifax are very warm and courteous people.

We were able to take off a long weekend and celebrate our 30th anniversary! We found a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in Centerville, Nova Scotia. We had wonderful hosts, Dan and Lesley Richards! Dan planned our days for us, so that we were able to see many wonderful sights of Nova Scotia! The B&B was just a short drive from the Bay of Fundy. This is an incredible sight to see the tides which vary 40 feet from high to low tide! Lesley made a 5 course breakfast every morning and really spoiled us from the toast and coffee we usually have! If you ever get to Nova Scotia….we know where you should stay! Actually you can visit the website at While you’re on the website, please watch the video and you’ll see many of the sights we saw! It is just beautiful. Dan is an artist, technology guru and he put together the video! State of the Art! We really had a wonderful time and hope to see Dan and Lesley for dinner at the ship one night before we leave!

We realized that we haven’t told you about Rob’s adventure in getting to Halifax, Nova Scotia. When the ship sailed from Morehead City, NC, the decision was made to drive the vehicles to Nova Scotia instead of loading them onboard. We have a total of seven vehicles and six of them were driven to Boston and four all the way to Halifax. The one vehicle was used for the well drilling team and it was returned to the International Operations Center (IOC) in Texas due to the fact that we will not be performing well drilling in Belize. Belize’s water supply is good and the drilling is not needed according to our advance team. Rob was enlisted by the COO (Chief Operations Officer) to drive one of the vehicles to Halifax. The total trip took several days. A total of 1766 miles. So while the ship was sailing, and dealing with some fog it encountered…. Rob was just Cruzn along the highways! When the ship encounters fog, as it for a couple of days, there is a requirement to sound our fog horn for five seconds every two minutes. Our cabin is only three steps down from the bridge and the fog horn is adjacent to our cabin, so…. While Rob was enjoying his good nights’ sleep in the home of a parishioner along the way or in a hotel room; Denise was trying to sleep in two minute intervals. She takes it all in stride though and counts it as a blessing. You may wonder how that can be a blessing… we haven’t gone though Basic Safety Training (BST) yet or we would be standing watch with many of our shipmates. Our good friends, Kathy and Don Golden, stood watch, all the way forward on the ship looking and listening in the fog with the salt spray from the ship splashing on them occasionally in four hour shifts. Actually the Captain said Rob won’t have to stand watch up there, because he wouldn’t be able to hear and in the fog you can’t see! These are extra duties volunteered for in addition to regular duties.

While here in Halifax the crew continues volunteering and enduring the cold and damp conditions we have here, because we are short on seaman (ordinary and able). Don even took extra hours to cover for a shipmate (one of our ABs, Able Seaman) that had a bicycle accident and has been in the hospital for a couple days. People often ask how we can work without getting paid. We do get paid with the blessing of working with such unselfish people as Don and Kathy and being part of this ministry that puts into practice daily, Christian values. We are truly blessed to be here doing what we are doing for this season in our lives. Thank you for allowing us to be here. It is because of each of you, our friends; your prayers, your crying with us when we needed to cry, laughing with us in fun times and enduring our growth when the going was tough, helping us to grow into the people we are today. Thank you for sending us; we consider it a privilege and an honor. May your life be as wonderful as it was in the mind of God the day He made you. This is our prayer for you.

God’s blessings,
Rob and Denise Miller
Mercy Ships, m/v Caribbean Mercy

Included by requests….

Postal address: Rob and Denise Miller Mercy Ships, m/v Caribbean Mercy Ships PO Box 2020 Garden Valley, TX 75771-2020

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Where are Denise and Rob?

Hello Friends,

You may be wondering where are Denise and Rob? Well, we are in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada! Some of you are probably thinking, what happened to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic? We sailed from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic to Morehead City, NC. Our outreach was very successful. Thank you for your prayers, emails, letters of encouragement and the many ways you expressed your love to us.

The sail to Morehead City began at 7:30 pm on April 25th and took four days and arrived on Monday, April 28th at 7:30 am on schedule. The sail was very relaxing and a time to reflect on what has happened in our lives over the past several months during outreach. We traveled on a bearing of 338 degrees North by NW at a speed of 14 knots. The seas were calm, and gently rolling with maybe a foot to a foot and a half swells; just enough for a steady rocking motion. The last day the seas were up to 6 feet swells and a little bit rougher.

We were in Morehead City for about three weeks undergoing some technical repair work. The ship is in fine working order, these were repairs or upgrades previously scheduled. The email and telephone situation we had there was not very good. The first week we were in Morehead City we couldn’t get telephone lines. So the ship purchased several cell phones. Our friend and shipmate Don Golden who is the Director of the IT department managed to connect us to the internet using a Sprint PCS Air Card and placing a laptop computer on the bridge.

While we were faced with these technical challenges, there was the special projects team on board working hard to accomplish all of the assorted and much needed renovations, modifications and overhaul of equipment. It is akin to having your kitchen remodeled, the roof replaced, the carpet replaced in the living room, the air conditioning replaced, the basement finished and then they discover that the in-ground pool in the back yard has been leaking into the basement, along with a few minor leaks in the plumbing in the house which will require removal of some of the walls to get to the hidden leak. In the mist of all of the hammering, chipping, cutting, sawing, painting, welding and mixing, there was the reality that all of these wonderful people were giving of their time and talent to make our home on the Caribbean Mercy a more comfortable, safe environment. They were giving a sacrifice of praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, making our ship into a most useful instrument of hope and healing.

Through their efforts, we as a crew will be able to continue to take the message of God’s love to many people. The special projects team came and ministered to us, not only in the work they did on the ship with their hands, but the work they did in our hearts by their tireless efforts, their outward expressions of God’s love in action.

We are now beginning the Public Relations Tour phase, which will last for about 6 weeks. While we are here in Halifax and Boston, please continue to keep us in your prayers. Our prayer is that we may remain focused and that they may see in us an example of Jesus by our love for each other, for them and for people we serve. Our desire is to provide an atmosphere that people will be drawn to on the ship and that they would desire and be encouraged to follow God’s plan for their lives, whether that would be with us on the ship or in partnership with Mercy Ships or as God would direct them in serving Him.

We will sign off for now…lots more to say, but since so much has happened since our last correspondence, we’ll write again in a week or so. It’s good to be back on a good Internet connection and have phones! Our phone on the ship is 902-425-2850 or 2860. This will be a good number until June 23rd, and then we sail to Boston. May God bless you abundantly and our prayer for you is that your life will be as wonderful as it was in the mind of God on the day He made you!

God’s blessings,
Rob and Denise Miller
Mercy Ships, m/v Caribbean Mercy