Logos Hope was temporarily closed to the public over Christmas and New Year, after crewmembers tested positive for COVID-19. The affected crew, who only suffered mild – or in some cases, no – symptoms, were required to isolate, either on board the vessel or ashore while the rest of the ship’s community had to stay in their cabins, with very limited interaction with others, in order to limit further spread of the virus.
During the time of closure, crewmembers experienced that social distance doesn’t affect the closeness one can experience with God.
Sveta Biriukova (Russia) was very disappointed at not celebrating Christmas and New Year as she imagined. She says, “But then I understood one thing: It does not matter at all how you celebrate; it is much more important to understand the reason for the holiday. Jesus was born so we could enjoy His presence at any time. It doesn't matter if we sit alone in our cabin or with others in a large hall. It was so great to see how people served those who were quarantined and, even if it was very difficult, through this time we definitely became one big ship family.”
Medical officer Alejandra Manzanares (Mexico) says, “It was a tough time when we realized that we were going to have a large number of crewmembers sick and the total shut down of the ministry, not knowing how things would look like and how long this will last, but God’s mercies endure forever and when we are weak He is strong! That was what kept us going.”
After fulfilling the local authorities’ isolation and disinfection requirements, further negative test results have released the community from restrictions and preparations are being made to reopen the ship to the public in Sekondi-Takoradi. Captain James Berry (United Kingdom) says, “We are very grateful for all the assistance given by the port authorities, churches and people of Takoradi.”
Bookfair Manager Mike Ngwaru (Zimbabwe) and his team are excited to be working in the bookfair again. He says, “We usually do not have much time to do stock-taking, so we have been able to do that for all the books in the bookfair, and to make space in the hold for a container of books arriving soon.”
Logos Hope director Randy Grebe (USA) explains, “Sailors might say 'the wind has been taken out of our sails' and yes, we did have to slow down as a result of our situation on board. But, as many Bible stories begin 'and it came to pass', it passed, and our crew is waiting with anticipation to re-open to the public and continue fulfilling the purpose of this vessel by sharing knowledge, help and hope with the people of Ghana."