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Ministry to Seamen

"The beauty of being a port missionary is that men from all different tribes, tongues and nations are coming to us right here in our own back yard."
    - Chris McCloud, Port Ministry of Long Beach

Have you ever thought how lonely it must be to be at sea for months at a time? Psalms 107 talks about the difficult times faced by seamen and how God cares for them. It is estimated that more than 1.2 million seamen are at work worldwide.

If you live in a port city, you may want to consider having a ministry to the men and women who visit your town on ships. Many are internationals, born in countries which missionaries are not allowed to enter, and their time on the ship may be their only opportunity to travel outside their country and to hear the gospel.

Christians have been visiting seamen on their ships and inviting them to nearby churches for over 200 years. Most seamen are in town for a short time, and many will welcome an opportunity to spend time with Americans.

" ...few people are aware that seaman are classified as an unreached people group (Center for World Missions.) You won`t see them in your village, town or country. Neither will you see them in your church, since they spend their lives on the water. ...There are many such unreached people in our own countries and we hardly take notice."
  - Seafarers Ministry Hamburg

This video from North American Maritime Ministry Association explains their mission:

Time passes slowly at sea, and a seaman who has received a Bible is very likely to read it. If given a copy of the Jesus film in his own language, he'll watch it himself, share it with friends on the ship, and perhaps even show it to his family when he returns home.

There is an international network of port ministries, and they keep in touch with each other so that if a young man receives Christ in one location he can find fellowship when his ship docks again.

Learn More

For more information on port ministries to internationals, visit these sites:

Available from Amazon.com

Diary of a Port Chaplain: My Journey of Faith with Seafarers
by Karen M. Parsons
Kindle edition

Seafarers!: A Strategic Missionary Vision
by Martin Otto
Piquant Press (64 pages)

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