Chaplain Paul Richardson and Ship Visitor Jessie John from the Durban Sailors’ Society, both achieved ‘milestones’ during December when Richardson boarded his 1300th ship and John her 600th during the course of their chaplaincy duties.
Richardson is a former Baptist Pastor now working in the ‘Inner City’ of Durban as a missionary. He joined the Sailors’ Society SA in Durban in 2011 and has been serving as a chaplain in the Port of Durban ever since. Jessie John started doing ship visits in February 2014.
They visit ships once or twice a week doing pastoral work or just talking to the seafarers. Through these visits friendships are often forged and what is heart-warming is that when a ship makes a return visit to the port they are remembered and sometimes receive gifts sent by their families.
Both chaplain and ship visitor recently participated in the Share your Christmas with a Seafarer project where they distributed gifts on board and would later deliver to ships at outer anchorage. They also visit seafarers who are ill in hospital – they will go wherever there is a need.
Both dedicated, they do not consider their work as being duties – as Jessie John says “God has been so good to me. He’s called … and He’s enabled.”