Jan Arrowsmith (United Kingdom) started to learn about Jesus from a very young age, through going to Sunday School regularly. But she didn’t make a decision to follow Him. Instead, she worried often as she didn’t trust Him fully. She says, “I longed to be accepted by others as I didn’t find my true value as a child of God.”
Then, one day as a 16-year-old, Jan listened to an American evangelist speaking at her church about walking with God. “That’s when I responded and gave my heart to Jesus,” she recalls.
Years later, Jan married David and from the very beginning of their marriage it was clear to the couple that they wanted to work for God; making a difference in the lives of others.
David has been driven by a deep desire throughout his life to ensure that people across the world have the opportunity to know about Jesus. He says his experience with OM reinforced his belief in the power of the printed Word of God to transform lives. He worked on summer mission trips as well as with OM in Europe and the UK, and also served on the original ship, Logos. Despite his time on board being cut short because of an injury, David always felt that he had unfinished business and one day he would be called to return.
After supporting their three children through their education, the couple felt that it was time to be involved in overseas work again. In 2016, they worked in South Africa at a Christian village for orphaned and vulnerable children, where they enjoyed their time being used by God to impact the lives of those around them.
In 2020, the Arrowsmiths were excited to join Logos Hope, 36 years after David had last served on board an OM vessel. They embarked in The Bahamas, willing to serve God for two years: David on the maintenance team and Jan as a teacher in the ship’s school.
Jan believes that for many young people and families, the ship is a stepping stone to long-term overseas work in many countries around the world. She says, “My desire is to provide excellent holistic education and to prepare the children in the best way possible for life in a third culture.”
Jan is also passionate about praying and is part of a team of crewmembers who pray for onboard events and the ship’s ministry. She says, “I often pray to the Lord: ‘break my heart for what breaks yours.’ And so I was moved with compassion for the people of the Abaco Islands and felt privileged to play a small part in listening to some of them and praying for them when we came alongside those who had been affected by a devastating hurricane.”
As COVID-19 continues to impact the ship’s ministry with restrictions, the crew has been finding different ways to reach out. Jan and David are writing an adult literacy curriculum aimed at people who may have had limited opportuntities in education on the island of Saint Vincent. They intend this to support future job possibilities by being linked to practical skills such as construction, carpentry and catering.
Reflecting on recent months on board, Jan says, “It is amazing that even though we are old enough to be the parents of most of the volunteers, we have developed relationships with them, we learn from them and enjoy our time together. I have particularly been able to develop my world view; realising the power of prayer for unreached people groups and experiencing a growing urgency to share the gospel that has still not reached three billion people around the world.”