“When (Jesus)had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” Matthew 21:10
As we have considered the Easter story just recently – and the momentous events that shook the world and which still continue to have profound effect on people’s lives. We have previously thought about Palm Sunday – or what is known as the Triumphal Entry. Jesus entered Jerusalem to shouts of Praise from the people. Yet his entry produced both curiosity and enmity – but with it the question “Who is this”. The question that is still being asked by many – what a privilege to be able to say to many that this Easter he is still Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth. But of course he is much more also – He is the one who lived and died and rose again from the dead, and has now ascended to his Father – Jesus the Saviour of the World.
It has not happened very often, but with sadness I have to tell you that my dear friend and brother in Christ Tenali from the Island of Tuvalu went to be with his Lord in February as he made his way home from his last contract at sea. I had met him in October when his ship visited Liverpool, and we had some good times of fellowship.
I had visited his ship several times and he had also come to Church with us and he also very much wanted to meet my Father. Rather ‘prophetically’ he had told me that people on his Island of Tuvalu rarely live to the age of my Father, so to meet him would be special. I never thought that it would become a reality in his own life after such a short time meeting him. But I take comfort to know that though absent from the body he is now present with the Lord.
Over the month of February it has been also good to meet a number of believing seafarers when the Lady Ann was in I met two crew Glenn and Archie and while they were very busy I was able to give them a Bible each which they requested. Archie was soon to go home but Glenn has been in touch quite a lot through Messenger and fb.
I visited the AOM Georgina and then did a re-visit, the ship had 11 new crew since the previous occasion. I had a long conversation with the C/Mate Renee, about the recent sinking of so many ships and loss of life – I talked about knowing where our ‘security’ lay did we know our destination when we leave planet earth. I also met Cook Marcelino Pastor who is Born Again a keen Christian and mature in the faith.
I gave Marcelino number of resources to conduct a Bible study on board, hopefully he will begin this once he has got to know his crew mates a little better.
The Arklow vessels are frequent visitors to Liverpool so when I visited the Arklow Rover it was great to meet Erwin Watin a believer who had a strong faith in Christ. In fact it was quite a remarkable testimony he told me of how his whole family came to faith many years ago.
Later I picked up Erwin and his crew mate Rey and brought them back for some food and fellowship it was a good evening.
Had a really profitable time on the Safe Voyager– Met the Captain who I believe is a Christian and left some literature for him – he requested Our Daily Bread which I had with me.
When I went into the Mess about Thirteen crew were all sat around – as if waiting for me – I gave them all some woolly hats which they received gratefully.
After some general chit chat breaking the ice – I asked if I could share from the Word of God. They were happy for me to do that and it was great to challenge them from the scriptures – part of Psalm 107.
Afterwards I prayed with them and they all stood – they were so receptive to what was spoken. Many of them took scriptures and ODB devotionals. Later unknown to me they had collected a small gift for the Ministry which was very humbling. At first I refused this as for them this was a sacrifice, but they were insistent and to further refuse would have offended.
Over the years of course I have made many friends and so many now keep in touch through social media. This is the blessing side of what can be a curse. Here are some updates for prayer and praise that I have received.
We can report that Capt Francis (Kofi) and his 5 Ghanaian crew have safely made it to Lagos on the Provider 1 and are now back home. Francis rang me from Ghana he had been home several days he sounded very tired and said that he had lost a lot of weight – the trip had taken over 35 days.
Mario Albay a boson on a Tanker is a little discouraged as he had hoped to commence a Bible study on his ship. But none have volunteered – I had sent him some resources to help him start this.
Petar Georgiev and Jayson Pontillas and Durga Thapa are all returning to sea.
Peter Santos has had to retire from going to sea – remember him and his wife Paz. They are going on well with God and are active in their local Baptist Church in the Philippines.
Arnel, Gerry, John and Jeffrey all keep in touch with me from time to time – Jeffrey is back home the other are at sea.
Please pray for these Men and Women of the Sea.