Atipa Kashimoto (Zambia) grew up with missionary parents. The family moved to South Africa and then Mozambique. At the age of eight, Atipa and her older sister were sent to an international Christian boarding school.
As she spent her entire life in Christian surroundings, Atipa assumed this made her a Christian automatically. She was challenged to rethink at a Bible study week, when the leaders asked the children if they would like to make a commitment to Jesus. Atipa says, “I was 11 and thought I had been born a Christian. But the lady explained to me that I had to confess that I believe in Jesus and in what He has done for me. Finally, I accepted Christ and my faith became personal and real.”
From Atipa’s perspective, being a ‘missionary kid’ isn’t easy. She says, “At one point I was angry with my parents and also with God. It was very difficult and challenging growing up in different settings. Making new friends scared me after some time as I never knew if I would see them again. Even though Africa is one continent, every country is different and so are its people, hence I had to learn to adapt many times.”
Today, she can see that her time at the international school and her childhood prepared her for life on board Logos Hope and for going into mission in general – even if she never wanted to follow that path.
After graduating, she went to Tanzania, where her parents lived by then, to study business administration and planned to continue her studies in the United States.
She prepared her documents and when she finally finished, ready to pay an online company which would take care of translating the documents, the payment didn’t work and the certificates couldn’t be sent. Trying the same process repeatedly without success, Atipa’s father suggested that maybe it would not work out because God didn’t want her to go to the USA. His words made her angry and she was very frustrated. At the same time, her dad’s friend, who was staying at their house, talked about Logos Hope continually, as did other people she was around.
The young woman asked her mother for advice and was told her to pray, as well as to contact the university and Logos Hope simultaneously; to see which responded first. Atipa had previously received a speedy answer from the university and was sure she would again. She did not seriously consider Logos Hope an option that she desired. A matter of hours after sending both emails, she received a reply from the Ship Ministry, informing her “We are so excited to have you on board.” Atipa is still waiting for an answer from the American university.
She joined the ship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in February 2020. Currently working in the deck department, she says, “I have grown so much on board, in loving people and being patient with them.”
She also learnt to see situations from God’s perspective. The global situation with coronavirus has made her realise that God uses everything for good. Atipa used the lockdown time to interact with her hometown friends remotely. She shared with them about God’s work through the ship and her reason for being on board, even telling people who were completely uninterested in her faith. She says, “I had the opportunity to minister through the phone and the story would be totally different without a lockdown, as I got to experience God’s faithfulness and provision in a totally new way.”
After her time on board – contrary to what she had originally planned – Atipa wants to continue serving God and staying in mission.