‘We are family’ are the words of a song by Sister Sledge which I recall from my youth and they speak to the importance of healthy relationships, of not loosing sight of one another in the midst of the busyness of life.
Seafarers venture out on the high seas leaving their families behind, the pregnant wife, the new born baby, the child soon to begin high school or get a job, a spouse, a sick parent’, in order to provide for them a better quality of life.
You and I see our families as well as those ‘strangers’ we meet on the bus, in the street, in a restaurant , at work every day but seafarers do not, making it a lonely and isolating life.
Positive and supportive relationships on-board, the crew being like a family is important.
The accompanying picture of the seafarers on a ship berthed in Vancouver eating together testifies to this.
It is also why the work of the Mission Chaplains, volunteers and people like you reading this is so important. The kindness and love shown, the prayers offered for the seafarers and their families further helps to sustain them until they go home to their loved ones and the community they left behind.