NB Sola Gratia - Cruising and Ministry
We are still learning what our mission is, but we know that this cruising life and ministry on the canals is a calling from God. A number a prophesies over a number of years have left us in no doubt that God wants us on the Inland Waterways to do His work. We are still stunned that He has called us to a way of life that actually fulfills our own dreams.
The "peace of the canals" is something that we experience on a daily basis. We believe part of our calling is to share this with fellow Christians in need of some time out. Even just a couple of hours, a day, maybe a weekend.... Simply relaxing on a narrowboat can give a welcome break. Even if we do not cruise in that time, just the calming effect of being on water in God's creation (away from the hustle and bustle of daily life) with time to reflect, can be just the tonic needed.
We have felt for a long time that hospitality is one of our giftings. We have had visitors aboard the boat who have said they feel it is a haven, a safe place to talk, a place of rest and inspiration. This, to us, is an added blessing. We invite people aboard because we enjoy sharing time, perhaps a cuppa, a meal, maybe a cruise - above all, time in fellowship. We are not setting out to do anything other than be ourselves.
Whilst on our normal cruising, we meet new people, and are always prepared to chat and share our story, or just compare notes on cruising experiences, solar panels, batteries and, of course, toilets (arguably the most talked about subject by boaters)!
Another important aspect is attending various festivals and waterways shows throughout the year.
We would be very glad to share our story with churches and other organisations/groups around the country as we visit. If you would like us to come to speak, please contact us. We would be more than happy to talk to your church or group, wherever you are, about the work of Canal Ministries, and life on the Inland Waterways.
Tracey can also bring her "Blind Boater" presentation - an inspirational talk. In this, she gives her testimony, talks about sight loss, depression and how Oakley, her first Guide Dog (now sadly retired), was instrumental in our new life on board the Sola Gratia.
It is a wonderful opportunity for your church to put on an outreach event for your community, which can bring the Gospel in a non-confrontational way. The evening is interactive, giving those coming chance to chat - and even attempt some simple tasks blind-folded if they want!
If you are interested in holding a "Blind Boater" evening as part of your ministry, then please contact us.
We are always happy to have guests on board.
This was taken on the River Soar just north of
Leicester on our cruise last year, before the
cratch and pram covers were fitted, and
also before we repainted the front!