Reaching Seafarers for Christ
Simon Mainwaring, founder and CEO of We First, nailed it when he said, “Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration, as we need an entire army of companies to work together to build a better world within the next few decades.”
I am involved with Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ, which has always believed in partnership and collaboration to reach our country and the rest of the world for Christ. The big thrust of our movement today is finding likeminded individuals and ministries that place a high premium on movement building.
Seafarers for Christ (SFC) is one prayer answer which God led us to.
Seafarers for Christ, founded by Pastor Andy Maura, is a movement passionate in spreading the message of love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to all seafarers and their families around the world. They desire to see growing movements of Christ-followers on every ship, in every dock, and in every nation.
SFC’s partnership with PCCC was born when Pastor Maura connected with Glenn Velasco, a CCC missionary, and asked for help in the Evangelism and Discipleship training. Their partnership included church planting efforts in Ilocos. Pastor Andy eventually met with the Digital Strategy (DS) Team of PCCC when he attended one of the digital outreaches, where he shared his vision of reaching and ministering to seafarers by making the Gospel accessible to them.
The DS Team helped him develop his own website seafarersforchrist.org. On the site, seafarers can find relevant topics like What to do with Loneliness, Six Tips of Being A Godly Husband, and Fighting Fair For Your Marriage, topics that address real struggles of seamen and their families. Each topic provides a link to other topics that would direct them to find God, including How to Know God Personally or How to join a Discipleship Group. The site also connects interested seafarers to coaches or disciplers online who are ready to help them in their spiritual journey.
Another partnership opportunity presented itself when SFC was introduced as one of PCCC’s partners during the last #HACK event. During the event, Pastor Maura shared need to develop a tool to reach out to more seafarers, who are often isolated as the result of their profession. Thus the idea of Parola was birthed. Parola, a portable wifi device which seafarers can bring onboard their ship, enables them to share content and interact with other seafarers.
Though Parola is still in its development stage, it will be a big boost for SFC as they plan to bring the message of Jesus to 360,000 Filipino seafarers around the world. They are praying that God will continue to give wisdom to the team of coders and designers currently working on this.