While usual ministry is being reimagined as Logos Hope is closed to the public, the ship’s leadership has developed a new timetable of cross-departmental teams to offer crew more experience. Volunteers are assigned to different work departments on the ship: from catering to hotel services, marine operations, training or special projects. People serve for two-week phases until rotating again to try other activities.
Phil McIntyre (Australia), who helped develop the programme, says, “Crewmembers expressed interest in trying different departments, so we thought of a valuable way to build community. Often, we misunderstand or don’t know exactly what we do for each other in this ministry; whether it’s working in the kitchen, in the cleaning department or in the engine room. So we brainstormed if there was a way we could create a structure, during a season like this, where crew can mix through departments, build bonds with people they wouldn’t normally engage with and get a greater perspective of serving in the Ship Ministry.”
David Begeer (Netherlands), normally works in the ship’s technology team but had a two-week placement as an electrician. “I didn’t really know what the electricians did before – I just knew we had electricity, and everything worked as it should,” he says. “It was amazing to see how complicated the system is and how much knowledge and expertise is required to keep the ship running.”
Juan Velez (Colombia), from the audiovisual team, is learning to be more disciplined working in marine operations: “Some of the work isn’t fun, but I’m surrounded by the right community and that makes it enjoyable and keeps my attitude positive,” he reflects.
The cross-department work has helped maximise the manpower available to tackle large projects and has boosted creativity and reinforced the servant-hearted nature of volunteering with OM Ships.
Vele Tamati (Papua New Guinea), who normally works in the book hold, re-roled to Hotel Services – a department that it is normally an all-female workforce, but now men have joined in with the domestic tasks.
Vele says, “It has been great. I learned some simple things I didn’t know before like folding clothes and cleaning bathrooms properly. Just as the bathroom needs to be cleaned regularly, I was reminded that I need to make sure my life stays clean and in check with God!”
Participants shared their experiences in an online survey. Some crew noted that they would like more cross-department opportunities even when regular working patterns resume, while others said it was a great way to get to know other crew better and develop new skills.