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Voyage of Faith : 40 Years of OM’s Ship Ministry

OM’s Ship Ministry is celebrating 40 years of global impact that began on Friday, February 18, 1971, when OM’s first ship Logos set sail for London from Rotterdam, Netherlands, where the ship had spent four months being made ready for ministry.

A family enjoys browsing the books available on board Logos Hope
(Photo credit: Thomas Brouwer)
Logos Hope during a recent visit to Valetta on the island of Malta
(Photo credit: Marina Maddock Lyon)

“The launch of the first Logos represented years of dreaming, praying and working to do something that had not been done before,” said OM Founder George Verwer who first shared the vision for ship-based ministry to early OM co-workers in 1964. “We have much to be thankful for and celebrate at this special time.”

In these 40 years of ministry more than 42 million people in 164 countries and territories have visited Logos (1970-1988), Doulos (1977-2010) Logos II (1989-2008) or the current vessel Logos Hope (since 2009). Most have come for the quality educational and Christian literature available on board. Many have left with new hope through the testimony and compassion of the international volunteer crew and staff.

In excess of 35 million books have been distributed through the onboard book fair, with many more donated to universities, schools and libraries in some of the world’s most needy nations. An estimated 50 million Bibles and scripture portions have been given out.

“What began as a God-inspired idea to transport people, vehicles and literature from Europe to India developed into a significant global ministry,” said Peter Nicoll, CEO of OM Ships International. “We’ve seen lives, families and whole communities transformed. Churches and ministries have been established—some even including reference to Logos or Doulos in their names!”

Logos Hope during a recent visit to Valetta on the island of Malta
(Photo credit: Marina Maddock Lyon)

OM’s newest ship, Logos Hope, celebrates two years of active service just one day later on February 19, having sailed from Koege, Denmark, on February 19, 2009. The ship was rebuilt in Trogir, Croatia, before being outfitted in Kiel, Germany, and completed in Koege after years of dedicated work by skilled volunteers and the magnificent support from partners around the world.

Already, over 1.3 million people have benefitted from Logos Hope’s “Visitor Experience” deck including the “Journey of Life” exhibit and air-conditioned book fair with over 5,000 different titles. Over 2.5 million books have been purchased on board. Visits to 45 ports in 31 countries in Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East have proved that the “knowledge, help and hope” the vessel brings are just as relevant today as 40 years ago.

“The ship offers a unique environment for interaction and engaging with visitors,” said Director Gian Walser from Switzerland. “Our vision for Logos Hope was a ship with greater capacity to serve our visitors in a better way and show them God’s love. We have already seen Logos Hope working well in a good number of countries and we are looking forward to welcoming many more people in the ports to come.”

It’s not all plain sailing, and the need for qualified marine personnel is just one of the challenges. Work continues on board to make Logos Hope as technically efficient and cost effective as possible. Fuel systems have been upgraded to allow the main engines and generators to be able to run on a much cheaper, heavier grade of fuel. Now planning is well underway to replace two of the generators and the main switchboard, as well as install a heat recovery system, in 2012.

A Logos Hope crewmember connects with a girl at an orphanage visited in Tema, Ghana
(Photo credit: Marina Maddock Lyon)

These works behind the scenes will help the ship reach its full ministry potential, enabling visitors to hear the Good News of God’s love for many years to come. For latest news, further information, port schedules and opportunities to participate visit www.omships.org

Logos Hope’s global impact is dependent on the financial partnership of individuals and churches around the world. To support the ongoing ministry of Logos Hope, please contact your local OM office or give online at www.omships.org/donate

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.

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.

The floating book fair offers over 5,000 titles, providing many visitors their first-ever opportunity to purchase quality educational and Christian literature. Teams from the ship go into surrounding areas to offer compassionate help to needy people and places. Crewmembers are unified by their faith and partner with local churches to bring hope and show love to people whatever their circumstance, culture or background. The ship remains in port for several weeks and opens to thousands of visitors every day.

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., a private, non-profit entity registered in Germany.

For further information and images please contact your local OM office, or: Jon Crowe, Director of Marketing and Communications
Tel: +1-843-679-1862 x205

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