“…. She went away and did as Elijah had told her…”
1 Kings 17:15
This is the story of the Widow at Zarephath, usually something we are familiar with being taught at Sunday School. But it is the wonderful story of obedience to both what God commands and what Elijah asks. A woman in a desperate situation, outside the people of God is asked to give all that she has for the Man of God. And her reward for that obedience is supernatural provision of both oil and flour that will not run out. So, she is able to provide both for her son and for Elijah too which makes us realise this. The Lord does not ask more than he promises to give. As you read this report, you will read of a modern-day answer to prayer. Similar in fashion to this story of God’s provision in a difficult situation. And for ourselves in this Ministry amongst seafarers we find this to be a present truth in our own lives and experience. God’s provision is enough, neither too much nor too little. But sufficient to meet all our requirements.
Ministry amongst seafarers also encompasses family as well as the actual men and women themselves. Last Month I was contacted by the sister of Anthony Peligrino who went missing in 2015. I have mentioned it in several of my reports. Anthony’s sister wanted me to know that his remains had been identified through DNA. And his body was being returned back to the Philippines to the family, at last they would have some closure. I was asked if I would provide a short video testimonial for the family. I had been one of the last to have spoken with him, could I speak some words of comfort for the family. It was a small opportunity to bring some encouragement and hope to the family as to Anthony’s final resting place.
On the Corewise Ol, the 3rd Mate Qiang invited me inside the ship, while his English was basic he understood me enough to receive a Bible from me and Chinese ODB. it was a simple opportunity to leave the Word of God with him.
On another vessel the Cook ‘Toots’ as he was known, he told several remarkable stories of how he survived being shot in the neck as well as other miscellaneous accidents whereby he should have died back in the Philippines. He had requested a Bible in Tagalog which I was able to get him, I also left him several Tagalog booklets.
We had some good conversation that it was not just about keeping the 10 Commandments, but that these were commandments for a redeemed community brought out of slavery. How we ought to live. The C/Officer was interesting he felt that he could not read the Bible without having a clean heart and head – which was ok so long that it was not an excuse not to read the Bible at all. I pointed out that we all fall short here, but it should not stop us reading God’s Word that God had worked with and used many messed up individuals.
On the Sbi Zumba (Fil) I met Howard – When I said “Is life ok” he said “No not really I have just lost my Mother and It looks like I cannot get home in time for the funeral” He was upset because the Agent had not arranged for him to go home even though the company knew of his circumstances in the previous Port. I was brought up short, unprepared for that answer, I offered my sincere condolences and we spoke, as I listened to his story.
I was due to meet later that day to pray for our Ministry, so I said that we would pray for God to make a way for him to go home in time. And so we prayed. Later that evening I contacted him again, he was still down about the situation as arrangements had at last been made but it was going to be a day too late – so I offered him the opportunity to come to my home the following day – he was grateful.
Then later that night he messaged me again saying : –
“Good news sir, we have just heard that my flight is 8am the next morning, I was crying in front of my C/ Mate at the news”. We praised God that he had indeed made a way for Howard to be able to go home in time for his Mother’s funeral. I reminded him to tell his family what good things God had done for him.
When I did re-visit to the Bulk Trader (Fil/Indo) and got into some conversation with the Cook Roger (below) he had been reading the yearly daily bread that I had left for the crew. He was a R/C but clearly had a very personal faith in God, he told me how God had healed his child and also provided a miracle in the provision of food on board his ship.
When they had a 28 day voyage to Brazil they had only 17 whole Chickens and rice to feed all the crew, he prayed Lord how I am going to feed all this crew. His testimony was that when he cooked three Chickens on the day they were required somehow they were replaced when he got to Brazil he still had seven Chickens left! – I said it reminded me of the Prophet Elijah in 1Kings 17 – I had no reason to doub what had happened to him.
When I did a return visit to the Puppis Ocean (Fil) as I wanted to give some resources to the Boson Jun – which I was able to do. But I also had a very good conversation with the 3rd Mate Jay – he told me that it was his intention to have a child with his partner and then to get married. I spoke about this in a sensitive way asking might it not be God honouring to get married first? – he listened but I think came to the conclusion that it would be a choice both of them would make under consideration.