Thursday, July 3, 2014

Logos Hope: A Traveling Mission Boat

The Logos Hope follows three other boats that have been floating Christian bookstore–slash–traveling evangelism centers. The three forerunner boats were Doulos, Logos, and Logos II. The Logos Hope is like a luxury liner in comparison to its forerunners with larger accommodations, more toilets, more office space and areas for a bakery, a café, a welcome area, a dining room and laundry, and very importantly, a larger book fair display center (one of the principal reasons for traveling from port to port—to make Christian books available to people in many countries).

To board, a person must give picture ID which is quickly scanned into their system. I guess this is a form
of security to protect both themselves and the visitor in case of emergency.
On the mobile Christian bookstore are pastors, evangelists, occasionally doctors and dentists who volunteer their time to aide certain countries’ citizens, and of course youth workers. No one is paid a salary; all are volunteers and are responsible for raising their own expenses or are sponsored by churches or individuals.

My friend, who has already made three visits to the Logos Hope to view their Christian books for herself and friends, took me. I didn’t anticipate buying anything as I’m backpacking around but I couldn’t resist buying three books and two videos for my family. Going to a Christian bookstore at home costs money, but the goal of the traveling Christian bookstore is to make books and Christian material available at a very reasonable price, and the videos were more than reasonable, not to mention hard to find. Ah well, backpacking the extra weight around will eventually pay off when I can give those video gems to my family.

To also generate some additional money for ship expenses and evangelism, a tour for about W7,000 can be had. Usually there are set times for tours, but if there were a few people wanting one, it could be privately arranged.

Logos Hope is founded on years of experience as a tool for evangelism by OM Ships International, with OM meaning Operation Mobilization. The ship ministry aspect of OM International began in 1970 as part of a more extensive global Christian training and outreach movement. Since then, the OM ships have visited over 450 different ports in more than 150 countries and territories and welcomed over 43 million visitors on board.

"The goal is to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world by supplying vital literature resources, encouraging cross-cultural understanding, training young people for more effective life and service, providing needed relief, and sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity."

The ship visits each port for several weeks and opens the gangways to hundreds and sometimes thousands of visitors each day. On average, over one million visitors have been welcomed on board every year! The floating book fair offers over 5,000 titles, providing many visitors their first-ever opportunity to purchase quality educational and Christian literature.

An international crew and staff of volunteers live and work on the ship. Teams from the ship go into surrounding areas to supply aid and community care, and in each port, the ship’s crew joins local churches to bring hope and show love to people whatever their circumstance, culture or background.

In many countries like in the Caribbean, the traveling mission ship aka Christian bookstore is a much-awaited event. When the ship comes to port, lines and lines of people show up and patiently await their chance to enter the bookstore and browse the treasures available. Unfortunately, Korea is no longer a poor country with very limited resources, and with the overabundance of shopping opportunities and years of evangelism in a now luke-warm Christian country, people just aren't beating down the doors to the Logos Hope. In fact, the night I visited the ship there was a handful in front of me and it had been pretty much that way for my friend's three other visits. It must be very disappointing to get the subtle message "not really wanted" that the poor attendance in a city of millions conveys.

a line-up of people in a third-world country patiently
waiting their turn to enter the exciting traveling Christian bookstore

Upcoming ports - Logos Hope

Following is a list of the current and upcoming ports for the Logos Hope.
Please note: All ports and dates are subject to change.
Ports and dates in orange italics are not confirmed yet.
Port Arrival Date Departure Date
Busan, South KoreaJune 4th, 2014July 8th, 2014
Gunsan, South KoreaJuly 10th, 2014July 28th, 2014
Incheon, South KoreaJuly 29th, 2014August 19th, 2014
Keelung, TaiwanAugust 22nd, 2014September 11th, 2014
Kaohsiung, TaiwanSeptember 12th, 2014September 25th, 2014
Anping, TaiwanSeptember 25th, 2014September 30th, 2014
Singapore Power Up Project, SingaporeOctober 7th, 2014March 30th, 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment