Whittier Seaman’s Mission, a Ministry of Alaska Christian Ministry to Seafarers
“Imagine you don’t need a passport to take the gospel to the nations, because they are coming to us!” exclaims one dedicated worker as I join them for a ministry-packed day in Whittier, Alaska. Several times a week during the summer, Whittier’s population of 220 residents swells by 4,200 when cruise ships dock for the day. The 1,142 person crew know that the staff of Whittier Seaman’s Mission will welcome them each time with coffee, cookies, Wi-Fi, and that they will be able to find truth and resources for the challenges they are facing. This mission shares a vital link with the on-board Christian fellowships that are also reaching the crewmen and discipling them.
In the hospitality room, a Russian and her friend are checking Wi-Fi, not interested in conversation. One Filipino is friendly until he understands we do not agree that all roads lead to God. He closes down for the moment, and goes back to the Wi-Fi. At another table, a new believer from Namibia receives a 40 minute instruction on assurance direct from scripture, based on Christ’s promises. As the session closes, the young crewman looks up, a smile flashes on his glowing face. He is spiritually hungry and knows where to find bread. Numerous letters are written for new believers and previous contacts; these are to be hand-carried aboard. Another Filipino checks out seven discipleship DVDs to watch during his down-time. “I need to fill my mind with positive things at the end of my shift,” he says. We include the DVD “More Than Dreams” when we learn his roommate is from the Middle-East and asking questions.
A little later in the day, I find myself alone with a young man from Peru who needs to unburden his heart about a messy relationship – hurt, guilt, confusion. I listen, identify, and pray hard. God leads the conversation to the point where we can speak of God’s plan for relationships, our sin, His forgiveness and how He desires to bring peace. The conversation comes to an abrupt end when the next group of crewmen enter the hospitality room. The young man shakes my hand and thanks me. My heart is warm with joy.
There are eight of us on the ministry team today – shuttle drivers, evangelists, disciplers, those making coffee and running the cash register. All of us are in prayer for one another, and eagerly seeking opportunities. At the close of the day, I am already praying about when I can come back.
Pray – For the on-board fellowships, for the strengthening of new believers, for the nations who are represented in the faces of these seafarers, for opportunities. See more on Facebook.
Participate – Contact Pastor Scott Johnson for more information or opportunities to volunteer. He can at 218 348-0104 (cell) and 907 224-8482 (office) or email him at email@example.com.
Give – Alaska Christian Ministry to Seafarers is a faith mission and does not solicit funds. They trust the Lord to provide for their needs and those who are led to donate to this work of the Lord can send their funds to ACMS, PO Box 143316, Anchorage, AK 99514.
written by Michelle Gillespie of SEND International