AN INVITATION TO SAIL

Dear Reader,

 

    Have you ever felt lost standing at life’s crossroad? Confused about which path to take? Anxiously searching for a signpost that would help you make the right decision to move on?   

 

    That was how I felt when I was about to graduate from my final year in university. My comfortable student life was about to end, and an unknown future loomed ahead of me. What should be my next step? Should I enter the corporate world like most of my peers? Or should I pursue post-graduate studies? Or should I respond to the growing desire in my heart and choose the path less trodden — to serve in full-time missions in obedience to God’s call on my life? I had never felt so torn and afraid.

 

    My home in Singapore had been like a harbour, a place of refuge, comfort and security. This was where I grew up, surrounded by a loving family, close friends and a tight-knit church community. And life had been good. I was on the route to obtaining an academic degree that would open doors to a good job and a good income to save up for a good future. 

 

     Things changed, however, after my first mission trip on board Doulos as an 18-year-old. A friend from church had encouraged me to join the ship’s Short-Term Exposure Programme during the break between junior college and university. Little did I know this missions experience would open my eyes to see life from a different perspective. It challenged me to think, “What do I really want in life? It’s not about studying hard to get the best paper qualifications to obtain the best job to make the most money … because these things don’t last.” I found myself asking, “What is Your will for my life, Lord?”

    

    Out of the Harbour tells my story — of how, upon reaching life’s crossroad, I chose to step out of the harbour and enter full-time missions, embarking on a voyage that took me far away from the land of the familiar, but drew me close to the heart of God. In this book, you will be reading private entries from my 25 journals penned daily over a period of six years. I began journalling when I was 15 as a way of personal reflection. It became my time alone with God, as I would write down prayer requests or pour out my heart to Him. I’ve opened up these journals in the hope of sharing my journey with you in the most personal way.    

 

     I invite you, dear Reader, to join me on a voyage of faith. Experience with me the joys and challenges of serving on board Doulos, the World’s Oldest Active Ocean-Going Passenger Ship built in 1914, where I joined 350 volunteer crewmembers in crossing continents and cultures to bring a message of hope, and learnt to love the world beyond my shore.    

 

     It is my heartfelt prayer that this book will inspire you to catch the wind in your sails and that you may embrace the freedom of obeying God’s call on your life, out of the harbour.

 

 Warmly yours,

Jiamin

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