The vessel has emerged from six weeks of scheduled repair work and renewal of maritime licences at a shipyard in Montevideo.
Two hundred and fifty non-technical members of crew vacated the ship to allow 130 of their colleagues room to work on a job list of more than 500 tasks. These ranged from lifeboat repair and testing to cleaning and re-chlorinating the water tanks, installing a new transient power supply, repairing the vessel’s emergency generator and laying new soft-play flooring on the outdoor ‘fun deck’ for the children who live on board.
The Ship Ministry’s Technical Project Manager, Matt Blair (Australia), says: “It takes a lot of planning to manage our deck and engine crew working alongside the shipyard and other sub-contractors and sequencing their tasks in such a way that we do not get in each other’s way. I’m glad we have such quality leaders taking responsibility for the areas they were assigned. Morale has been high and we are grateful to everyone who has supported, prayed and encouraged us.”
The International Café on Logos Hope’s Visitor Experience Deck has also undergone extensive refurbishment. The space offering refreshments and promoting connection with crew has more than doubled in size and now has new flooring, furniture, kitchen equipment and will be able to cater for more guests than before.
It’s Harald Smit’s (Netherlands) job to negotiate arrangements with shipyards and suppliers, including timeframes and prices. He’s grateful that the ministry received a discount from the Uruguayan dockyard and enjoys each opportunity to introduce others to the unique concept of Logos Hope.
“Four fishing vessels were being worked on alongside us,” says Harald. “Their crewmen were from East Asia and had been at sea for almost two years without access to facilities like the internet. It was great to see members of our crew who could speak their language connecting with them right away; about food from their countries and the hope that motivates us to serve God from this ship. The Asian seafarers were excited when we gave them each a gift and a copy of The Jesus Film in their language. It was really neat to discover people who might otherwise be hard to reach were berthed right beside us,” he says.
Once the maintenance and clean-up was complete, Logos Hope held a celebratory meal to thank the workforce. Containers of books and food were loaded and fuel was pumped on board.
As the rest of the ship’s community returned to Montevideo, there were joyful reunions with colleagues who had been serving with Operation Mobilisation and other ministries across Latin America and around the world. Catching up on each others’ adventures, crewmembers have been reorganising their cabins and settling into ship life once more. They are now on a short voyage to Rosario, Argentina, where the freshly-painted ship will be open to the public throughout the month of June.
Published: Thursday, 30 May 2019
Credit: Julie Knox