All that remains of the school desks where he sat only a short time ago, is ash. Really ash. The place where he ate ice-cream with his family on special days, lies in ruins. Really in ruins. His house is a pile of building rubble. 

Think about it for a moment. It is the destruction, it is the burnt out earth where everything you knew, everything that you call home, everything had been reduced to a displaced picture of suffering. It is surrealistic to sit on board a ship in the Port Elizabeth Harbour and see pictures of the city that you quite recently called home on TV. The pictures have been rearranged into an incoherent tragic disarray of images... 

Mariopol has been destroyed.  

The pictures flashing on the screen show people fleeing silently. As they walk to somewhere, they do not say much. Every person carries what he or she can. Some carry a bag, others a bundle of clothes, others nothing. The man Danie talks to confirms all. He does it quietly. His school, their favourite ice-cream place, his home - everything is gone.  

His wife and children fled and are safe, he shares gratefully. He has nothing to return to, so he will stay on the ship longer to start fresh. That which he had worked for over many years, had been destroyed. 

Danie listens with care. His task is to help this man to remain standing in this situation. It is so easy to be reduced to nothing too when the world around you tumbles and crumbles into nothing. That is why Danie spends time, as much as is necessary, without being in a hurry and without checking his watch every now and then. As they finally pray together, plead together, ask together, the moment is flooded by emotions, but also a touch of hope - hope that there will be a way out. This man will carry the hope with him over the next days, until they reach another harbour where someone can encourage and support him again.  

Your donation makes it possible for us to give our time to the men working at sea each day. Please never underestimate the value of this. It is a huge gift that you give with open hands. We thank you for that. It is gratitude from our hearts.

To give a monthly donation through debit order, click here to download the debit order form. Email the completed form back to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click here for the different methods you can use to support us.