#48: Touring at MV LOGOS Hope

 

Wow.

I really have no words to describe just how beautiful and inspiring the LOGOS ship was when we visited tonight. The moment I set foot inside that ship, I knew I would remember every single detail about it. And I had my handy camera to back all that up!

So let me take you through some of the details and preparation we went through today. First, I had to organize a ride from Al Khoudh to Al Ghubrah, where I’ll be waiting at with our youth leader, ate Myra. I had a pretty hard time, since dad would still be at work that time and the only available driver lives all the way in Al Khuwair. Since last night, I had been praying for a ride, so I was really relieved to hear my dad try to get home early, just so I could come. It was euphoric really.

Second, we had to line up at the Bus station to get tickets for transportation to go further at the docks. I thought anyone could just come by and stop right there in front of the ship, but I realized that you had to take the bus (specifically rented for LOGOS visitors) which cost .300 baizas, or roughly Php35.00. I could feel everyone’s excitement about everything though, and it was my first time too. :D I was looking forward to everything.

The bus ride seemed to take forever until we came to a stop. :D It was freezing as we stepped off the bus and waited for the signal to get inside the ship. The whole place was peaceful and so cool (literally as well), and I almost thought of giving the whole experience up for comfort! Tsk, tsk! Thank God I rethought it through. <rethought?! Whatever.>

To board the ship, we had to walk on stairs that spelt trouble. Yep, it was wobbly and noisy that I thought it was going to give way and we were going to fall. Thank God we didn’t though! :D

We were escorted to a room big enough to hold all of us (40+ people, youth and guides included) and were introduced to the crew members who were going to take us on tour. They gave us numbered tags (indicating we were participating in a special event in the ship) and made us write our names (along with the numbers) on typewriting paper. Next, they gave as a brief outline of the things we were going to do during our short stay and assigned us to our Crew Guide. So, we were separated into groups (with a maximum of 4 in each) and started a great adventure! :D

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Our Crew Guide’s name was Tseko, and she’s from Mongolia. I actually thought she was Taiwanese, so that was a surprise for us. She’s really pretty and speaks English that you can understand (unlike some people who eat their words). She was also friendly and led us to the dining area, telling us where to get our utensils and plates and food and drinks and so on. (Forgive my sentences; I feel really tired but was forced to do this tonight as I might forget a lot of details tomorrow!)

As we ate dinner, we took turns asking questions (we, meaning me, ate Myra, and another girl from PCO whose name I forgot! Darnit!) and were greeted with a lot of interesting answers as well. Here are some facts I got out of our conversation:

  1. You undergo long training to finally be able to join the Logos Crew and sail with them to different countries.
  2. You have to pay for your stay in the ship. According to Tseko, the price you pay to enter as a crew member depends on where you are coming from. For example, if you’re from Germany, you have to pay around 900 pounds, and if you’re from the Philippines, it costs about $400 (USD) – and that’s only for a month. You have to pay that amount every month of your stay, and some people who can’t really afford that amount are funded by their church family. So you have to be financially loose (if you know what I mean), have lots of free time on your hands, and have a great passion to serve the Lord through this branch of ministry.
  3. In your first year on the ship, you don’t get to choose where you want to work at, though you fill up a form during the process and state where you desire to be stationed. If there’s a place for you in that area, then they put you there, otherwise, you have to be content with wherever you get assigned. Some are stationed at the Book Fair, some for the Accommodation, and others for the Galley. There are at least five departments to choose from, I think.
  4. When it’s your first time on the ship, you really feel the ship moving and the waves under the ship.
  5. There are about 400 Crew members on board the MV Logos Hope.
  6. They have 7, 500 books in the Book Fair.
  7. They rarely have their “alone time” since everywhere you go, there’s always someone present. Tseko’s shift starts at four in the afternoon; others at four in the morning.
  8. You are required to work on the ship for one year after training, but there are special cases where you are allowed to stay for only 6-8 months.

