Breaking the mould

written by OM International

REMAR is a global Christian organisation helping drug addicts and alcoholics overcome their addiction as they share God’s love and forgiveness. Crewmembers visited one of the organisation’s rehabilitation centres for women; many of whom were young mothers with their babies. Some had also been victims of physical violence.

Crewmembers connected with the women, got to know them better and all sang worship songs together with passion. After the songs, the ship’s volunteers introduced Logos Hope and told the women their own personal stories of overcoming different kinds of struggles as they trusted in God for help.

Francesco Antonacci (Netherlands) shared a message based on Psalm 23, explaining that everyone endures hardships, described as the ‘darkest valley.’ God accompanies His children and guides them, even when they stray. The message was based on trust, forgiveness and the hope that is an assurance when walking with Christ. As Francesco explained his message, a woman wept. Rujuni Bhakar (United Kingdom) saw the women's emotion. “We saw God move in the hearts of everyone,” she observes.

“We were reminded to seek first the Kingdom of God, to follow His ways, because He is the true light,” Rujuni recalls. “We were united by something so much greater than just our humanity.”

Rujuni had been feeling very tired at the beginning of the day but once she started connecting with the women, she felt revitalised. She spoke to Lucia and her sister, Estrella. “They reminded me of Mary and Martha in the Bible, because one was in the kitchen and the other was sitting with us,” she chuckles. Lucia was eager to know what motivates the crewmembers, which gave Rujuni the opportunity to tell her story.

“It’s all about our heart. I didn’t want to sit in a corner just because I don’t speak much Spanish and I’m tired. I told God I want to serve Him and rely on His strength. And He gave me a lot of strength and the ability to share in Spanish.” Rujuni adds, “Ex-addicts are also God’s creation; they are each souls loved by Jesus. They aren’t a label – they're someone God wants to see in His kingdom.”

As the pastors who had organised the outreach took the crewmembers back to Logos Hope, one expressed his joy at the interaction with those at the rehab centre. “The mould was broken,” he declared.