On board Logos Hope, the volunteers differ not only in their nationality or age, but also in the work roles they fulfil around the ship. But what the diverse community has in common, despite all of their differences, is the desire to share the Good News of the gospel with people wherever they find themselves. To encourage each other to do so, several crewmembers set up a group called ‘To the streets.’
The group aims to reach out to everyone they meet, but mostly to those living on the street who can often be overlooked by society. Michiel (Netherlands) says, “Many of them are seeking the truth; they ask many questions about God and are interested in attending a Sunday service, but they don’t go to church as they don’t have nice clothes or feel uncomfortable – so we bring the church to them on the streets, since church literally means a group of Christians. But we also want to support and encourage local believers to continue to step in at street level and connect with the people we have met, even after we leave the port.”
The crewmembers give food to those who need a meal, pray for and with people, worship God together and share their own personal stories. Others put on their sports gear and take a ball to connect more easily with young people through playing a game. They aim to show the love Jesus told His followers to show people. For some of the volunteers, this kind of outreach can mean stepping out of their comfort zone, but they say the results are always worth it.
One crewmember visited a homeless shelter. He shares: “There was a young man who asked us directly if we are Christians, which was an open door for us to speak about Jesus. We also talked about the difference between religiosity and having a personal relationship with Christ. As our conversation was about to come to an end, I asked him if he would like to know more about Jesus and His character by reading the Bible. His response was that he would prefer to have someone explain it to him in more detail. Since then, we are doing a Bible study together.”
Ulyana Makarova (Russia) visited Saint Vincent some months ago on the ship’s previous call in Kingstown. She met an elderly woman and spoke to her for some time. Ulyana says, “She asked me for a Bible, which I brought her the next day. When she heard that we are back in her island again, she immediately came to buy eight Bibles, as she wanted to bless her friends. It’s encouraging for me to see that what we do multiplies and bears fruit!”