Rostock (dpa / mv) – The new head of the Rostock Seemannsmission, Stefanie Zernikow, was officially introduced to her office on Sunday in the Warnemünde church. “You are called to stand up for the seafarers and their cause and to make us all aware again and again of what we owe them,” said Sprengel Bishop Tilman Jeremias, describing the tasks of the 37-year-old deaconess. Around 90 percent of world trade is carried out by sea, and yet hardly anyone knows how the seafarers are doing. Many of them have had to hold out on their ships since the beginning of the Corona crisis.
Stefanie Zernikow, who previously worked in the same position for four years in Kiel, has been heading the Rostock Mission since the end of 2019. After working as a forwarding agent in a Hamburg shipping company, she studied theology and switched to church service. “As a kind of advocate for seafarers, it is good to know what makes a shipping company tick and what leeway there is for seafarers,” she said. Since the seafarers are currently prohibited from disembarking, they also come on board for prayer and seek conversation. There is usually an interfaith prayer room in the “Hollfast” seaman’s club for people of different religions and denominations. As it was also said, before the Corona crisis, more than 5000 seafarers from all over the world visited the rooms of the seamen’s mission in the overseas port.