Introduction This quarter we were once again able to give a great many Bibles and other beautiful material to sailors, including bags, woollen hats, clothing and shoes. Several (church) services were held on board and prayers were said with the seafarers, which is always very nice and is appreciated. It often happens that sailors no longer have travel bags. If you no longer use a travel bag or cabin bag? Seafarers are extremely grateful for this. On behalf of the seafarers, thank you very much to all donors and supporters! We would be happy to come for a presentation.
From bicycle to plane: ship visits and team building Surprising encounters on the Rotterdam city quays, simply by bike. The Indonesian HWTK or Head Engineer who did not become wiser in his religion, but eagerly started reading the stories in the Bible himself. The poor Filipino cook was there also who couldn't do anything right in the eyes of the captain. The sailor who wanted arrange the “Church on the Ocean” on a list of denominations – how do you explain that…traditions and churches are there, but faith brings us together as is written in Colossians 3:11, “…Christ is all in all. “ I would like to thank my colleagues in Rotterdam and...Ireland who took me to a Car Carrier and a mega cruise ship and oh what a good time it was for that Indian sister to receive prayer and counselling. In London I told at the SCFS conference about pioneering the “Church on the Ocean” course in Africa and about a training ship, where an independent team would take care of it. Africa is still in the future, but I...believe that when this year I ‘ll get to know various co-workers more closely, it will play a fundamental role.
God deserves all praise and honour all the more while we are at sea for so long: “Sing to the LORD a new song and His praise from the end of the earth, ye who go down to the sea and all that is therein: the isles and the inhabitants thereof . (Isaiah 42:10) Michiel Kramers
IJmuiden region-the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that I need to speak to that Christian On a summer Saturday morning we visit a ship with a Filipino crew. The captain turns out to be a Roman Catholic Christian. He asks me to perform a “Mass” for his crew the next (Sunday) morning.. I explain to him that we are Protestant Christians and suggest on my part we hold a Word ministry for the crew instead. We agree on a meeting for 10:30 in the officers' mess with as many men as possible to be present. In the meantime, Anneke (she stays in the car due to the rheumatism) reaches out to hand out personal packages and bags with clothing for the sailors. Then we visit a ship moored in front of the first one, crewed mainly by Filipinos. The captain tells me that he also has three on his crew who are Indonesians, two Muslims and one Christian
I can’t figure out how it works, but the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that I needed to speak to this Christian. When asked, the captain calls the man into the office. After introducing myself, I tell the man that I want to encourage him as a fellow Christian amidst of his fellow Muslim shipmates. I ask him if I can pray for him and if he has any prayer points. The man becomes very moved and says that he has just heard that his 5-year-old son has been admitted to a hospital in Jakarta with an unexplained and extremely high fever. The boy is hardly conscious. I pray for my brother and his son and other family members. This crew is also provided with packages and clothing by Anneke. The next morning, Sunday, it's raining hard, like “ cats and dogs”, it's happening all over the Netherlands, even flooding occurs. Anneke and I plan to go and on board the ship at all costs to preach. In the car I pray: Lord help us out! At the arrival in IJmuiden it is dry weather! Thank you Lord! First we visit our Indonesian friend: his son is talking again! Thank you Lord! Anneke gives him a teddy bear through his father. After a difficult climb with Anneke on the gangway of the other ship, I give a sermon to the men who have gathered in the Messroom as neatly as a school class. I speak of loneliness and the attention that the Lord Jesus has for individual people as in Mark 5. And about the possibility to find your way back to the Lord. John 6:37. If you accept Jesus, He accepts you! (The captain informed me in advance that many have turned their backs on the Lord) Afterwards, Anneke hands out socks, T-shirts and chocolate bars, which normally never happens! The next day, Monday, the Indonesian sends me an App message : My son is home, safe and sound! Thanks Lord! Please continue to pray for us, especially for Anneke's health.
Kind regards and God bless, Jan and Anneke Best
Amsterdam - talked and prayed with the crew for over an hour I went back especially to a ship with an entirely Icelandic crew. I told the captain that I have brought an Icelandic Bible for the entire crew. He could not believe his ears, so happy and surprised he was. He is very much a believer and he himself walked to the car to pick up all 19 Icelandic Bibles.
