Ship to Shore Winter 2019/2020

Mission mandate: ‘To promote and provide for the spiritual, physical and mental needs of all seafarers (2016)

Welcome to this the Winter edition of ‘Ship to Shore’ a way to share what has been, is and will be at the Mission to Seafarers as well as to provide insight into the working lives of the seafarers we serve. I think anyone in ministry, in fact in the care and service of others will tell you that there are moments in time when the light shines in.Sometimes those moments are daily but most are like a bolt in the dark.Recently at the end of a busy afternoon at the Waterfront Seafarers Centre picking up and dropping off seafarers from the ships one seafarer returning in our vehicle spoke to me about his family back in India and then he showed me a picture of them altogether. He then expressed how much it meant to him to have been able to talk with them at the centre, to know all was well so that he could go back to his ship content.It made my day and was a reminder that the seemingly insignificant does make a difference. May the ministry you do in the care and service of others as at the Mission continue to let the light in.Thank you for your interest in and support of the seafarers and do keep the Mission and the seafarers and their families in prayer. Travel well my friend, travel well.Chaplain Peter Smyth

Transportation of Seafarers in 2019 - 3455

Visits to ships in 2019 - 1,418 ships

Seafarers visiting both centres in 2019- 12,988

Christmas at Sea 2019 - Much appreciation has to go to all the churches and individuals who donated items be they bought or made to provide for the seafarers gift bags for Christmas.We were again able to provide 1500 seafarers with a gift.We delivered them to about 70 ships anchored in English Bay on Christmas Eve and in the weeks following as we climbed the gangways bags in hand.The captain of a container ship said “I would like to thank you on behalf of my all crew for your hospitality, transportation and Xmas gifts we received from you during last stay in Vancouver” and this sentiment was repeated over and over. We don’t give in order to receive the thanks but because it is the right thing to do, it is the act of giving in seeing someone smile, express joy that is the blessing and the thanks.

Christmas at Sea 2019. The volunteers, the vessel to transport the gifts, delivery of the gifts and the happy seafarers.

Christmas Carol Service 2019 Report and pictures by Jane Dittrich https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/news/christmas-carol-service-returns-to-mts

We could not do it without you: Volunteers are such a blessing to the work of the mission and recognizing the service given is a part of that work. Shirley Lake began volunteering at the Mission in October 2016 and it all started when at the local YMCA she met others who already volunteered. Wanting to know more Shirley came along to our annual ‘Cycle for Seafarers’ fundraiser and from there offered to cut seafarers hair. That led to Shirley sharing one of her God given gifts and that is organization. The bright, orderly, clean centre at Waterfront is a testament to her dedicated service and while the work has gone on behind the scenes seafarers have expressed in words how they like the centre and how they relax and make themselves at home.We are all grateful to Shirley for the blessing she is to the Mission and the seafarers we together serve.When asked what Shirley has learned and would like you to know about seafarers it is how hard their life can be away from family and home and that we come to appreciate the sacrifices seafarers make so we don’t go without.

Poor gym equipment hinders seafarers health. Perhaps you made a New Years resolution which included exercising more. For seafarers exercise is vital to their overall wellbeing and yet many go without it.The Mission to Seafarers out of IHQ in London,England hosts a website www.happy@sea.org in which seafarers are invited to fill in a survey rating their happiness from many different aspects of life at sea. When it comes to exercise they had this to say;Seafarers claimed that the stress of their work, combined with relentless demands including changes to schedules sometimes without notice meant that it was difficult to find time to exercise. The time between duties is limited when you consider that a seafarer has to use it to sleep, eat, do laundry , go ashore and contact family. Some seafarers felt that space for a gym was being reduced with a trend towards smaller accommodation blocks, which meant that any recreation areas are squeezed and become either unfit for purpose or unappealing to use. When there was gym equipment it was often in poor condition and only there to show ship inspectors that something was being done for the seafarers welfare when it really wasn’t. I have seen first hand broken gym equipment or what was there put away, still in a box or in a room where supplies were kept providing little or no space. Seafarers lack choice when it comes to exercise or control over the dollars to buy the equipment needed. It is in the best interest of shipping companies to provide for the healthy wellbeing of seafarers for a lack of exercise can lead to additional stress, weight gain and depression. Good recreational and gym equipment onboard, and with some time to use it, makes for happier seafarers who feel relaxed, recharged and reinvigorated, which must be good for all. A healthy seafarer means a healthy and safe ship.Check out www.happy@sea.org for more info on this and others issues related to seafarers.

A better than normal gym on a ship

Mission Fest 2020 - This is an annual and free event held at the end of January at the Convention Centre in Vancouver, which the Mission exhibits at to raise awareness and hopefully bring out in people a desire to get involved. There are guest speakers, workshops, music, mini-conferences to name a few. It is the largest Mission Conference in Canada which aims to bring people together in mission to challenge each one of us to what it means and looks like to follow Jesus, our highest calling.Thanks goes to the volunteers who helped at the event and to the people who stopped by.

Mission Fest Vancouver 2020

Yard Clean Up- The flowers and trees at the Waterfront Seafarers Centre are a welcome sight for the seafarers who spend most of their days looking at water and steel. On Saturday 29th February 10-12:30pm followed by pizza there will be at the Waterfront Seafarers Centre in Vancouver a yard clean up.Bring some gloves and gardening tool. Do let us know you are coming by email or calling us.

The Mission to Seafarers, Vancouver AGM will take place at the Waterfront Seafarers Centre on Monday 11th May 18:30-20:00.It will be presided over by our president Archbishop Skelton of the Eccelsiastical Province of B.C. and the Yukon including the Diocese of New Westminster.Come and be informed, free parking, refreshments to follow.

Annual Cycle for Seafarers- the year has a cycle and so does the Mission in Vancouver.We ask people to get sponsorship which is also a great way to share something about the work of the Mission. So wheel see you on Saturday 29th of August. Registration and information will in due course be available at www.flyingangel.ca

International Day of the Seafarer : Thursday 25th June 2020. The day recognises the unique and vital role of seafarers in the global community, and the United Nations recognises it as an observance day.It is a day to let seafarers know how appreciated they are. If you have any suggestions as to how we can do this let us know.

Just one big family

Donations to support the seafarers can be made by; Cheque to Mission to Seafarers. Cash. Credit card- under ‘Donate and Tithely on our secured website www.flyingangel.ca or through the Vancouver Foundation. Always received with our gratitude.

Contact information- 401 East Waterfront Road, Vancouver,BC, V6A 4G9, Tel: 604 253 4421. Email: m2svancouver@gmail.com Facebook: @mission2seafarers Twitter: @MtSVancouver