No electricity, no running water, mud hits with thatched roofs and two unique languages. This is the church that I visited yesterday morning. The pastor of this church was a truck driver before he was saved, and felt called to pastor a bush church. The church itself was several miles down a crazy dirt road – quite a distance from the city. The people here enjoy a simpler living. They grow produce and sell it at the market at the junction with the highway. The pastor encouraged them saying ‘Think about where you are. You are not in the city, you are far away in the bush, yet God has brought people from all over the world to visit you this morning – he has not forgotten you’. I was introduced as the senior pastor of the group and we were praised as wise white people. I made sure to take some time during my ship presentation to remind them that we are all regular people, and we are from many nations including African nations and we all have the same Holy Spirit inside us. Another in the team shared a message, and yet another shared her testimony. After the service they gave us many gifts of coconuts, cacao, and oranges. It was an amazing experience.
“Seeing the way you guys ran AV for this event made the last three years of my life worthwhile”. Those were the words that AV system designer Andrew Lightoller left us with after watching a youth event on Logos Hope. Andrew spent two and a half years onboard Logos Hope designing and installing the extensive Audio Visual systems that we use today. The Hope Theatre is fully equipped with state of the art theatre lighting, screens, cameras and audio systems. Youth Events give us the opportunity to utilise all of this equipment and all of our learned skills to provide a program that will impact young people in each port we visit. The whole event is relayed onto big screens for the large audience to see every detail and the theatre lighting helps set the mood for each act, ultimately leading to a life changing message and a call to respond. Almost a year ago I inherited the responsibility for the people and equipment in the AV department onboard – it’s a daunting responsibility but it’s so worthwhile. This visit to Logos Hope might be Andrew’s last as he moves on in life to be a primary school teacher, so his job was to assess the state of the AV team and equipment. Whilst things aren’t perfect on board I am encouraged to hear that he is happy with what he has seen – and also that some problems we had will move towards a resolution. My prayer is that for the next year-and-a-bit I can continue to be a good steward of the wonderful people and mind-boggling equipment that God (and the ship’s leadership) has entrusted me with.
“Just as we tie the ship to the land with strong ropes so that we do not drift out to sea, so we each tie ourselves to the solid rock – Jesus – that we might not drift away”. Having left the Caribbean region where a large percentage of the population were believers, where we urged the local body of believers to “pray to the lord of the harvest to send out workers into the harvest field” – a new ship presentation was called for, and I was delighted to present it for the first time to a local church in Africa.
The church itself was held in a primary school (sounds familiar doesn’t it?) which they had decorated. The congregation was spit into two groups. One group at the front were the english speaking congregation who listened to the pastor preach in english. Behind the last row of this group there was a translator wearing headphones who fervently repeated his words in Twi, one of the common languages of Ghana. Whilst we spent around 15 minutes on stage, there was also teaching, bible reading, a sermon, an offering or two and a few old hymns like It is well with my soul. Here is our new presentation.