One year ago on 19 February, Logos Hope sailed into active service. An audiovisual summary of the year was presented last night – 23 ports, 18 countries and 565,000 visitors later as part of the celebrations. Throughout the evening crew and staff watched as due honour was given to the thousands of volunteers who contributed to the project of preparing the vessel. However, one of the most interesting aspects of the celebration was brought to light simply by the fact that 12 crewmembers from Doulos had arrived a few hours earlier. “The ship is only steel, but what’s really special is you, the community,” attested Director Gian Walser (Switzerland). This is true of both vessels although one has just completed her service and the other has just begun. The appreciated presence of OM Ships’ CEO, Peter Nicoll (South Africa), created added anticipation on board over the week leading up to this unforgettable anniversary.
On our last weekend in Montego Bay, Jamaica many people queued for hours to visit the Logos Hope. To bless these people as they wait patiently in line we held a concert on the stage outside the ship. Early on Saturday morning the AV and events teams got our hands dirty putting out a portable stage and setting up some serious AV equipment to provide a high quality sound that could be heard far away.
Local artists and crew members performed on stage and people were captivated by their performance. Many shared their testimonies and the Gospel.
Pictured above is Sam Stainer from the U.K, the newest member of my AV team. He is a professional audio engineer and has run his own AV business for a few years before he visited the ship in London. He was impressed by the opening ceremony and talked with the AV manager on board who encouraged him to join up for two years. Immediately he decided this was what he would do, so he began to close down his business and a year later arrived in Montego bay. Praise God for bringing the right people at the right time!
“Just one moment Madam” I said calmly and politely as I scanned the many rows of buttons on the cash desk. Where was the button called “find product”? Finding it, I realised it couldn’t help me either! “Head cashier!” I called, then turned and smiled at the lady waiting to pay for her books.
A few days prior I had participated in cash desk volunteer training, since I figured I could help out when things got busy, and now I had been recruited to put my training into practice. But in the heat of the moment all of my training had left me. Most items presented have a barcode that will scan but every now and then there’s a product that doesn’t scan and you have to go searching for it in the system. Thankfully the head cashier was very helpful to me. To be honest I figured that the job of cash desk was fairly simple compared to my highly technical AV job but having experienced the stress of an impatient customer and a mystery product – I have a newfound respect for the cashiers.
I hope to have many more opportunities to help these people because like me they have busy times when there are just not enough people to do the job, and I’ve always wanted to try a retail job. I also quite enjoy that most orders come to over 2000 Jamaican dollars, which is like $40 Australian, and there’s no such thing as cents!
I don’t cry often, but before the sun came up this morning I was standing outside crying and there was little I could do about it. My good friends Ravi and Philipp – along with many others – were leaving the ship forever. We’d had many goodbye parties and farewell speaches and now the dreaded moment had come, carrying bags down the gangway and packing them into vans, lining up for one last hug, saying my last goodbyes. There was no doubt we’d gone on an incredible journey together – for 8 months combined I had known them, and they had changed me as much as they had encouraged me. I hope to visit them both in the future, when I don’t know. I hope the ship will visit India one day, but I doubt it will visit Switzerland (being land-locked and all).
Since joining the ship I’ve made new friends, and now it’s time to focus attention on those relationships, but at the same time – people will come and go, but God will be with me all the time – and I need to learn to rely on Him and not on friends. Then I can truely be a friend to others, when I don’t put my needs on them.