Nearly 4,000 crew members have visited the Invergordon Seafarers’ Centre in 2022

Former atheist shares his faith at sea

It’s not unusual for the same vessels to call at Invergordon several times during the cruise ship season.  One crew member seemed especially pleased to receive an English bible at the Seafarers’ Centre in Invergordon Parish Church but it wasn’t until a subsequent visit that he explained why.

Pedro* had been an atheist before he and his wife decided that they should read the Bible.  They read it and then approached a pastor with a list of questions.  The pastor was happy to help them but said that before turning to their questions he would pray with them and read the first 14 verses of John chapter 14.

The pastor finished reading and Pedro’s wife said, “I have no questions.  God has given me the answers.  I am trusting in the Way, the Truth and the Life.”  And shortly after that, Pedro, too, was converted through re-reading that same chapter.

Mary is a volunteer at the Seafarers’ Centre and listened to Pedro’s story on his second visit.  “He told us that he had already had a bible in his own language but that to receive an English one was an amazing answer to prayer,” she says.

“Now he feels guided by God to take his English bible and read those verses from John 14 in the foyer of the ship where people gather.  He wants everyone to hear that Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life.  He is praying that many people who hear those words will come to trust in Jesus.”

With the cruise industry’s post-COVID bounce back, the Seafarers’ Centre in Invergordon has seen 3,982 crew members pass through its doors in 2022, and has provided them with tea, home baking, internet access, warm clothes and – most importantly – pastoral care.  To support the ministry of Sailors Society Port Chaplain Drew Anderson and his team of volunteers, Blythswood has provided Scriptures in 18 languages.

*not his real name

The book which travels around the world

From a recent email to the Seafarers’ Centre in Invergordon:

I would like to say thank you for your work.  I was working on a cruise ship.  One day in port I was given a New Testament by your church.  Life on board was incredibly hard and difficult and sometimes I felt extremely lonely so far from my family.  I started to read the gospels even although English is not my native language.  This gift truly helped me to stay until the end of the contract despite all the difficulties.  Now this book is always traveling with me around the world.  One more time, thank you a lot for your gift.
Sincerely, Oleksandr
from Ukraine.