Belfast

Samuel Cowan [belfast@scfs.org]

Welcome to the Port of Belfast web page for Seamen's Christian Friend Society. It has been my honour and privilege to be serving in this ministry to Seafarers for 11 years now, and I would like to bring you up to date with some news about God's Blessings in this ministry.

I am married to Pauline and in 2010 we celebrated our “Silver Wedding” Anniversary. We have two grown up children, Grace and Daniel and both are involved when their time permits and this is especially true over the Christmas holidays.

I count it a privilege to befriend seafarers when they visit the Ports of Coleraine, Warrenpoint and Belfast. It is a joy to spend time with the seafarers and hear them share with us their experiences on board ships and about their families back home. It is a joy to meet fellow Christians and to be able to help and encourage them in their faith as they are away from their Church fellowships for long periods at a time.

One area where we receive real blessing is looking after the practical needs of seafarers. This can be from taking them to the shopping centre for groceries, to the Seamen's Centre, or the City Centre. Just recently I was able to give to two crew's bicycles to help them in other ports get around to the stores or nearest phone box to make that important telephone call home.

Often we hear seafarers coming to faith by reading the Bibles and books received in Belfast. Others through listening to CD's of church services again given out during a visit. One aspect of the work that does bring a sense of joy is seeing young believers in Christ growing in their faith and walk with God and wanting to follow their Lord by obeying His leading for their lives.

Another practical way that we can help our seafaring friends is with warm clothing, coats, jumpers or fleeces. Many seafarers arrive at the ship with clothing that they would wear when back home and this is not suitable for our winter months. Even because of their duties and limited time in ports today many cannot get of ship to purchase suitable clothing, so they are really appreciative of us coming to them with warmer clothes for them.

Christmas is always a special time for us as a family as we spend time with seafarers on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. These visits and especially the Christmas Presents that we bring are always very well received as for many that we meet that present is the only one that they will have over the Christmas period.

I must put on record our heartfelt thanks to the many churches and individuals who buy the items for our presents or who throughout the year knit the woolly hats that go into the presents each year. It is only through your generous support both practically and financially that we can bring a little bit of joy to many who would otherwise have a lonely Christmas. Last year 750 seafarers who visited our local ports received a Christmas present.

Maybe as you read this, God has been challenging you to be involved in Mission to the Nations of the World who meet on our doorstep. If so there are ways in which you can help by volunteering during the summer or over the winter. Maybe your church would like to collect for the Christmas presents. If you feel like you can help us bring the Good News in practical ways please contact myself or our Head Office the details are on the "Contact Us" page to find out more details.

If you are a seafarer and would like to contact me for friendship or a visit when your ship visits Belfast, Warrenpoint or Coleraine, then please see the "Port Links" page for my contact details or find me on facebook at samuelgcowan.

God Bless and thanks you for visiting this page.

Samuel Cowan