William and Janice believe that the mission field is all around them — whether that be on a ship, in a foreign country or at home.

Continuing to follow the call

Janice and William believe that the mission field is all around them — whether that be on a ship, in a foreign country or at home.

In 2018, after three years on board one of OM’s ships, Logos Hope, Janice and William returned to Singapore. On the ship, William served as a trainer FOR Logos Hope's Intensive Training (LIT), and Janice was a Vision Team Coordinator. Though no longer onboard the ship, Janice and William attest to the benefits of the ship ministry upon their lives and are continuing to grow both in their relationships with the Lord and in life experiences.

Re-entry syndrome

After living and working for three years on the ship in a close-knit, multicultural community, Janice and William had to re-integrate their lives back into Singaporean society and find jobs and some degree of stability. “It’s called re-entry syndrome or re-entry experience,” Janice explained. “OM in Singapore helped us process through the experience and the things that we were going to experience in Singapore. But it’s a period where no matter how hard you prepare; you will still be somewhat affected by it.”

Before joining Logos Hope, William had just finished seminary school. When the couple returned to Singapore, he searched for a job within the Church. Finding a job, however, proved to be a difficult task.

“I was waiting for God’s next season in my life, and it was a time where my faith in God was really being tested,” said William, “in that period of time, for almost a year without a job, I was a private-hire driver just trying to provide for my family.”

After settling back down in Singapore, Janice began working towards becoming a counsellor with a church connection of hers that she had reconnected with during her time aboard Logos Hope sponsoring her studies.

Being able to study, Janice said, grounded her and gave her the stability she needed to support her husband emotionally. Despite this, she was still heavily affected in this period of waiting.

“Because I’m the wife, so because how he was affected mentally, spiritually and emotionally, also affects me,” said Janice. “I could see him feeling very down. I could sense a very deep anguish from him.”

“At times I even felt very guilty because I already knew what my plan was,” said Janice. “I knew I was going to study counselling and the path was very clear for me, but for him, it was very uncharted. It was like being in an ocean and being able to go anywhere and do anything. It was very overwhelming.”

After about eight months of searching and waiting, a classmate of Janice’s told her of a church that was hiring. William applied and after a series of interviews, was offered a role as a youth pastor. Upon completing her counselling course, Janice began working in a non-profit social organisation counselling youths who are mainly struggling with various social issues and also their mental health in Singapore.

Lessons from the sea

Throughout the challenges, William and Janice held fast to Christ and utilised some of the spiritual knowledge they had gained during their time onboard Logos Hope.

One thing William says his time on the ship taught him was the power of prayer. He told the story of an experience he had in Mozambique where there was a drought, and after a day of prayer and pure faith in God; the next day it stormed.

The Lord’s faithfulness in past experiences like these helped William hold onto Christ during the bleakness of re-entry. “I had to trust God that He would lead me out of the tunnel, and He did!” said William.

Likewise, many of Janice’s experiences on the ship taught her to trust God. “There are times on the ship where you question if this is really what you’re meant to do or if it’s worth it, the time you’re spending away from home and dedicating to the mission field,” said Janice.

Returning to Singapore, Janice saw the trust in God that she had cultivated on the ship help sustain her. Instead of running from the issues, she went on her knees in prayer and grew in her relationship with the Lord, and He gave her the strength to be there for her husband and complete her studies.

Life after missions

Janice and William believe that the mission field is all around them — whether that be on a ship, in a foreign country or at home.

As a youth pastor, William helps Singaporean youth grow in their relationship with Christ. One thing that he learnt on board the ship that he later realised helped him in his job, was how to be a leader.

William acknowledged that it is easy to feel like you are not enough, or you don’t know enough about Christ to teach or lead others, but on the ship, he really had to learn to put his faith and trust in God and let the Lord use him as a catalyst to teach others. This made him a better leader and put him in a place where he could teach and lead the youth in his current ministry.

As a youth counsellor, Janice cannot bring up the topic of God in her sessions, but if the youths themselves say something or ask a specific question about faith, then she can. The youths she is mentoring in the church know her background as a missions worker and one of the youths she mentored is currently onboard Doulos Hope, OM’s newest ship.

“I think God really spoke to him, and he felt like God called him to join the ship ministry. I just shared my experience with him and encouraged him to step up and experience it,” Janice said.

Janice also started a podcast where she shares stories about her time and experience onboard Logos Hope.

The bonds and friendships the couple made during their time on the ship are strong, and they continue to stay in touch with crew members around the world. “There’s a saying we have: ‘once an OMer, always an OMer,’” said William. “We are still in touch with many of the people we met and connected with, we help one another and meet and talk from time to time. We are a family.”

Future plans

Looking towards the future, Janice and William are waiting for God to show them where to go next. “Life is unpredictable, we are just going where the Lord leads,” said William. “But one thing I will say is that our hearts are still on the mission field.”

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