Logos Hope crewmembers visited a hospital in Portoviejo and spent time with children at various stages of cancer treatment. The team found it important to bring joy and light into the lives of the kids and their families, and above all to share the hope of the gospel with them.
The volunteers introduced themselves and sang songs on the ward. They shared the story of Jesus’ sacrifice and love for each person He created, and Ly-Mari Marais (South Africa) said, “It was very hard to talk about death with them because you know some of them are very close. But as a team we felt that because of that, they really do need to know about Jesus.”
The team’s contact person, a non-Christian, had not been keen on the volunteers expressing their faith, but after praying about it, the team felt they still should. “We can just have a nice children’s programme but the reason we are here is to tell them about Jesus. We need to tell them,” said Ly-Mari.
The children were excited to meet people from other countries, and to see where they come from on a map. As they were expressing their amazement at the variety of countries the team was introducing, Ly-Mari realised that some of them will soon be in a ‘new destination’.
Ly-Mari was troubled by the fact that the team's host accepts prayer as ‘energy’ but does not agree with believing in God; believing instead in horoscopes and the stars. “For me it was really sad that someone in her position is in charge of the children she works with every day. She is an example. She speaks to their parents and some might have hope, but someone like this could take their hope away,” Ly-Mari explained. The team plans to continue praying for the woman.
Despite sadness, Benjamin Pozo, who is from the local area and volunteering with Logos Hope while the ship is in port, expressed the hope he has for the children. “They want to live and they want to beat the illness,” he said. When he asked people who gave their time to visit the children why they do it, they answered: “Because we have beaten cancer ourselves, and we are willing to help them beat it too.”
Benjamin was inspired by the hospital volunteers’ stories and above all, said he had been encouraged. “To see a child smile when he has no hope to live is priceless. Only God can do this, through people willing to share Christ’s love.”