Seafarers Stories


On one of my previous ships, I experienced being singled out by all the officers. This happened, just because I refused to hurt low-ranking crewmen, such as cadets and the mess boy. Even though I may not have been a devoted Christian at the time, I knew it was wrong. After my contract expired, the captain gave me a bad evaluation, not for my work as a cook, but for my attitude toward them. This really bothered me, and I promised myself that I would never be silent again.

On the next ship, I again had to deal with officers who behaved in a similarly discriminatory manner. I always informed the crew agency instead of sharing it with God. This made things very difficult, and I was transferred to the worst ship. The captain treated us all very harshly. He gave us hard labour every day and even at Christmas he made us work until 6pm without a break!

We were no longer allowed to order rice, which is our primary food as Filipinos. My hatred for the captain grew so much that I decided to kill him. I put aside a big sharp kitchen knife and an ice pick.

That evening, I stayed in the crew mess room. A colleague, a good servant of God, came in and offered me something to eat. Instead of taking it, I got loudly upset about the bad captain and how good it would be to get rid of him. He didn’t say anything but moved his lips silently.

After work, I went to my cabin. I just wanted to have a little nap and then put my plan into action. When I woke up, I was surprised that it was already morning. This made me very angry. I really wanted to get rid of the captain. I could almost smell his blood on my hands. But the next few nights also passed uneventfully. We were then told that the master was leaving for home.

Why couldn’t I do it, I asked myself. Why were my hateful thoughts getting weaker and weaker? This confused me a lot and I spoke to the colleague about it. He only answered briefly, and I saw his lips moving again. “Why do you always move your lips when I talk to you,” I asked him. He smiled and said: “Whenever you express your anger, I ask God to give you peace. There is no peace without the Lord.” Then he reminded me how good the Lord is and gave me good material to read. Through this brother, I learnt to forgive and asked God to forgive my own sins. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

That was the best decision of my life. Now I’m on a different ship with a renewed faith. It’s amazing how God is now working through me.

Oh, how I love God and His Word!