Bread Found – A Seafarer Finds Life

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Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

Ecclesiastes 11:1

Lighthouse Harbour Ministries’ workers cast lots and lots of bread upon waters. But, it is not the rye, multi-grain or even sourdough variety that the Ministry freely distributes. No, instead, it is a supernatural brand: “bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die” (John 6:50); the type that Jesus spoke about.

LHM was established in 1981 to minister God’s wonderful Good News of Jesus to seafarers (the gender neutral term for sailors) who work aboard cargo ships that sail to the Port of Vancouver and vicinity. Since its inception, thousands and thousands of seafarers have heard about Jesus through one-to-one encounters with LHM volunteers and staff who, almost daily, board ships or serve at one of the Mission’s two Lower Mainland seafarers centres.

Those familiar with Lighthouse see Mission’s outreach as a real “overseas” mission. That is, the seafarers travel overseas to reach the missionaries right here in Vancouver! Indeed the world is coming to Vancouver on a daily basis. Annually, over 3,000 ships sail to the port of Vancouver. The majority of these vessels have about twenty seafarers aboard who come from nations such as the Philippines, India, China, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Turkey, Indonesia, Russia and Ukraine. In fact, seafarers from more than 120 different nationalities have visited the Lighthouse centres over the past 35 years.

Remaining in contact with crew members after their ships sail from Vancouver is a difficult task. Most of them are not heard from a second time. However, on occasion, contact is re-established; sometimes after decades have gone by. In the past year the Mission received a letter (see following) from a Filipino seafarer who was contacted by a Lighthouse worker about twenty-five years ago! Since the original contact was made, the Lord did some amazing things in the seafarer’s life:

From: Missionary Pastor Benedicto

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Good Day Sirs,Peace and grace be unto you from our Lord Jesus Christ.Just sending to your office my thanks and appreciation to Lighthouse Seamens Centre Vancouver. It was two decades ago I am a Seaman Officer which many times calling at Port Vancouver with my previous Marine Vessels.Way back in 1991 during our discharging and loading at Vancouver, somebody visited our ship and gave us a New Testament Bible and other tracts, Through frequent reading the word of God, I was saved and accept Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I become a member of Baptist Christian Church in the Philippines. But it is not easy to be a Christian, I met an accident in our ship that would force me to retired earlier. (year 2002).At first, I did not realized that God is calling me to be a Missionary Pastor. I spent 5 years in Bible School.(BS Theology) By the Grace of God, presently I'm working as Missionary Pastor in the province of Cavite, Philippines.Last time, I found my treasure, your given NT Bible on me with your address, that's why I'm sending you this kind of letter to express my gratitude for your priceless missions to every Seafarers. For God's glory you've accomplished to obey Christ's Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15)In behalf of our church we will always pray your ministries for the seamen. If God's willing, I will visit your office in Vancouver to help you as Missionary to every ship calling at Vancouver. Lastly, Many thanks again, and GOD BLESS to all.Christ's servant, Pastor Benny (Saving Grace Gospel Ministries)

The bread that was cast brought life and news of this returned via email! Praise the Lord.

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About the author

Emily Aspinall was the Agency Relations Coordinator for Mission Central (formerly Missions Fest Vancouver) between 2016 and 2017, before moving to Vancouver Island.

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