A language lesson then: BUT - a conjunction, used to combine sentences, to present two opposing concepts, or to explain or to expand something, or to confront something.

On sight value, BUT seems to be an insignificant, small word. In essence however, it can change meaning irrevocably. It states something and then transforms it. It explains, expands, confronts... 

With this seemingly insignificant conjunctive word, seafaring men could find hope within their surrealistic realities. They could, held captive in the constrictive darkness of absolute helplessness, be reminded of BUT...

Do you remember the punch-drunk men of the DALI? Can you remember how they, thanks Chris' small gesture, could experience something of 'BUT God...'?

Can you remember the tragedy in Richards Bay? Can you remember the fifteen strong crew that waited, confused, distraught, shocked and longing for normality after one of the men took his own life? Can you remember how they, in spite of one of the worst times of their lives, could receive the Bread and Wine that Loffie offered days later and experience something of 'BUT God…'? 

Do you remember the melancholic refrain of each of the stories from Durban, the Cape and Port Elizabeth? Those were the stories if seamen, written in minor chords, combined with the dark notes of hopelessness and giving up hope?

BUT, do you remember that there is a golden thread in each of the stories? 

Do you remember that each visit reminded us again of a truth that changes reality irrevocably, transformed it and confronted it? Intertwined in each story is the story of the Man on the Cross, the story of life after the Cross, a story of hope. It is the story of 'BUT God...'

We remain mere instruments. Instruments that can remind us and others each day, that can help to transform and even confront at times. This radical difference that we are confronted with, that allows us to understand 'BUT God…' and see things in a different light. Donations received from our donors helped make our hands strong over the past months. These donations helped us to take care of the hearts of seamen by reminding them again of this often forgotten truth. 

That leaves two aspects – first, please consider supporting us financially. In a world where these men working at sea are held captive in a critical and often fatal situation, our work is very important and urgently necessary to give these men hope – because there is a 'BUT ...' in every story. Your donation could be the instrument that allows us to do this. 

Secondly: I do not know where you find yourself at the moment. Perhaps you are held captive in constrictive darkness, in absolute hopelessness. 'BUT God...' is also available in your life. We hope that 'BUT God...' will be a reality for you as it is each day for so many men working at sea.