MAST Global

All tied down ...

...ready to sail!
There's a lot of hard work to prepare for a sail!
Everything that could possibly move, must be tied down: from equipment on all decks, to the microwave in the galley!
a god-sized calling for MARITIME MINISTRY
Our trip to New Zealand was our final 'tie-down' ready to launch!
There's a beautiful calm being out on the ocean on board ship just before the sunrise. The light begins to change and what once was darkness all around except for distant stars and maybe a solitary ship on the horizon, becomes more defined form and color, as you know the sun beckons you to join the start of a new day.

We were standing on the aft deck of the recently donated YWAM Koha off the south coast of the North Island of New Zealand. I had been on the 4 - 8am watch and as we were scheduled to come alongside at 5 am, Sherry decided to get ahead of the pilot boarding and join me on deck.

This trip was a key step towards setting a foundation for maritime training for this new ship and being in country together helped us solidify our vision steps for the upcoming year. We had completed meetings in Tauranga with the YWAM Ships Aoatearoa leadership team and boarded the YWAM Koha in Nelson ready for the short sail to the last town of its PR tour to host special events and offer tours to the public ahead of its inaugural outreach to the Solomon Islands next year. It takes many volunteers to operate the ship and our part in is to ensure that the operational needs on deck are met with a trained and ready crew.

If you offer Maritime Training, how come you live 4 hours from the coast?
This is a question that we get asked a lot!

Having met onboard a ministry vessel over twenty years ago, we moved to Texas when we had been married for four years during which time we had multiple moves. I worked in a marine operations support role and Sherry was full-time with the kids. As our family grew bigger we knew the opportunity to serve on board ship was unlikely, due to crew berth space on board ministry vessels.

However, we were both content with that, as we were needed and fulfilled in our respective roles. Sherry poured herself into young moms and church ministry programs. I worked in various departmental roles, latterly as training instructor for the Basic Training, for potential crew members heading to the ships. As I always kept my Unlimited Able-Bodied Seaman mariner documentation current, I also regularly traveled to the ships for training or temporary crew manning as required.
You do not know what will happen tomorrow.
James 4: 14
Then life threw us an unexpected curve ball.

Soon after our sixth child was born, I worked my last day for the missions organization I had volunteered with for twenty-three years. The next twelve months offered us a time for adjustment and reflection while working remotely with a disaster response organization. As we made plans for the job move, it was made very clear to us that we were to stay in Texas. Within one month a renewed vision for ship ministry within YWAM being made known and we knew we were to be part of it!

Since 2012 I have been an integral part of the rapidly growing fleet of ministry vessels, reaching those in need of basic medical and healing services in the countries they serve, with a direct focus on technical training. I pioneered the School of Seamanship and Navigation at YWAM Ships Kona, Hawaii and on board YWAM Next Wave vessel, in Greece. I joined the inaugural sails of the MV Pacific Hope and YWAM Liberty from Japan and Australia respectively and have also served as Bosun for outreaches in Vanuatu, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. This tenure of service has has only been made possible through our family having a 'home base' from which I have been able to travel.
So what is MAST Global?
another excellent question
In 2016, God gave us a vision for an entry level training program specifically to meet the need of those who seek to serve in a maritime location. We add capacity by providing seamanship and safety training, so that efficient and safe ship operations ensure the outreach programs are supported with excellence. We named the program MAST Global, and have continued to network and build understanding for the needs for training whilst serving various vessels.

In early 2019, news reached us that a cargo vessel was being gifted to YWAM Ships Aotearoa in New Zealand, which had previously carried supplies to Pitcairn Island. YWAM Koha is very well suited for training because she has:

  • Ten-ton hydraulic knuckle crane for off-loading containers.
  • Large cargo space to accommodate bulk cargo.
  • Room for trainees to live and work on board.
  • Traditional bridge design requires a helmsman, a look-out and an officer.
  • Tonnage 500, Length 160ft, and Draft 12ft.
  • Excellent trainee practicum opportunities.

Based out of her home port Tauranga on the North Island, she has recently completed essential works in shipyard before completing a promotional tour raising awareness of her future role to reach isolated islands. Her first outreach is scheduled for the Solomon Islands in May 2020. She will anchor close to shore and provide primary health care, preventative medicine such as vaccinations, oral health checks and eye examinations. A container was recently loaded on board which houses a dental clinic, gifted through the generosity of ministry supporters in Wanganui - the port town we docked in after our delayed voyage from Nelson!
Docked in Wanganui ...
After a delay entering the river mouth due to weather conditions, YWAM Koha docked in Wanganui ready for the 555 people who would take a tour of the ship and learn about its 2020 outreach reaching remote islands of the South Pacific. Our next training is in April to prepare for outreach deployment in May.
Learn more
Dental Clinic in a Box!
This converted container was provided by donors and loaded onboard in Wanganui. It houses a fully equipped dental clinic ready to reach isolated islands where people have little or no access to basic medical and dental care.
Learn more
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
On our short voyage from Nelson, thankfully all essential equipment had been safely stowed. We didn't experience any unexpected crashes in the night such as pans sliding off countertops or heavy drawers of a filing cabinet sending the unit crashing. Everything had been attended to and prepared well.

We want to be fully prepared for the coming year and that includes the costs to operate our training program. Our goal is to be 100% funded! We invite you to share in the vision to impact the lives of those in need! Although you can't physically join Sherry & I, partnering with us allows your generosity to bring transformation and restoration through the vital medical services the ships bring to the isolated.

- Matthew

Are you tied down ready?