While other students use the opportunity of a work placement year to gain experience with a firm they hope to join or reduce some of their student debt, Peter Carrigan, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student at Ulster University, chose to leave Northern Ireland and serve his placement on board OM’s ship, Logos Hope.

“I’ve been interested in mechanics and engineering ever since I was little,” says Peter. “When I was 16, I started to get a heart for mission through hearing how Saint Patrick risked his life to bring Christianity to Ireland. His story fascinated me. As time went on my heart grew; not only for engineering but also for mission. I began to wonder how I could use both passions together.”

Four hundred Christians from 67 nations make up the volunteer crew sharing knowledge, help and the hope of the gospel from the unique platform of world’s largest floating bookfair. Logos Hope has been travelling the globe for a decade; hosting millions of people on board and reaching out into communities. Professional seafarers and engineers are among the crew serving the Lord with their skills. The many systems in the engine room, dubbed ‘the heart of the ship,’ require constant attention. Peter says the work has helped to prepare him for his future career:

“The practical knowledge I learnt on board has been so helpful. Most of my shifts involved working side-by-side with engineers; changing fuel injectors or checking the timing of the engine. We spent a lot of time getting ready for annual maintenance, so I used the theory I learnt on my course to build what we need to make repairs.”

Peter joined Logos Hope as she was completing her tour of Latin America. He was an engine watchkeeper on voyages between Brazil, Guyana and several Caribbean islands. As well as gaining the experience needed to complete his degree, a highlight was living in a multicultural mission-minded family of fellow believers.

He says, “The Christian community on board is incredible. Every day, we had a devotional time together and prayed with each other before we started work. Down in the engine department, we had a special Bible study called Underground Church, which I helped to lead.

“Life on the ship pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways I never imagined it would. I was able to try things I wouldn't have at home, like hosting onboard events and speaking in churches.”

“My advice for anyone considering joining the ship for a year or more is to just go for it,” says Peter. “You could earn at least £20,000 during a standard placement – but sharing God’s Word with people all over the world is much more valuable. For me, getting to show God’s love through what we do is far better than going into a business. I wouldn’t change this experience for anything.”

Might you be interested in joining Logos Hope as part of your university placement year? 

Find out more here