Young Philippino seafarer Ric says his visit to the Geraldton Mission to Seafarers Centre — a ministry of the North West Anglican Diocese — literally saved his life.
During shore leave, Ric visited the Centre which is often the only onshore hospitality seafarers receive, and where our chaplains provide practical care and support.
Chaplain Wayne Sutton gave Ric a cadet pack which included Christian literature. Miraculously, the good news of Jesus shone a light into Ric’s hopelessness.
A few days after leaving port Wayne received an email thanking him for “a simple act of kindness which means everything.”
“The gift you gave me has done a lot for me,” Ric wrote. “The contents were very much appreciated – but the Luke’s Gospel was very special. It saved my life. Though I did not tell you this, I was feeling very lonely away from my family and thought nobody cared for seafarers.
“At times when I was alone I was considering disappearing at sea. Your gift showed me that someone cares about me. I have been reading the Gospel about Jesus and find it a good companion when alone in my cabin.”
Wayne says he shed tears of joy that God had saved Ric and provided ongoing comfort for him through the Lord Jesus.
“I really do appreciate what seafarers do,” Wayne says. “They have a difficult life with up to nine months at sea at a time, long shifts and sometimes shipping companies that treat seafarers as an expendable commodity.
“It’s especially hard for cadets who are still adjusting to this tough life.”
The North West Diocese reaches out to 6500 seafarers a month through Mission to Seafarer Centres at Port Hedland, Dampier and Geraldton and with our ship visiting program.
“It’s a great privilege to serve seafarers with practical care and support. We give out Bibles and Christian literature in a range of languages and I pray for all the men I have met,” Wayne said.