God’s Word for World Travellers: BSA’s Partnership with Chaplains

In the bustling ports of Australia, among a great variety of ships, loading and unloading cargo, a silent yet profound ministry is reaching seafarers from around the globe. For over two decades, Rob Flinders, an ex-seafarer and a port missionary with the Seaman’s Christian Friend Society (SCFS), has been visiting ships arriving in Port Botany and Port Kembla. His mission is to offer Bibles, Bible Courses, and gospel tracts to seafarers from all over the world.

“International Seafarers are contracted to remain onboard their ships for periods up to nine months at a time,” explains Rob “so it’s good to be able to get a Bible in their hands and to encourage them to study.”
“Seafarers have little or no opportunities to hear the gospel,” Rob explains, as they spend their working life at sea.

Bible Society Australia’s Scripture Grants program enables Rob and his fellow port missionaries to distribute English and foreign language Bibles to seafarers, for which he is grateful. “Bible Society provides the Word of God that we distribute and it’s the Word of God which always accomplishes what God purposes, and always prospers in that for which he sends it,” says Rob, reflecting on the powerful truth from Isaiah 55:11. Rob has witnessed this truth throughout his many years of helping place Scriptures in the hands of seafarers.

As Rob meets with seafarers, he witnesses the transformative power of God’s word.

Warren is the Filipino Chief Engineer of a small container ship that visits Port Botany every six weeks. Rob first met him in September 2021, and gave him a Bible and a Bible Course. Warren recently shared with Rob that, “Little by little as I have been reading God’s word, it has given me knowledge and wisdom and the light to find the path to be a true Christian, a servant of my King who died on the cross and shed His blood to make me righteousness in the sight of God.”

Rob also remembers Nicandro, the Filipino captain of a large bulk carrier, who began attending weekly Bible Studies led by the ship’s Chief Engineer and made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Nicandro told Rob in an email, “I am so happy with who I am right now, and I want to grow deeper in my love for the Lord.”

“I want to express my very sincere gratitude to the Bible Society for their generosity,” Rob says. “The grants they make available … enable us to sow the seed and go forth into the harvest.”

Many seafarers have been impacted by the partnership between Chaplains like Rob, and Bible Society Australia through the Scripture Grants Program. As seafarers like Warren, Nicandro and others continue to sail with their Bibles in hand, praise God that they can find solace and strength in the Scriptures and know that they are not alone on their spiritual voyage.

Read More