“…I bring you Good New of Great Joy that will be for all the people “. Luke 2:10
We have been encouraged to read a Chapter from Luke’s Gospel every day up to Christmas Eve 24 Chapters. Then we have met with the Son of God whose birth we celebrate on the 25th. Of course, I am aware that we are not really sure exactly what date Jesus’ birth took place. But that does not stop us rejoicing at the Birth of the Christ Child, at Christmas time – as the Angel of the Lord reminds us – This is Good News. And it is a word that Luke loves to use in his Gospel and Acts. Eighteen times Luke uses this phrase in both books, and it is Good News that produces Great Joy. Many recipients who received this Good news went away rejoicing. The blind received sight, the lame walked, those who have leprosy were cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead were raised. But also, it is a Good News message for everyone, as Luke tells us it is ‘for all the people’. We take this same message to seafarers from all nations. We speak, we place scripture and Bibles in to the hands of men who will receive them sowing the seed of God’s Word. It is the same Good News that was proclaimed nearly two Thousand years ago.
This year we have been blessed with 500 NT’s from Gideons UK for our Christmas wrap – and we have also put Russian and Chinese Scriptures in the Parcels too.
Then on the last Saturday in November several folk from our Church came and helped us to wrap up the Christmas parcels. As always it was good time of fellowship also, we are thankful for the many Churches and individuals who have contributed to endeavour this year.
So, I have already been putting parcels on the ships distributing over 200 so far.
It is good to keep up contact with seafaring friends. Especially when they ask for prayer, Bryant who we have go to know very well over the past couple of months comes in quite regularly to Eastham on his ship the Elisalex Schulte. He was very concerned about his three-year-old son who was taken into hospital with severe Asthma – would we pray for him? Of course we were only too pleased to do so; we are now glad that he is much better. When I visited with presents for the crew, we had some special Toy Cars and dolls for his Son and daughter. He was so happy that we had remembered them, contact will be maintained as we continue to cement this friendship.
Earlier in November we were able to attend the Seamans Christian Friend Society [SCFS] conference in Belfast over the weekend. They were re-launching the Mission and had an official opening in Belfast where their HQ will now be based. As a Mission MCM has very close links with them through a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU]. And we were shown great hospitality and it was great catching up with fellow Port Chaplains and their wives who we have known over the Years and still keep in close contact with. One of the highlights was a Trip in a Pilot Boat around Belfast Harbour.
SCFS – Port Chaplains
Crew sometimes find themselves in difficulties and I had received information with regard to a seafarer Raul who was in a Hotel, quite near where we lived. Having left his ship due to sickness and being assessed in the local Hospital. I knew Raul was a Christian and had been told this from another Chaplain.
I managed to get to see him around Dinner time as he was due to checkout but he was unsure what was happening. Having first met him he looked quite unwell, but apparently was not considered sick enough to be admitted to hospital. It then turned into a long afternoon as we tried to figure out what to do, I contacted the agent who was in touch with the crewing Manager in Germany. The crewing manager would not confirm his flights to go home till Raul signed a disclaimer letter re: the cost of the flights.
It was turning into a bit of a stressful afternoon as we waited on confirmation that he would fly out that night. Finally, it came through to the Hotel by email and we were able to print off the documents he needed, a Taxi was booked and he was on his way – with a great sigh of relief by all parties. It is good to be in the right place to help these guys – Raul got home safely. Thanks for your prayers and support.