Tuesday, 7 April 2009

An Easter message from Colin Jenkins of the Seamens Christian Friends Society

May our prayers be with Colin and his family and all in this great society as they reach out to seamen throughout he world.AK

SCFS Update No. 28; March 2009

Dear friends and fellow workers,

Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation…”
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.

150 years ago in Ireland in 1859 revival was the news everywhere. This year the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is encouraging its members to “Awake!” and to engage in both PRAYER AND MISSION. There is a beautiful worship song which says ‘a ship that's in the harbour is still and safe from harm; but it was not built to be there - it was made for wind and storm!’

Since Christmas I have been aboard a few ships ‘stranded’ in Cork because of the recession - the drop in demand has left a backlog of supply. One ship has an especially sad story. It's now been ‘safe in the harbour’ for a couple of months...but it's ‘dead in the water’. It's so sad to see a ship not doing what it was designed to do. The crew weren't being paid and had even run out of food. Eventually the Irish Port Authorities took the ship, repatriated the Ukrainian seamen and plan to sell the ship to reimburse the crew. The crew told me that many people came and took photos of their ship, but few even said hello! The ship's name is Defender, and there was a lot written in the papers about it. I have had lovely times aboard this ship with different crew members over the past 3 years. They have been so friendly and hospitable. The first time I boarded this 40 year old ship I was nervous. The ship is registered in Cambodia and it looked foreboding. I made my way down the steep gangway to the dimly lit mess room. Few at that time on board spoke English, but they told me how their ship had just escaped from a watery grave...it had almost sunk in strong winds in the North Sea and they had all been terrified. They cut their cargo of timber loose into the sea to lighten the ship.... Another time the ship had been arrested as a cigarette smuggler had been found on board, as well as the crew not being paid properly...
Every time I see this ship I imagine how grieved the owners are to have 'lost' their ship. It's not doing what it was designed for - GOING between ports and MAKING MONEY. As I reflected on this I became conscious of how grieved God also must be when we his children do not do as he wants. With the command ‘GO and MAKE DISCIPLES’[1] foremost in my mind I reasoned that just as ships are made to MOVE; to GO; and to MAKE MONEY, the purpose of the Church and of each believer is threefold:

TO BUILD UP – E.g. In Fellowship and Bible Study.
TO REACH UP - Prayer, and Worship, and
TO REACH OUT - Mission, witnessing and evangelism.[2]

It's wonderful to be spending the 150th anniversary of revivals in Ireland encouraging people To REACH UP to God and TO REACH OUT to others in PRAYER AND MISSION. This has been my privilege during my latest deputation during February and March. Thank you for all your prayer support during this time for Sunhwa, Aidan and I. What a joy to be told by a few folk that they pray faithfully for us every day! May God bless you richly! Meeting children (who gave beautiful Christmas presents and letters) and senior citizens (warm and colourful woolly hats etc) who are actively involved in helping us in Cork thrilled my heart! At my meetings I updated (and introduced for the first time in some churches) our mission and ministry here in Cork. In some churches I shared from Psalm 107 (the Seafarer’s Psalm) about the importance of REACHING UP and PRAYER. In others I shared from Jonah about the importance of REACHING OUT and MISSION (and having a heart free from prejudice and racism). God is so good. I never imagined that I would be able to stand in front of people and bring his word to them! With God all things are possible! Give thanks that he can use even me (and even you!)

I’ve also enjoyed wonderful opportunities on board different ships over the past 2 months; making new friends and keeping up with regular visitors. Nationalities met include: Filipino, German, Polish, Spanish, Korean, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Russian, Lithuanian, Latvian, English, Scottish, Irish, Croatian, Romanian, Ghanaians, Cape Verde, Indonesians, Hungarian, Dutch, Chinese, Kazakhstan and Burmese. The summer season is fast approaching when many cruise liners will come to Cork. Please pray for me to contact the right people and be granted access.

May God help us to all be like little ships carrying his great news to every creature and every nation.

Happy Easter!

With love in the Lord,

Colin, Sunhwa and Aidan Jenkins.


Cols said...

Wow, what a nice surprise to see my thoughts posted on your page! Thanks + God bless you Andrew :)
I love my job so much! God has given me a great love of seafarers! Thank you for your prayer support. This really is a world missionfield 'on our doorstep'.

Cols said...

For anyone interested in finding out more about our mission and ministry please check out my blog at:


Colin :)

Andrew Kenny said...

THe job you and your colleagues do is fantastic and usually unseen and unheard of by the world and the Church in general-but the Lord sees and that's what matters. May God continue to bless your ministry and all those who seek the welfare of the seafarers who serve the rest of us.