Kerstin Schefe, DSM Stade

We are connected

“Even if we do not meet in person in the near future, we are connected through the many seafarers, who tell about our ports and seafarers’ mission.”

Kerstin Schefe, DSM Stade

In her contemplation of lessons learnt and friendships forged at the Seafarers Ministry Training held this year in Barcelona, SMT student Kerstin Schefe of the Deutsche Seemannsmission remembers the closing sentiments of the 2012 SMT:  we are connected.  We are one worldwide support group for seafarers with as many ministries as there are Christian churches and as much diversity as there are traditions within our Christian faith.  We are ecumenically connected to one another by shared faith and common commitment to care for all seafarers.

Kerstin Schefe wrote:

With a slightly Irish accent now in my English pronunciation I am sitting in the plane and think about the past two weeks.

I traveled to Barcelona for the Seafarers Ministry Training 2012 – to meet 12 other participants form different missions and ports of the big wide world. And I met “parts
of the world”, learnt from them and received something from them – not only concerning my language skills.

Through topics like Pastoral Care, Concepts of Mission, Cultural Diversity, the work of different seafarers’ missions, Maritime Law, a Port Visit, Inter Religious Dialogue
and a visit to the maritime museum various basic themes of our work were discussed.

There was as well time for personal exchange, helping each other, developing new concepts for the own work and getting to know each other. Apart from good basic knowledge, a new idea for fundraising I took as well “small things” for the daily work with me. It is a good idea when coming on board not only to give the gangway watchman a friendly welcome but to start with a simple “Welcome to Germany”.

And I won’t forget the faces of the other seafarers’ missions with their various ports and the newly developed friendships.

Satisfied I look back and remember positively a statement in the Maritime Museum of Barcelona: “When we end a journey, we are different.”

And now I am sitting in the plane, already to missing the group while I start smiling unconsciously when a statement from our farewell round comes to my mind: “Even if we do not meet in person in the near future, we are connected through the many seafarers, who tell about our ports and seafarers’ mission”

Kerstin Schefe, Deutsche Seemannsmission, Stade, Germany