When asked about the best aspect of the Ship Ministry, Kim Folland (Australia) answered relationships straight away. By that she means the special friendships crewmembers build with locals in port and the life-long friendships they can develop on board. Kim with husband, Aaron and their three girls, Esther age 8, Sienna 6 and Ava 1, currently live and serve on Logos Hope. They keep busy with daily family life, the onboard school and Aaron’s responsibilities as Chief Electrical Officer.
Kim and Aaron joined Doulos, sister ship of Logos Hope, in 2008, initially with Esther and Sienna. On Doulos, Kim lived in the same area as mom Carlien Govender and they developed a friendship that continues on board today. When Doulos was retired in 2010, both families moved to Logos Hope. There Kim met other ship moms, including Mirjam Stahl from Switzerland, who became a close friend and next door neighbour on board. “It’s the unique aspect of sharing the same season of life together. Our kids were a similar age and our husbands clicked well, which made it a special friendship,” Kim said.
In 2012, the family returned to Australia when Kim gave birth to Ava. The transition back to the ship after six months at home was difficult for Kim, but Mirjam, back in Switzerland, had experienced something similar which encouraged Kim. “I instantly had someone I could relate to, even though she was on the other side of the world.”
One of Kim’s highlights is co-ordinating Logos Hope’s ‘ship families’, community groups in which a couple or family takes in single adults to meet once a week to pray and share the unique life of sailing around the world together. As ‘parents’ of a ship family, Kim and Aaron have enjoyed building relationships in each new group in nearly six years with OM Ships. “The journey you go through together is very special,” Kim said. “Maybe it’s the intensity of the lifestyle here that builds the relationship so much faster and stronger.”
Learn more about participating with OM Ships at http://www.omships.org/to/participate