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October Feature :: 40 gifts to the Ship Ministry

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During the last 40 years, our ships have brought knowledge, help and hope to over 500 different ports around the world. In each port, the partnership with government officials, leaders, pastors and local communities are key to a successful visit. Whether hearing about the ship in advance or experiencing the care of crewmembers first hand, many respond with waivers of fees, local produce and donations of all kinds to bless the communities on board.

Gifts and donations are always welcomed and needed.

Here are just 40 gifts of thousands that God has provided for the Ship Ministry through the generosity of individuals, companies and communities around the world.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast
March 1977

In Abidjan, Ivory Coast the government granted reductions on port fees for Logos. This is one of the early recorded instances of the types of reductions and waivers the ships have received over 40 years, which are a key part of the ships being able to sail from port to port. In Abidjan, the partnership of local Christians was also strongly evident throughout the visit not least the financial gifts we received totalling 630 British Pounds.

Logos Port Report
Aqaba, Jordan 
November 1977

“We were deeply touched by some very generous gifts from believers in Amman - a new set of cups and saucers, stainless steel serving dishes, etc, for the whole ship and guests, 250 chickens, a lot of medicine and numerous [monetary] gifts, for all of which we thank God.”

Logos Port Report
Aberdeen, Leith & Newcastle, UK 

“[Churches] responded warmly … and gave generously in private donations and in offerings initiated by the Logos committee. One very elderly lady was unusually moved and handed a large bulging envelope to someone on board – her life savings, amounting to thousands of pound sterling. One church donated 1,400 kilos of fish! Even a visiting Dutch ship generously shared. The new cook on board happily donated large stocks of British food ordered by his predecessor but not to the new cook's liking.”

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
April 1986

In Las Palmas, a fishing company operated 10 vessels. Their tenth vessel they called The Lord’s Ship as all the profit from the sale of each catch was generously donated to charities or non-profit projects. During the couple of weeks that Doulos held programmes in the port city, The Lord’s Ship came into the harbour. The owners kindly suggested that Doulos might like some of the catch for the volunteer crew and staff. Soon the fridges were open and being generously packed with fresh fish.

May - October, 1993
Cape Town, South Africa

Working on the "heart transplant" for DoulosThe Doulos ‘Heart Transplant’ – converting the ship’s electrical systems from DC to AC power took place over six months in Cape Town, South Africa. Every cable and wire on board was replaced, as well as switches, plug points, light fittings, connectors, motors and every piece of electrical plant. Volunteers came from all over the world, giving their time and skills to keep the project moving forward. The new electrical systems were designed by a Swiss electrical engineer, who also oversaw the assembling of the main switchboard and other electrical panels by Swiss electricians, working in their spare time in donated workshop space. The completed panels were then sent to the ship in containers for installation. "The time and energy I spent were worth it because it was for the Lord and for his Kingdom," he said. It was expertise and commitment like this that was instrumental in making the Doulos 'Heart Transplant' possible.

Durban, South Africa
December 1993

Two IT technicians, in Durban, South Africa, were in charge of computer hardware in a large company. When their boss gave the directive to change all the wiring and connections in the network throughout the complex several stories high, they felt guided by God to keep much of the wiring and the connectors, which were in almost-new condition.

When Doulos sailed into Durban, one of the two technicians served as a volunteer on board and was assigned to one staff member. Each day, the volunteer, received a list of tasks. One day, he was excited when he saw on the list of items to be actioned: ‘Locate some network-cabling and junctions for the new computer network system being set up onboard’. Now he knew why he and his colleague had been saving all that cabling and junctions: for Doulos. The CEO was more than willing for the materials to be donated to the ship and more than that, asked if we might need some technical assistance to install the system and would we not like to have some software to go with it? Amazing!

Logos II
Delfzijl, Netherlands
September 1995

In Delfzijl, a generous local plumber came aboard with a plumbing catalogue and said, “Choose what you like.” Taking two crewmembers from the engine room with him, he bought those items and then took them to an even larger warehouse of an engineering supply company. Feeling as if they had walked into Aladdin’s cave, their eyes bulged as they saw “everything you could possibly think of.” After he approached the managing director and said, “This is a good cause. Let your heart speak,” the ship was given 800 Guilders worth of tools and equipment. Other gifts from the Dutch people included 13,000 eggs, a tonne of potatoes, 1.5 tonnes of laundry detergent, 100 tonnes of fuel, ten tonnes of lube oil and materials for our deck department. The port fees for the five-week visit were also basically free of charge because of all the waivers granted to the ship.

