Judith Alltree and Dan Phannenhour: The Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario (Hamilton, Toronto, Oshawa)
The mission to seafarers Southern Ontario covers the ports of Hamilton, Toronto, and Oshawa on Lake Ontario. Judith Alltree and Dan Phannenhour spoke to the Shellbacks about what their mission involves.
What came across very clearly was the vital importance that the mission has for seafarers in connecting them to their distant families and friends. Important to the job is the knowledge of the cultures that come through the port: Ukrainian, Russian, Philippine, Indian, and many others. The Wi-Fi connection that each Mission offers to the seafarers is critical for them to connect over Skype to their families. One story Shellbacks heard was of a man who -- over Skype -- coached his wife as she delivered their child while outside overnight at one of the Mission locations.
If we realize that 90% of everything we buy these days comes by ship, and is handled by 1.7 million seafarers worldwide, we realize how critical this group is to international commerce. Billions of people are served by these very few seafarers.
What the seafarers receive from the mission to seafarers is respite, welcome, and care: things in short supply when living such an itinerant life. The role of the Mission is to be the familiar face that seafarers can find when they come into ports on Lake Ontario.
The Rev'd Judith Alltree (email@example.com) is the Executive Director and Chaplain for Oshawa and Toronto.
Pastor Dan Phannenhour (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Chaplain for Hamilton.
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