Sunday, July 29th, Chim and Fay visited the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, ELCA, on Sierra Way in San Bernardino. We spoke with the congration at two services. We were able to present a PowerPoint presentation featuring the responsibilities of a chaplain for the seafarers. These responsibilities include providing for the seafarers spiritual needs, transportation needs, communication needs (providing cell phones and computer access), visiting the sick and hospitalized when needed, visiting the ships and praying for the vessels and crews. Providing Bible study and the Gospel is also done as the Lord opens the doors. We also feel that inviting the crews to our home for fellowship and a home cooked meal or snack is part of our responsiblities as these activities have a huge impact on the mariners.
The folks at Our Savior were very welcoming and encouraging to us. Once again they provided many, many Christmas gift boxes (wrapped shoe boxes with personal toiletteries). Last Christmas at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, we gave out about 3,000 gifts mostly provided by Lutheran churches! Many of the boxes contain homemade "watch caps" which the men use at sea to keep their heads covered and warm while on duty.
Many people at Our Savior gave us gifts of money to be used for the seafarers. We were very grateful for their thoughtfulness. After our visist we felt refreshed and strengthen by the warm fellowship and support provided by Our Savior. In fact, as soon as we arrived home, Chim was out the door again to visit the Yang Ming March that had docked the previous night. We have a long relationship with this ship and her crew as we have been able to visit her since her maiden voyage some years ago. She has a complete new crew and as well as a new Captain. The Captain ask Chim to pray, give communion and to bless the ship before it sailed. This is particularily unusual as the Captain is an Indian of the Hindu faith! He simply said he wanted his ship blessed and we were the only ones willing to do it!