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Logos Hope receives her one millionth visitor in Monrovia, Liberia

A major milestone was reached as the one millionth visitor climbed the gangway to visit OM’s ship Logos Hope in Monrovia, Liberia, this week. Francis Mulbaha, a local university student, was welcomed at 1300 local time on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, by Director Gian Walser (Switzerland) and Captain Dirk Colenbrander (Netherlands). The ship’s mascot El Capitano was on hand along with crewmembers in national costumes.

Liberian student Francis Mulbaha is presented with a gift of books by Captain Dirk Colenbrander as the one millionth visitor to Logos Hope since her launch into ministry, while ship’s Director Gian Walser (at left) and crewmembers look on.

Excited, as well as somewhat overwhelmed by all the attention, Mr. Mulbaha said he had heard about the visit on the radio and was keen to come on board to find books for his studies as well as his family. To mark the occasion, Mr. Mulbaha was presented with a gift of books and a discount voucher for the onboard book fair.

“To reach a million visitors is a wonderful testimony to God’s grace and faithfulness,” said OM Ships International CEO Peter Nicoll. “It is our privilege and a great responsibility to welcome so many people in these past eighteen months and we have seen so many lives changed as a result. This is only possible because of the faithfulness of partners around the world who support this ministry financially and in prayer.”

Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, interacts with local children on Logos Hope

Just a few days previously, Logos Hope was honored to receive the President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“Knowledge is the one thing that propels any person, any group, any nation,” said Her Excellency. “So when you come and get us exposed to the books you have, you contribute a whole lot to our rebuilding process.”

After a short welcome program, the President mingled with local citizens on the Visitor Experience Deck, especially the young ones. The President has a passion for children, books and education and was very appreciative of the value of the visit of Logos Hope to her nation, still striving to recover from the devastation of civil war.

Logos Hope at anchor off her home port of Torshavn, Faroe Islands

As well as the high quality educational and Christian literature and events taking place on board during the visit, Logos Hope teams are involved in development projects on shore, including building projects, and medical and dental clinics.

Accompanying Mr. Mulhaba was his brother, who came hoping to receive dental treatment. He was able to go straight from the ship to the dental clinic taking place just ten minutes away at the Redemption Hospital.

Liberia is the third country in Logos Hope’s tour of West Africa, following visits to Freetown, Sierra Leone and the ports of Tema and Takoradi in Ghana. In Sierra Leone, libraries in rural communities were established using books donated by Logos Hope together with the National Postal Service. Training for librarians was also provided on board to ensure the newly established libraries are well looked after and can provide access to life-changing literature for many years to come. On board, seminars on establishing and running a small business in line with Christian ethics and principles were provided in partnership with the international organization ‘A Call to Business’.

During the visit to Takoradi, Ghana, a new record for visitors to Logos Hope in one day was set, with 12,028 visitors coming on board on the last Saturday in port. Interest in Christian literature was immense, and a Bible was bought on board every 52 seconds the ship was open! Every visitor has the opportunity to hear about God’s love for them and many lives have been changed for eternity as people respond to the Good News.

Wherever possible, children visiting Logos Hope receive a copy of ‘The Most Important Story Ever Told’ Gospel booklet

Since the ship’s launch into ministry in February 2009, Logos Hope has visited 39 ports in 30 countries in Europe, the Caribbean and West Africa, to bring ‘knowledge, help and hope’. Over two million Christian and educational books have been distributed through the book fair already.

For latest news and further information including the future port schedule, visit www.omships.org. To support the ongoing ministry of Logos Hope, please contact your local OM office, or give online at www.omships.org/donate.

Provided by Ken Miller
Communications Manager
OM Ships International

About OM Ships International

OM Ships International (OMSI) exists to bring 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 50 different nationalities represented, the onboard community is a fascinating expression of cross-cultural living and understanding that reflect the church around the world. Crewmembers are unified by their faith and 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.

People queue to visit Logos Hope in Jamaica.

On average over one million visitors come on board each year to browse the hallmark of the ships—a large floating book fair with 7,000 titles in stock. These include 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 and places around the world. Crewmembers 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 40 million people have visited the ships during more than 1,400 port visits in 162 nations. People from all walks of life, from presidents and prime ministers to street children and the homeless, have been welcomed on board.

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.

A wide range of images are available. For further information and images please contact:

Jon Crowe
Director of Communications
OM Ships International
Florence, South Carolina

Tel: 1-843-758-0083 (cell), or
1-843-679-1862, Ext 205 (office)
E-mail: jon.crowe@gbaships.org

Internet: www.omships.org

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