Castries, Saint Lucia :: Ship volunteers visit a shelter for people who used to live on the streets and people suffering with mental ill-health.
Aiming to share help and hope with people ashore, Logos Hope crewmembers were led to a shelter for people who used to live on the streets and people suffering from mental ill-health. The team’s desire was to connect with the residents and find opportunities to share the gospel with them, pointing to the comfort of God’s provision and care despite the struggles we may face in life.
The group of volunteers decided to split up so they could chat one-on-one with people, with some conversations lasting a few minutes and others much longer. When one of the housekeepers waved Sarah Clifford (USA) into a room, she struck up a rapport with the man inside. Sarah says, “We instantly jumped into conversation, which started off quite lighthearted and turned into him telling me his life story. He told me about how he has been so blessed and provided for by the Lord, even through multiple tragedies, bereavements, and suffering a stroke. He told me about how God saved his life and how he can praise the Lord through it all. It was amazing for me to listen to his testimony.”
For Sarah, it’s important to join outreach opportunities whenever possible: “We never know how God might want to use the encounters to work in the hearts of other people, and also in our own hearts,” she says, “Even if we don’t know what will happen or if we’re a little scared to leave our comfort zone, it’s always a good idea to take these opportunities because all it takes is a little faith for God to show up in big ways."
For Ulyana Makarova (Russia), it was hard to see that most of the residents didn't have any family members taking care of them. At the same time, she felt blessed to be used by God to show them love and care. The team listened to and then prayed for the people living at the shelter. They also sang worship songs and some of the residents joined in the singing. Ulyana says, “I spent some time focussing on one elderly lady. She couldn’t talk clearly so I didn’t understand what she told me, but I listened anyway. I then offered to paint her nails and she liked the idea – through this action I could show her that I cared, and I shared with her that God cares for her even more. I don’t know if she understood what I told her, but I am sure that she felt loved.”