AOS Featured Stories: A Faith Filled Life on the Sea
A SEAFARER’S STORY
Captain Celso E. Pimentel
I have been a seafarer for more than ten years and it goes to say that my vacation or stay with my family in the Philippines is shorter than my sea service. I am married with two children. One has grown up as a fine young man who is graduating from medical school this year. My youngest is a studious girl and who is now in her third year of high school.
Though we seafarers are thousands of miles away from our family, we have to bravely endure the hardships onboard especially when the weather is not kind. Being far away from home for most of the year is a great sacrifice but our loved ones reap the rewards of our financial support. In general, seafarers are paid well but a seafarer’s profession is fraught with a lot of challenges. There are ups and downs while on board and in order to cope up with these trials, you must be a person with prudent thinking which is what gives one the fortitude to face many challenges. A seafarer’s life is really very lonely and risky. During many nights, when our ship is out on the wide open seas, all you can see are the heavenly bodies and stars twinkling up in the sky. During the daytime, when you are not on duty, you are quite solitary in your cabin. There never comes a time that your love ones are absent from your mind. You always think of them, wondering what is happening over there at home and if they are okay or not.
My most unforgettable moment as a seaman was when my parents died and I was not able to go home and pay my last respects to them because I was onboard at that time and in the high seas. It was a very difficult time, but my faith sustained me.
Since this writing, our vessel has been arrested by the US Marshalls and it has been more than three months since we’ve been held at the port. Imagine our situation; the crew is detained on board and not allowed even to step on the dock. As captain of the vessel, I try my best to be on top of the situation. During situations like this one, seafarers must be patient, faithful God fearing people. So to all my colleagues in this profession, just pray always for guidance from our Lord and I am sure everything will work out right.