Sometimes they come back
In May of 2015 I went aboard the MSC Rosaria and met Lucky, the Samoan Able-bodied seaman. We talked a bit at the gangway. He attended an Assemblies of God church in Samoa. I pointed out that placing our faith in Jesus is what matters as He died for our sins, and he agreed saying there is 1 God and 1 Jesus. I asked him if there was anything I could pray for him about, and he asked that I pray for his future. He said that he had felt that he should be a pastor in Samoa, but he was working on a ship. I pointed out that he can have an even bigger impact than a pastor or chaplain on the ships because he is with his “flock” 24/7. No pastor or chaplain can make that kind of 1-on-1 investment in people’s lives. He thought about that. He then had a few common seafarer complaints. I prayed that God would give him ears to hear and the wisdom to follow His leading. I also prayed that he would be strengthened in his faith each day and be a light to the other sailors. Finally, I prayed for the safety of him and the other sailors on the ship. He thanked me, and I left the ship to go pick up sailors from another ship. After dropping them off, I had time to run back to the office and pick up a Samoan Bible. I then returned to the Rosaria and gave him the Bible. He was surprised that we had a Bible in his language and started looking through it. I told him it was free if he wanted it. He thanked me and had me fill out the to/from page. I met him another couple of times in 2015, but I didn’t get to talk with him too much more.
Fast forward to May of this year when I went aboard the MSC Vittoria and met Lucky again for the first time in 4 years.He lit up when he saw me and said he remembered me.I remembered his face, but not the story.He told me about it, and I found the story in my records.He had just started a new contract, so I hoped to have several more chances to talk to him.Unfortunately, when the ship returned in July, he was not there.I spoke a bit with the 2nd Officer from Montenegro.His name is Scanko, and we had quite a bit of conversation about his life as well.I asked him about Lucky, and he said they had had to fly him off the ship by helicopter after they left Europe because of something to do with his liver or appendix.I later found 1 of the other 2 Samoans still on the ship and asked if he had any further news about Lucky.He was shocked that I was asking about Lucky.He apparently could not believe that someone would take a personal interest in them.After he recovered, he confirmed that Lucky had indeed had an issue with his liver that required surgery.He said he is back home in Samoa and doing well.Please pray for these men and women who work hard, lonely jobs to support their families and make our way of life possible.