“When the fullness of time was come,God sent forth his son….” Gal Ch 4:4
Another year draws to a close, and once again all too soon Christmas will be here. Once again it is good to focus and remember what this Christmas season is really all about. The coming of the Son of God into the world, as the scripture above reminds us. At the right time God sent his son into the world and we are thankful for that. We are thankful for the hope that we find in him as we seek to follow and serve him in all our ways. Over the year the Lord has been gracious and kind to us and provided all that we have needed. That is not to say that it has been without both sickness and sadness too. But God is faithful!
As many of you know Dot suffered a heart attack and has made good progress. She was fit enough for us to visit Australia to see family and that was good. Sadly, while we were away we had news that Dot’s younger sister passed away, this was a great shock to us all. We were thankful to be able to arrive home in time for the funeral, but Jean will be greatly missed by all especially Dot who was very close to her.
Since our arrival back we have been collecting items for Seafarer parcels. And I have to say that since the appeal in our last prayer/ newsletter the response has been fantastic. We reckon over 17 fellowships and Churches have contributed to this endeavour. As well as this, many individuals have also contributed both items and finance. So on the last weekend of November a number of folk gathered at our Church to help in the Christmas wrap which is always a great time of friendship and fellowship. We have since added more parcels and now have approximately 650 gifts to distribute – thanks to everyone.
Already I have visited a number of ships and given out parcels to seafarers. These have been gratefully received as always. And afford opportunity to show kindness too many who are far away from home at Christmas time. It also enables me to focus on why we give gifts and to bring it back to what I said at the beginning of this newsletter. That God sent his son at just the right time. Below are some pictures of men I met so far:
Sometimes we get responses back from these men and one such response was from the 2nd Mate Gabriel on the MT Tequila (last Picture) not soon after I was on board. We don’t ask for a response but it is good to know that an act of kindness can make a difference for good.
….“Once again thank you for the early Christmas gift, the crew was very happy and excited receiving their gift packs and I can see the happiness in their faces while I am distributing and handing it to them. This is my first experience handing gifts to the crew it was rewarding and fulfilling just to see the unpretentious smile pure and real wow, I am amazed what a simple token of kindness can change our robotic atmosphere on board.”…
During November I made several contacts – on the Sbi Tango I met 3rd Mate Ruje Agustino.
Ruje is a believer and it was good to spend some time with him and encourage him in his faith. He had also met Colin Jenkins previously in Cork.
I also had a good time on the Global Genesis where I found a very warm and open response to my visit.
One of the engine crew took me into the engine room to visit the 2nd Engineer who he told me was a Christian – there was several crew down there and I had a small opportunity to share something of the hope of the gospel with them and leave them some scriptures in Burmese.
Can we wish all our friends and prayer supporters a very Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year for 2017.