Logos Hope :: Cristina and Ionut Vlad (Romania) share the story of their family's journey on board Logos Hope.
Ionut and Cristina (Romania), along with their three daughters, are long term volunteers with OM’s Ship Ministry. After becoming a Romanian Naval Officer, Ionut did further studies to become a commercial officer. “During this time, I realised God didn’t want me to be at sea and away from my family for many months at a time. I heard about Logos Hope and that they needed officers. It was an answer to our prayers. We understood that God wanted to use my studies for His purpose.”
Cristina also felt they should join. “I don’t believe that one spouse should go just because the other goes. You need a personal conviction. Challenges will come and what will hold you is your faith that God asked you to do this specific task. We’re still standing because we both felt God ask us to serve here.” So, the Vlad family boarded their new home, ready to serve.
Beginning as training officer in 2016, Ionut served in multiple roles, eventually becoming master of Logos Hope in 2023. Ionut said, “My favourite part was being amidst the action, and there’s always action. It never stops. Working as chief mate and leading the deck department was the best season. I discovered that I love to be there for my team, investing in their lives and seeing young people growing more and more. I felt that everything God had invested in my life; I could somehow give back.”
Add in the challenge of raising children on board. Cristina said, “It was a deliberate choice for Ionut to work and for me to care for our family.” Ionut added, “But if I didn’t urgently need to be somewhere else, I made it a priority to be with the girls.” Cristina continued, “You will have difficulties, back home and on board the ship. Challenges are everywhere, you can’t run away from them. As God says, ‘In the world you will have trials, but take heart for I have overcome the world’. And I choose to trust God.”
But with those trials came other rewards. Ionut said, “Our family life flourished on board. Logos Hope’s school and the ship community were great advantages for our family. The school made a difference, and I think families need to know that there’s a great school on board Logos Hope. The girls were part of smaller classes and received individual attention in their schoolwork. They had teachers who genuinely cared for them and they made friends from an international community. Plus, they gained international understanding and communication across cultures. It’s not something they’ve learnt in trainings, it’s something they just grow up with and it’s part of who they are.”
Cristina added, “The fact that there is a school is a blessing. Look out the window! Rebeca was studying the history of Venetians when we were in the Mediterranean, the exact area the Venetians used to sail and live in. She was actually there, and I think she could relate to her studies more. These are the small things that make a difference.”
Ionut said, “I look back at where we came from and how far God has taken us, not only to serve Him, but to develop us. We’ve experienced growth in so many areas of our lives by God’s blessing.” Cristina added, “God was showing us that we could trust Him because He was taking care of us. It’s beautiful to know we have people praying for us, so that we can be here on board.”
Ionut and Cristina encourage anyone considering the Ship Ministry, especially families, to join. “Stop wasting your time and God’s time. Step out in faith and see God’s goodness.”
Are YOU ready to step out? Look for current vacancies here!