Life is such fun!
It often amazes me when folks say that Christians are dull and boring! So much goes on that can be fun and there are some events that, well, let’s say are less fun!
My God is full of life and His son, Jesus, said that he had come to give us life – not only that, but life to the full. You can read this in John 10 verse 10.
Personally, I have had much to be thankful for and a few less enjoyable events over the past couple of weeks.
It was great to get away for a holiday. With Anne’s health, she could not travel far so we went to Blairgowrie, about an hours drive away.
It was most restful and enjoyable and I was able to take Byron to Deep Sea World at North Queensferry which he enjoyed immensely – we had comments of shark, shark and seal, seal repeated many times during and after the holiday!
Opposite, Byron points out (and shouts in a loud voice) the shark to one and all!
During the holiday, I had arranged for a painter and decorator to come and paper and paint the hallways, stairs so that Anne wouldn’t have to suffer the fumes from the paint! When we returned we were very disappointed to see the mess that we encountered and I had to spent 3 days rectifying the mess. Needless to say that we will not be using that painter and decorator again!
As can be seen, there was a fair mess, no undercoat, no rubbing down of old damaged paint, and the job was not completed so I had the joy of painting it myself!
I also wallpapered the living room and painted the new skirting board and also the front porch gloss paint. The decoration of downstairs is almost complete – just a new carpet to be bought and fitted in the living room, sitting room, hallway, stairs, and upstairs landing!
At the Seafarers Centre, life continues to be busy. My volunteers continue to do a great job and are blessing seafarers in so many ways.
We have seen some difficult moments. A seafarer from Stornoway died in Great Yarmouth and his shipping company asked me to help. No I did not get my passport out… rather I worked in conjunction with my colleagues; the MtS Chaplain in Great Yarmouth was most helpful and brought comfort to the crew who had lost this young seafarer. The RNMDSF Superintendent visited his family and is offering ongoing support to them. It is good to work together!
I had the privilege and joy to be part of the induction of the new Core leader of the local Salvation Army. Helen will bring her gifts and callings to the fellowship there. The Lord Provost and other Church leaders were present and it was a great evening finished off with some splendid tab nabs and good conversations.
The Seafarers Centre continues to welcome seafarers from around the world and I have had the privilege of counselling a number of seafarers with a number of personal issues and also a good number of ship visits.
So I had some good fun and banter with crew from a number of countries and much laughter ensued at my poor jokes! I also was able to bless them with gifts of woolly hats and a jacket… with plenty of encouragement for their onward voyages. Indeed I could flood this post with pictures of seafarers who have been blessed by their visit to the Seafarers Centre, but I will refrain from boring you with them. One day perhaps, when I get an administrator, I will learn how to use the Gallery tab on the site!
I do however want to share another picture – of the Camp Boss Dionn on the Bibby Topaz and some of his crewmembers who visited the Centre last night. I had such fun with them, I only wish that I had videoed the ‘banter’ that flowed. The vessel had arrived at 2000 and by the time they had set up the gangway and security, it was almost 2100 when they got to the Centre. They were unsure if they should visit – it had been a long day for them and they were taking on stores after breakfast! They were glad to have made it – and I was pleased to see them! They left with smiles on their faces and Dionn got a large dictionary… and around a dozen DVD’s to take back onboard to watch when they get a chance to do so. Today I visited the vessel and helped with the stores and enjoyed banter with the lads, avoided their sumptuous lunches, had a chat with the chief officer and gave Dionn their supply of Lebara Top-up cards – so the lads can call home to loved ones.
I will conclude with a sad story… not to be depressing, but to highlight the ongoing struggles of being a good seafarer!
It concerns a captain whom I have known for around 5 years or more. A good man, who has worked in the North Sea so I saw a fair bit of him. He was about to sign off and was asked by two senior crew members to sign that they had done 28 days DP sailing. He refused as the vessel had only one job during their month onboard and that was only for 2 days. They became angry and verbally aggressive, however, he stood his ground. They then told his company lies about him drinking and not observing safety regulations (despite many commendations from charterers over the years).
Sadly he lost his job… and has been out of work for 4 months now. He seems to have been ‘blacklisted’ – supposedly outlawed by MLC 2006, but still it continues to happen. I am in the process of helping him to find another position.
This has placed him and his family in a financially difficult position through his being a man of integrity.
I have his details and if anyone knows of a position becoming available for a Master unlimited with full certificates, then do get in touch.