It’s another day…

I have heard many folk say that as you get older time flies by quicker… of course, that physically isn’t true – it’s just that we slow down and what once we did in seconds now takes more time. Time to reflect, to process, to decide and then to do whatever it is that you want to do…

On our wedding day – what a stunningly beautiful lady – her beauty was more than skin deep – she was a beautiful person who loved all and gave her everything for Jesus.

It will be three weeks tomorrow (7th Feb) since Anne died. So much has happened. So many forms/letters/banks with trips here and there to inform folks and process other official ‘requirements’ that have been tackled and thankfully, mostly completed. And life continues. 

I returned to ‘normal’ working hours on Monday (is there such a thing for a chaplain?) and the days seem to be full – so much to be caught up on.

The first thing I want to do is to thank everyone who took time to write a note, send a card, post a comment or called me to offer their condolences. This has been a source of great comfort and support during these days of adjustment for me (and the whole family) as we endeavour to establish a new ‘routine’ without Anne at the helm!

Whilst I would love to respond to each one individually, that is just not going to happen. Please forgive me for not doing so and consider this a very sincere heartfelt thanks for your love and support.

A final thank you to all my volunteers at the centre – they truly did hold the fort during my absence. You know who you are and you certainly lived up to being winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service! (We are currently recruiting more volunteers so if you live in the Aberdeen Area, please do get in touch!) 

However, I want to look forward and not backward. I want to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus!” (Philippines 3 v 14)

The past is the past, it cannot be undone; tomorrow may never come so why worry about that? The present is here and certain; a gift from God – which is why it is called the present! 

So moving forwards… much is happening as ever, and tomorrow we have a HSE and Fire inspection… if it is good enough for seafarers, then it is good enough for seafarers centres!! Haha! 

This Friday will be out third Sea-Shed gathering for retired and unemployed seafarers. They have been great times and many a sea story has been recounted!! They have also enjoyed having use of free iPads to get a hold on using modern technology and the Internet. lots of fun and laughter… and there is a free lunch and tab-nabs too! So if you are a retired or unemployed seafarer, please do come along at 1000 for a few hours, but do let me know in advance so that I can get the food in! 

A bit further forward, we are looking to 1. recruit another Chaplain and 2. have a spring clean of the Centre… more info on the cleaning in my next blog!

Otherwise, it is the ‘normal’ routine of ship visits, meetings. talks and paperwork! ūüôĀ 

Take care and if you need anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch by email or on my mobile.

Blessings,

Howard ><>

P.S.

I forgot to mention that the retiring collection after Anne’s Celebration Service was over ¬£1,000 for which I thank all who contributed. This generous donation was given to Byron’s school, Orchard Brae School who were delighted to receive this additional support. More information here: https://www.facebook.com/orchardbraeschoolaberdeen/

A Personal Post: Farewell, for now…

Today is the day that we publicly gather to say farewell to a most wonderful woman, Anne Drysdale, at Sheddocksley Baptist Church, Eday Walk, Aberdeen at 3pm. 

You won’t see Anne’s name in lights; she is not famous in any way and is not seen by our leaders, political or religious as the go to person for wise counsel. That was their mistake and loss.

Anne’s input into so many folks lives was great – into my life and especially our children’s. She had a heart for the disadvantaged, the lost, the forgotten and she always had time to talk and to encourage and build up those that many others sidelined. 

Anne was a hope-giver; a prophetic lady with God-given wisdom and an amazing home maker. 

Of course, I do miss her, less than a week since she passed into glory, as have our five children, three daughter-in-laws and the two grandchildren, but probably many others are grieving her departure as well. 

So today at 3pm we will gather as a family, with friends and others who knew Anne to Celebrate her life. It is going to be a great time of sharing… of remembering… of laughing… and giving thanks for an amazing woman who gave her everything for others… 

For Anne, who suffered ongoing illnesses for the past 25 years without complaining, that is over and she is in the presence of her Saviour and Lord and will be worshipping Him along with all the myriad of angels and the countless number of saints who have gone before her. 

One of her favourite songs and Byron’s, our disabled son, is Dance with me. You can listen to it by clicking on the play button below.

 

I can imagine Anne and Jesus together doing just that! Happier times for Anne for sure.

So as I draw this blog to a close, please join me and the family in giving thanks to God for her life.

I love you Anne and always will.

Howard ><>

                      The Drysdale ‘Clan!’ August 2017

   L to R: Daniel, David, Stephie, Byron, Phil, Tilly, Howard, Anne, Rachel, Neil, Jessie and Naomi. 

 

Reality is not always easy!

Reality is not always easy!  

