Logos Hope

S : You spent 5 years working as part of the bookshop team on the ship. Could you tell us what led you to go on such a mission?

E: I was finishing school and starting to think about the future. I also wanted to discover what it was like to serve God as a missionary in a foreign country, so I prayed about that. From 2011 I began to take part in short-term missions, three summers in a row. God used those experiences to show me he wanted me to give him more of my time.

While starting to work, I sought God’s guidance about which missionary society I should commit myself to and which country I should go to. In 2015 I took part in an evangelistic campaign in London during the Rugby World Cup for three weeks. This was the first time I came into contact with OM. I have to say that I didn’t speak English at the time, which was why I went on the ‘Step’ programme to Florence, South Carolina, USA. I didn’t know before going there that the programme had a connection with the ship.

There I worked hard on my English, and also heard testimonies from people who had been on the ship. It was a logical step for me to join the Logos Hope team a year later.

S: What happens on the ‘Step’ programme in Florence?

E:  There’s a huge book depository there belonging to the OM ship ministry department. ‘Step’ supplies the ships with literature, but also deals with orders from clients who have no connection to OM. A whole team works there, receiving books, storing them, and preparing them for despatch to customers. My job was to look after internet orders. The OM ships ministry now has another depository and several bookshops.

S: Would you advise anyone to go there if their English was not up to scratch?

E: Absolutely! Florence is a great place to start. It’s already a mission field! You have your ordinary working week, which gets you used to the normal rhythm of life on board the ship – and you’re thrown into the deep-end with your language-learning! It’s good preparation for everything.

S: After spending three years on the Logos Hope, you signed up for another two years. Why’s that? 

E: The covid pandemic occurred during my third year, when the ship was in Jamaica. We were given the choice to stay or go home. Half the team members left the following month. When we gradually re-opened the bookshop beginning in 2021, there were only 8 of us in the team compared to 70 previously. Thankfully, there weren’t too many visitors at the start. During that strange kind of year the team expanded, and we trained new members as and when they arrived. It wasn’t the right time for me to leave!

S: What would you most like to share about your experience?

E: It’s a real challenge living each day on a ship with people from different cultures and of different ages. It’s a very rich experience that helps you grow. I would say it also helped me to understand the world around me better in every place we stopped at and in my interaction with people. 

S: Is there a particular lesson God taught you through this experience?

I experienced so many things, it would be hard to choose! But I can at least share this – God taught me how to love others better, even those much different to me, and to love him more. He helped me grow as a leader in my interaction with others. God changes your character in a context like this.

S: What would you say to someone who was thinking about going on such a mission?

It’s a unique experience, and not all that easy, especially at the moment because of the many challenges you have to face. But one thing is certain, after an experience like this, you’ll see things differently and come back transformed!

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