Sharing help and hope again

written by Julie Knox

Logos Hope’s onshore outreach has resumed, with teams joining construction projects and offering sight testing to people on the Abaco Islands in The Bahamas.

Crewmembers are working alongside those from Pacific Hope, part of the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) family of ministries, among marginalised communities struggling to rebuild after a devastating hurricane.

It marks the resumption of public activities for Logos Hope’s 300 volunteers after a pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the planned visit to Europe unable to proceed, alternative arrangements were made for the vessel’s annual maintenance as well as a new itinerary – complicated logistics, amid evolving travel restrictions and health measures.

OM Ships’ Managing Director of Ports Engagement, Augusta Davin, says leaders felt partnering with Pacific Hope was a great fit: “To find another organisation with such similar values in this region was really right. Our founders were contemporaries and we have a longstanding history of working together.”

Crew are excited to get back into action sharing knowledge, help and hope while following local regulations including a curfew and maintaining social distance. “The ‘what’ we do hasn’t changed; the ‘how’ has had to,” says Augusta, who has been part of a team staged ahead on board Pacific Hope, making on-the-ground arrangements to bring Logos Hope to the Abacos and liaising with colleagues back at base.

“As well as practical help, we are able to offer the posture of presence among people here,” explains Augusta. During their time in isolation, crewmembers received additional ministry training they can now put to use, in collaboration with OM in The Bahamas and local churches. “It’s about listening actively,” Augusta says, “It’s important to allow people on these islands the time and space to tell their story and process their grief.”

Logos Hope is at anchor off the coast of Great Abaco, with teams of volunteers being ferried to shore by tender vessel. Fifteen members of crew are supporting eye clinics each day, while up to 40 are working on construction projects including roofing homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Dorian last year.