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Philippines: Three Millionth Visitor welcomed on Ministry Ship

OM Ships International member prays with primary school students, Subic Bay, Philippines.

OM Ships International member prays with primary school students, Subic Bay, Philippines.

By Mission News Network, July 11, 2013

Philippines (MNN) ― While Logos Hope has been traveling the world taking God’s Word into difficult areas of the world, the Operation Mobilization ship ministry celebrated a milestone.

On Logos Hope’s second day in Puerto Princesa, crew and staff welcomed the three millionth visitor to the ship on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Ms. Cyrille Fernando, age 20, a Puerto Princesa resident and a student of Environmental Science at Palawan State University, was welcomed on board by Captain Dirk Colenbrander, Director Lloyd Nicholas, and crew members in international dress.

“I feel nervous and excited,” commented Cyrille, who visited the ship with her brother Irishtan and cousin Jhoshep after hearing about Logos Hope from a friend. “This is my first time on Logos Hope!” Cyrille was presented with a picture of Logos Hope, a Bible, a book about the history of the ship, and a gift voucher to spend in the book fair.

Director Lloyd Nicholas expressed the significance of this special event. “Today we celebrate that three million people have so far visited Logos Hope. That’s simply amazing,” he said. “Even more amazing is that three million people have experienced a moment of respect, of friendship, of love, and of hope as they have been welcomed on board, walked around the deck, met a crew member, and heard the message of God’s grace and love for them.”

Locals in Puerto Princesa eagerly awaited the ship’s arrival. The mayor of Puerto Princesa, the Honorable Lucilo Bayron, also paid a visit to Logos Hope the same day the three millionth visitor went on board.

Puerto Princesa is the vessel’s third port of call in the Philippines in 2013. Logos Hope departed Puerto Princesa July 8, scheduled to arrive in Kuching, Malaysia today.

During the visit to the Philippines, crew members are inviting locals to experience the unique atmosphere and the diversity of over 45 nationalities represented on board in creative programs. Teams go out to serve local communities in practical ways: setting up libraries, providing hygiene instruction, and helping with construction projects. Teams have also visited city jails to bring the message of hope in Christ to inmates. Gospel literature is available to all who visit the ship, and crew and staff share the Good News of God’s love wherever they serve.

While the ship was in San Fernando, crew members traveled to the village of Coroay Santo La Union with a local pastor to share their cultures and faith. When locals expressed interested in the water purifiers often distributed by Logos Hope, crew members returned on their day off with 15 water purifiers and instructed villagers in their use.

“People get sick from drinking the water here because this place is very far from the city, and the water is not pure,” said local resident Alma Qiñones. “So we are very thankful for the water purifiers. They are very easy to use.”

This long-lasting impact in communities all around the world is only made possible by the generosity of individuals, churches, and other groups. Help bring knowledge, help, and hope to more ports through the ministry of Logos Hope by supporting the non-profit work of OM Ships. Click here to give online, or contact your local OM office.

OM Ships International (OMSI) exists to transform lives by bringing knowledge, help, and hope to the people of the world. OMSI pioneered the concept of using ships to transport literature, humanitarian aid, and people resources. The organization’s ships are well known for their work providing educational and Christian literature in ports around the world. OMSI began in 1970 as part of the global Christian training and outreach movement, OM International.

On board Logos Hope, the crew and staff of 400–including professional seafarers–are all non-salaried volunteers. With over 45 different nationalities represented, the onboard community is a fascinating expression of cross-cultural living and understanding that reflects the church around the world. Crew members are unified by their faith and the goal to share God’s love as they serve in port communities. The ship remains in port for several weeks and opens to thousands of visitors every day.

Up to one million visitors come on board each year to browse the hallmark of the Ship Ministry: a large floating book fair with over 5,000 titles in stock, including books for university studies, professional and career interests, history, science, economics, language learning, hobbies, novels, children’s stories, biographies, dictionaries, atlases, and a wide variety of Christian resources, including Bibles, study materials, and books on Christian living.

The ships also bring aid and relief to needy people around the world. Crew members go ashore to provide medical aid, help construct schools, orphanages and homes, and give gifts of food, clothing, and books. Teams also visit hospitals, orphanages, and prisons to share God’s compassion and love.

Since 1970, over 42 million people have visited the ships during more than 1,400 port visits in 151 nations. People from all walks of life–from presidents and prime ministers to street children and the homeless–have been welcomed on board.

As the fourth ship operated by OM, Logos Hope launched into active service on 19 February 2009. Since then, she has visited 70 different ports in Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, and South East Asia.

OMSI’s operational costs are met by sponsorship of onboard personnel, general donations and gifts, reductions and waivers of fees by civic and port authorities, book sales, and corporate support in each port of call.

Logos Hope is operated on behalf of OMSI by GBA Ships e.V. (formerly Good Books for All), a private, non-profit, entity registered in Germany.

For latest news, further information, port schedules, and opportunities to participate, visit www.omships.org.

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