Yep, no doubt you are all rushing around visiting shops, buying items online desperately hoping to get that special something or perhaps you are just panicking now!!
Meanwhile, seafarers are stuck onboard, being many miles from home, their families and friends. Many will be at sea on Christmas Day, but a few of the 1.5 million seafarers will be lucky enough to be in port.
Aberdeen Seafarers Centre has been distributing Christmas gifts to vessels in port for the past 5 years and since 2001, it’s Superintendent, Howard, has been doing this. It all started with a couple of hundred parcels wrapped in our living room with my wife and kids helping and has grown over the years to some 3,000 parcels wrapped in September/October by over 50 volunteers! We have given out over 1,500 so far this month!
It’s a small gift of a woolly hat, knitted by ladies up and down the country throughout the year, each stuffed with various items useful to seafarers. They are really grateful for them.
We have much to be thankful for too… our homes, our families, our health and so many good things that we so often take for granted.
That is why I enjoy each day, laugh often and try to bless others as often as I can.
As an ex seafarer, I well remember the sacrifices made by many good people who helped me even though they did not know me! Now some 30 plus years on, I endeavour to bless those whom I don’t know and bring a little cheer this Christmas to the many thousands of seafarers that will visit Aberdeen.
I cannot do this on my own and the Seafarers Centre needs help from our team of dedicated volunteers. If you live in Aberdeen, why not consider joining the team and have some fun in pleasant surroundings to bless those who transport 95% of the goods we consume in the UK? Fire me an email and we can meet up for a coffee and a chat!
Now for some updates on what has been happening at the Centre and at home!
I was part of the Christening ceremony for the Portland Sentinel – always a fun time as we commend the vessel and more importantly, the crew who sail her, to the Lord’s care and protection.
Sometimes it is just good to talk as this Indian seafarers did – it had been a few years since we last saw each other so much to catch up on!
Some of the crew from the Malaviya Seven helping to put up our Christmas decorations!
They also donated lots of toiletries, woolly hats, stationary and personal hygiene items – a big THANK YOU to one and all.
The cook and his two assistants off the Big Orange 18 getting supplies in Lidl
Eight of our volunteers underwent Fire Marshalling training and here are their certificates to prove it!
Graham has taken to the task well and is enjoying it – not sure why both have crossed arms though?
And onto an update with the work at home…
The bare walls had two coats of white before the walls were given a Jasmine White coat!
All we need now is to buy my Man-Shed!
Open to recommendations!
So much more has happened, but as usual, I have just been too busy to update my page!
I don’t anticipate updating again until after our Christmas Day ship visits – it may even be the New Year… we shall see.
Below is our card from the Seafarers Centre to all its supporters. With my new administrator in place, I hope to be better organised for next year! I have asked her to call those in my contact list so please do not be surprised to get a call or an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” although I am hoping to sort out our whole email system early in the New Year – again, time will tell… If you are reading this and are not on my contacts list and want to be added – just email Stacey at email@example.com
So I will draw this to a close and wish you a meaningful festive season, filled with happiness and joy that comes with the Good News that God’s gift of Christ brings to all mankind.