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In Suez Canal, Tides Rise and Fall, Salvagers Toil, but Ship Remains Stuck

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A new tugboat has joined the ranks of those struggling to free the giant cargo ship blocking the crucial Suez Canal maritime route. Syria, citing the blockage, rations fuel, and Lebanon warns of a similar problem.

With the costs of the closure of one of the world’s most vital maritime arteries growing by the day, salvage teams hoped on Sunday to take advantage of the full moon and swelling tides to dislodge the giant cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal.

Late Saturday, tugboat drivers sounded their horns in celebration of the most visible sign of progress since the ship ran aground late Tuesday:

The 220,000-ton Ever Given had moved.

Granted, it did not go far — just two degrees, or about 100 feet, according to shipping officials. But that came on top of progress in the days before, when canal officials said dredgers had managed to dig out the rear of the ship, freeing its rudder.

By Saturday afternoon, they had dredged 18 meters down into the canal’s eastern bank. But officials cautioned that the ship’s bow remained firmly planted in the soil and that the operation still faced significant hurdles.

The company that oversees the ship’s operations and crew, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, said a dozen tugboats were helping, the latest a specialist tug registered in the Netherlands, the ALP Guard, arrived on the scene on Sunday.

“Further attempts to refloat the vessel will continue this evening once the tug is safely in position along with the 11 tugs already on site,” the company said.

Several dredgers, including a specialized suction dredger that can extract 2,000 cubic meters of material per hour, were digging around the vessel’s bow, the company said.

Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said that water had started running underneath the vessel. “We expect that at any time the ship could slide and move from the spot it is in,” he told a news conference on Saturday.

Salvagers are determined to free the vessel this weekend, but their best chance may be on Monday, when a spring tide will raise the canal’s water level as much as 18 inches, analysts and shipping agents said.

It is a delicate mission. Salvage crews are trying to move the ship without unbalancing it or breaking it apart.

With the ship sagging in the middle, its bow and stern both caught in positions for which they were not designed, the hull is vulnerable to stress and cracks, according to experts. Just as every high tide brings hope the ship can be released, each low tide puts new stresses on the vessel.

Teams of divers have been inspecting the hull throughout the operation and have found no damage, officials said.

The ship’s manager said that in addition to the tugboats and dredgers, high-capacity pumps will draw water from the vessel’s ballast tanks to lighten the ship.

But with each passing day, the situation is bringing global supply chains closer to a full-blown crisis.

Vessels packed with the world’s goods — including cars, oil, livestock and laptops — usually flow through the waterway with ease, supplying much of the globe as they traverse the quickest path from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and the East Coast of the United States.

Some ships have already decided not to wait, U-turning to take the long way around the southern tip of Africa, a voyage that could add weeks to the journey and mean more than $26,000 a day in fuel costs.

If the Ever Given breaks free by Monday, the shipping industry can absorb the inconvenience, analysts said, but beyond that, supply chains and consumers could start to see major disruptions.

From the deck of a tugboat in the Suez Canal, where the Egyptian authorities allowed journalists to glimpse the salvage operation for the first time on Saturday, the Ever Given looked like a fallen skyscraper, lights ablaze.

Three boats that barely reached halfway up the word EVERGREEN painted on the ship’s side, for its Taiwan-based operator, had nosed up to its starboard side, keeping it stable.

A powerful tugboat sat near the ship’s stern, waiting for the next attempt to push and pull it out.

Together, the armada of tugboats — their engines churning with the combined power of tens of thousands of horses — have been pushing and pulling at the Ever Given for days.

Late Saturday, there was a brief celebration when the tugboats managed to move the 1,300-foot ship. The tugboats let the horns blow, hopeful that they could build on their progress when the high tide returned on Sunday, when the increased water level could help the ship break free.

With the ship too heavy for tugboats alone, the effort on the water was being aided by teams on land, where cranes that look like playthings in the shadow of the hulking cargo ship have been scooping mountains of earth from the area where the ship’s bow and stern are wedged tight.

As the dredgers worked, a team of eight Dutch salvage experts and naval architects overseeing the operation were surveying the ship and the seabed and creating a computer model to help it work around the vessel without damaging it, said Capt. Nick Sloane, a South African salvage master who led the operation to right the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that capsized in 2012 off the coast of Italy.

If the tugboats, dredgers and pumps cannot get the job done, they could be joined by a head-spinning array of specialized vessels and machines requiring perhaps hundreds of workers: small tankers to siphon off the ship’s fuel, the tallest cranes in the world to unload containers one by one and, if no cranes are tall enough or near enough, heavy-duty helicopters that can pick up containers of up to 20 tons — though no one has said where the cargo would go. (A full 40-foot container can weigh up to 40 tons.)

All this because, to put it simply: “This is a very big ship. This is a very big problem,” said Richard Meade, the editor in chief of Lloyd’s List, a maritime intelligence publication based in London.

“I don’t think there’s any question they’ve got everything they need,” he said. “It’s just a question of, it’s a very big problem.”
Sources:nytimes

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Mission group urges Christians to pray for release of missionary pilot, 2 volunteers imprisoned in Mozambique

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The U.S.-based ministry Mission Aviation Fellowship is urging Christians to pray for the release and safety of one of its pilots, Ryan Koher, and two South African volunteers who have been detained for nearly a month in Mozambique on suspicion of supporting insurgent activity.

