Bush Church

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.

A helping hand

“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.

New Ship Presentation

“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.

When you first visit the ship you might notice we have a tall mast with a few flags flying on the top. We use these to communicate with other ships and ports about where we come from and what we are doing. We also have over 45 different nationalities of people with their own flags on board – but we all fly under the one banner, the banner of Jesus Christ.
Sea charts provide the knowledge we need to avoid rocks and other dangers to ships. We bring knowledge to the places we visit in the form of the books we sell in our book fair. We have over 7,000 different titles of books. We also provide training conferences on board.
Life Ring
Sometimes everyone needs some help. A lifering helps someone to float in the ocean. We like to help people by building buildings and giving dental care and other forms of practical help.
Mooring lines
These strong ropes hold us to the shore so we dont drift away. Just as these strong ropes keep us attached the the shore, we each attach ourselves firmly to the rock – Jesus Christ – so we won’t drift away.
On board we have many professional sailors, but also many regular people. None of us are more spiritual than anyone else, we are people just like you who are obedient to God’s calling to bring in the harvest.