Logos Hope has been travelling the globe for a decade, hosting nine million people on board, while crewmembers reach out to share knowledge, help and hope in communities. But in recent months, coronavirus has halted the ship's journey and forced drastic ministry changes.

The vessel remains docked in the Caribbean, but is closed to the public and crew are not interacting with people on shore. The floating ‘household’ of 330 members is virus-free and taking all measures to stay that way. With onboard events and local outreaches cancelled and the (mainly young) volunteers so far from home, how does that change ministry for crewmembers, Peter and Ezra?

Ezra 

“Before I came to the ship, I knew my purpose would be to serve God with strangers who might eventually become my family. I knew I would have to come out of my comfort zone, so I held on to the principle of being flexible, adaptable and teachable and I knew that if I had these things, I would survive ship life.”

Twenty-one-year-old Ezra William (East Asia) works in the marine operations department on board Logos Hope. He joined the ship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, two months ago.

“I had a few hurdles to get over before I could come to the ship,” says Ezra. The cost of vaccines, a rejected transit visa and the added expense of insurance hampered his journey to arrive at the foot of the gangway.

But God put people in his life to resolve each situation, and the sacrifices Ezra was prepared to make to get to the ship were a strong witness to his friends.

When Ezra finally made it on board, he was ecstatic to begin life serving God amidst a floating community; expecting the unexpected. Within a matter of weeks, public ministry had to stop.

“I was sad that the ship was closing to the public because I had just arrived. I complained to God, but I remembered I came here for Him and I’m still here for Him,” Ezra reflects.

“It’s our time to serve one another as a community now and to equip ourselves more through training so that later, when we open to the public again, we can do something exciting. I am learning to support my fellow crew, to adapt and be humble in difficult circumstances. It has been a huge blessing to be in such a supportive community and I have received such a joy and peace from God about being here now. My family and supporters encourage me to keep serving on Logos Hope and I stay because I want to be part of what God is doing with this ministry, during this time and beyond.”

Peter 

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

Professional seafarers and engineers are among the crew serving the Lord with their skills. Peter ventured beyond Europe for the first time to join the ship in Latin America. He found that his role was preparing him for his future career and he enjoyed helping as an engine watchkeeper on voyages from Brazil to Guyana and several Caribbean islands.

Then coronavirus halted the ship’s onward progress, and Peter had to decide whether to return home or stay on board and discover a new ministry focus.

“The Christian community is phenomenal,” Peter says, explaining why he decided not to jump ship early, before his placement ends in August. “It’s great to still have fellowship with 350 people. Every day, we have a devotional time and pray together before we start work. Down in the engine department, we have a special Bible study called Underground Church, which I help to lead. Life here has pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways I never imagined it would.”

While the ship still needs to operate and engineers can focus on maintenance tasks during the hiatus in ministry, Logos Hope’s community is using the enforced break from usual outreach to focus on Bible study, practical and spiritual training to equip crew for their future, and focused times of prayer for the world.

“I’ve been able to invest in small groups; our onboard men’s ministry is taking the time to abide in God’s Word and have those deeper conversations,” says Peter. “I pray for others to have the peace that God grants them, the peace that transcends all understanding; even in this situation.”

Pray for protection for all those on the ship, for provision and future schedule direction.

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Your support will help the Ship Ministry cover its cost at this time and prepare for the future when Logos Hope can sail again. 

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