What I could offer to the seafarers during a pandemic?
(A pre-pandemic photo of Vincent)
I always have this question in my mind as a port chaplain: what kind of things I could offer to the seafarers especially during the pandemic? Other agencies or parties might offer seafarers with tracts about their organizations, ideologies and the like. However, as port chaplains of the Mission to Seafarers, we offer not only care packages of chips, chocolates, candies, popcorn and necessary information about the seafarers’ center and the port. We offer appreciation, care, and encouragement to each and every seafarer.
In addition, what I would really like to offer is prayers and blessings. I always pray with the seafarers when I visit and speak with them on the gangway. I pray that God will watch over each and every seafarer, keep them safe from danger, protect them from infection of COVID-19, take care of them when feeling lonely, and bring them safely home to see their loved ones, Amen.
I also mobilize everyone in my Christian social circle to intercede for the seafarers. Meantime, I would like to take hold of this opportunity and invite you to spare a moment to pray for the seafarers. Each one of them needs God’s divine help in knowing Him and being a follower of Christ Jesus. by grace, Vincent
We were delighted to be able to deliver a cake, ice cream and gifts to John Aposaga on his birthday and his first visit to Port Alberni. With him and his 2OFF Kim, are some of our Seafarers Mission volunteers.
Crew sign off at end of contract is challenging all over the world. We celebrate with each one who is able to finally go home!
The Port Alberni Port Authority has restricted ship visits to the bottom of the gangway only. Crew can visit the centre on their own, but staff only drop in occasionally for cleaning and check-in purposes.
We can’t thank Canadian Tire here in Port Alberni enough for giving us such a great deal on the basketball hoops and the Port Authority permission to paint an NBA sized court on their property for the seafarers to use while they are here. There must be some kind of underground telegraph that tells Filipino crews that the basketball court is for their exclusive use! The captain of Iyo Sea had the guys out playing right after they tied up on arrival.
Without doubt, COVID has put a real cramp in our ministry but everybody is trying to cope as best they can. They really seem to appreciate us telling them that our hearts go out to them and their families that they miss so intensely and that we will not forget them in our daily prayers for their health and safety.