Logos Hope's crewmembers have gone their separate ways for the coming month, disembarking to various projects and outreaches around the world and making way for those working on the vessel during her period of annual maintenance.
While those with deck and engine room expertise, cooks, cleaners and others remain with the ship to support the technical work required in the yearly overhaul, more than 150 volunteers have been assigned to teams on shore in Latin America or elsewhere across the globe.
Fifteen teams of crew will spread out within Uruguay. Some are remaining in Montevideo, the port city where the vessel is docked, while others go deeper into the country. Each group of around four crewmembers will partner with local initiatives to share knowledge, help and hope with those who are marginalised: from refugees to indigenous people, those in rehabilitation facilities, orphanages and hospitals. Similar teams will travel to join church and charity outreaches in Paraguay, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia.
Some groups are returning to countries recently visited by Logos Hope, as part of follow-up work as the ship makes her way round Latin America. Reuniting with colleagues from Operation Mobilisation on shore, these crewmembers will build on partnerships formed with Christian organisations in Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador. “Thousands of believers in these countries signed up to become more involved in mission as a result of the vessel visiting their city last year, so these teams will boost local efforts to help them take the next step,” says Ruben Muñoz (Mexico), who has organised the teams.
Still more groups are setting out to speak at churches, youth groups and other events in countries including Finland, Germany and Taiwan. Their focus will be on encouraging followers of Jesus to consider serving Him on board Logos Hope or in other mission endeavours.
A final few teams are pioneering a new project for OM Ships: volunteers considering working among least-reached people groups have the opportunity of visiting experienced hosts, to learn more about different cultures and explore various opportunities. Locations include Europe and Central and South Asia.
It’s been a major undertaking for Ruben to plan the logistics of the crew dispersal. “We really appreciate prayers for the safety of our teams and that they will make special connections with people, wherever they may be,” he says. “It's a time of personal growth for our volunteers – perhaps through challenging circumstances – but I'm excited to hear how God has been at work in different ways when we all reunite on the clean, shiny ship in a month’s time!”