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The loneliest job in the world

Sometime during the storm of July 14, 2018, 19-year-old Aldi Adilang fell into fitful sleep. Since the age of sixteen, Aldi had worked as a lamplighter on a “rompong,” or floating fishing hut, that was stationed 77 miles off the coast of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Aldi earned about $130 a month and was expected to keep the lamps on the floating hut lit. The lamps attracted fish to an underwater trap, so he was actually living on a floating fish net.

Most experts agree that working on a “rompong” is one of the loneliest jobs in the world. All Aldi had to keep him company was a small gas stove, a generator, a weeks’ supply of food, a small radio, and a Bible. Every week or so, a ship from the fishing company would stop by to empty the fish trap and to bring fresh water and food. Otherwise, Aldi was alone.

The hut was very small, and was anchored to the sea-bed with a rope. In no way was the hut or Aldi prepared for the massive storm that changed his life forever. When the gale-force winds finally abated, Aldi awoke to chaos. The rope had snapped and he was now adrift in the ocean.

Eventually, Aldi floated over 1600 miles, and was finally rescued by a passing vessel. He had quickly run out of food, and had started catching fish and cooking them over the stove until he ran out of fuel. He then began to tear apart the hut to get wood to cook, and keep warm. When he ran out of water, he drank sea water by sipping it through a cloth.

Finally, the situation overwhelmed him. No ships came near, and the sun was relentless. The feeling of hopelessness caused Aldi to consider suicide by jumping into the ocean. It was his next step. But then he remembered the words of his parents to always pray when the situation is too big. He grabbed his Bible and began to seek God for help and strength. And God heard his prayers.

It wasn’t until August 31, as he neared the Island of Guam, that he was finally rescued. Amazingly, he had been adrift on the Pacific Ocean for 49 days. The odds were against him, but Heaven was for him. Aldi is now safe, and armed with a powerful testimony of praise and thanksgiving.

I don’t know what you are going through. It may be worse than Aldi’s experience. But I assure you that God has not forgotten you. You may not be alone and drifting on the Pacific Ocean, but you may feel alone while being surrounded by a crowd. Consider these words of encouragement from Romans 8:31-32 (NIV), “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Be encouraged my friend. Rescue is on the way. Read the Word. Pray. Do what you know to do until the Lord reveals what else you should do. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV), “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

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