New record set in Veracruz!

r58310Julie Knox

Logos Hope’s visitor count in Veracruz has broken the Ship Ministry’s all-time record for a single port.

A total of 226,554 members of the public climbed the ship’s gangways to browse the bookfair, visit the International Café or attend an onboard event during the six weeks the vessel was open.

The figure represents only the second time any of the organisation’s four ships has surpassed the 200,000 visitor tally. The previous record was set 30 years ago; when 201,710 people stepped on board Doulos in Taichung, Taiwan, during a 19-day port call in September 1988.

Seelan Govender (South Africa), CEO of OM Ships International, welcomed the exciting news. “We are constantly asking, ‘Is the Ship Ministry still relevant? Are we still accomplishing what we believe God has called us to do?’ I believe these numbers certainly reinforce the sense that there is a strong appeal for the ministry we have been given.

“More than that,” Seelan continues, “What excites me is the opportunity this gives us, with a reach that is far beyond what we could do without a ship: in challenging people, in motivating people, in moving them one step further in their understanding of the kingdom of God, who God is and what God has done for them.”

Veracruz has traditionally given OM’s ships a warm welcome. All four vessels have visited the city in a total of six port calls since 1979. Each time, large numbers of people have been drawn to the floating bookstore and to connect with the international community of Christian volunteers. In almost 50 years of the Ship Ministry, total visitor numbers for a single port have exceeded 150,000 on only eight occasions. Two of the eight were previous calls in Veracruz: in 1982, when Doulos docked for three weeks, and in 2003, when it was the turn of Logos II.

Even though 15 years have passed since that last visit, Logos Hope is clearly as popular as her predecessors were. It was symbolic that this call in Veracruz marked another milestone as the current vessel’s seven millionth guest was celebrated.

It’s not statistics that matter to the CEO, though. Whilst figures like these are encouraging to partners all around the world and useful to inform how Logos Hope prepares for future ports, Seelan’s drive is that each individual leaves the ship having been impacted in a personal way.

“Through a book they may have purchased; through a conversation they may have had with a crewmember who comes from a totally different part of the world; through asking questions like, ‘Why are they living on board and why do they give their life to something like this?’ it’s our desire that each visitor experiences something that causes them to evaluate who they are and where they’re going, or to reinforce the values system within their own lives.”

Seelan concludes, “My hope is that we will see lasting impact that goes on to bear much good fruit in people’s lives – not only in Mexico, but to the ends of the earth.”

OM exists to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.


Mexico :: Balboa, Panama : Any Salazar (Mexico) speaks about her home to members of the Wounaan tribe, an indigenous group in Panama.
Mexico :: Progreso, Mexico : Crewmembers enjoy a reception held by the mayor of Progreso.
Mexico :: Coatzacoalcos, Mexico : The advance preparation team members on the quayside where Logos Hope is berthed.
Mexico :: Coatzacoalcos, Mexico : Alex Paniagua (Costa Rica) encourages churches to engage in mission at a onboard church leaders event.
Mexico :: At Sea : Any Salazar (Mexico) participates in a social justice training workshop on board.
Mexico :: At Sea : Serena Pooblan (Sri Lanka) and Kat King (UK) work outside on deck.
Mexico :: At Sea : Vera Bandmann (Namibia) and Michael Bukit (Canada) use the drill in the maintenance workshop.
Mexico :: At Sea : Nurse Katia Bodareva (Moldova) measures a crewmember’s blood pressure.

Make way for generation Z!

"The messages teens hear are 'Enjoy life: no commitment, keep your choices open and choose comfort'. Is this the consequence of their own choices or...

Patience in the early church

"Indeed, the Christ-like patience which the church fathers extolled is much deeper than waiting quietly for a bus," says Arley. "Rather, it is a sacrificial...

Getting back to basics

"The more I look at biblical examples of ministry, the more I see a simple yet profoundly flexible grassroots approach to ministry that compels me...