Learning as they lend a hand

written by Julie Knox

As technical crew work on the ship’s annual maintenance overhaul, the rest of Logos Hope’s volunteers have spread out on shore to help various church and partner organisation projects.

Teams have been assigned to help at a Scout camp ground, a clubhouse for community ministry and a youth centre. They are building and decorating, landscaping, leading Bible clubs and sharing creative ministry skills with local believers.

After a year with few opportunities to get outside the ship because of coronavirus restrictions, the month ashore is a welcome change; although strength and stamina is needed for physical work in hot conditions. The international crewmembers also hope to encourage their hosts with their unity in diversity and their desire to serve God. They’ve checked in with some of their experiences so far...

Alejandra Manzanares (Mexico):

“As a doctor, I am not used to chopping trees. It was very challenging for me. The roots were extremely hard to cut down, and God worked in my heart through this task. It was very humbling. The Lord reminded me that in the same way the roots of these trees are hard to remove, so is my sin.”

Jamie Fugill (United Kingdom):

“I had already experienced leading a team last year when the ship was in for maintenance and I went to the Ship Ministry’s literature distribution centre in the USA. But there was an outline plan I could follow then. This time around has made me realise my dependence on the Holy Spirit to make the best decisions for everyone in my team. 

“It’s been amazing to see so much unity and growth happening as a group and also on a personal level as we’ve tackled practical challenges. Of course, after three weeks of twenty people living so closely together, with very different cultures and personalities, there have been issues building up that we talked through. I’m thankful we bonded by being honest with each other and praying together.”

Galya Batenina (Ukraine):

“Our host told us that many young people in Curaçao are raised mainly by their mothers, who are also very young when they have their children. With such a family setup, the youth pastor at our site wants to invest in people and teach them how to work and earn a livelihood. We are at a training centre for teenagers to learn chicken farming, and where they can develop relationships with young Christians and hear the gospel.

“As well as picking up new building skills, I've been learning from a spiritual perspective. God has shown me a lot about my character and attitudes, and about forming relationships based on love and sacrifice.”