Port of Hope in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Port of Hope has served the Fraser-Surrey Docks in Surrey, BC since 2003. We focus on quick-turnaround container vessels because the seafarers often don't have time to go on shore. Container ships sail on a schedule and return in eight to ten weeks.
This fits our ministry strategy. We usually meet a seafarer three or four times during their work contract, which lasts six to nine months. What a joy it is for them to actually know someone in Canada who wants to see them again...just to chat and be encouraged. We provide free socks and knit hats, pocket notebooks, toothbrushes and Irish Spring soap. We set out Bibles, JESUS DVDs, Jesus Calling books and a few pieces of carefully chosen Gospel literature.
Then we just hang for as long as we can, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes two hours, often over a meal. This is when we get to know them and build lasting relationships.
Even though they are busy, we often have a short time in God's Word with anyone that's there and bless them as they prepare to sail.The Fraser-Surrey Docks are located on the Fraser River, a two-hour sail from the entrance to the river. The port handles containers, exports grain and logs, and imports bulk items such as railroad rails, pipeline pipe and re-bar.
Most of the seafarers are from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, China and Europe.