How living on board the Logos Hope changed my life
I joined the Logos Hope June 2014 in Busan, South Korea and from the very first day God showed me that He would be making some deep changes in my life. While having a day of solitude I realized I was really afraid to be placed in the cleaning department. My mouth said “I’m ready to do anything for the Lord!” but my mind said “I really don’t want that job.” The Lord showed me how much rubbish and pride I had accumulated in my heart and I finished that day crying in a Korean bubble tea shop asking God to cleanse my heart and declaring that I was ready to clean 400 toilets for a whole year.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." - Colossians 3:23-24
The next day I was told I’d be working in the Book Shop.
After three months in the Book Shop I was sent to present the ship in beautiful Germany and from there straight to Cambodia for two months. The time in Cambodia was eye-opening – it broke my heart to see the condition of the country reflected in serious problems such as broken families, abuse and sex trafficking.
Returning to the Logos Hope I joined the advance preparation team. Sent in a team a couple months before the ships arrival I helped prepare volunteers, publicity, legal permissions, etc. for the ship’s visit. This was the scariest but most amazing two years of my life. I feel privileged for having seen first hand the grace of God over us and the ministry and for the realization that every port we docked at was the result of a sequence of miracles.
The first port I was sent to was Taiwan. During the preparation time I struggled to find port volunteers and complained to God; crying to Him trying to understand why He wasn’t sending the people we needed to do His work. That night I had a dream where God told me that if I continued to pray the way I was praying and carrying the load myself, nothing would happen. That was the beginning of a tough process learning that the job was definitely too big for me, that I was not as cool as I thought I was, that I had to let Jesus carry the load for me and allow Him to be glorified in my weaknesses.
"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
I spent the next day praying for volunteers and the following day we got 200 applications.
In the middle of the crazy busyness of thousands of visitors in Taiwan I went to the onboard coffee shop to eat an ice cream. A girl came over and asked to sit with me. To be honest, I didn’t exactly feel like chatting but said yes anyway. She asked about my testimony and I started sharing my struggles from when I was a teenager; quite depressed and thinking life made no sense until I found Jesus who became my reason to live. She started crying and told me she’d come because she heard we were the ‘Jesus ship.’ She was going through the same situation I had gone through as a teenager and wanted to see if life was worth living. She was reassured that it is.
When the ship arrived in Mauritius we had a big printing bill to pay but didn’t know how we would pay it, so we prayed. On my way to the book shop I saw a man with threadbare clothes and broken sandals carrying a plastic bag and though in my mind I was very busy and didn’t have much time, decided to talk with him quickly. He said he’d been praying and fasting and felt God was leading him to give the money he had saved to the ministry. God kept using unexpected people to bless me as a reminder that it is not about me.
Later I was sent to South Africa, a port I could have easily stayed. Amazing people and a church that is growing in every way. Here God answered our prayers by sending a man to waiver a big port bill. I still remember coming out of that meeting shaking from the encouragement I received from that man who didn’t even know the Lord but was being used by Him.
After that I flew with my team to Cameroon for a lineup that looked impossible. We had only five weeks to prepare everything but on the very first day in the country God gave us a place to stay, a free car to use and a person to translate for us full time so we could survive with our very little (non-existent) French. A visiting pastor told me he had been a volunteer many years ago and that had been the point where God had prepared him to become a pastor and lead a denomination in seven countries. We often are not able to see immediate results but sometimes God allows us to see the fruits of the ones who came before us.
After different experiences and a lot of time spent with God I have learnt to let go of having everything under my control and rest on His promises for me. Though I am not there yet, I am enjoying the journey.
In March I left the ship I have called home for the last three years. It has been the best years of my life and more than twenty countries later I can say I love God more, have seen His grace work through my broken life and am more committed than ever to seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.