Seizing every opportunity: Logos Hope’s technical crew knows maintenance is a ministry. One the one hand, they are on board using their skills to keep the ship functioning. On the other, they’re also alert to the unique opportunities this work provides them to share the Gospel.
The Logos Hope team had built a good rapport with local contractors in Buenos Aires. On their final day, on the ship’s outer deck, an ‘asado’ barbecue was grilled up for around 20 of the Argentinian welders and fitters who helped with steel repairs to the vessel. As they tucked into various meats cooked in the traditional way – a feast crewmembers have particularly enjoyed as part of their exposure to Argentine culture – the ship’s plumber, Carlos Alarcon (Argentina), shared a message from the Bible.
“I spoke about Jesus telling us that He is the vine and we are the branches,” says Carlos, who also comes from near to the capital city. “I explained that we operate in His strength and He is the only source of true life and growth – apart from Him we can do nothing.”
The local workmen were presented with gifts from Logos Hope, including a Bible and keychain each. One welder told the team he had recently been able to buy a car, which he considered a great blessing from God. He said he would hang his car key on the new keychain, as a daily reminder of God’s ship, that he had worked on.
“They really liked our ship,” says Harald Smit (Netherlands), OM Ships’ technical manager. “These people work on different vessels in port all the time, but they told us this was different: our crew was friendly and welcoming; nobody barked orders at them in a pressured way, as can happen on commercial vessels.”
The days they spent repairing Logos Hope gave the workmen an insight into the ship’s mission. They noticed thousands of people queuing to visit and were appreciated by the crew since their input was enabling the vessel to continue as a tool for God.
“It’s all part of what we do; reaching out to whomever we encounter,” says Harald. “Sometimes volunteers in our marine operations roles may not think they have as many opportunities to connect with the public visiting Logos Hope, but here we saw again that the Lord brings people on board who need to hear about Him and we minister right where we are, in whatever we are doing.”