Logos Hope visits Myanmar as nation enters historic new chapter
OM International | Ships
Sailing into Myanmar ahead of the recent elections, the first ever visit of Logos Hope
brought a wave of opportunity. From the ship’s five millionth visitor to a special event for monks and nuns, crew and staff brought knowledge, help and hope during their time in the port. This is the first visit of an OM ship since Doulos
(now retired) in 2002.
“The previous two visits of Doulos were successful, but the visit of Logos Hope is beyond that—this is incredible. The book fair was full all the time and shelves empty every night!” enthused Reverend Dr. Go Chin Zam, leader of OM’s partner organisation in Myanmar. “Thousands of people queued for hours just to meet the international crew and access the books on board.”
Altogether 102,195 people visited the ship, 124,195 books were purchased (of which 29,902 were Bibles or other Christian literature) and 6,183 people attended programmes on board. One of these was a special event for around 100 monks and nuns from a Buddhist school who were invited on board to learn more about the purpose of the vessel and meet the crew and staff.
A major milestone was reached during the visit when the five millionth visitor to Logos Hope since her launch in 2009 climbed up the gangway in Yangon. Local taxi driver Mr. U Tin Hla, and his family of four, were welcomed at 11:30am local time on Tuesday, 6 October 2015, by Logos Hope Director Seelan Govender (South Africa), Captain Tom Dyer (USA) and Managing Director of Public Ministries Ronnie Lappin (UK).
Excited, as well as somewhat overwhelmed by the attention, Mr. Hla said he had first read about the visit of Logos Hope in the newspaper and was keen to come on board to find books for his teenage children. When it was revealed to him that he was a special visitor, Mr. Hla commented, “I never expected this, not even in my dreams!” It was his family’s first visit to the ship and they were grateful for the warm hospitality they received, including the personal tour of the ship given by Captain Tom Dyer.
Logos Hope also sent out teams to visit orphanages and childcare centres for abandoned children almost every day. These orphanages and centres are located in rural villages, where houses are mostly built out of simple materials. Apart from games and fun with the children, love was shown in practical ways through repairing and refurbishing the buildings and the surrounding neighbourhood.
An event for children from these orphanages and centres held on board saw more than 600 children attending. Drama, juggling, clowning and dance performances kept each one at the edge of their seat. Every child received a book voucher, donated by visitors in Hong Kong, to spend at the book fair—a real delight for them.
“We rejoice at the opportunities we have had to provide practical help to needy communities and be a testimony of God’s love in Myanmar at this important point in the country’s history,” said OM Ships’ CEO Peter Nicoll. “Logos Hope has left Asia after four remarkable years, with so much to praise God for. The ship is now bound for Africa—a continent with many struggles but also enormous potential for the Gospel.”
A video with highlights from this port is available to view at logoshope.tv/video/143258521.
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Published: Thursday, 19 November 2015
Credit: OM International