“ For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do ” Eph Ch 2;10
The book of Ephesians which we are currently looking at in our morning devotions provides a majestic view of several Christian themes. Ranging from our lost condition ‘dead in trespasses and sins’ to our reconciliation through the grace and mercy of God. To the gift of every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, which he has won for each of us who confess his name. We have the wonderful paradox of being saved by Grace not by any form of works. Yet at the same time, this wonderful miracle and power of the Grace of God working in us produces ‘a work of art’ (workmanship) in us that yields good works for us to do. Not only this but he ordained it, planned and purposed it, before we were formed. How great is the love and mercy of God to us guilty lost sinners. Thank you Lord.
Ship visiting provides hope and encouragement in what is generally indifference and a hard slog on a good number of vessels. And I always find it encouraging when I am reacquainted with people who we met several years ago. Sometimes these people contact me again because of difficulties in their lives.
One such person was Anto who was back home and having problems with his parents due to his lifestyle and current friends who were perhaps not the best help in his life at the moment. He seemed thoroughly miserable and depressed, and sought advice about how he should deal with this.
And of course once he opened up about this, other situations arose for him as well. I offered advice and counsel and promised to pray for his ongoing situation. He is now back at sea which gets him out of the immediate situation. I continue to keep in touch through social media, and pray for him.
Visiting the Avax I received a good welcome, in the course of my conversation with some of the crew I met Ayson the 2nd Mate. He was in Liverpool back in 1997 and had corresponded with my predecessor Stan he asked me if I knew him. As we spoke about this it was clear that he was a believer so I spent most of the morning with him and stayed by invitation for Lunch. It is always good to encourage believers, as they can be influential to other crew. So it was great that Ayson (Center) was able to come to Church and bring two of his crew mates with him.
On the Ultra Tolhuaca the crew were Chinese I was taken to the Captain who was very hospitable and welcomed me warmly – we talked generally. I left some scriptures with him and explained that I was a Christian – by then the C/Engineer had joined us his name was Charlie (below) which seemed strange for a Chinese man!
When he saw the literature he asked if I had a Bible in English. He then asked if I could provide some more as it would distribute them among the crew, so I gave him four more Gideon Bibles I suspected that it was to help some of the crew with their English. But he was a very personable, and I was encouraged that here was the Word of God being read by this crew.
I visited a Russian / Ukrainian vessel the Zina it had been in some days and I had not got round to visiting her. Usually when they have been in a while, they have become familiar with the locality and the various Missions. So to visit again can lead to indifference, and difficulty getting on board. So I was greatly encouraged when the C/ Officer Ivan invited me on board and inside. When he saw bring me out various scriptures he told me that the C/ Engineer wanted a Bible. Did I have one?
I also found out that previously he had been in Dublin and had met Jae from SCFS. When the C/Engineer arrived he spoke only Basic English but was pleased to get his Bible. When the C/Mate saw that I more than one Bible he too asked for a copy so it was good to be able to give him one too.
On the Nordrhone there was a multi-national crew and I had a really good welcome. The crew were busy but I got into great conversation with the Steward Teemai Riinga (Below) from Kiribati who asked me what I believed?
It was a good opportunity to share the Good News, and I spent some time explaining the gospel to him and the implications of following Jesus. I left him some further resources for him to study and to consider also.
Over the past couple of months we have been looking at the means of communicating the core work that we do to others for their consideration. To that end we have produced a DVD on the work – which gives a brief synopsis of the work in Liverpool. (7 Minutes) If you have access to the internet then you can view this on your Mobile or Desktop/laptop/Tablet on UTube under ‘Maritime Christian Ministries’
If after watching it you would like to know more about the Ministry then you can contact me from the details at the top of the Newsletter. Let us know what you think. (But please do not repost link on Social media without contacting myself first – Thanks)