This week I went to preach the gospel to a group of fishermen on a fishing vessel. A brother in our church named Jamie, who oversees the crew, invited me. The owner of the business had just purchased a new vessel and they wanted me to go and speak with all of the crew members. I preached on John 14:1-6.
Brother Jaime has been in our church for four years. I have seen this brother growing more and more, advancing in his faith, and speaking with others about the Word of God. He is growing in his ability to talk to others about the gospel and he is also growing as an example in the way that he lives.
He came to know the Lord at the same time as his wife while they were going through a challenging time, and now he often calls me to receive counsel and to be taught in the Word. Since he is also one of the bosses on the ship, on some occasions he calls me to go and preach the gospel to the crew members.
Often the crew members of ships, prior to leaving for sea, will call the local priest and have him come and sprinkle water on them and supposedly bless them. Well, Jaime has always testified to the owner of the business, who is also now the mayor of the city, and has told him that as Christians we don’t do that. Instead, we pray to the Lord and we preach the gospel. The most important thing for the souls of the crew is that they hear the Word of God, and therefore we must preach the gospel to them.
So, the boss listened to him and told him to go and do whatever he thought was best for the crew. So Jaime called me and gave me the invitation. The crew was there on the boat preparing everything for their outing to sea. They will be gone approximately 25 days and will travel 400 miles out to sea.
When they finished their tasks on the boat, I was there with them and the brother gave me the floor to begin preaching to them. They all gathered to hear the word of God. I explained the gospel and told them about the importance of repentance. I explained what repentance looks like and how it is that God has mercy on the repentant sinner. I talked about how the sinner should call on the name of the Lord in faith for the salvation of their soul.
I also talked to them about the fact that, though they are going to sea to bring back a boat full of fish, it is most important that they return with lives that are right with the Lord–that they be reconciled to the Lord and saved by His power.
After I preached, I prayed for their safety and for their salvation. None of them are Christians except for Jaime. While they are traveling at sea, I told them to set apart a time to read the Scriptures with Jaime. I also invited them, when they return, to come and visit the church to hear more about the gospel.
They seemed very receptive. They are hard-workers—some are fathers with a family and others are single. They listened to the word of God, and now we pray for their salvation. The Lord must do His work in them. The brother has told me that he wants to continue preaching the gospel to them each time they go out to sea.