War, bomb, machine gun. Tank, missile and clouds of smoke .... how will these affect tomorrow? This is the refrain of about twenty seamen from Syria.

Loffie met them in Richards Bay and listened to their stories. The refrain describes life in Syria. It is insecure. Extremists could wipe out the life of an entire town in a single night. These extremists feed on hate. In Syria every sunset may be your last sunset. What happens to trust? Few of these people can still look each other in the eyes. They live with the alternative choice, mistrust, doubt, fear.

It may be the way the Christian man visiting their ship is different, but something in his demeanour touches their hearts. In their world someone that shows an interest, that listens, that cares is rare. Then there is the story told by this Christian visitor .... he extends an invitation .... their own stories are filled with a lack of power and how they feel beaten down, but the visitor tells of a Man that also knew suffering, that also could not find a place to sleep for the night ... but a man that extends a very special invitation .... Coenie de Villiers (South African artist) describes it so well:

In the burning of our wars
on the touch line of our struggle
is an army of children
watching, blaming you and me;
but if you listen carefully
above the thunder of tanks and bombs
you can hear someone whisper urgently:
"Let them come to Me."

The men on the ship are mere children too. They are eighteen, twenty years old, but have seen more of life than many aged seventy or eighty. But they receive the same invitation to accept Him because He provides peace and rest.

During this year, we at the CSO will continue to use donations from our donors to invite those that are tired and overburdened, because He will provide the rest and peace that they need so much.

Donations: sms cso to 42030 to donate R30 or click here for other options.