“They are a fragrant offering an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” Phil Ch 4:18
The summer has ended and autumn has come and now gone, winter is here and soon Christmas will be upon us. As is our annual event we have looked to provide items for the Seafarers Christmas parcels. And this year we have started from nothing as it were, as we made our appeal to our wonderful supporters. And we have not been disappointed as Churches and people and others have been so wonderfully generous. (Helpers wrapping the Christmas gifts)
I was reminded of the apostle who could say to the Philippian Church how they had provided that acceptable gift time and time again. So you too have been unstinting in your generosity and we have received time and time again. Thank you so much to each and every one of you for this year’s contributions.
Even one of my Church buddies John Ashcroft (Below Right) who will be involved in this year’s Liverpool Santa Dash. Offered his sponsorship to contribute to the Seafarers parcels in support of MCM.
And so I have already begun to distribute the gifts amongst the seafarers. The crew on the Amyntor (left) cheered loudly when I walked into the mess room with all the gifts and Calendars. Again there was a reminder to them when they had quietened down. That while these gifts had come with our love and prayers. It was a reminder of the fact that God had sent his inexpressible gift to each one of us. I told them again that one of the most important verses was John 3:16 and that God has sent his Son for them and that was why he came at Christmas.
So it will be a busy month climbing the gangways and taking the Christmas gifts for the seafarers. Please pray for safety as I board the vessels and for good opportunities to explain why I do this.
The previous month or so as provided various opportunities with various crew. On one ship the Halki the Border Force where on doing their routine inspections. So I was pleased to get permission to come on board and I ended up in the duty mess, I did not think that I may see many crews but quite a few came through.
The Mess man Lito (Right in Picture) was friendly enough and his cabin was just outside the door to the duty mess, in the course of morning – customs inspected his cabin and found a bottle of whiskey and cigarettes in a part of the ceiling in his cabin.
His reaction was one of utter horror and dismay knowing that he could be sent home and lose his contract – it was clear that he was innocent and that these items had been there prior to his embarkation (Customs told us this). But he was still visibly upset and crying, it made me realise how important this work is to them in providing for their families back home
On the Fortunagracht I had some good conversation with the 3rd Mate Ralp (Right in Picture) This was his first stint as 3rd Mate he was only a young guy who was clearly feeling the weight of responsibility on the ship. He told me he prayed every day and from this I shared something of trusting God and reading his Word – I shared with Ps 107 : 23-35. He was impressed with this scripture and wrote it down to consider later.
When I visited the Arklow Rose I had a good welcome and got into conversation With Aldrin (below right) who I found out attended a Mormon Church. We chatted and I shared several scriptures about testing what we receive and what is truth and sound doctrine and faith. He seemed to know what the Gospel was and I explained that this cannot be added too, he listened and I pray he took some of these things on board.
I was contacted by my friend and fellow ship visitor Paul Ratsoy from Vancouver telling me about a vessel that was to visit us here in Liverpool the Elsa Oldendorff. Paul told me that there were several Maldivian crew on board. Paul has a heart for the Maldivian seafarer and he asked me to visit. As it was there were two Maldivian crew (left Picture on board and I was able to give them some scriptures in their own language Divehi.
I also met a Fernando who was the Motorman on board and he asked me for a Sinhalese Bible, I was unsure if I had one but was pleased to find that I did. I also left him a number of scripture resources too.
It was really encouraging that when I visited a small vessel the Luhnau with some Russian crew on board the Chief Engineer Leonid asked me specifically for a Russian Bible. He was a man of few words but it was good to be able to do this for him I also gave him a Russian copy of ‘What the Bible teaches’ too, as well a Russian DVD.
Another year draws to a close and 2016 is just around the corner and we are uncertain humanely speaking what it will bring. But we know our God hold our lives in his hand and it is our intention to continue and carry on the work God has laid on our hearts to undertake. He has been faithful in all his provision for us over the last 12 years and we look to him for 2016. We are grateful for all the prayerful and practical support that is undertaken on our behalf. We have our regular Prayer meeting for the work the 1st Monday of every month 2pm at Old Roan Baptist. Several folk join with us to pray, everyone is welcome.
At the moment I have taking bookings for deputation and Ministry for 2016. If you would like to hear more about the work then please contact me (details above). I would love to come and share with you the work and Ministry of MCM.
Our intention is to have a couple of ‘road shows’ in the New Year to introduce the work to new Churches and fellowships that may be interested in this Ministry. Details will follow in the New Year. In the meantime please pray for both the Chairman and Committee members of MCM as they look to promote this work ‘abroad’.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.