The Tour

After we were introduced to our guides and finished dining with them, the mini tour of the ship began. This was the part I was looking forward to in general, being able to see inside and know their schedules and stuff…

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First, Tseko showed us the photos on the wall, and explained to us their 3 key missions: Knowledge, Help, and Hope. In the picture above, it obviously defined “Help” and the service they provide for the needy. Their goals are to bring knowledge to everyone in the world through their books, to help those who need it most, and to bring hope and salvation to the lost. (From left: ate Myra, Tseko)

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We had so much fun taking pictures and all that, though I enjoyed sight-seeing too much and forgot to take loads of pictures in the process! :D But hopefully I can come back on Tuesday!!! Yay!

Next, we took a tour into the Theatre Room, which I must say was adorable! It wasn’t very big like the real theatres but it was cozy and warm.

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This is where they regularly worship, have cultural nights and other events. It’s so cool! :D (See the drums?) It doesn’t feel like you’re on a ship at all, much less look like one from the inside!

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All these, the orientation room, the dining area, and loads of other places, are found in Deck 6.

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LOL. Definitely had to take a picture of that! Just for fun! Man, I miss that ship already! :(

So after those, we went to the “stairs area” as I’d like to call it. This is where we either go up or down to go to the places where we want to go. For example, if we wanted to go to the book fair, we’d have to go down to the lower deck.

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(And as you can see, everything is carpeted, of course.) They have signs to show you which stair to take, so there’s no doubt you can find your way around.

Next, we stopped by the Logos Hope history photos, pictures of the first Logos ship to the latest. I didn’t get to take the pictures of the first two, but as I heard Tseko saying, The first Logos or Doulos was the ship that sank many years ago. The next one, Logos I, was only 2 years younger than the RSS Titanic, so that’s a great piece of fact. And when they decided to check the ship if it could sail again, there were a lot of safety risks, so they had to get a new one. (BTW, this Logos ship remained in Singapore and is being used as a moving restaurant. They’re fixing it up too, but now it’ll only be used for those kind of luxuries!) Tseko said that when she leaves the ship on February, she’ll pass by Logos, as it holds so many good memories for her. If I remember correctly, that was her first ship on her first year.

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The ship above was the third ship, Logos II.don’t remember the history of this one. gah, I’m such a poor listener sometimes! I was too busy trying to take photos! :)

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Ta-da! And this is the current Logos ship named Logos Hope. Tseko told us that Logos actually means “word” in Greek I think. It’s really an awesome ship, both on the outside and on the inside. And our guide also said that Logos Hope was the biggest ship among the four.

We then walked along a few more stairs and hallways before stepping out onto the deck. The Deck! I’ve always loved this part of ships (and even yachts), and even when I was a little kid I’ve always enjoyed being out the front deck. The air was freezing but the view wasn’t disappointing at all.

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The ocean was so BEAUTIFUL. It looked so good I almost wanted to dive and swim. Almost. And the lights added drama to the whole picture. That ship in the picture looks kind of like a cargo ship of some sort. Of course, we just had to take turns taking pictures! :D

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Yours truly, of course! :D The picture’s kind of grainy though. Well, WTH.

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The ever so lovely ate Myra, who never disappoints me in anything. I mean it, ate Myra! :D I remember telling dad how you lighten up my mood everytime I see your happy, always smiling face. I wish I could always be so smiley! :)

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And of course, Maika. The wind was slapping the hair around her face - the first picture was blurry, and the second one was a mess (in more ways than one). Finally, nature allowed us this awesome photo. :D Cheers Maika!

After a few minutes, it was finally our turn to visit the captain’s cabin. He was cheery and very friendly to us too. He explained the basics of what he did and shared how they usually worked around the “brain of the ship”. The engine room, as he called it, was “the heart of the ship“, which provides its power and strength. He walked us through the controls, the monitors which showed them if there were any unknown objects in the sea (the green monitor with dots that symbolized other ships and stuff). Another shocking fact I learned was that the steering wheel of the ship isn’t at all like those portrayed in movies. It wasn’t a big, old-fashioned wheel – in fact, it was smaller than a car’s steering wheel! It’s remarkable how something small can control the big ship! :D

We weren’t allowed to take pictures I guess, since I didn’t see any cameras out and stuff. Oh, and the Captain shared with us a story about the time they received a false fire alarm. There was this guy who came out from the shower, and started spraying deodorant onto his pits. That’s normal, but he got so carried away that the smoke from the spray reached the smoke detector in the room and turned on the sprinklers! Of course, they knew exactly which cabin had caused the alarm so he phoned the guy and asked, “Are you on fire?” And the guy replied no, and that was a relief.

