Isaiah Muloshi is out of bed at 6 a.m., just as the bright sliver of dawn peeks above the ocean, into the small window of his crew cabin. Isaiah is a chef aboard the Carnival Pride, and after putting on his white uniform, he picks up the In Touch Messenger from his bedside table and stuffs it into the front pocket. When he hits play, his ears fill with the same sermon he fell asleep listening to the night before. And after making his way up through narrow fluorescent-lit passageways, Isaiah begins his 15-hour shift in the ship’s busy kitchen. While he chops meat and slices onions for hundreds of meals, his spirit feeds on the Word of God.
Isaiah was given the Messenger years go by the Seafarer’s Ministry—a faith-based organization that provides a home away from home for weary crew members in the port of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Whenever their ship docks, Isaiah rides the shuttle to the ministry to buy supplies, enjoy a free meal, and use their computers to Skype friends and family back home. There, his body is refreshed and his spirit is strengthened for the coming days at sea. He is also equipped with Christian resources and materials to take with him back to the ship.
Originally from Zambia, Isaiah grew up in a godly home and continued serving his local church as a young adult. But once he started working aboard the cruise ship, he saw how much social pressure there was to party, drink, and be promiscuous amongst the crew. He prayed for the strength to resist.
Within a week, he met a man named Christian and together they began a Bible study, inviting fellow crew members to join them. At first they wondered whether they were the only believers on the ship, and if anyone would show up. But after a couple of months, 15-20 people were regularly gathering in a multi-purpose room near the crew’s quarters.
The group meets twice a week to sing to the Lord, read His Word in a common tongue, share testimonies, and pray for each other’s needs. The fellowship continues throughout the week with shared meals in the mess hall and birthday celebrations. And whenever members gets reassigned, the group sends them out to start a Bible study on their new ship. There are now growing communities of believers—who stay in touch and encourage one another through social media—on all 15 of Carnival’s ships at sea.
Isaiah welcomes people from every continent and religious background to the group, creating unique opportunities for ministry. There is a Muslim from Turkey who comes every week with questions he never had the freedom to ask in his home country. One Hindu man from India attended for several weeks, received Christ, and returned home to lead the rest of his family to do the same. Some crewmates will ask Isaiah to pray with them one-on-one in the privacy of their rooms about the stresses aboard the ship, problems with their marriage, or periods of hopeless discouragement.
Whenever he puts together lessons and discussion topics for the Bible study, Isaiah relies on the daily nourishment he receives through the Messenger. “I am always asking God for direction, and every day God gives me words to speak to the people." During long hours behind the stove, he listens. Because even though he’s a chef, Isaiah knows that the only way to satisfy the hunger of his fellow crewmates is by offering them the Bread of Life.