I met Jessie on a Tuesday afternoon, a pastor from a small rural town in the Philippines. Filipinos are generally friendly people, however Jessie was remarkably friendly. He directed me to the crews mess room and immediately asked if I was a pastor,to which my response at this point usually was “well kinda” (as I haven’t taken up the calling to preach full time). Jessie, immediately sat down, despite him being on duty and began telling me his story. Jessie had and still has a small church in the Philippines. However, back in 2013 there was a major storm that hit many Filipino families, their homes and farms. Sadly in the process, Jessie’s church building was almost totally destroyed, thus the reason Jessie is back at sea.
He informs me that his wife is running the church whilst he provides a decent income for the family.
Jessie is devastated that he had to come back to sea, in which he spends 9 months away from his family. However his pastoral work continues on board. I reminded Jessie, that God is incapable of making mistakes, he is where he is, right at this very moment and season, for a reason and purpose and although he cannot see it now, he will see it in the days, months or even years to come. Jessie is still a pastor, but only now to his colleagues.
I don’t know if I will see him again, I highly doubt it, but whoever does, will be the better off for it.