Delysia: drawn to Jesus through dance, destined to disciple women

Delysia de Koe (Namibia) was raised by her grandparents. Personal faith did not feature until a friend brought her to a youth dance group. Little did 13-year-old Delysia know that dancing was not the main purpose of the girls’ club. It was run by a couple who led a church, and they discussed Jesus and the Bible with the group. Attending the church and visiting the couple’s home, Delysia came to believe in God for herself. She says: “The way they lived out their faith made me always want to be around them. Looking back, I realise that they discipled me and showed me how to walk with Jesus daily.”

Circumstances caused Delysia to move around a lot. The upheaval meant her faith was neglected at times, as she was swayed by how her new friends were acting. Now she reflects: “Whenever I felt alone or was just somewhere on my own, my mind and my heart would return to Jesus; I always knew He was holding on to me.”

Delysia felt far away from God and had no personal relationship with Him when OM's ship Logos Hope came to Namibia in 2016. Unexpectedly, her family suggested they visit the ship’s bookfair.

Once on board, Delysia couldn’t take her eyes off the volunteers. She says: “I didn’t pay attention to the books at all. All I could look at was the people working there, serving the Lord. It was then that I realised this was what I had to do. I had to commit my life to God at that moment and serve Him full-time!”

Mission preparation

She applied for REACH (formerly Mission Discipleship Training) through OM in Africa and resigned her job at a bank on the same day. She says: “It was a huge amount of money that I would need to raise, but I reminded myself that if it was God’s will, He would provide. And He did – I got all the money I needed, as my church supported me fully.”

The REACH course was a new beginning for Delysia’s relationship with God. She says: “I didn’t grow up with my biological dad and first met him when I was 18 years old, so for the first time in my life I experienced fatherly love – through God. He provided in many ways.”

Delysia spent the next three years serving God in India, South Africa and her home country, Namibia. But she says: “I realised that I was living in my own bubble, focussing on my own relationship with God. There are people who don’t even know that Jesus came to earth once, and I was waiting for Him to come back for the second time!”

God had been preparing her for what would come next. “What needed to happen before I stepped into my ship season was building a strong relationship and devotion to Him, shaping my character, and, most of all, understanding how God loves me as a Father and that He is the One who provides for all my needs,” she explains.

Not all plain sailing

Delysia joined Logos Hope in February 2020, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Within weeks, the vessel had to close to the public and enter lockdown as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic. The 26-year-old says: “As the months went by without the possibility of talking to people on shore, my excitement to serve turned to a negative attitude, and I ended up frustrated. But God gave me promises and assured me that everything would be for my good. One was from Isaiah 54:10 (NIV): ‘“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.’ I had to decide if I wanted to give up or persevere.”

Delysia chose to trust in the Bible’s promises and was willing to be used according to God’s plan. She became more intentional in her friendships with fellow crewmembers, began to mentor other young women, and started a dance group – using the medium that first drew her to Christians as an outreach tool her shipmates could learn.

Life on board in the last year has been varied, with Delysia moving from being a shift leader in the café to getting up at 05:00 to wash dishes and chop vegetables in the ship’s kitchen. She also worked as storekeeper before moving to a role coordinating community projects for crew when they go on shore again.

“God has been growing me in each of these positions. Now, my role is less focussed on the community inside the ship. It has broadened my horizon as I look outside, to connect and plan how we can send teams to serve people in the port city and beyond.”

Now Logos Hope has returned to Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, to work alongside partners as the main island recovers after volcanic eruptions. “We are sending crew to the temporary shelters to do activities with people who had to leave their homes in the ‘red zone’ around the volcano. We’re supporting those running the shelters, cooking, bringing donated clothing and hygiene supplies, and having Sunday church services there. It’s important to share hope with people who are looking for something to hold on to,” says Delysia, who also doesn’t mind donning her mask and getting her hands dirty: “I’m on a team cleaning up the ash that rained down and connecting with people. I’m excited to do physical work and make a difference.”