One of our group members asked the captain about shifting and all that, and the said there were three of them, taking turns to nap so that there’ll be someone controlling the ship, even if it was on auto-drive. I forgot what the names of those three ranks were though. :)

Inside

We all gathered in the same room we got oriented in and played an unusual game, which had a lot of us confused. It was called the “I have never…” game, which was supposed to let others know more about you. at first, we were playing along nicely when one of the Crew guides noticed we were playing everything wrong. The person in front who was It was supposed to say “I have never” then say something he hasn’t done yet. And those who have done it get out of their seats and move across the room to another. For example, if I’m the person in the middle and I say “I have never been to Paris”, those people who have been to Paris are the ones to stand. I’m telling you, it was confusing, but fun as well.

After that game, we witnessed a Scottish dance, and those who danced it weren’t even Scottish! they were Americans, British, Irish, and other nationalities. Awesome! :D (I think I’ll post it one of these days.)

We got serious then, and Jessica, one of our Australian hosts, told us to look under our chairs to see if we were on of the three lucky ones to get a gift. My chair didn’t have one :(. So there were three gifts, a book, a Mars Bar, and a pen. Jessica explained.

“First, the book. As you all know, this ship is called the Book Ship, since one of our goals is to spread knowledge through the books on board Logos. We reach out to schools and other communities and share it. Our second thing is the Mars Bar.” We heard someone say “yuck” from the far end of the room, and it sounded hilarious. “This symbolizes the help we give the needy, those impoverished places of the world that require our attention. We don’t really give food, but we give clothes and stuff to them.” She walked across the room and finally reached the last thing. “Finally, the pen. Why the pen? Well, we want to be used for God’s glory to spread the Word of salvation, so we want to be the pen God has in His hands to spread the Word. To be the salt and light of the world and share to them about Jesus.” (Maybe you’re wondering how I got this whole explanation. I just reworded them from what I got tonight. I don’t have a recorder in my brain, so I couldn’t have possibly got everything accurate.)

After that, we watched a video about three of the crew’s daily work on the ship. One of them cleaned the ship for eight hours straight, others washed the dishes, and the other one did the regular fire alarm check every hour. It was humorous, but there was a truth I realized in it, that even though working on a ship is fun, it is also very much tiring. Add to that the fact that you don’t really get paid. But as long as you’re doing it for the Lord right? That’s all that matters.

Those three people shared their experiences on Logos Hope, and one of them was at his lowest that night. His story may have been pretty depressing, but it’s also a lesson we need to learn, something all of us will experience in life.

We may be happy where we are at the moment, but this might distract us from spending time with God and being sincere in our faith. God might have to strip everything from us, so that He is the only One we have to hold on to. And that’s when it starts to get awesome, as God remolds you into someone He wants you to be. He breaks you for your own good, but he lifts you up victorious.

 

Next, a play. I didn’t get to take a video of it, since I didn’t think it would be that great, but I was so, so mistaken. Their skit was AWESOME. It was MOVING. It was TRUE. It really hit me tonight, that I’ve been doing this in my life, pushing Jesus away and trying to get on with my life without Him. here’s the script of the play (again, it’s not accurate, but this is the general thought).

Paul appears anxious in his seat, as if waiting nervously for someone important to come. There’s a book in front of him and a remote control. He then receives a call from a friend.

Friend: Hey Paul! Paul, listen, we’re gonna party tonight, hard! Come on man, come on over!

Paul: No man, sorry I can’t. I’m doing something tonight.

Friend: Come on Paul! I’m telling you dude, it’s gonna be so fun!

Paul: Sorry Dave, but I promised to meet Jesus tonight. He’s coming over!

Friend: Well, Jesus can wait! You guys can meet some other day, so come on!

Paul: Sorry dude. But I really can’t. Sorry.

Friend: Yeah, well, whatever.

Paul: Sorry. I’ll make it up to you another time.

Friend: Just… whatever.

They hang up, and Jesus arrives. They embrace and sit down.

Paul: Jesus! I’ve been waiting for you.

