The Inside Scoop...

by Albertha Bosch on September 13th, 2011

I took this great list of ministry happenings from the chaplains' monthly report - God is so at work!

We had the joy of reuniting an uncle and his nephew from India who happened to learn that they were both in port at the same time. The nephew was especially thrilled to see family again. It was a bit tricky figuring out a way for them to meet (their working hours were different and they could not legally visit each other on each other’s ship), but we made sure that they could meet at least two times.

David and Jason were quite happy to have a seafarer join with them in their afternoon prayer.

One ship that came into port had lost a seafarer on its way from Europe (probable suicide). David had a long chat with a seafarer who was on watch at the time. He was experiencing guilt about not having been able to help this man. Also, he was very troubled about his own life. David comforted him and shared some readings to help him in his time of questioning and then right there on the gangway they shared a time of prayer.

A Filippino chief cook from a tanker ship spoke to Jason at length about Bible studies he used to do on the ship. The former chief engineer who had signed off a few months before used to gather as many of his shipmates as possible together on Sunday afternoon to read the Bible together and pray. However, since he left there was no one who could lead the study. This cook said that he did not feel strong enough to persuade others to pray with him or lead a group. In the same conversation, he mentioned that their ship was almost boarded by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Thankfully though the pirates tried to hook their ladder on the ship, they just missed as the ship turned out of their way. The seafarer was so very thankful to God that he was not a hostage at this time. It reminded him of his need to spend time with his Savior.

Sometimes the chaplains can serve one or two on board, at other times, many more. The odd ship, however, asks for top-to-bottom service. Our chaplain Jason believes he managed to havea personal conversation and/or a chance to help every member of the crew of one oil tanker. The ship had a very mixed crew—Swedish, Russian, Ukranian, Croatian, Indian, Filippino, and even one French Canadian man! Jason met with an Indian officer onboard who had just come to faith while in England. Jason prayed with him and gave him a pile of good reading while on board. He is now in regular contact with this seafarer on email and Facebook.

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