In 2008 an estimated 7.7 billion tonnes of cargo was shipped worldwide. That’s 77 with 8 zeros behind it! That requires a lot of ships, and those ships are manned by seafarers – an estimated 1.2 million of them!
Each ship has a crew of only 20 men and women, on average, who are usually contracted on 6-9 month terms. Most seafarers (the vast majority are men) are from Asia and Eastern Europe. Many come from very low-income areas and they have chosen to leave behind those they love and set sail in order to provide for them.
Seafaring jobs are demanding and often dangerous. Even though the shipping industry has regulations governing the working conditions of seafarers, many countries ignore them or do not enforce them. As a result, even in our modern world, many seafarers work in very hazardous, stressful conditions on-board ships, which only compounds the dangers of the job and intensifies their loneliness and helplessness. All this creates a need. A need for advocacy, support, encouragement – and a need for love like Jesus'.
So, that’s where we come in. And you, too, hopefully!