Introduction There is always, summer and winter, a very great need for woollen hats. They are wonderful "door openers" to bring the gospel. If you like knitting, we would be very happy to send you the knitting pattern. Do you have nice jackets, sweaters, and good clothes left over? Sailors like to receive them. It often happens that seamen do not (any longer) have travel bags. Should you no longer use a travel bag or cabin bag? Seafarers are very grateful for this. On behalf of the seafarers, many thanks to all donors and supporters! We are happy to come for a presentation about the work!
Amsterdam,IJmuiden,Scheveningen-and you will understand the truth, and the truth will set you free Last week I had a meeting with an old acquaintance. An Indonesian sailor I spoke to 4.5 years ago, it was really nice to bump into each other again. He would have loved to get away from the ship, walk or something, but unfortunately that was not possible due to various activities on the ship. Fortunately we did have time and opportunity to speak to each other in the mess room, I learned some Indonesian words, including the word 'Merdeka', which means freedom. We talked about that because what is freedom? For example, a sailor experiences a lot of freedom when he is finally allowed to leave the ship after 9 months. Or maybe freedom with financial independence.
A visit to Amsterdam City Centre also means 'freedom' for many people, but it all remains relative and never enough. Much of this freedom leads to more bondage. Only Jesus can give us true freedom. My friend is searching, let's pray he may find the Truth! On another ship visit there was no interest in my coming. That's disappointing, but that happens. When leaving this ship I spoke to a crew member on deck. Seeing the cross on my helmet, he gave a spontaneous testimony, he said; “I used to live in the world, I did what I wanted, but God grabbed me by my neck and from that moment on I live with Jesus and my life has changed radically, Jesus is my Lord. Please pray for me and especially , do continue your work, I pray for you too; the Gospel is what the sailors really need.” At the end of that ship visit we prayed together, it was mutually very encouraging.
Warm regards and thanks for all the sympathy and your prayers. Marien Gijsbertsen
IJmuiden Region - the young Chinese is still reading his Chinese Bible Two bulk carriers are moored at the Buitenkade of Tata/Hoogovens. One with Shanghai as its home port, with a Chinese crew. The other ship sails under the Norwegian flag, but the captain is from India, the 1st mate is Romanian, while the rest of the crew consists of Filipinos. This composition is typical of the international character of the work we are allowed to do for the Lord Jesus. He did say it: “…until the end of the world”! Together with Anneke I go on board with the Chinese. The two men on deck acknowledge our greeting: Ni Hao (Hello) and Yesu Aini (Jesus loves you), but otherwise they speak very poor English. We give them both a Chinese Bible, which they accept.
The younger of the two immediately starts reading it (see photo). Meanwhile, various crew members hurriedly walk past us back and forth. Apparently something exciting is going on. We don't get much further with these two and decide to disembark for the time being and go to the other ship that is moored at the same quay. On the next ship we are warmly welcomed by the Filipino crew members. The Indian captain (Hindu) receives a bottle ship as an introductory gift, plus a Sailor Bible, from which I have him read Philippians 4:6,7 aloud there in the Deck Office. The Chief Officer escorts us to the crew's mess room, where we hand out Sailor Bibles, Bible text cards, wooden crosses with the name JESUS cut out. We pray for the crew members present there, for themselves, but also for their relatives in the Far East.
Two men accompany me to Anneke in the car on the quay. They receive 17 packages with shampoo, toothpaste, towel, woollen cap, T-shirt, warm socks, as well as two bags full of clothes washed and ironed by Anneke. We also pray for these two. Driving back we pass the Chinese ship again. I decide to go on board one more time. The young Chinese is still reading his Chinese Bible! We give an extra number of Bibles, on the condition that they will actually read them. We get that assurance. Nearly all sailors we meet show respect for the Bible when we point out to them that it is a "Book of God." Please continue to pray for us, especially for Anneke's health.
Kind regards and God bless, Jan and Anneke Best
Rotterdam - how friendly we are often received on board On a small tanker I am invited to sit with a crew member, who puts aside his office work for it. Like some others, he comes from Indonesia. A conversation arises about who God is, for him, and that opens an opening to tell about His grace, shown to sinners, and about the atonement. On another ship I speak to Jovito, from the Philippines. He leads a weekly church service on board. He is such an example, and is an encouragement to all other sailors, on this ship and on other ships. The Sunday service is attended by a group of about six compatriots. Then, again on another ship, a Filipino sailor, John and I talk about patriarch Jacob (Israel), about the life of Joseph, and about the faith and the trust they have in God. Here too there was brief contact with a crew member from Russia, and from the Ukraine, to encourage them with God's word in their own language. We are often so kindly received on board. To give thanks for: for the freedom to do this. To pray for: the sailors we meet and for God's guidance and protection in the ports.
Sincerely, Wout de Vries
Delfzijl and Eemshaven - the power of prayer Due to problems with walking and standing, I will no longer visit ships for the time being. But it is fantastic that Harm has taken over my work. I also experience the guidance of our Lord through the people who go with Harm. Always exciting when you enter completely unknown territory for the first time. I myself experienced a lot of struggle in my early period. But how wonderful it is when you ask for guidance in advance and the first contacts are very positive. Through this you receive confirmation that God is there.