I also had two quite large Bibles with big letters and he also liked to have these. He kept repeating how special he thought my visit was. What a blessed experience this was and what a great atmosphere there was on board. During my walk on the quay a Filipino friends called me from the deck and they wanted to take a photo of us together before their ship left.
Then followed some special visits on board two ships with an entirely Greek crew. What openness and how welcome I felt on both ships! To the various Greek crew members could give Gospel material and the captain of one of the ships received a bottle ship that he really liked. He was impressed. For the second time (by appointment) I was on board a Dutch inland vessel , which was docked at a shipyard , having great technical problems. How concerned I am with these people! More than an hour I talked and prayed with the crew. They thanked me repeatedly for my visit. The Skipper and his wife but also their sailor would like another visit when the ship is normally back in port again and Yvonne and I hope to do that together. At that special time the crew wants to ask for a specific blessing for their ship and for themselves. We have agreed to this. It is wonderful to be received so hospitably on board everywhere!
Thank you very much for your faithful prayers and other expressions of compassion! Theo and Yvonne van Zuilekom
Rotterdam - to Him we owe everything! Ships in Rotterdam that come and go. It is a privilege to write to you about what we experience as ship visitors. An Ukrainian sailor was very happy with the visit, and said he has not been home since August 2021, so two long years. But his captain, from Russia, was also grateful for the beautiful bottle ship. Both accepted the small New Testament in their respective languages. A young Filipino chef stopped me to know more from us. We realize that for many this is the only way to come in contact with the Good News of the Lord Jesus . Not every port provides them with a personal visit. And going to a sailor's Mission-home is for most, due to lack of time and necessary rest, not reserved. Another Filipino, on another ship. Here a “cook’s buddy", steward or mess man as they call themselves, calls me, for he wanted to talk. We encouraged him. That was also the case on the bridge of a tanker with two Filipino officers. Only recently I visited a ship with a Finnish and an Indian crew Sometimes I may close with a prayer. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty." We owe everything to Him! Will you continue to pray and give thanks for this work?
Kind regards, Wout de Vries
Amsterdam, Scheveningen-blessed are those who have not seen and yet will believe As a ship visitor of the Havenlicht Port Mission you come aboard many different ships, but that large sailing vessel in IJmuiden did beat it all because in 2003 I was actually on this ship as a passenger. It was real fun to be back on deck after 20 years. We were received with all due respect by the French crew and we looked at our old holiday photos. The ship now has a special mission, as a sustainable vessel. They transport cocoa, wine and coffee from South America to and from Europe as a freight ship. This time I could also talk about our mission among sailors. We handed out Bibles to them and read them from them John 20. For the crew, having solid ground under their feet after 4 weeks on a ship, it must have felt good. Getting away from the ship is always good. So I take some guys in my car for various groceries.
First to the Gamma for a grinder, then to Blokker for a pan set for Mum at home and then finally to the Mediamarkt for a laptop. In the meantime we do some sightseeing in Amsterdam, a lot of questions are asked and so a good conversation will naturally arise. It's nice also be able to help the sailors in a practical way. Not only the Word but also in actions. During the past period I have also met several sailors who were believers. They often have a lonely position on board and have many questions. It's a privilege to be able to encourage ant to challenge them to let the Light shine aboard their ship. Let us pray for these men.
As port missionaries we can stand by them to meet practical needs but also the emotional and spiritual needs of the seafarers arriving at our ports need attention. We listen to them, we care for them, we serve them. But above all, we may glorify God in helping sailors find new life or grow spiritually, in Jesus.
Kind regards, Marien Gijsbertsen
Delfzijl, Eemshaven - God touches people and tears come The fact that we were able to do something for the Lord again together with Anja in the Eemshaven and Delfzijl is a great achievement and blessing. Every time it is a surprise for us when we take the great message to every person we meet. . Personal conversations arise and we have a listening ear, show understanding, and still much more. I made contact with the Sailor's House in the Netherlands Eemshaven to share our experiences together in order that there is good cooperation. Meeting up with Harbour light is a very nice addition to the sailors, in the broadest sense of the word. God touches people and tears come. We pray that we would like to spend more time on the ships, and experience more in this area. So what I hadn’t expected was that on board a ship something quite especial happened: the cook shared his situation with us and broke down in tears and we were able to share with and witness to him from our own lives, how God heals us in His love.
