Logos Hope’s world-famous bookfair is back in action, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of the onboard attraction in March 2020. While details are still being worked out with local authorities to reopen the vessel to the public with carefully-controlled visitor numbers, crew are glad to provide local people with quality discount literature in an open-air bookstall on land.
The venue is Kingstown’s cruise ship terminal, where shoppers can choose from a range of Christian and educational books, Bibles, cookbooks and activity and colouring resources for children. It has been something out of the ordinary for the volunteer crew to provide books outdoors and away from the ship.
Shift leader Timothée (France) who was part of the ship’s crew when Logos Hope called in Kingstown in 2019 and 2020 says, “This is a different experience, but a really nice one as we can finally give local people the opportunity to have access to our books. For now, we are serving 20-40 people a day, and most of them buy one or more Bibles.”
The head of the ship’s visitor engagement department, John Benn (South Africa) is excited at being able to do what he actually came to the ship for, before the pandemic got in the way. John says, “It has been over 15 months since we have been able to consistently make good Christian and educational literature available to people in the ports we visit. Although the number of people coming through the bookfair on shore now can’t compare to the hundreds and even thousands of people per day we have seen in previous visits, it is encouraging to see people asking for specific books, many people buying Bibles, and the intentional conversations that crewmembers working in the bookfair are able to have with the visitors. We continue to pray that God would bring the right people to the bookfair and that they would be able to leave with something that would impact their lives and move them closer to God.”
Vincentians know the bookship from a long association over five decades and value what is on offer. Ana Hoxha (Albania), a bookfair team member, says, “The first day we opened there was an elderly woman waiting for hours for us to finish setting up, as she wanted to buy specific Bibles as soon as possible.”
The onshore bookfair is open at Kingstown’s cruise terminal between 2pm and 8pm, Tuesdays to Sundays.