I cannot repay what the Mission has done for me in this lifetime.

To support our appeal, and to help support seafarers around the world in their time of need, click here to donate now.

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You can also watch Raja's story on YouTube.

I often sit and stare into empty space. I imagine my wife, healthy, chatty and happy, as she was before her life was devastated by cancer of the lower spine. All I have now are memories, the happy ones; the ones everyone takes for granted.

My name is Raja and I am a seafarer. My wife, Wen Ying and I met in 2006; we were both seafarers working on the Star Cruise ship. Seafaring life was good. We instantly fell in love and got married in April 2012; our voyage together began. We dreamt of a life shared, of starting up a family and settling down. We were both unaware of the darker waters that lay ahead when we would be in desperate need of a friend.

In July 2012, Wen was diagnosed with cancer in her home port of Hong Kong. I can still feel the same chills I felt that day. "I have been diagnosed with cancer of the lower spine" are about the only words I remember hearing. I had many questions –"can it be treated?" And then more questions followed "Why Wen?", "Why my wife?" were all that occupied my grief-stricken mind. It felt like my world had been ripped apart.

At the time I got the news I was working in India. The Mission to Seafarers stepped in immediately to help. The Revd Stephen Miller from The Mission to Seafarers in Hong Kong visited my wife every day; he prayed for her and comforted her. These acts lifted Wen’s spirit. Revd Stephen gave her a reason to fight on. After an agonising two-month wait, I managed to get a visa with the support of the Mission. The Mission to Seafarers became the friend we desperately needed.

I arrived in Hong Kong on the 28th of September 2012. Revd Stephen picked me from the airport and drove me straight to the hospital to see Wen. This was a trip we made every day over the next year. I will never forget the look on her face when I first walked into her hospital room. I brought her tulips, she loved the smell. Now I keep them at her grave.

Later that year we were told that the cancer could no longer be controlled by either radiotherapy or chemotherapy. She sobbed; she didn’t want to die. I had no words for my brave wife. We said we’d fight it. She was a bright heroic beautiful girl, but she was slipping away. Revd Stephen baptized us at her bedside in the hospital just before she passed on. On the 20th of October 2013 as I kissed her goodbye it didn’t feel like her. She was just a shell; she’d gone. She was only 23 years old.

I can’t begin to imagine what my life would have been like without The Mission to Seafarers. The Mission gave me shelter and food during my one year stay in Hong Kong. Revd Stephen treated my wife and I like his own family. His support gave us hope and strengthened me through the darkest moments of my life. I cannot repay The Mission for what they have done for me in this lifetime. My story is just one of thousands of stories of kindness and care the Mission has shown seafarers in their times of need.

The Mission to Seafarers is on hand night and day, over 200 ports in 50 countries to respond to any crisis or concerns any seafarer may have. When seafarers can’t come to The Mission, The Mission goes to them, as they did for my wife throughout her long and painful illness. Your donations will enable The Mission to support the 1.5 million seafarers and their families during their hours of need, wherever they are in the world, whatever time of day – when no-one else is there to help.  

£10will help our chaplains provide essential humanitarian assistance to seafarers in their hour of need.
£15 could help provide three hot meals, warm and safe accommodation in an emergency.
£50 will help to ensure our centres are open to provide a safe welcoming place for seafarers when they come ashore.

I’m deeply proud of the vital help the Mission gave to Wen and I. I’m also fearful of the horrors that could befall other seafarers and their families if the Mission wasn’t there. Seafarers all over the world desperately need support from kind donors to ensure the Mission is there for crews who urgently need their support and care; please help the Mission reach out to them.

Thank you

Raja

To support our appeal, and to help support seafarers around the world in their time of need, click here to donate now.

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