I think most ship visitors recognize that. Of course there is also rejection and even opposition, because you can count on the opponent not being left unmoved. That's how I experience it with my illness. It's still a pity that I'm sitting in here typing about others who have taken over my work, as thankful as I am however about this and I hold fast to His Word. In it I really read that with God all things are possible for those who believe (Mark 9:23). So faith opens the treasury of God's unlimited possibilities. But I hear that familiar voice in the background, yes but, why don't you heal? Does God send sickness or does healing come in His time? In any case, I don't see that as Biblical. However, there may be opposition. That is why I seek help from my fellow believers brothers and sisters. Help in the form of prayer so that victory in the form of healing will take place. Not only to me, also all the problems that sailors have to experience are of course important prayer points. In any case, I thank you for all the support and for continuing his work here in Eemshaven and Delfzijl. The desire remains to be able to enter a kind of gangway again. Jan Peter Kapteijn
Dordrecht and Rotterdam - I could speak openly about what God has done in my life On a ship there were people of different nationalities, such as Turks, Filipinos, Bangladeshis, Poles, Indians, Georgians and Romanians. At the beginning we spoke with a Romanian who said that sometimes he goes to the Orthodox Church and asked us questions about God and his relationship with Him. We answered the questions, but I was also able to speak openly about what God has done in my life and in the life of my family that shows how good God is and how we can find Him in difficult moments of life. I could also say that Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life that takes us to heaven , that he died as a man for our sins but rose again because he is God. Then I also handed over various Christian literature and the Interactive Sailor Bible, a Bible in Tagalog (Philippines), and a Georgian Bible. They thanked us. I also gave other Bibles and to a young Bangladeshi sailor who heard some of the gospel. Most of them were open to accepting the message. We drank coffee and tea and then we left. On another ship everyone came from Myanmar. The crew was very nice to us and also asked about Seamen's Christian Mission. I gave them the Interactive Sailor Bible and they also received some other evangelical literature from us. They were all happy, they offered us food but we only had time for coffee.
It was a blessing. Fabio Jefferson
Delfzijl and Eemshaven - it's rewarding and satisfying work Last year I took over the activities related to Het Havenlicht from Jan Peter Kapteijn, which he can no longer do due to illness. Before that Jan Peter was no longer able to do so, we did go out together. Every meeting on the ships is special. Often there is a heart to heart conversation, windows are opened and we are allowed to sow.
Also thanks to the "silent" workers (hats, bottles, crosses, reading material). It is highly appreciated by the crew. There are currently two people who also have a heart for this work, they are: Tjeerd Peter and Anja. Praise the Lord. It is rewarding and fulfilling work!
Het Havenlicht (The Harbour Light) certainly meets a need. God’s blessing on everything. Sincerely, Harm van Zwol
Rotterdam - we ask you to pray for us and for these men We are currently experiencing a humanitarian crisis in the port of Rotterdam. On the Blue Sky III - a 70-year-old “chained-up “ icebreaker, a crew of 8 men from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Russia has been trapped for months. They haven't had a salary for four months (the Russian hasn't even had it for seven months) and can't go home because they don't get any money at all. Their families are in distress – bills can't be paid, the kids can't go to school and they can't keep borrowing money endlessly. The Greek owner of the ship does not pay - not even for maintenance or other things. He does not provide food, drinking water, electricity, internet or the disposal of the waste. Even the flush in the toilets no longer works. And the owner's son is also on board. The crew doesn't want to contact him and tell us they might hurt him otherwise. Morale on board is very low. The men are innocently imprisoned abroad far from home with no hope of outcome. In my 13 years of ministry, I have rarely experienced anything so harrowing. The ITF (international seamen's union) is doing everything to force the owner to pay. And we as SCFS make sure that they at least get food. But at the moment they also do not receive drinking water. The cook has to go to the doctor because of severe back pain, but nobody wants to pay for him. René and I try to encourage them and give them hope and of course we also share the gospel with them and also the owner's son, because he is also in a very difficult situation. We try to take good care of the men and pray that none of them will commit suicide. We ask that you pray for us and these men. For more information click on the link: https://www.rijnmond.nl/nieuws/1629635/internationale-bemanning-krijgt-niet-uitbetaald-en-zit-al-maanden-vast-op-oude-ijsbreker-in-rotterdam-beverwaard
Many thanks for your support! God bless and a warm greeting, Felix Henrichs
Ship2Ship ministry – the “ship to ship” work continues The work of the “ship to ship” ministry at the O.M. ship is going well. A second seminar is now underway for the new group. In Charlois Rotterdam I met sailors who walked past my window in the Zuiderpark.
Please pray for wisdom to choose the right direction. Michael Kramers
Amsterdam - a wonderful hunger for God's word The Filipino crew were all waiting for me and when I looked around the corner I was welcomed with cheers. I was recognized from a ship visit 6 years ago. Great openness and hunger for God's Word. They asked if I had hats with me. Yes of course! On board ships with Russians, Bulgarians, Poles, Latvians, Ukrainians, Malaysians, Indonesians, Scots, Irish, Dutch, Belgians, Danes, Greeks, Romanians and French, there was always a warm welcome.
With few exceptions, there is always a wonderful hunger for God's word. We read a piece from the Bible with the crew and pray. Especially for a Filipino sailor I went to visit an inland vessel. How happy he was with the visit. On another ship, four Filipinos were soon allowed to go home and so we were able to give them four beautiful backpack / shoulder bags, which came in very handy.
We spent an afternoon with the two Filipino sailors shown on the photo. First we went to look at a few windmills, then at our house with coffee and (many) cookies and finally a car ride on the dike. Yvonne read Psalm 23 in their own language: Tagalog. Back at their ship, when it was already dark, we prayed with them and were warmly hugged in parting. One evening I got the thought of taking a jar of Multi-vitamin pills to the harbour the next day. That morning on board a ship, let someone ask if I also have vitamin pills!! A Filipino sailor wants to get baptized when he returns home and asked for a jacket and tie to look neat. Let there also be a jacket in our car and we even had ties for him. This is how the Lord works, through the spoken word but also through deeds. Thank you for your faithful prayers and other expressions of compassion! Theo and Yvonne van Zuilekom
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 Jan Peter Kapteijn, Hanny de Vries, Anneke Best and Inez de Baat, 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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