Bearing fruit

Delysia’s mission service has had an impact on her family, who aren’t yet believers. “At first, they couldn’t grasp that I wanted to volunteer for God instead of a job. It has shown them that God is alive within me as I trust Him, and now I know they are extremely proud of me having this faith, being here to help people and growing so much.”

As for her future, Delysia feels called to minister to women and recognises that her mentoring experience on board Logos Hope has been preparing her for future service. She plans to return to Namibia later this year.

Share this Resource

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Logos Hope: Industrial Electrician/Mechatronic Technician – Long and Short Term Roles Available Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleJoin our international team of 400 people from 50 different nationalities. We’re investing in young people and the opportunity to use and grow in your technical skills to keep a life-changing ministry operating. Being part of the on board community you will receive personal input through daily team devotions and other ship events as well as the opportunity to experience the culture of the international crew and staff and the countries the ship visits.
Full Details
Logos Hope: Graphic Designer Ships    Go & Live    February 2023Use your special ability to design communication to inspire and motivate people in our ports of call to visit Logos Hope and our audience around the world to be part of what God is doing in the Ship Ministry.
As the graphic designer in communications team on board Logos Hope you will help provide print ready materials for publicity and promotion and other design work for use digitally and in other ways to inform and inspire the public and our partners around the world.

Full Details
Logos Hope: IT Technician Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThe ICT team supports the onboard crew with ICT functions aboard the MV Logos Hope and ensures the systems required to perform those functions are available and functioning correctly.
Full Details
Logos Hope: First Engineer, Main Engine Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleJoin our international team of 400 people from 50 different nationalities. Have the opportunity to invest in young people and use your technical skills to keep a life-changing ministry operating. Being part of the on board community you will also receive personal input through daily team devotions and other ship events as well as the opportunity to experience the culture of the international crew and staff and the countries the ship visits.
Full Details
Logos Hope: Cook Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleCater for ships company and guests and assist the Chief Cook when needed
Full Details
Logos Hope: First Engineer, Operations Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleJoin our international team of 400 people from 50 different nationalities. Have the opportunity to invest in young people and use your technical skills to keep a life-changing ministry operating. Being part of the on board community you will also receive personal input through daily team devotions and other ship events as well as the opportunity to experience the culture of the international crew and staff and the countries the ship visits.
Full Details
Logos Hope: 2 to 3 Months – Short Term Exposure Program on board Logos Hope Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleIf you are interested in short-term work with OM Ships International, then take the next STEP! Usually around two to three months, this programme gives participants a taste of world-wide service in a multicultural environment.
Full Details
Logos Hope: Refrigeration Technician Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleTo perform skilled maintenance, repair and inspection work on Logos Hope’s complex refrigeration & HVAC equipment.
Full Details
Logos Hope: Plumber – Long and Short Terms Roles Available Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleJoin our international team of 400 people from 50 different nationalities. We’re investing in young people and the opportunity to use and grow in your technical skills to keep a life-changing ministry operating. Being part of the on board community you will receive personal input through daily team devotions and other ship events as well as the opportunity to experience the culture of the international crew and staff and the countries the ship visits.
Full Details
LOGOS HOPE STEP Opportunity – STEP IV 2022 Ships    Go & Visit    10 November 2022 - 18 January 2023Life on the ships is fast-paced and can be intense. Come with a servant heart, an attitude to learn, and willingness to be flexible and this could be the experience of a lifetime. Many who have been on STEP bear witness to the huge impact it has made on their lives, and to how God has worked in and through them.
Full Details
Logos Hope: Plumber – Long and Short Terms Roles Available Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleJoin our international team of 400 people from 50 different nationalities. We’re investing in young people and the opportunity to use and grow in your technical skills to keep a life-changing ministry operating. Being part of the on board community you will receive personal input through daily team devotions and other ship events as well as the opportunity to experience the culture of the international crew and staff and the countries the ship visits.
Full Details
Logos Hope: IT Technician Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThe ICT team supports the onboard crew with ICT functions aboard the MV Logos Hope and ensures the systems required to perform those functions are available and functioning correctly.
Full Details