Colin Jenkins tells of the dangers and hardships seamen face on a daily basis

Colin Jenkins in Cork, tells of the variety of his ship visits and the dangers and hardships seamen face on a daily basis.

On a ship there can be from 5 to 30 different people. Each represents a different family and often 2-6 different nationalities are represented. On a cruise liner this is magnified and can be likened to visiting a whole village made up of different nationalities. My average in Cork each day is to visit 5/6 different ships which can come to any 9 different areas of the port. However sometimes I may spend all day (or evening) visiting one or two ships. It all depends on the needs of the people I meet and how much time they have free. It is important that as many of the ships can be touched in some way by God's love through human hands.

Please pray for my SCFS colleagues in other ports which are much busier than Cork.

On one ship, the men were so excited and really touched not only by the Christmas presents but also by letters, drawings, stories and poems which had been included by some local children.

One Chinese ship was surrounded by barbed wire! I was shocked and wondered if this was some kind of 'prison ship'. No, "it is to prevent pirates from Africa", I was told. There is also an armed guard aboard the ship who has to fire warning shots.

On another Chinese ship, one man who only spoke Chinese took me to his cabin. He was beside himself with joy as he showed me his open Bible and notebook on the table. Also, there was a Chinese booklet I had left the last time the ship was in Cork. Please pray for him – the only English word he could say and kept repeating was "Halleluiah!" He sang Psalm 96 to me in Chinese and cried. I let him phone his wife from my mobile phone.

Finally I boarded an LPG tanker with 16 presents and found 16 Filipino crew. On the notice board it said, "No provisions… food for today, but none for tomorrow… no soap etc. Please Help!" They were quite desperate, and all we could do was bring more presents and groceries as well as a bag of rice from home. They were overcome with gratitude.

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