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Alaska Christian Ministry to Seafarers (ACMS)
Seward Seaman's Mission
January 2004 Newsletter
I believe that no amount of training in mission outreach can be effective
unless we are waiting upon the Lord. This undeniable truth was brought
hometo me again just recently when I visited a ship with a Chinese
crew. Mostof them, despite their lack of English, made me feel very
welcome. However,the chain smoking Chief Engineer merely sent a grunt
in my direction whenI greeted him. "Give him a wide berth", was my
instinctive thought. Twodays later this same individual motioned for
me to join him in his cabin. He pointed for me to sit, then gave me
some tea. He then made a call andbusied himself at his desk.
The awkward minutes passed by. Eventually ajunior officer named Lu
came in. He spoke English very well, and had beenasking me some pertinent
questions about the Christian faith the night before. He too waited
for the preoccupied Chief. At last our host placed a CD inthe player,
and to my amazement the beautiful strains of the hymn "Emmanuel"filled the
smoky room, sung in the Chinese language. I had given out severalof
these the day before. "Is this Christmas music?" he asked through Lu.
They wanted to know more about this holy day. Both men were attentive.
I explained as best I could. Toward the end of our meeting, and greatly
encouraged, I remembered that I had two copies of the English/Chinese New
Testaments in my back pack. To compliment these I also had two
Chinesecopies of the excellent "Stranger on the Road to Emmaus" with me.
Thesewere gladly accepted. Lu confirmed his superior's interest and
told me thatthey intended to study these books together when at sea.
My astonishment. God's wonderful plan.
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." Matthew 1:23.
Christmas on a New Ship by Jeannette Seale
The brand spanking new tanker tied up at the dock to receive its first
shipmentever. Joe and I boarded and were surprised to be greeted by
name by theKorean Capt. He told us he had met us in Dec. 1995 and was
waiting for theday to visit us again! He is a shining Christian and
the welcome he gaveus percolated down to all the crew. How could I
help them celebrate Christmaswith no Christmas supplies already on hand and
a small budget? We firstbrought small Christmas parcels that teens
had wrapped, delivering them secretlyto the captain, bought a nativity scene,
gave them Christmas CD's, and madesure everyone who wanted a NT had one.
We gave them Christmas cards to writeand mail home. I bought cheap
red and green paper tablecloths and Christmasnapkins to round out the supplies.
The next day I was thrilled to see thenativity scene put in a very prominent
place in the crew mess and the fellowswanted to talk about the real meaning
of Christmas. I could see that eventhough this crew had just been together
6 weeks, these men, under a Christiancaptain, were being drawn to Christ
in many different ways. It has alreadybecome a practice with this ship,
that we go on just before the ship sailsand the Captain calls all available
crew together for prayer. This is oneof the few ships that make return
visits to Anchorage. I am anxious to seehow their faith grows as the
Vasant Was Sent! by Cheryl Reichman
"Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you."
VaSant (was-sent) was at the dock looking for the mission when Pastor David met him. And so I met VaSant, a positive young man very happy to be in this place! He worshiped Jesus and had learned to depend on Him. For example,one time he was on shore in New Orleans. There was no taxi in sight to takehim back to the ship on time. He prayed and asked Jesus to help him! Justthen a lady helped him get a taxi. He believed that Jesus had sent an angelto keep him from getting into serious trouble!
How had he heard about Jesus? When he was a child, older relatives had taken him to St. Mary's Fair, sponsored by the local Catholic Church. His family was Hindu but St. Mary's fair was a fun place. He heard that Jesus was aGod that saved people and he began to trust Him rather than the Hindu gods."Can I show you from the Bible who Jesus really is?" He had never read God'sword. We read John 3:16-18 to show that Jesus really was a God of love. VaSantwas not surprised.
Then we read about being "spiritually dead" because of Adam and Eve's sin. This seemed to be a hard concept for this serious minded and sincere young man to accept. He had always tried so hard to do what was right and was earnestly seeking to live by the truth! Now God's Word was telling him that was not good enough. I prayed that God would open his eyes to see his need, to see that God's mercy is not giving us the judgment we deserve.
God answered that prayer as we continued for a long time to read scripture! VaSant saw that he needed life from Christ. He received the Holy Spiritand eternal life by hearing and believing the word of God! He was so thankful to have heard this good news!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given VaSant new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never fade, kept for him! (1 Peter 1:3,4)
I Found Her Crying by Jeannette Seale
One of the unknowns in visiting crew members is what happens to them after the ship sails for the last time and I don't hear from them again. Several summers ago I found a young woman sitting in the darkened TV room by herself crying. I'll be the first to admit that the women crew are not attracted to talk with me, but since I was her only choice at the time, I asked ifI could help her. She told me the all too familiar story of a young Christian woman going to sea for the first time, getting swept up in the sinful life onboard, and not knowing what to do next. As we sat and talked, I answered her questions and showed her scripture to support those answers. The decisions she was facing were not easy, but she seemed set on making her life right with God. She never came to the Mission again. More than a year later, she sent an e-mail asking if I remembered her. She sent me the story of whathas happened in the intervening years. It is the story of an up and downstruggle, getting untangled from a young man who did not know the Lord, retreatingto her own country and to her parent's guidance, and the struggle for a jobat home and knowing that God was in control of her life, even if it did look like it was in a shambles. Just recently I received another email with the wonderful news that the Lord had led her to a young Christian professional man and they were planning to get married soon. She was ecstatic and praising the Lord for his faithfulness. For all of us who find ourselves counseling someone that we never hear from again, I thought this young woman's own words would give us courage to continue praying for a positive outcome. "I came to your seaman's center for refuge. I was in a relationship in which we were both not honoring God's commandment to remain pure, and was feeling quite confused and broken. That day you ministered into my life. Thank you foryour advice. It's not easy to take godly advice but you must if you wantto walk the path He has chosen for us. The worst thing ever in this lifeis to live out of the will of God. What a dark and terrifying place. Thereis no other place I want to be than in His presence. Your work there makesa difference. I want to encourage you to continue what you all are doing.Your treasures are being stored in Heaven!"
A quick note to say thank you for thebible in Italian and more then
anything else thank you for your great supportand understanding for my family
problem. Thanks for your prayers. I am goinghome with the hope in my
heart that your prayers will reach the heart ofJesus and the heart of the
one I still love. Italy
I like it better here than at my home. Indonesia
I'm so filled with hate I need the power of Christ in my life. Philippines
I'm afraid of admitting I am saved because it will sound like I'm proud. It's like slavery to believe in good works. Poland
I don't afraid of everything. God help me now. Burma
My mom is Muslim, my father protestant, I went to Catholic schools. I amvery confused. I don't want to offend any members of my family so I chose to be nothing. Indonesia
All I want to do is to get to know God better. India
I know I don't have to pray in church or with a priest, but I feel you are my connection to God. I need your advice. Italy
What you are doing here is very helpful for us. Philippines
You have brought more joy and peace to people like me than you will everknow. You have been a big part of my strength. Thank you for your help, guidance, and most importantly, your prayers. Canada
Jesus is carrying me now, I'm not walkin'. Jamaica
I've never been so happy. The spirit of Jesus in me has driven out the fear. Portugal
I have waited 3 months for fellowship like this. Indonesia
I'm 52 years old and I have been a Buddhist all my life, but I want to know about Christianity. Thailand
I never understood why Jesus died until I read the little book you gave me. Poland
|Joe and Jeannette
|PO Box 2742
||PO Box 143316
|Seward, AK 99664
||Anchorage, AK 99514
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