Hi Pastor Ray,
While we were in Florida for vacation, we thought perhaps the "Glory to Thee Missionary Boat" might still be there. To our surprise, not only was it there, but it was about 30 minutes from our hotel. (If you remember, we sent them books at a reduced fee, and then when their boat was damaged by one of the hurricanes, we sent another 250 at no-charge).
We attended their Sunday Service--outside in a small amphitheater. We were humbled by how excited Rev. John and Gaydean were to see us. One gentleman came up to us and told us his "Anchor" story. He was a longtime ("faithful") 12-step recovering alcoholic; however he had reached an all-time low. His wife found a "little book" in the laundry room, with a card about Glory to Thee Sunday services. That Sunday he walked up to John and gruffly said, "You know that book you left in the laundry room? It worked!" I guess he read 1/3 of the book the book and was up all night crying, and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. He has since helped lead several to salvation. (His wife has a brother in prison and she sent him a book too).
After the service we made arrangements to meet for supper later in the week. There were many stories about people coming to the Lord. They actually said that at the Sunday service, we were "looking at the fruit -- 10 miracles of salvation"
There were also stories of the unsaved on the neighboring boats to whom they minister--wealthy people, living their dream of sailing around the world--only to find that life on the water is as dry as life on land without Jesus. At that point, many are suicidal. There are also the poorer people have nothing but their little boat and are suffering, as well as homeless people who hangout nearby.
Pastor Ray, you’ll be happy to hear some of your books are in Cuba. John's dream was to go to Cuba, but being an American, he couldn't. He told an interesting story of how he gave some books to a Canadian boater who was headed to Cuba with the instructions "just put them where the people are."
It's quite a ministry, extending into many areas. They have devoted their lives to reaching the lost and have need of encouragement. They live on a very tight budget, trusting God. The ministry is supported by donations (they do not ask for money at their services), Gaydean works at a grocery store and makes cushion covers and drapes for neighboring boats, and John has worked as a house framer when possible.
They were very appreciative of our book donation and told us it is a main tool in their ministry. We also found out that Rev. John was a prison chaplain.
Please keep them in your prayers.
Doreen and Scott
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