When a seafarer gets sick, your Mission to Seafarers is there to help at ports around the world, including Vancouver.

Ronaldo, a seafarer from the Philippines, had to see the doctor urgently as soon as his ship arrived in port. He had excruciating abdominal pain.  Later that day he had emergency surgery to remove his appendix.

Three days later I heard about Ronaldo’s situation. His ship had left leaving him behind.  When I saw him in hospital he was extremely anxious as he did not know if he would get his wages or if his job on the ship would be kept for him. Without these the situation spelt disaster for himself and his family.  To make matters worse his English was very poor.

The Rev. William Pike, senior chaplain at Mission to Seafarers, and Ashutosh Kumar, second office of the ship Mol Endeavor, in the ship’s office this summer.

He understood immediately that I was from the Flying Angel Club and he began to speak to me in a mixture of Taglog and English. I reassured him that we were here to help and all his concerns would be resolved.

I left him with God’s Blessing and promised to return with answers to his concerns the next day.  In the meantime one of our Filipino volunteers went to see him that evening.

I found out that his Captain had left his wages with the shipping agent and that he would be flown home as soon as he was well enough.  Also his job would be kept for him. After a few days of rest the seafarer was able to fly back to the Philippines, very grateful that we were there when he needed a friend.

Seafarers Sunday takes place this year on September 18. Board members and staff will be at several parishes in the diocese to talk about this long-standing diocesan outreach, and answer questions after the service.

In the afternoon at 3 pm we will have a short ecumenical service in the chapel that is part of the Vancouver mission,

401 East Waterfront Road
, followed by a session to which all members of the diocese are invited. If you have never visited the lovely historic house on the docks, this is a great opportunity to do so.

Seafarers and the mission need your prayers and support. It is easy to forget how we depend on those who crew the ships to bring us the goods we take for granted in our homes, and most of the clothes we wear.

For greater detail about Seafarers’ health see article in the latest Flying Angel Review on line at www.flyingangel.ca.   Contact the mission at 604 253-4421 for information and bulletin inserts.