OM Ships International's vessel Logos Hope has launched back into service from Hong Kong following the annual dry dock and maintenance time required for ongoing operation.
The ship is now sailing to San Fernando, Philippines which will be the first of two stops planned for the 2013 visit to this country of many islands. The second port of call, Puerto Princesa, will be the fifth port Logos Hope has visited in the Philippines after stops in Cebu, Manila and Subic Bay in 2012.
While many of the crew stayed on board to complete technical works during the time in Hong Kong, many others moved on shore to work locally or in surrounding nations on "challenge teams". In total, 22 teams were sent out from the ship to ten different countries including South Korea, Japan and China as well as the United Kingdom and United States.
"We are grateful for a safe and reliable ship. However, it is the people who express the hope of transformation in the communities we visit," explained Peter Nicoll, CEO of OM Ships. "We are also dependent on the prayers and financial support of Christians from around the world."
As in previous dry dock times, crewmembers were joined by numerous project workers. These short-term helpers volunteered their expertise in a variety of areas to work alongside the ship's technical staff on the many projects around the ship. At the same time, the professional team of the Yiu Lian Dockyards focused on the significant work required to do the five-year survey on the propellers and rudders amongst other works.
A significant accomplishment was the correction of the controllable pitch system for the propellers, which had been installed incorrectly during the refit of the vessel seven years ago. This fix was only made possible by the help of a Danish service technician who had experience with the uncommon system in place on Logos Hope.
"I see this as a provision from God as the service technician 'happened' to have experience with this particular type of controllable pitch system," explained Elon Alva, Marine Superintendent for OM Ships. "There are only a few of this particular type still in operation worldwide!"
Meanwhile, there were also many stories of God at work through the various teams from the ship visiting communities on shore around Asia and beyond. In nearby Macau, SAR China, Emrae Corpuz (Philippines) met a Thai boxing coach while sharing the message of hope in Jesus with people on the streets. Despite the language barrier, Emrae shared her faith with the man and put him in contact with a local church. Many others were also presented with the Gospel message and around 1,000 Chinese Bibles were distributed in this region renowned for its gambling. "Continue to pray God will plant His seeds in the hearts of the people," said Emrae. "Pray that there will be a fresh wind blowing in Macau."
On hearing the experiences of crewmembers during this time, Lloyd Nicholas, Logos Hope Director, said " Each one has experienced God in different ways, thankful for wonderful hospitality, seeing people connected with God and going through challenging situations realizing '.if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.' John 15:5."
The community on board Logos Hope looks forward to returning to the Philippines where it is expected that many more thousands of Filipinos will make the most of the quality literature available at a fraction of its retail value on board Logos Hope, commonly known as the "the world's largest floating book fair".
The revenue generated by literature sales is a key element of the financial sustainability of this not-for-profit entity. However, with the current expenses of the dry dock work, OM Ships is facing a significant financial need of around 400,000 Euros in expenses anticipated over the next weeks.
Donations to help keep Logos Hope sailing into the future are gratefully received online at www.omships.org/donate
Watch a video here about the dry dock work on Logos Hope: