The Ministry to Seafarers meets with visiting seafarers, communicating the saving grace of Jesus Christ, through words and deeds.
Our vision is to visit as many ships as possible which pass through the Port of Vancouver in order to share the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ with seafarers in Word and deed by providing literature and other resources, by serving them in practical ways at the seafarers’ centres, and by engaging in quality Christian dialogue whenever and however possible.
In 1970 Classis BC of the Christian Reformed Church, as a natural outflow of what individual members in the Lower Mainland of BC were already doing, began the Ministry to Seafarers. They called Rev. Jeff Dresselhuis to serve as the first chaplain. He operated from his home (a basement full of Bibles, literature and magazines), visiting ships in the Port of Vancouver, while encouraging similar ministry to be done in other ports. After 23 years of faithful service, Rev. Dresselhuis retired and Rev. Simon Wolfert became chaplain in 1993. Simon built on the network of support that had been developed and worked toward greater collaboration with other ministries, forming a close relationship with the Anglican “Mission to Seafarers” and its Flying Angel Club. In 2003 Ernst DeVries began his chaplaincy, and with the expansion of Delta Port (Roberts Bank) focused his ministry primarily there, where a Flying Angel Club was also set up. For 14 years Ernst served as a very faithful visitor to the ships and a passionate advocate for MTS throughout B.C. and Alberta. He has also maintained good relations with the AMS and other marine ministries.
The Ministry to Seafarers continues to serve seafarers by visiting ships, distributing literature, providing rides for seafarers, and ministering to them both on the ships and at the centres located downtown and at Roberts Bank. The current chaplain is Rev. Gary Roosma, who began serving full-time in September 2017.
Rev. Peter Smyth of the Anglican Mission to Seafarers – far right, with yellow jacket & sunglasses
Deacon Dileep Athaide of the Roman Catholic Apostleship of the Sea – centre, with orange jacket and sunglasses
Gary is on the far left