Around 9:00 that evening we made something to eat, then climbed into our bunks. I lay awake, thinking and praying. Please, God, help me make wise and safe decisions on this journey. Help me to stay calm, to be helpful and encouraging. Bless Janet tonight especially, and help this voyage be enjoyable for her.

Sailing the Mediterranean hadn't changed a lot in 2,000 years, I realized that first evening on the water. We had already experienced the reality of sea travel on the same sea as Paul sailed. We faced some of the same kinds of perils that Paul experienced and were no more in control than he was. I thought about how my resolve to continue on had wavered that evening as we were overwhelmed and confused. Did Paul ever waver during his "trials at sea" that he writes about? I wondered. Maybe, but he endured and triumphed. So will we, I thought as I drifted off to sleep.


Reprinted from SailingActs: Following an Ancient Voyage. (Published by Good Books; October 2006). Copyright by  Good Books. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Linford Stutzman was born in the logging community of Cascadia, Oregon. He learned many of his carpentry and mechanical skills by working alongside his father who was a farmer, logger, and pastor of the community church. Linford's teenage years were spent in the remote interior of British Columbia, Canada. Linford and his wife, Janet, have served in various ministry roles over 20 years in Jerusalem, Israel; Munich, Germany; and in Perth, Australia. Linford holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America, a master's degree in religion from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and a bachelor's degree in Bible from Eastern Mennonite University.