Jesus: Me too Paul! I’ve been waiting to talk to you again.

Paul: Yeah, it’s been so long.

Jesus: So how’s everything? How’s university?

Paul: University? Um… well, yeah it’s going great. So, what do you want to do today Jesus?

Jesus: Well, I just want to spend time with you you know? Catch up on things.

Paul: Okay, well you read that aloud (hands Him the book) and I’ll listen.

(Jesus flips it open and finds some lustful magazine clippings. Paul immediately grabs the book from Him.)

Paul: Oh man! I don’t know where that came from. I swear to you those aren’t mine. You know what, maybe I left in a friend’s place and he inserted that thing inside. I don’t read or even look at those kinds of magazines.

(Jesus decides not to make it a big issue and lets that matter pass. Paul picks up the remote.)

Paul: Why don’t we watch TV?

(The station immediately opens to the last channel opened, which showed lustful shows. Paul turns it off in a second.)

Paul: Whoa! I swear, I don’t watch those movies. I don’t know how that channel came to be there!

(Jesus just nods and they lapse into silence. Paul clears his throat and finally speaks.)

Paul: You know Jesus, I’m tired of lying about things. I just want to tell you everything you know? I’ve been doing things that –

(He is cut short from his confession and receives a call from the same friend he turned down minutes ago.)

Paul: Excuse me Jesus, I need to take this call. Hello?

Friend: Hey it’s me, Dave. Tell me you can come! Just say it!

Paul: Well… I’ll find a way, all right?

Friend: Yess!!!! But you gotta bring six packs of heavy beer! We are gonna party tonight, hard core!!!!

Paul: Yeah, I’ll bring six packs of beer -

(Paul sees Jesus looking at him.)

Paul: Oh, I mean six packs of milk? Yeah, I can bring milk!

Friend: Milk? I said beer man! Bring six packs of beer!

Paul: Okay, I heard you. I just have to take care of something first.

Friend: All right! Get here as quick as you can!

Paul: Sure, sure. Okay, meet you later.

(They hang up. Paul goes over to Jesus.)

Jesus: Who was that? Who called?

Paul: Oh, uh, my mother. She called. And she actually needs me to bring her milk right now!

Jesus: You’re leaving? But we haven’t even talked long yet!

Paul: I know Jesus, but you see I really need to go! We can do this another time.

Jesus: But I want to spend time with you, Paul.

Paul: I do to, but we aren’t really doing much anyway. Come back on Tuesday, then we can talk more.

(Jesus tried to make Paul stay but the latter gives more excuses. Finally Paul shoves Jesus aside.)

Paul: JUST GET OUT OF MY LIFE JESUS, OKAY? I DON’T NEED YOU RIGHT NOW!

(Paul sits back on the chair and looks at the audience.)

Paul: What are YOU looking at? I just pushed Jesus out of my life. You guys do it ALL the time.

 

This play hit my heart so bad. It was a reality check for me, and I could really feel how Jesus felt at being rejected like that. I’ve experienced rejection multiple times in my life, and I can tell you that it drives a person to depression. Some have even gone as far as suicide, but thankfully, I haven’t tried. I admit, I’ve thought about it, but whenever I think about the people I love, I get a stronger desire to live. Besides, I fear the pain.

We then moved on to small groups and prayed for one another. Me, Ate Myra, Ranzel, Maika, and Hiba (a girl from PCO) were in one group and prayed longer than the rest. Really, like Jessica was already closing the program and we were still praying. Then, we prayed for two other PCO youth, Rachel and Richmond, who are going away permanently to the US (I think).

And just like that, it was all over.

And we didn’t even go to the book fair! We said goodbye to the crew and of course Tseko as well, and we said we might come back this Tuesday. I really HOPE we do! Even just for a short while!

We passed by the wobbly stairs again, but this time it was less frightening. Then, we got onto the same bus and rode away. I glanced at the Logos Hope for the last time that night. :D

I had grown to love Logos Hope though my visit was brief. I had grown to love the strength and determination of the crew and their passion and love to serve God. It was a fairytale of hope and life with God.

<this post is getting TOO long, so I’ll post the other pictures on Facebook and the last few details in the next post. :D>