The needs of Seafarers are various and many, Chaplains visit out of love care and concern for these men and some women of the sea, the Chaplain will look to share and make known the Love of God for the seafarer. It is an immense privilege to go and minister into these seafarers lives – I happened to be on a vessel having had some good and profitable conversation with the C/Mate later a young cadet came and asked to speak with me privately. As we spoke I found out that he was grieving the loss of his mother who had recently died, I mainly listened as he explained that he was finding it difficult. He had come back on board not long after his mothers death and was unsure he had made the right decision to do so, I explained that he was still in mourning and that he should not be surprised at these feeling of purposelessness that he had expressed. He told me he was not at all religious, nevertheless I did share with him how Jesus knew what it was like to mourn and be upset at someone’s death. I explained that he could take comfort from the scriptures, and left him some appropriate literature and a Bible which he said he would read, I said that we would pray for him. I am grateful to God to be in the right place at the right time to comfort those who mourn and offer some support, help, and respite in a time of need.
Some weeks later, as I was driving towards a ship I saw two crew with shopping bags, obviously they were on their way to get some provisions, as it turned out it was the Captain and the Cook. I offered to take them to the store, suddenly the Captain realised he had forgotten the store card and had to return to the vessel. So I began to talk with the cook who had remained, after sharing some introductions he began to tell me about his Father who had recently died of Lung Cancer. Sadly, though close to his Father he was unable to return home as he still had several months of his contract left. He needed to work to pay for some of the funeral expenses and so had to remain on board, this is the sacrifice that some of these seafarers have to pay to fulfill family responsibilities. I was glad I was there for him and offered my condolences, assuring him of my prayers I also reminded him the Jesus too knew what it was like to mourn and be sad when someone had died. I offered him the special Our Daily Bread edition ‘Comfort at a time of Loss’ this very much encouraged him and he gladly received it – I was glad that I was there at that moment – for me it seemed ‘Right Place Right Time’ Thanks be to God.