For almost a year, Logos Hope voyaged throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; her crew served and connected with local people in 12 different port cities across eight countries, including nations in the Arabian Peninsula.

Logos Hope partnered with 96 local organisations and 100 churches throughout the MENA region, recognising that supporting local initiatives under the guidance of local people creates the most sustainable change. Their stronger foundations of pre-existing local connections and relationships, as well as deeper cultural and linguistic understanding, have been seen to help bring significant growth in a shorter time span.

More than 20 workers from same or near-culture countries (see below for definitions) joined Logos Hope’s recent visit to the MENA region, via either the Short-Term Exposure Programme (STEP) or the one- two-year programmes.

“Being from the same or similar cultures allows crew to connect with visitors on a much deeper level,” remarks Roberto Facanha, Logos Hope’s People Services Director. “Many on this current programme are able to enjoy the ship’s training and development programmes – preparing them for leadership roles either when they return home or as they continue serving people groups in their own or nearby nations.”


Same-culture workers: serve in the culture they were brought up in. They have an intuitive understanding of the cultural systems, beliefs, values and language.

Near-culture workers: serve in a culture of which they have a significant understanding. Typically, they have a shared history, geographical proximity, and a shared language or language family.

Far-culture workers: serve in a culture significantly different from the one they were brought up with. They don’t have an intuitive understanding of the cultural systems, beliefs and values; it takes intentional effort to learn these things

Equally as key are the port volunteers - local believers who temporarily work on the Visitor Experience Deck or in departments on board, such as in the kitchen or with hotel services. Upon departing each port, volunteers are often instrumental in maintaining local connections and discipling those who have been impacted by the ship’s ministry. This short taste of ship life often inspires volunteers to join the crew themselves. 

One such young man is Adam*. “I experienced Logos Hope for the first time in 2011 when she visited my city,” says Adam. “I was young, but I still remember the time so clearly. It impacted me so much, as well as many others in my country. I heard the ship was coming again [in January 2023], and I was so excited to volunteer. Thousands of people came to the ship every day from all over the country. Everyone was impacted by the ship and her ministries. It was so amazing! I’m sure it will be remembered for a long time and many people want Logos Hope to come again soon.” 

People in the MENA region connect easily with others from the same region. They were happy and impressed to see people on board who were from Arab countries.

“I wanted to be a part of the team, to leave a lasting impression in every country we could visit. I joined the ship in May 2023 for the STEP programme, which is three months. There are many people who need help and are waiting for something like Logos Hope to come, and I was honoured to be a part of that.” People were excited when I told them I was from [my country] and they connected with me on a deeper level, especially believers from the region.” Now Adam looks forward to being able to share his experiences of his time as a crewmember in his home country. “There are many things I’ve learnt on board; how to serve people from different backgrounds, how to love and care for people I don’t know, different ways to pray and worship, and to serve others everywhere that I go.”

Preparing for East Africa
Building on the success of Logos Hope’s same- and near-culture programme in the Middle East, this approach continues for the visit to Africa, which began earlier this year in August. Fifty Africans have been extended part-scholarships to serve on board both Doulos Hope and Logos Hope. Africa is the most Christian continent in the world today and Logos Hope’s visit is set to be a catalyst in releasing this ‘ready to go’ workforce into sharing God’s love around the world. Please pray that sufficient income can be found to meet our target of 50 scholarships, or even more!

There are so many ways to serve on board with lots of opportunities to learn, grow and be pushed out of your comfort zone.

Reflecting the diversity of the Church has long been a strand in OM’s DNA. Whilst we recognise the significant contribution of near culture workers, far-culture workers and crew from countries like the UK are equally essential. “Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit Logos Hope in Bahrain as part of an exposure trip,” shares Clare Macleod, from High Free Church Stornoway, who went on board as part of her role in OM, processing short-term applicants. “It was a refreshing and inspiring time being able to see first-hand what the Ship Ministry is all about. There are so many ways to serve on board with lots of opportunities to learn, grow and be pushed out of your comfort zone.”

“What a great opportunity to prepare for further cross-cultural work – or to even come home living more vibrantly in your faith!”

Do you know a young Jesus follower who would benefit from the discipleship and leadership development found on board one of our ships? From three months to two years, there is a place for everyone on board an OM ship. 

Join the crew