For many of Logos Hope’s volunteer crewmembers, this Christmas will be the first one they have spent away from their families, or in a warmer climate than the one they may be used to at this season.
The holiday will be celebrated on the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which is where the vessel also spent Christmas 2019. This year’s port call was unexpected (a result of revised schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic), but all connected with Logos Hope are grateful to the authorities in Saint Vincent for welcoming the ship once more.
For Lucas Brito (Spain), this visit is like a reunion and he’s excited to be back. “The island is beautiful,” he says. “I’m glad to have a second chance to explore its nature, and of course I hope that, despite COVID-19, our crew can be a blessing to the islanders.”
Everyone on board satisfied the government’s entry stipulations, including quarantine and testing negative for coronavirus, before receiving clearance to go ashore in Kingstown. Plans to connect with Vincentians in safe outreach settings are being worked out. During their precautionary isolation on arrival, crew passed the time rehearsing for a Christmas Eve event the community holds each year and brightening up their surroundings with homemade decorations.
Lissy Miksat (Germany) says, “As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people might experience Christmas differently this year. Back home right now, I wouldn’t be able to meet with my whole family because of the restrictions – so I feel very blessed that I can celebrate Jesus’ birthday in our ship community of more than 250 people. I am already sure that it will be unforgettable!”
Advent Sunday services throughout the month have seen each week’s event being led by different nationality groups, sharing something of the way the festive period is marked in their culture or home church. There have been Latino, Asian, European and North American, as well as African, Caribbean and Oceanian crew performing songs, explaining Christmas customs and preparing traditional food for their friends.
Caron Peter (India) says, “I am still amazed by the fact that so many people coming from different cultures can enjoy the special day together in a way that everyone is happy; even if things might be very different to how they would celebrate at home. This is only possible because we all have a common faith. Of course I miss my family in India, but as my friends on board feel like family, I’m excited about spending this Christmas with them.”