“…. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining to towards what is ahead, I press on….” Phil 3: 13- 14
2018 is a seminal year in the life of MCM as we celebrate 20 years as a Mission. This is our 15th year back in Liverpool working for the Mission, God has been faithful and good to us over these years and granted us many blessings.
Paul exhorts us here in this wonderful epistle both to forget and to press on. As one of my favourite authors Warren Wiersbe reminds us “In Bible terminology to forget does not mean to fail to remember. Ordinarily no mature person can fail to forget what happened in the past.” Although we all wish at times we could!
To forget in the Bible means no longer to be influenced by or affected by those memories.
In other words, it simply means that we break the power of the past by living for the future.” So, Paul exhorts us to press on and as the old hymn reminds us :
“…We praise him for all that is past and trust him for all that’s to come.”
December was a busy month as we were distributing Christmas parcels and again the support from many Churches and individuals was outstanding. We were humbled and full of gratitude to the many who contributed in various ways to help us in this endeavour. In the end we were able to give out 633 parcels – and special thanks to Gideon’s who contributed 300 New Testaments.
Below is a couple of pictures of crew receiving gifts.
Alongside the busyness of parcel distribution sometimes comes the reality of a seafarer’s life. The dangerous nature of carrying out regular duties that lead to an untimely death.
And such a sad thing happened to a good friend and brother in Christ Jeyson.
Jeyson was a young 3rd Mate just 23. I thank God for the time I spent with him encouraging him as a young Christian here in Liverpool. When I last saw him, he told me of his Baptism when he had gone back home on vacation. Sadly, he lost his life in Quebec Canada in the St Lawrence river in September, his body not re-patriated till the end of November.
‘Absent from the body, present with the Lord’ – see you one day my friend!
Jeyson (First left) last time I saw him
What a great responsibility is placed on us as we visit these many men and women. Always opportunities to speak and pray -in all sorts of circumstances. As I boarded one ship the Cook Nonoy was speaking with his wife who worked in Saudi – while he was away at sea. His heart was heavy they desperately wanted a child but time/age was against them. He asked me to say hello to his wife and we spoke briefly over the phone. She too expressed sadness at not having a child, and would I pray I said that I would do so, and I shared examples from the scriptures of couples and individuals who faced similar heartache. I prayed that God’s will would be done in their lives, perhaps God will be merciful and grant them the desire of their hearts.
Also encouraging to find those believers on board who are faithfully serving God in their work and witness. It is a good thing to resource them and pray with them one such man was Tarco the 2nd Mate – he is faithfully witnessing to the 3rd Mate on board.
It was really good to get a message from my good friend C/Eng. Dino Magayon. His ship was sailing into Liverpool, it has been nearly ten years since I last saw him although we have spoken from time to time.
This man has such a Godly reputation in the company that he is allowed to preach/teach freely on each ship he is appointed too. On board this vessel he has his own Pulpit and Hymnbooks – when I was on board we had a time of singing in the mess. It was great to welcome Dino and another crew mate Max back to our home in the evening. We had a good time of catching up and encouraging one another. I was able to provide Dino with a number of resources for his Bible fellowship group.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.