A Christian ministry continues to send crews by sea to hot spots
around the world -- hot spots in terms of need, not politics.
Murray Douglas oversees disaster relief for the Sea
Hawks program of Friend Ships
Unlimited, which consists of young men and women volunteers
between the ages of 18-25. They are self-supporting workers who
travel with the ships.
"Our main work is in the area of disaster response, though there
are some places that we could go anytime," Douglas details. "And
it's an ongoing disaster. There [are] a lot of developing countries
that are almost a disaster within themselves, but normally we
respond to particular events or a natural disaster."
He asserts that crews are never idle. In between disasters, the
ships have to be maintained in preparation for the next venture at
sea. Douglas shares that what he gets out of his unpaid job is the
knowledge that he is serving God irrespective of his own level
of comfort. Being in God's will, he says, is the greatest source of
Michael Askeland is a sergeant in the Sea Hawks program, which
provides the manpower for the trips.
"The Lord has changed my life," Askeland accounts. "I went from
living a double lifestyle to dedicating my life 100 percent to the
Lord and not moving to the left or the right, but staying on the
Though the training and the work are tough, both Douglas and
Askeland assert that the reward of serving God by meeting the needs
of hurting people overshadows that. Moreover, they both agree
that the biggest need of Friend Ships Unlimited is volunteers --
adding that individuals in the 18- to 25-year age range are welcome
A California legal group suggests that officials shouldn't "bite
the hands that feed the homeless."