Koher, 31, and two South Africans — 77-year-old W.J. du Plessis and 69-year-old Eric Dry — were detained in the coastal city of Inhambane on Nov. 4 while they were loading supplies into the aircraft to be taken to church-run orphanages in the Montepuez district in the troubled Cabo Delgado Province.

“I urge Christians around the world to pray for Ryan’s safety and swift release, and call on those in power both in Mozambique and here in the U.S. to do everything they can to resolve this wrongful detainment,” MAF President and CEO David Holsten said in a statement Friday.

While conducting the normal security scan at the airport, police asked about the supplies — vitamins, over-the-counter medications and food preservatives — Koher was to deliver for the orphanages and adult staff, the ministry said, adding that Koher is a pilot for its partner, Ambassador Aviation Ltd.

“None of the confiscated material belonged to Koher nor had it been loaded onto the airplane. AAL has been conducting these annual supply charter flights to the orphanages since 2014.”

The three men have been jailed on a still undetermined written charge, according to MAF.

While the three men were suspected to be supporting insurgency, “Ambassador Aviation has long sought to care for those who have been harmed by the insurgency, including evacuating innocent residents following a March 2021 insurgent attack.”

Islamic extremists have been exploiting a crisis in the coastal province of Cabo Delgado. A civil war started in 2017 over the area rich with gas, rubies, graphite, gold and other natural resources. Protesters demonstrated against what they say is profits going to an elite in the ruling Frelimo Party, with few jobs for local residents.

In the mostly Muslim region of Cabo Delgado in the otherwise Christian-majority country, Islamic extremists kidnap women and force boys to become child soldiers, The Washington Post reported in October.

“In 2017, jihadist insurgents began in the Cabo-Delgado province, winning over some locals due to the fact that they gave back resources to villagers from the government, and killed no one,” the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported. “This did not last, however, as IS started setting fire to Christian villages, and killing those who lived there.”

A lawyer from AAL the U.S. Embassy are engaged in the situation, MAF said, adding, however, that Embassy officials were denied access to Koher at a prison in Inhambane. Koher was later moved to the Machava High Security Prison near Maputo.

“Ryan is a caring and gentle individual,” Holsten said. “Over the last couple of years, he and his wife have worked hard to learn the language and culture of Mozambique to better serve those who rely on our service. Understandably, this situation has been very challenging for the family. We fully believe in Ryan’s innocence, and we are all praying that this issue will be resolved very soon with the charges dismissed and Ryan released.”
Sources:Christian Post

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Do Christians Really Donate More? Bible’s Stunning Impact on Charitable Giving Revealed in Fascinating New Study

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As the debate over the impact of Christianity on charitable behavior forges on, a new study reveals Scripturally-engaged Americans are “far more likely than others to donate to charity.”

In fact, the majority of these individuals — people who interact consistently with Scripture and allow it to shape their lives and relationships — report giving to such causes, according to the eighth chapter of “The State of the Bible” report.

“Americans who are engaged with the Bible gave $145 billion to charitable causes in 2021,” a statement from the American Bible Society read. “And … Practicing Christians, those who are actively living out their faith, are much more likely to give.”

The results are pretty stunning when comparing people engaged in the Bible with those who are disengaged as well as the so-called Moveable Middle, a group falling between those dynamics.

Bible-engaged Americans gave a total of $145 billion to charities in 2021, amounting to about $2,907 per household. The same figure for the Bible disengaged was just $924.

To underscore the monumental nature of that giving, consider that Scripturally engaged Americans account for just 19% of adults yet give 44% of every dollar donated.

The finer details point to the fascinating nature of this group’s generosity.

“People who are Scripture-engaged gave six-times as much to churches as those in the Movable Middle and 13-times as much as those who are Bible-disengaged,” a statement explained. “When it comes to non-church giving, Scripture-engaged Americans gave 9% more than the Bible-disengaged and 165% more than the Movable Middle.”

Giving among active believers is, thus, much higher than for other cohorts.

Dr. John Farquhar Plake, director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, said his organization’s research continues to show “a strong correlation between charitable giving and human flourishing.” This is particularly relevant among Christians surveyed in the annual report.

“Engaging with the Bible and actively living out our faith doesn’t simply mean reading the words in the pages of Scripture — rather, it is a transformation of the heart that inspires us to love and live well,” Plake said.

The results for this chapter of the “State of the Bible” were collected from 2,598 phone and online responses from American adults in January 2022.

Atheists will often decry the Bible and its contents, yet study after study shows the strong benefits faith offers individuals and, in turn, the culture at large.

As Faithwire reported, an earlier chapter from the “State of the Bible” report showed “Americans who consistently read and apply the Bible report greater levels of hope and resilience.” Read more about the Bible’s significant impact on the faithful here.
Sources:faithwire

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PASTOR JACOB MATHEW – 57 MEMORIAL SERVICE 12/02/2022

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For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel,and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight! Pastor Jacob Mathew (57 ) has been promoted to his eternal home and went to be with Jesus on 11/24/2022 . He served as the assistant Pastor of the Mizpah Church of God. Pullad. He lived a life that exampled Jesus Christ, a life of servitude,faith,and love. He will be missed by his family, his wife Shiney,daughter Jesna Jacob and son Joel Jacob.

We kindly request for prayers at this time for the family. He is Survived by his mother, Thankamma Mathew, sister Mary Mathew, and brother Paul Mathew and family.


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