Thankfully, with a dynamic faith in a living God through Jesus my Lord, it is possible to overcome life’s obstacles

Over the past few months some may have wondered why I have not been so visible in various ways.
 
What you are about to read will come as a shock to most. Anne was a very private person, that’s part of the reason so many of you will be hearing this for the first time. I’m sorry if this is a shock to you.
 
My lovely wife, Anne, of 33 years has been battling cancer… and finally passed into glory this morning and is now in the presence of her beloved Jesus.
 
So much could be written here ‚Äď Anne was an incredible homemaker; a wonderful wife; a woman of integrity and compassion who had an incredible God-given wisdom.
 
She supported me throughout my training for ministry at college and in the four Churches I pastored and most recently as Port Chaplain here in Aberdeen. I could not have done all this without her faithful support. Next to Jesus, she was the love of my life and I will miss her terribly!
 
The family are saddened as well by her departure, but rejoicing in her going to be with the Lord that she loved and her many illnesses over the years with lots of pain and suffering are now over.
 
Arrangements have been made for the celebration of Anne’s life on Monday 22nd at 3pm in Sheddocksley Baptist Church in Eday Walk. (https://www.sheddweb.org.uk/wp/find-us/) We would love it if you could join us.
 
Anne had only one request. No black clothes. Be yourself, be comfortable. So if you wear suits when you unwind at night in front of Netflix that’s fine but otherwise just wear your brightest outfit – the focus is on celebrating Anne‚Äôs life and her Godly character – with a special emphasis on funny stories!
 
(If you can’t make it, but would like to share a story of how Anne impacted you in some way or another please feel free to message me and we will read out as many as possible on the day)
 
Take care and hope to see you soon!
 
Blessings,

 

Howard ><>

       A young Anne – stunning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea-Shed Training…

Our Sea-Shed training day is in progress and great progress is being made thanks to our trainer, Nicki who has  the patience of a saint‚Ķ

A motley crew gathered to use the new iPads provided by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board.

It is ongoing… as is the debate with the non-payment of the wages for the crew of the Malaviya Seven as the BBC and STV picked up on my post yesterday…

Back to the training…

Blessings,

Howard ><>

 

2018 – Yes!

Welcome to a New Year! Well, better late than never… yes, I have been negligent in updating my blog, but life was very busy in the run up to Christmas and thereafter, I was on leave until the 8th. This past week has been as busy as ever… so I am only now getting down to writing this post!

December is always a month filled with the many “Christmas Lunches” (thanks to all for the invites – although my waistline has been enlarged!) and yet the routine continues with many ships being visited.

    The happy crew of the Highland Guardian!

Christmas Gifts were given out to seafarers who were going to be at sea over Christmas – away from loved ones, both family and friends. I could fill this blog with pictures and emails of thanks, but just one is probably sufficient to demonstrate how much they were appreciated by the seafarers themselves! My heartfelt thanks to all the various groups and individuals who knit the woolly hats into which various small items are placed before being wrapped by a team of around 30 volunteers who wrapped the 3,000 parcels in September/October. We have a few gifts lef over which we will happily give to any seafarers visiting Aberdeen! 

Whilst the Malaviya Seven crew are now all home (and dropped off the media horizon) it is not well-known that they still have NOT been paid. Aberdeen Seafarers Centre volunteer, Catherine Bamlett, aka “Mother of the Ship” visited them in their homes in Mumbai over Christmas. Great fun for all involved and her husband and one of het daughters joined her for a holiday of a lifetime.

They were welcomed by two of the crew, Rahul and Clay at the airport as can be seen in the picture, 

With the crew not being paid and Christmas looming large, I was able to give Catherine some US dollars for each of the crew in order that they could get some Christmas gifts or buy other essentials. The crew may have left Aberdeen, but Aberdeen Seafarers Centre has not forgotten our good friends!

Tomorrow we will  have our training day for the Sea Shed project that will meet between 10.00 and 16.00. 

Please do get in touch with me (catering purposes) if you would like to attend, but if you cannot make this one, we do meet on the First Friday every month at 10,00 at the Seafarers Centre where a warm welcome awaits all retired seafarers. (This is a free event funded by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board.)

           South Holburn Afternoon Guild

                Bon Accord Probus Club

I have already had two speaking engagements this year, one for the South Holburn Afternoon Guild – with three men in attendance – and the other was to the Bon Accord Probus Club.

These are always fun times as I share a little of my life story and my ministry to seafarers from around the world!  

I’ll stop their for now… 

I trust that 2018 will be a good year for you and yours – filled with the abundant grace and favour from our ever loving God.

Blessings,

Howard ><>