One of the most dangerous, and lonely, jobs in the world is that of a seafarer. Every year thousands of seafarers visit the Port of Seattle on cargo ships, container ships, and cruise ships. Many of these people have just hours in port to handle shopping, doctor visits, and calls home to family. A surprising number of these people are not allowed to leave their ship because they do not have visa permissions. The Mission to Seafarers meets these seafarers, provides rides, brings computers with Internet connections onto ships for those who cannot leave, and even provides a center where there are phones, computers, and a safe, comfortable place to relax.
Ken Hawkins is the Director of the Mission to Seafarers in Seattle and a longtime friend of mine. Ken was actually the head of the committee of lay people that worked with me for a year to discern my call to the priesthood in 1999. Ken will visit St. Dunstan’s Church on Sunday to give us an update on the work of the Mission.
In Matthew 25:40 God says, “whenever you did it to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” The Mission takes this as a statement of purpose. Every year around Christmas they give out Ditty Bags with toiletries and knit hats. This ministry is another way we give thanks to God by loving and caring for God’s people.
You can support the Mission to Seafarers yourself by donating, by helping to pack the ditty bags they give out every Christmas, by volunteering as a driver to shuttle seafarers from ships to shopping, doctors, and other necessities, or by attending the annual Cruise Ship Luncheon.
Yours in Christ,