Young women from Logos Hope visited a centre for single mothers aged 18 to 30 and over. The outreach is one of those organised regularly by a local church. Some of the women were pregnant while others already had children and were caring for them without the support, or full support of the child’s father. The ship’s volunteers’ aim was to show care for the mothers and help them to feel appreciated and valued.
The team wanted to refocus Christmas on Christ and on God’s love, instead of it just being a ‘holiday season’, and to give to the mothers and create an atmosphere of rest for them. They were concerned that, while the Christmas season might be seen as a time of love, joy and peace, this might not be the case for the single mothers.
The crewmembers introduced themselves and shared their personal stories of encounter with God. They also gave the young mothers a copy of the 'Father’s love letter’ and read it with them. The letter is a narrative based on Bible verses, explaining how God cares for the people He created and inviting them to accept His son, Jesus Christ's, gift of salvation.
Nelly Nieter (Germany) explained, “One woman’s face was really bright when we spoke; she was touched by everything we said and the mothers were open to listening to our message.”
With Christmas biscuits the crewmembers had baked for the young mothers the day before, they had planned activities to pamper the women: from massaging their hands, washing their feet and painting their nails. “You could see that the women felt appreciated and enjoyed it, you could see their smiles. My highlight was being able to serve them and do something good for them,” Nelly said.
Washing the mothers’ feet also had a special meaning for the volunteers. “I had never met these women before, but I could imagine they go through a lot," Nelly continued. "When you have a busy day, your feet hurt. They could sit down, put their feet up and we would wash them. We showed them an act of service,” Nelly explained that this reminded her of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and Mary Magdalene washing Jesus’ feet and drying them with her hair.
The crewmembers wanted to leave space for God to work through them and through their service, and felt that the mothers had been touched by Him through the day spent together.