MAST Global

to Serve

We're Alongside
Fiji MEdical Mission 2024
Back from New Zealand
When a ship returns from sea, it is said to be Alongside and we are so grateful to be at our 'home port' in Texas having been away for five months serving YWAM Ships Aotearoa on board the Koha in Fiji and New Zealand.

Life aboard ship is very different from living on land. For one the deck constantly moves under your feet, the smells of the sea air and sounds of the wind passing through the rigging on windy days are daily reminders you are in a different environment.


When onboard a vessel I live by the phrase Shipshape and Bristol fashion, meaning in good seamanlike order regarding the condition of a ship. The expression originates when Bristol was Britain's major west coast port at a time when all its shipping was maintained in good order. It is a value I work hard to pass on to those I train.

I am very pleased with what was accomplished. Much of the critical work I identified last year was accomplished during our time onboard. Many of the tasks were safety-related and this is always paramount as the lives of the crew are unquestionably important, also the people that the ship serves must be taken into account.

Just because we are gone from the ship does not by any means mean that there is still not much to do for the ship to prepare for its upcoming outreach. The tasks are a compilation of those being tackled from what was identified from the survey in December while in drydock and what New Zealand's Port State control left the crew with after their assessment in February.
"Running a ship is no small task and it only happens because of the generous people who say 'YES' to joining us."
- YWAM Ships Aotearoa

Hearts to Serve

It was warm when I arrived at the ship in Fiji. The smells of the tropics were in my nose and a faint whiff of burnt sugar cane from the local sugar mill was wafting through the passageways onboard. I arrived the night before the ship moved to the floating dry dock in Lautoka and took time to introduce myself to those onboard.

Seta was one of the crew and over the time we served together, I came to understand his deep love for his people in Fiji. Growing up in the Ysawa Islands and surrounded by water, you become accustomed to using boats and traveling great distances. While serving onboard the YWAM Koha for last year's outreach to the islands in the north, there was the opportunity to increase his skills by operating the ship tenders to transport dental patients from shore to ship and back again.

During drydock, he was under my supervision and while working together, he showed a keen interest in learning more about maintaining a ship and quickly learned from our time together. In late March of this year, Seta arrived on board the ship to begin a 3-month preparation for the vessel's departure on its 2024 outreach.

Together we had a short time and a handover of all the ongoing projects and determine how to see these completed. We have been in contact since my departure from the Koha and I am imparting to him the skills he needs to maintain a ship and what he will need to work towards his mariner's credentials in the future.

Online Training Resource

During my time on board the Koha, I continued to consider ways that technical training and support can be made available to those keen to learn as an ongoing resource. I took extensive videos while onboard, realizing that the opportunity to train through an online platform has many possibilities. I'm looking forward to exploring the potential of this tool to train and mentor future mariners. Seta is one of many young men and women who have benefitted from our investment in preparing them for service in maritime missions.

Please keep them in your prayers as there is still much to do to keep everything in top shape for the safety and operation of the vessel, ready for the Fiji Medical Mission starting in July 2024.

Looking back over our time serving in Fiji and New Zealand leaves us grateful to all of our MAST Partners who stand in the gap with us. Together our mutual investment in the Kingdom will see a good return and many lives will be impacted.

Thank you so much!

- Matthew

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