A Seafarers' Parable: Matthew 25

November 14, 2013

How often do we think about how the items we see on the shelves in stores around the world end up there? How often do we think about the men and women who help keep our global economy afloat?

We’d like to introduce you, or perhaps re-introduce you, to the Mission to Seafarers, a global mission society of the Anglican church. Founded in 1856, the Mission works in 260 ports around the world and serves 1.3 million seafarers, both men and women, each year.

Ken Hawkins, Executive Director of Mission to Seafarers, Seattle

Ken Hawkins, Executive Director of Mission to Seafarers, Seattle

Dedicated teams of staff, chaplains, and volunteers offer support to seafarers in ports and on ships. Recently, we had an opportunity to spend some time with Ken Hawkins, the Executive Director of the Seattle Seafarers Center, and hear some stories about the ministry in Seattle. A member of the Diocese of Olympia, Ken can often be found visiting parishes and telling the story of the Mission to Seafarers. Last week, the Seattle Mission to Seafarers sponsored the Diocese of Olympia’s 2013 Convention. Ken often shares the parable below when he visits parishes and has graciously let us share it on our blog.



“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world’.

For I was hungry and tired of ship’s food on rations valued at $4/day and you gave me something to eat,

I was thirsty and you gave me a soda and sat with me while I showed you pictures of my kids and told you about my family,

I was a stranger—one from more than 100 countries and scores of faiths and you invited me in and welcomed me like a brother,

I needed clothes and you gave me an over-shirt and a Ditty Bag with a beautiful hand knitted stocking cap, and a month or two worth of toiletries,

I was sick and heartsick and alone and worried about my family half a globe away and you looked after me and sat with me and shared a few moments of prayer, and made me smile,

I was without a visa and unable to get off the ship—it felt like I was in prison– you came to visit me with WIFI and phone cards so I could talk with loved ones.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when were you in such distress, and when did we care for you?”

“The King will reply, “I have said many times: To love God is to love your Neighbor so…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Many thanks to Ken and the Seattle Mission to Seafarers team for their ministry!

The Mission to Seafarers is supporting Filipino seafarers in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. You can learn more about this initiative here.