God uses everyone in His own way. Harm van Zwol and Anja Bijlsma Rotterdam - Then the tears rolled down his cheeks again Personal update from Kerstin, my wife: I had been struggling with burnout-like symptoms for more than a year when, on June 1, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had surgery on June 22. Fortunately, it turned out to be benign and am now recovering! I am extremely grateful for all your prayers, cards and compassion in any form! But I also notice that it just needs time and that I already do a lot more than I can. For example, I would really like to go to the church again, but that's really still too much in terms of energy. I never imagined how much it costs me every day. But I am really learning again to enjoy the little things and not to be busy all the time.
I've been cycling again for a few days now (with a helmet) - it's great that I can do it again! I also have a team of people around me who help me get fit again - I have physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological talks. As a family, we have been able to experience in recent months how valuable you are as a community, as supporters and our families . I don't think we would have made it without you. My mother was here for weeks during and after the operation and was a safe anchor for the children. Also from the Board and school there is a lot of help and understanding. We are very grateful that the children are at a Christian school, which I did not have. There will be another MRI scan on October 3, I would like to ask your prayers for that and that we as a family can process everything well and we as parents may guide the children well. Encouragement in the most difficult hour.
While Kerstin was in the operating room on June 22 and I waited for a phone call from the doctor, I got the desire to visit a ship. I had heard that from René that he and Peter had visited a tanker several times where a believing captain was holding Bible studies for the crew. The tanker had been in port for a long time for repairs. On board I met the Second Mate, who is also a faithful Christian and who led the Bible studies with the Captain. When I told him that Kerstin was to be operated that day he was very surprised. During lunch the captain also joined us and he too was very much touched that I was visiting them on that day of all days. We had a very good time of fellowship and they both spoke encouragingly to me. At the end we stood in a circle, joined hands and prayed for Kerstin. To stand so close before God's throne in prayer with these two brothers from the Philippines was a foretaste of heaven! Encouraged, I could then wait for a late phone call at home.
Tears of joy. Almost three weeks after the operation I was in the port with René and an American helper. God led us to a medium-sized container ship where we chatted during our lunch break and got involved with some sailors. The Filipino chef was in a hurry and kept walking past us in order to serve us food. While he was doing that, he made a certain comment to which I quickly responded saying that I wanted to talk to him about it when he had time. When everyone had finished eating, he came and sat with us. I told him about our family situation and how God had carried us through this difficult time. He started to weep suddenly and confessed to us that he was a Christian, but had fallen into sin and was rejected by God and felt abandoned. We were able to encourage him with the Gospel and pray for him. We assured him also that God had led us to him and that we wanted to be his friends. Then the tears rolled again down his cheeks, only this time they were tears of joy. He gave us a big hug and said - thank you - for this encouraging get-together. What a blessing to see these lonely brothers and sisters to continue to serve the ships!
Thank you very much for your loyal support, especially in recent months! Words are not enough to express our enormous gratitude! Thanks to you we are here and we can serve the Lord until he takes us home. Together we will build His kingdom for His glory! It is still time of grace! The Lord bless you abundantly!
Warm and loving greetings from the beautiful North Sea coast of South Holland. United in Jesus, your Felix Henrichs
Seafarers in this newsletter are actually called differently. For privacy reasons, their real names are not mentioned. The photos in this newsletter have been used with permission. Our thanks go to: City Bibles, WIN-NL Seafarers' Ministry, Nederlandse Zeevarenden Centrale, Seamen's Centre Amsterdam, Gospel Recordings Nederland, Evangelisatie Anderstaligen Service, The Bible Association, Zakbijbelbond, Christian Aid Ministries, Operation Mobilisation, Our Daily Bread Ministries and others not mentioned by name, who all contribute in their own specific way to do the job well.
PRAYER REQUEST We would like to ask you again to continue to pray for the health of the people of Het Havenlicht and their families, but especially for Kerstin Henrichs, Jan Peter Kapteijn, Inez de Baat, Hanny de Vries, Anneke Best and Michiel Kramers, to be able to continue and to persevere in the special work that God has given us to do. Please also pray for open doors and open hearts! We believe in a God of miracles!
Thank you for all your faithful, valuable prayers and other expressions of wonderful compassion! This is how the Lord works through you, so that sailors can hear and accept His Word!
We are very grateful to the Lord God for the many opportunities to be a blessing to sailors!
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