Skip to content

Saving a Seaman

Steve and I, as a chaplain team, provide a frontline service to the thousands of seafarers who passed through the Port of Aberdeen last year. This is a real story of my experience of how our God has worked in Isaac’s life, an overseas fisherman, through Steve and myself in Aberdeen, Scotland. 

Every job has its difficulties. Being a fisherman from another country, this job is not only one of the riskiest jobs, but also a lonely profession. Every phone call to loved ones back home (if at all possible), ends like a farewell to one another. 

The accident happened on a fishing boat in the North Sea. The wave was high. Isaac was working in the fish-hold where they store the fish in ice before they return to shore. The next moment he was buried under the ice. He was found to have broken his back and then lifted by an air ambulance to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI).  

We visited Isaac after being contacted by a local fishing boat owner. Isaac was in a coma in an intensive care unit. The medical team said Isaac would most probably not be able to stand nor walk again. They were not sure if Isaac would ever ‘wake up’ from the coma. 

We visited Isaac regularly and mentioned him in our prayers. We believed the Lord Jesus has always shown love for fishermen and believed that the Lord had a plan for him. However, the hospital and the employer did not see the purpose for Isaac to remain in the UK hospital/care home. They wanted to send Isaac home by arranging another fisherman (who’s working permit is coming to the end) to escort the unconscious Isaac home. 

At the crucial moment, Isaac opened his eyes! Praise the Lord! That put the plan of sending him home on hold. We challenged the hospital that there must be things they could do for Isaac now. The miracle continued to unfold as Isaac managed to ‘sit’ up in the hospital bed in the following weeks. Both the medical team, police, and ourselves were trying to communicate with him. However, he was mute and did not respond to anyone. The medical team suggested that maybe the accident had caused some damage to his brain so scans and tests were carried out. Meanwhile the police and Steve thought that Isaac perhaps did not understand or speak English (which is common for overseas fishermen). Steve managed to invite a few fishermen from Isaac’s home country to visit him in the hospital. However, Isaac was still muted with no response. 

The hospital and the employer, once again, started their discussion regarding sending Isaac home without money (insurance claim has cover for hospitalisation) and in ill health. The situation was not looking good for Isaac and his family back home because the family on Isaac to provide the needs. We didn’t know what else we could do other than visiting and providing clothes and snacks for Isaac.

Then on one occasion, when we arrived we saw that Isaac was sitting up in his bed. Steve and I chatted with Isaac and showed him the clothes we had bought for him. I regularly have a wooden hand cross in my pocket so I took it out and showed him it and explained to him what it was. I told him that we are followers of Jesus. 

Isaac took and held on to the hand-cross in his palm, which surprised us.  I asked Issac, “Do you know Jesus? Have you heard about him before?” Isaac nodded. I remember both Steve and I were overwhelmed with joy! Isaac understands English! Isaac did not have brain damage! Isaac is a Christian!! Praise the Lord! We asked him and with his permission we prayed and anointed him with oil. 

Another day, as we continued to be praying on each visit with Isaac in the hospital, I sensed the Lord wanted Isaac to use his voice to praise Him. 

‘With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him.’ (Psalm 109:30)

I told Isaac that I did not know when this will happen to him, but the Lord would give him a voice in his mouth. I said to him, “When this comes, please remember as you receive the voice, use your voice to praise the Lord”. So, we gave thanks to the Lord and rejoiced in this fellowship.

Two days later, at the end of a prayer of confession and thanksgiving, I said, “Amen.” Then I heard Isaac’s voice saying. ‘Amen.’ I looked at Isaac and said, ‘Hallelujah!’. Isaac said, ‘Hallelujah!’ too. I couldn’t believe my ears! The very two words came out from Isaac’s mouth: Amen & Hallelujah! Isaac used his voice to praise the Lord!

Isaac was able to stand and start to walk before he left Scotland and returned to his own country. Steve managed to help Issac claim for compensation to take home with him.

We know… our Lord Jesus never stops calling, loving and healing the fishermen in the world! Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

Josephine is a missionary in Aberdeen, Scotland. One of her roles is assisting the chaplain at the Aberdeen Seafarer Centre

error: Content is protected !!