Joining Logos Hope wasn’t the first time Hyunsoo (New Zealand/South Korea) had experienced a major life change. In 2014, his family moved from South Korea to New Zealand to learn English for two years. Eight years later, Hyunsoo continues to live in the picturesque country that he calls home and feels connected to the New Zealand culture.
Having overcome the trials of moving countries and adjusting to a new culture, Hyunsoo was facing another challenge. “When you’re finishing school, people ask what you’re going to do next. I was thinking, ‘What should I do next year?’ The one thing that came to mind was the Ship Ministry.”
Many people join because of someone’s recommendation and this was exactly how Hyunsoo heard about the Ship Ministry. “I knew someone who’d already been on board for the short-term exposure programme (STEP). It sounded interesting to me. You’re selling books, but also travelling all around the world.” Soon, Hyunsoo was on his way to Logos Hope for his next life-changing experience.
After onboard training, Hyunsoo was allocated to a department: bookfair! “I was so happy, but also I knew God put me in bookfair to grow me. Talking to visitors was especially challenging because I wouldn’t know what to say to them. Before the ship, I stayed in my comfort zone, now I’m learning to connect with people and build relationships. I have a few questions that I ask and use similarities between the visitors and myself to lead a conversation.”
Bookfair team members, affectionately known on board as ‘bookfairies’, support visitors throughout their time on the Visitor Experience Deck, always ready to answer their questions, explain more about ship life or help find items that they need. Behind the scenes, they also restock shelves, price items, unload book containers and much more. Leaders ensure the smooth running of the Visitor Experience Deck and coordinate the bookfair team members in their daily tasks.
Becoming a bookfair leader was another time of growth for Hyunsoo. “As a leader, I had to learn how to delegate. But it also made me realise how important bookfair team members are because they interact with visitors the most, and that even a small conversation can be precious. These experiences have helped me realise that the ship is where I’m meant to be right now.”
Hyunsoo is now issuing a challenge to others, to join the ship for their own growth experience. “I think the Ship Ministry is for anyone who wants to challenge themselves or change their environment. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, that was my main goal in coming here. I think I’m still working on it, but I can tell day by day that I’m improving. The ship is a great place to try new things.”
Are YOU ready to embrace the challenges of a life-changing experience on board?