Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Mission to Seafarers

I just finished Ninety Percent of Everything, a book about container ships. It was an okay read. The subject matter was very interesting, but the writing itself was lacking. The author described an 80,000 horsepower boat engine as the equivalent of 1,000 family sedans or 80 F1 cars. Sentences like that leave me thinking, where else are her statistics off?

Nevertheless, the book has me thinking again about how much these ships pollute, Somali pirates, and taking a freighter ship to Japan, Singapore, or Vladivostok.

I also learned about Mission to Seafarers. It's an organization with centers in over 200 port cities. The crews are usually poor, uneducated Filipinos or Indians. When they dock and get on shore, they are often taken advantage of by hucksters and cab drivers. So at every major port, these missions are set up where crew members can get SIM cards and batteries at discount prices, a free ride to town to run errands, wifi and computers to communicate home, etc. It's a really worthwhile program. And the preaching is kept to a minimum. Studies show that less than 10% of the mission visitors step into the chapel portion of the mission. There is one in the Port of Oakland. I might swing by and take a look.


fnord said...

Interesting to see the Mission to Seafarers covered on this blog. They're a great organisation. I do some work with the MTSV here in Melbourne Australia, and they're a really great bunch of people who serve a real need that most people aren't aware of.

Maxichamp said...

@fnord: Good for you! I live by a large port (Oakland) and see the cranes and cans all the time, but never really thought about the people who work onboard.