You bring Christ to the seafarers
This church boasts no paintings or trimmings, no stained glass windows or holy symbols or icons. There is no silent music to create a calm atmosphere or a giant Bible that the preacher sets up for sermons.
In contrast to Sunday services that are as white as snow, with purple robes that are ironed precisely and smell of lavender, this church is more scarlet, greyer like iron, with a smell of all earthly things. The members of the congregation are different too.
They are not dressed in their Sunday best. You can see the odd oil stain, as well as signs of rust and dust that clings to everything. This church is loud. The noise is overwhelming, often causing a feeling of dizziness. The spaces are rusty and smudged with grease. The harsh iron and steel are unforgiving. It is stripped of any and all symbolism that may remind you of the invisible reality of God.
Chris stands within the boundaries of a dry dock. It is probably one of the harshest environments in any harbour - perhaps on earth. The hammering continues non-stop. The screeching of hundreds of angle grinders used to remove the cancerous rust that started somewhere on the open seas, attack your hearing acutely. They are but the beginning of the process to try and curb the cursed rust.
It is a little strange for Chris to be standing here. It is not probable to find someone with a backpack filled with Bibles and literature in the midst of all the dirt and noise. It is highly improbable to find someone that just wants to say hi, find out how you are and bring Good News...
Somewhere in the dust and smut, the oil and grease, Chris notices a cross. It is a random cross, created for some practical purpose, but it is unmistakable - it is a cross. It has a long, vertical mast and at the right height a horizontal bar. It towers over the ants' nest of activities. Chris quickly takes a picture of it.
This is the reason for the CSO's existence. We belong here with the men working at sea, because our Saviour is here too. He is here in the improbable dirt and noisy areas, using His cross to help clean people and helping them to find peace.
The men we serve in the harbours, the men hearing the message we bring, live in a very different world compared to ours. They find themselves in one of the toughest industries and working conditions on earth. They are away from loved ones for months on end. They suffer attacks by so many different things, including the ocean and pirates, so they need someone to remind them that there is always a Cross in the midst of the dust and soot, the oil and grease.
Please we need your donation to continue our work. We work with heart and soul, but your donation helps to make a simple but huge difference.
Click here for the different methods you can use to support us.
PS: Rina Hugo did an online concert last year to raise funds for the CSO. She has now made it available on youtube for you to enjoy!