Satisfaction found in God's will

Saturday, January 5, 2013
Charlie Butts (

A Christian ministry continues to send crews by sea to hot spots around the world -- hot spots in terms of need, not politics.

Friend Ships UnlimitedMurray Douglas oversees disaster relief for the Sea Hawks program of Friend Ships Unlimited, which consists of young men and women volunteers between the ages of 18-25. They are self-supporting workers who travel with the ships.

"Our main work is in the area of disaster response, though there are some places that we could go anytime," Douglas details. "And it's an ongoing disaster. There [are] a lot of developing countries that are almost a disaster within themselves, but normally we respond to particular events or a natural disaster."

He asserts that crews are never idle. In between disasters, the ships have to be maintained in preparation for the next venture at sea. Douglas shares that what he gets out of his unpaid job is the knowledge that he is serving God irrespective of his own level of comfort. Being in God's will, he says, is the greatest source of satisfaction.

Michael Askeland is a sergeant in the Sea Hawks program, which provides the manpower for the trips.

"The Lord has changed my life," Askeland accounts. "I went from living a double lifestyle to dedicating my life 100 percent to the Lord and not moving to the left or the right, but staying on the narrow path."

Though the training and the work are tough, both Douglas and Askeland assert that the reward of serving God by meeting the needs of hurting people overshadows that. Moreover, they both agree that the biggest need of Friend Ships Unlimited is volunteers -- adding that individuals in the 18- to 25-year age range are welcome to apply.

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