“For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” 1 Cor Ch 1:21
The world often looks at the gospel and laughs, they think it is foolishness. But God’s wisdom takes that which is ‘weak’ and ‘foolish’ and makes it the greatest expression of his strength.
The so called ‘foolish wisdom’ of Christ crucified has silenced all the pretended wisdom of the ages. As indeed did God silenced Job and his three friends in those later chapters of his book? The wisdom of Job was this ‘Fear God and shun evil.’
As one writer says “in a sense, I liken the fear of God to a warning sign over the broad gate, ignored by so many who enter there, but those who see and recognise its real meaning turn and enter the narrow gate.”
Seeking after God – fear him and shun evil, repent (turnaround) and believe the gospel. So we should thank the Father for the Lord Jesus, who is Wisdom for me, and to all who will receive him; and for his cross, which is the tree of Life for me, and to all who will believe on his name.
There is an open offer for all to call upon his name:-
“….Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” Rev 22:17
Over the years it is good to keep in contact with so many men whose lives we have been able to touch in some small way. A young Ghanaian A/B who I met about a year ago – messaged me recently that he always remembered me when he read the Bible I had given him. Not so much that he remembered me! More importantly that he read God’s Word and being reminded by me here was the Word of God to make him wise unto Salvation. Agreed and replied Amen!
Or I think of Efren a young 3rd Mate, whose wish was that one day he would become a Captain.At the time several years ago I reminded him that if he honoured God in his life and by obeying his Word. The Lord would honour him and in his time and will he would receive this promotion. Several months ago I saw a posting on Facebook congratulating him on his promotion to Captain. I immediately messaged him congratulating him on this achievement. But I also reminded him about our conversation all those years ago. He replied remembering our talk, he gave thanks and praise to God for all that had been given him.
It was a great moment.
On some vessels you are able to have a really good rapport with the crew and this can develop over several visits. When I visited the Ocean Galaxy the Filipino crew were very welcoming. Over time I got to know the C/ Eng. and Electrician very well. Through this I got to know the Captain quite well too. On my last visit not many crew were around in the mess so I wandered up a couple of decks to the C/Engineers office.
The Electrician was inside as well, I was immediately welcomed into his office and we had some good conversation. I was invited to Lunch with the Captain, in the course of the conversation he asked if I could conduct a mass – as the ship would be leaving early evening. Of course I had to decline this invitation but explained that I would be quite willing to conduct a short benediction service and pray for the crew. This gave me the opportunity to read and share from the scriptures.
On the Glovis Madrid there were five different nationalities, a lot of crew were desperate to speak and communicate with loved ones. The need for internet and phone cards is for most crew a priority. I visited the ship twice and was able to leave literature for them as well as meeting a practical need. On watch was Jolian from Sri Lankan – he requested a Bible in his own Language Tamil. It was good to be able to get this for him as well as Daily Bread reading too.
Probably the highlight of July was visiting the Hospital Ship Africa Mercy while she was in dry dock in Las Palmas. We have good friends on board a Filipino family who we have known for the last 13 years. The Sanchez family have committed the next three years to serve on board.
And while it is great getting reports from them on how things are going nothing quite beats being where they are and seeing life on board for this hard working crew.
So we were invited to visit as guests of Ramon and Nina and spent about 8 days with them. The ship was under maintenance and so it was a working environment. But it was great to see how all these multi-disciplinary crew interact with each other. And they were all under some pressure to get things fixed and ready for their next Field trip in Cameroon in August.
Certainly here is a vessel that brings Hope, Health and Healing to others.