“ Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go”
Joshua Ch 1: 16
This was the response of several of the tribes of Israel to Joshua when he reminded them of their responsibility to the rest of Israel. The fighting men were to cross the Jordan River ahead of their brothers and help them to take possession of the land. It seems a good maxim for us also to do, and to go where God would have us be. As we enter another New Year, again we sense the conviction to carry on in the work that God has laid on our hearts to continue. And we look as always to God to lead and guide us on in this Ministry. Again, we are ever grateful to those who partner with us in Prayer and in practical provision of resources and finance to keep the work sustained. Thank You
As it turned out by the end of December I had distributed 444 Christmas parcels, and from that had some good opportunities. It was good to get several emails from ship’s Captain, saying how appreciative and relevant the gifts were to meeting the needs of the crew. And it is always good to know that you have met specific needs of crew who ask for it. One ship in particular the crew was in need, the Nord Melbourne had been in earlier in the year so it was good to re-visit, but all was not what it seemed. One of the Oilers Elmer was quite ill, and looked really miserable but had not been sent to the hospital. Also many of the crew asked did I have any warm clothing as they were cold. The consequence of all this was that we took some sponsorship money that I had received for Christmas parcels and went out and bought fleeces and some tee shirts for all the men.
The crew were very happy to receive these, I also went to see the Captain on behalf of Elmer (below) to see if I could take him to hospital. But the Captain informed me that they were waiting for a response from the company and that they were looking to send him home – it was frustrating as I sensed he needed to go to hospital/doctors straight away and I knew that intervention was required – so ITF became involved. A day or so later It was good to go back to the Nord Melbourne and see that a lot of the issues that they had faced had been resolved.
It was also good to see Elmer who had received some medical attention and was to go home the next day – he looked so much better. He was really pleased to see me and thanked me for my intervention and support in getting ITF involved in the ships situation.
I was able to distribute gifts to may ships (below) and from that many good conversations took place. I was able to leave many scriptures and Bibles and further opportunities to share the gospel arose also.
It was especially good to have quite a long conversation with Lorban and Chris (left) From this I was able to share the gospel with them. Later I was to return with Bibles and some further resources for them both it was a great opportunity.
On the Blue Tune I met Marek the Polish C/Eng who was a devout R/C but had a love to talk about the Lord. He was caught up in a lot of dogma and religion and tradition although he had a very affable personality, we had some good conversation. I sought to explain my testimony and the final authority of Holy Scripture over Church tradition.
The ship was sailing to Cork so I passed on his details to Colin Jenkins SCFS Chaplain there. He followed Marek up and had some good conversation with him too. Subsequent to this I had further conversations with him on Social media. Here again I reminded him about making a decision to follow the Lord Jesus, and give his life to him over Church dogma and tradition. While he affirmed this I saw no evidence that this is what he did.
Early in January I heard from the sister of a seafarer who had gone missing last June feared lost over board in Argentina. I had sought to support the family by contacting the company to ask for information as to what was being done to locate their brother. This seafarer’s sister had heard that a body had been found but Authorities could not identify it. She asked for help in that did I know of any Pastors in Argentina that could help if they went to identify the body. Unfortunately I did not know of any Pastors in that locality, and as always with these things it turns out more complicated than first thought. I then spent very early morning emailing various authorities if they could update us on this. This conversation carried on throughout the day – At the same time I was also dealing with another seafarer who was asking for help with his family back home and again we had to make some difficult decisions in what we could and should do, this too carried on for most of the day as well. These things take a lot of time and energy and in truth I don’t always know what is the wise thing to do – so I pray, and then do the very best that I can. We still wait for an outcome from this; please pray that the family might get some closure in this situation.