At the end of 1975 we decided to appoint our first harbour missionary in Saldanha Bay. We were fortunate in finding a retired couple who could speak several languages.
They started their work officially in 1976. When the first ship docked in the new harbour, our missionaries were there to meet them and hand them Bibles in their own language. Now we have a full time minister working in the harbour.
Missionary Worker at work
Western Akihabara, Saldanha
A day from the harbour evangelists's dairy:
Today is a day like any other. As usual it involves "getting everything ready" for the trip by motorbike, down to the harbour. Everything has been packed and the journey starts. It is rather nice using the bike and to feel the change from the hotter land air to the cooler sea breeze.
The harbour is red. That does not change. When you arrive at the ship, you take the backpack and walk to the large vessel. The unique ways of life at sea strikes you the moment you arrive. There is the greased ladder, the red stint and the friendly Philippines waiting to greet you. The distinctive sea air is mixed with the heavy diesel fumes of the ship's engine.
The entire crew, including officers, is from the Philippines. The ship is new and neat. It seems as if the crew is happy and they had just finished lunch when I arrived. What a wonderful experience!
When the men hear who you are and they notice the backpack, they run like children in a kindergarten class to see what you brought with for them. It is such a wonderful opportunity to distribute the Lord's Word to those hungry, friendly seamen.
Rodney and July sit in the dining room.
Both are new members of the crew, having joined the others in Saldanha. They are satisfied with their Emirates flight from Manila to Cape Town. Their ship also anchored in Durban, where our CSO Evangelists visited the ship.
July is a husband and father. The couple has four children and his young wife is a stay-at-home mother. He was on leave, but two days ago he resumed his position, to provide for his family. With his new Bible in hand he reiterated how important Jesus is in his life, particularly how important it is to own a Bible.
This was a day with a positive outcome and for that we can only thank our donors and friends for making it possible!