We all know how important it is spiritually to stay away from the shallow waters of today’s religious world. If we do not stay in the deep spiritual waters, we will run aground and become shipwreck. The nautical term for staying in the deep waters is “offing.” “Offing” is the distance that a ship at sea stays away from land and the navigational dangers of sand bars, rocks, etc. A good offing is to lay a course that will keep the ship well off the land and clear from danger. If we want to see the mighty works of God, we must launch out into the deep for this is where the spiritual seafarer will experience the deeper things of Jehovah God. “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep” (Psalm 107:23-24).
There are times when I go on a ship and wonder how I am going to handle the situation at hand. This was the case on board the FRIO KYKNOS (flag Malta). The crew on this refrigerator ship was Russian and Ukrainian. None of the men on this ship could as much as step foot on US soil, not one had a VISA. When I went on board, I met three rough looking men who were very skeptical of my plans. I tried to lay out my mission as plain as I could; it was only when I held up a Russian Bible that they got the message and received the scriptures. It ended up being a fairly pleasant visit. Pictured is one of the Russians who met me on deck. I was privileged to visit on board the LIJUN C (flag UK) for a couple of days. This is a ship that my good friend and fellow Port Chaplain has made friends with the crew on. I was able to witness to some of the men and leave scriptures as well as take some of the crew off the ship to go and buy things for themselves and the ship. The biggest thrill that I had in visiting this ship was the opportunity to put three cases of KJV Bibles on board to be delivered to Jamaica. The cook and I had two lengthy Bible studies while the ship was in. The BOW STAR (fl. Singapore) came into our Liquid Bulk plan, and I visited her there. The crew was Norwegian and Filipino. The Norwegian officers were cordial and received scriptures in their language. The Filipinos are always glad to have a visitor it seems, and we had a good time sharing the scriptures by the spoken and written Word. Captain Crabtree and I had a good visit together on board the LEWEK EXPRESS (fl. Vanuatu). He was pleased with our ministry, although he made no indication that he was a believer. I was able to take several of the crew members to Mobile and let them shop, shared the Gospel with the crew, and gave out New Testaments in their languages. On a visit to the MARTINA C (fl. Panama), I was able to spend time talking to some of the crew, sharing the Gospel, and passing out New Testaments, etc. The Captain, a Romanian, the cook, Filipino, and Melissa, a young lady on her first voyage as a Cadet, wanted to shop for supplies. We took them to Wal-Mart. When they finished shopping and the Transit was loaded, Melissa said: “It’s time to go home,” speaking of the ship. The Captain replied: “You are now a seafarer.” I visited the HARVEY DEEP SEA (fl. USA) while she was undergoing generator repairs at one of our docks. When I got on board, I asked a deck hand what nationalities were on board. His reply: “Cajuns and Yankees.” Sure enough, as I sat and ate supper and shared the Gospel with them; I found he was on target. And yes, we had some good Cajun food! Over the last little while I have been able to establish friendships on board the DEEP ENERGY. Among these are the storekeeper, Jessie, and his assistant, Campbell Bagir. Campbell showed an interest in the Gospel; and there deep in the bowels of the ship, I spoke to him of Christ death, burial, and resurrection. We were interrupted, and he had to leave. He asked me to stay. I thought to myself, “the Devil has snatched the seed away.” But when he came back, he said “where were we?” And that evening he came to know Christ as Savior.
Yours for Souls at Sea,
Cecil and Denise Fayard