Seeing children's faith grow

As a single person, John Benn (South Africa), a pastor's son, volunteered with Logos Hope from 2008 to 2010. It was during this stint that he met his wife, Dane (South Africa), who came to visit her sister as she served on board. Dane, whose parents also worked with Operation Mobilisation, never wanted to join the ship.

“I did not want to join missions! I had grown up with it all my life!” says Dane, who chose a career in nursing instead. After marriage and two children – Cori and Lily – John trained with Youth With a Mission (YWAM), whose base was coincidentally near the Benns’ home, and continued on as staff. He had thought that when the children were older, perhaps, they might rejoin Logos Hope. It was as Dane sat in church one Sunday that she became aware of God calling her into mission. She resigned from her job and enrolled on the same YWAM training John had been through.

Whilst on an outreach to Tanzania in November 2019, the Benns decided to join Logos Hope. “We thought that John could go as a cook, and I as a nurse when we saw these vacant positions advertised,” explains Dane. John has a culinary diploma and worked in the galley when he was with the ship before. “That was the carrot on the stick that God used to 'lure' us! We believe that He has called us long-term to care for people serving in mission,” Dane says. “We felt that Logos Hope was the right first step, so when God opened the door, we stepped through.”

Just three weeks after finalising the decision, the family had returned to South Africa, packed up their things and arrived at their pre-ship training in Jamaica. “Everything just fell into place. Our visas only came through the day we were leaving! God's hand was on the matter. There were so many ways we could have been prevented from coming, but we weren't.”

As a former working mum, Dane felt that God knew she needed a slow transition to full-time mission by first joining YWAM. On the ship, mothers are not assigned to a department but are free to help out in any way as their time permits.

“It was a big adjustment,” she says. “I had been working 12 to 14 hours a day as a nurse. I would leave for work before the children got up and return home when they were asleep. I learnt to find my purpose inside the home. It is not who I am, naturally.” Dane had been in nursing for a decade. “I learnt that instead of having to 'do' something, just 'being' me is my contribution.”

For John, there has been much to adapt to. He initially had to transition from being the children's main caregiver to take on the role of bookfair manager; but then with the bookfair shutting to the public as a precaution against coronavirus and various crew changes, John has deputised for the chief cook before moving to manage the personnel department. As the emcee of one community gathering on board joked, John is ‘probably the most dangerous man on the ship.’ “Your roles are safe from me. I have absolutely no qualifications in your areas!”, he reassured the captain and chief engineer.

John and Dane’s daughters are thriving in the ship environment. From being shy, Lily (three) has learnt to speak and developed her own personality with the more individual attention given by her teachers. Cori (six) learnt to read within four months and has her own 'ministry' in her friendships with the Benns’ adult 'ship children.' The ship's community is grouped into families with 'parents' – usually a married couple – to head them. Cori has gone from merely saying a set prayer to having conversations with Jesus over the time she has been living on Logos Hope. “All this is because of the ship environment. Back home, they were in a Christian school but Jesus was not exclusively talked about all day, as He is here,” Dane explains.

Coming to live on the ship was a decision the Benns made together as family; by talking with their girls about what they felt God was saying. The many conversations helped their older daughter particularly to process her own sense of purpose to serve God on board. “If she had had any major objection, we would have considered it,” her mother says.

The experience of lockdown and many people’s altered plans has greatly reduced the number of children on board, so the Benns have a wall of pictures of their friends who have left and talk about them often. “We tell the girls that we did not let them go, but have sent them out to spread the gospel,” explains Dane.

What would she say to other families who might be thinking of joining Logos Hope? “It is not always easy living in this unusual community, but getting to see the growth of your kids is worth the sacrifices you make to come.”

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Logos Hope: Machinist – 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: Cook Ships    Go & Live    August 2021Cater for ships company and guests and assist the Chief Cook when needed
Full Details
Navigational Officer of the Watch – Logos Hope 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: 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: Medical Officer (Doctor) Ships    Go & Live    January 2022Are you a qualified doctor looking for an exciting ministry to be part of?  The doctor/medical officer on board the Logos Hope serves in providing medical care and treatment to the crew, staff and guests of the Logos Hope.
Full Details
Logos Hope: 1 or 2 years on Logos Hope! Get on Board! Ships    Go & Live    As soon as possibleOM Ships International (OMSI) is a faith mission funded through gifts and revenue from the bookfair on board. All crew and staff serve as volunteers who raise their own support.

Volunteering on board Logos Hope, you will be impacted as you participate in this life changing adventure

Full Details
Logos Hope: Welder – 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.
Full Details
Logos Hope: Primary School Teacher Ships    Go & Live    August 2021Teach our leaders’ children in small classes and invest in first-hand cultural experiences as you visit port cities around the world. Being a member of the on-board community you will receive spiritual input, while living in an international community and being involved in community activities both on-board and onshore. We are looking for qualified and flexible early years and primary teachers to join the school team, working with children within the 3-11 year age-range.
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: Nurse Ships    Go & Live    August 2021Serve on board Logos Hope with an international crew of 400 volunteers from over 60 different countries.

We are looking for a qualified nurse to provide on board medical care and treatment for crew & guests under the direction of the ship’s physician.

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: 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