Five years walking with Christ and ten years into my big game fishing career, the Holy Spirit presented me with a challenge. Leave the big game fishing industry entirely or introduce God and His Word into the big game fishing industry to make the environment a God-honoring place to work. God’s mandate leading the charge was and continues to be Blue Water Brotherhood’s mission statement “Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
The challenge for change started with the realization that the fellowship among crews was mainly at the bars during tournaments or at the docks and consisted mainly of shallow conversation. How could I share my passion for Christ as well as for fishing with fellow crew members? I noticed NASCAR was pretty popular among my colleagues during the weekends. All NASCAR races began with a prayer, and that’s when the light bulb went on, “Why can’t our sport of big game fishing bring God into the arena intersecting faith with big game fishing?”
The first Blue Water Brotherhood Chapel Service was held back in the mid-90s during one of the Bertram Hatteras Shootout Tournaments at Walker’s Cay in the Bahamas. It was a beautiful service. Amazing Grace was sweetly sung by some of the islanders. A handful of captains and mates listened to an audio tape from The First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale. The Blue Water Brotherhood ministry had officially begun.
God tells us in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Blue Water Brotherhood is committed to being obedient to the Word of God. The Bible (God’s Word) is full of illustrations and parables of fishermen with their nets, the creation of the oceans and all the creatures that live in the sea, the wind and the waves. The Bible tells how to handle relationships, deal with adversity and above all, how to know without a doubt that you will have eternal life in heaven (Romans 10: 9-11) versus a life of eternity in hell. I challenge you to read your Bible daily, so as to understand the difference between law and religion and being born again (John 3:3). John 3:16. Who hasn’t seen this Scripture verse on banners at various athletic events? In case you have never looked this up in the Bible, here is what is says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that so whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Life’s short. Fish hard. Pray harder.
Captain Vinnie Donato