Video: One young adult…and a mission to seafarers

[Episcopal News Service] Will Bryant from the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina has decided to spend a year as a Young Adult Service Corps volunteer working with the Mission to Seafarers in Hong Kong.

Every day Will visits the seafarers either in port or out at the anchorage, bringing them the latest news in their own language, phone cards so they can call home, and a welcome respite from their sometimes dangerous and often lonely lifestyle.

Many of the seafarers spend 8-10 months each year away from home to provide for their families. Hong Kong is just one of 260 ports throughout the world where Mission to Seafarers has a presence. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest Anglican mission agencies, bringing much-needed support to those who work at sea.

 – Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Comments

  1. Matthew, great video about a remarkable ministry. We have chaplains at the Seafarers Center in Houston Port who do the same ministry. Our reach as Episcopalians touches these hardworking people around the globe-we are grateful for your good coverage! Thanks, CEB

  2. John Andrews says:

    I will share this with my family. God willing my grand son, adopted from Russia at the age of six and now 23 will join our Navy in 2014………..

  3. Dianne Wilson says:

    Will…this is fantastic! It is great to actually see what your day is like. It looks like you’re doing a great job. I can’t imagine climbing the ladders to those ships! Keep up the good works. God bless you an keep you safe.
    Dianne

  4. margaret davis says:

    Thank you Will for your service.My father was in the British Merchant Navy during WW2.He was lost at sea when the germans sunk his ship off the coast of South Africa so I am very gratefull to all the love and support given to seamen the world over.

    • Will Bryant says:

      Margaret,

      Thank you for the kind note. And many thanks to you and your family for your father’s sacrifice. It is comments like this that keep me fulfilled during my mission. Many blessings!

  5. Christopher Lo says:

    Dear Will,

    I was moved to tears while watching your video presentation. You see, back in the late 1950s, my late father was ordained to both the Diaconate and Priesthood by the late Bishop Ronald Owen Hall in St. John’s Cathedral on Hong Kong Island. Between 1966-71, he served as an Assistant Chaplain with the Missions to Seamen (now Missions to Seafarers) in the Diocese of Sydney, Australia. Back in those more innocent times, the seafarers were allowed off their ships while it was in port, and could visit the Mission’s center, watch movies on the big screen (the VCR was not born for another decade), attend dances, Chapel Services, and counsel with the clergy.

    In the fullness of time, long before the birth of the internet, my father had an organized system whereby he could hand out material in the form of a primitive version of a correspondence course to prepare seafarers who desired baptism. On their return voyage, these catechumen generally had many questions for discussions about our Christian faith. Once baptized, seafarers were presented with material to prepare them for Confirmation. The parish church closest to the seafarer’s home were always kept informed about these new convert. The Bible Society and Scripture Union, were two supportive organizations who made presentations to those Baptized and Confirmed.

    By chance, in the Spring Semester of 1993, I taught at Christ School in Arden, in the depth of your home Diocese of Western North Carolina. Since this was my first experience of living with Americans, the charm of the enormous Christ School campus (especially when we were snowed in from civilization), Southern Hospitality, Sweet Tea, Chili, and Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher NC, will always hold a special place in my heart.

    May God continue to bless you in your wonderful ministry.

    • Will Bryant says:

      Christoper,

      Thank you so much for this post. Your father sounds like an extraordinary man!

      I am so glad you’re familiar with WNC. As you can imagine, it is vastly different from the hustling, bustling city of Hong Kong. While I miss home, living here has given me a much greater appreciation for my hometown.

      God bless you!

      Will Bryant

  6. John Simpson says:

    Will,
    Great video. Thank you for your ministry and for sharing it with all of us.

    Christopher, thanks to you for your comments. I lived for a few years on Christ School Rd. and Calvary Fletcher is where I was married and my son baptized. Glad to hear you remember it well.

    • John, Great to see your message on this venue! Thank you, Matthew, for this great story. Will, I look forward to seeing you back in the mountains we call home. In the meantime, my prayers go with you, out to sea!

      • Will Bryant says:

        John and Tom,

        Thank you for the kind words. It is so good to hear from both of you. Thank you for both of your spiritual support throughout the years. It is because of people like both of you that I am here doing this kind of work. God bless you both. See you soon!

  7. Captain Charles E. Hubbard says:

    As a former merchant marine officer and former Executive Director of The Mission to Seafarers in Seattle, Washington this is a wonderful video. I remember sailing in and out of Hong Kong in 1962 & 1963. It was interesting to see the changes. God bless Will Bryant for doing this mission work and serving those who are often forgotten.

    Capt. Charles Hubbard

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