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.
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.)
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.