East London, South Africa      
October 1995

We have been blessed with generous donations from various people in East London. The local supermarket daily delivered their ‘one day outdated’ bread, fruit (strawberries!) and vegetables. This gave chief cook Alexander Mueller a different concept to work by. He explained, “Every day we basically decided what to cook after the donations arrived.” A merchant in bakery supplies came up the gangway one day and asked what was needed in the bakery. He donated a new bread slicer (an answer to prayers from the pantry girls, who struggled daily with the old bread slicer) and ten new baking trays. As ‘icing on the cake’ the churches invited the whole ship’s company for a big ‘braai’ (South African barbecue) on the quayside the evening before our departure.

Logos II
Basseterre, St. Kitts
June 1996

Upon arrival, Chief Steward William Oving made contacts with the local grocer while ordering vegetables and other foodstuffs. The grocer, who was not a Christian, graciously donated the food and only charged for the cost of loading. The man testified that he was impressed with the honest and straightforward manner of the ship and with the fact that the ship was showing love to the world. He also gave a sizeable financial donation to the ship. William invited the man and his family on board where they had further discussion and he could give the family a Bible and a children’s Bible.

Logos II
Seattle, Washington USA
April 1997

In Seattle, the ship received many gifts including the time and expertise of three Boeing engineers who gave critical assistance in the development of the ship’s computer network.

Receiving gifts in Papua New Guinea.Doulos
Madang, Papua New Guinea
June 1997

Christians in the highlands filled trucks with fruit and vegetables to send down to the ship.  The Madang churches also provided expansive meals and showered gifts of local string bags and lap-laps (traditional wrap-around cloths worn by many) on the crewmembers. While Doulos brought a challenge to mission involvement, the people of Madang challenged crewmembers to greater giving and hospitality.

Logos II
Montevideo, Uruguay
April 1999

During Logos II’s dry dock, parents of a crewmember donated a new GPS system to upgrade the radars on the ship’s bridge.

Sydney, Australia
July 1999

Doulos arrives in Sydney Harbor.The fact that Doulos could berth in the heart of the city at Circular Quay, was one of the many miracles that made the visit to Sydney possible. The normal fee for that berth is 250 Australian dollars per hour! Three weeks at Circular Quay would amount to a bill of $138,000. When line up team leader Graham Jack met financial manager of the port authority they started talking about rugby which led to Graham mention his father’s name. Amazingly, the man had heard Graham’s father speak at a Christian meeting in England. This gave Graham enough boldness to state that the port authorities in several other Australian ports had given Doulos a berth for free, and what could Sydney Port Authority do for the ship? The financial manager promised to look into it and a few days later he came back with an answer: “You can have the berth for three weeks for 7,500 AUD.”

Albany, Australia
February 1999

Upon arrival in Albany, local people flooded the ships with gifts: meat from one cow and 20 sheep and 1,100 jars of home made jam. Later on meat from two more cows were delivered to the gangway, as well as fruit and vegetables. One family had left the plums on their tree for crew to pick, and a strawberry farmer decided to donate large quantities of seconds from his harvest. All of a sudden there were unlimited strawberries for days in a row! So many that some were said to suffer from ‘strawberry withdrawal’ the day after Doulos sailed out of Albany.

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
August 1999

Travelling teams from Doulos caused quite a stir when they returned to the ship. Many were laden with numerous gifts of bilams (home-made string bags), mats and other items; some were clothed in tribal dress with grass skirts, feathers and shells or flowers round their necks. The teams also returned with many visitors – in some cases it seemed as if the whole village had brought them back to the ship. The hospitality shown to the ship in Port Moresby was incredible. Many crewmembers were touched by the people’s generosity and attitude of giving, even when sometimes they appeared to have so little.

Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea
September 1999

While visiting Bougainville the Ship Ministry was able to help bring reconciliation.Doulos leaders and crew are still talking about all the things that have come together, all the coincidences, all the circumstances and situations, and the perfect timing of many events during the ship’s visit to Bougainville. For example, the reconciliation ceremony of the two opposing factions was held on board Doulos. It happened to also fall on the same date as the International Day of Peace. Whole-hearted approvals and permissions were obtained by many different local and national government agencies and landowners throughout PNG for the ship visit. In addition, no port fees were charged for the duration of Doulos’ stay in Bougainville. God did so much to bless the people of Bougainville and the ministry of Doulos alike. 

Logos II
Valletta, Malta
January 2001

During the visit, the President of Malta, H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco, enjoyed lunch onboard and then invited the ship’s Director, Coleman Tyler (USA), Captain David Ramsey (Ireland), and others to enjoy gracious hospitality in his palace. The Malta Maritime Authority, with which Logos II was registered, honoured the community in many ways, expressing their pride in having Logos II on their books. They waived all port fees, and also gave financial and material donations. Another very much appreciated gift of supplies was that of fresh milk.

Thai children receive The Most Important Story Ever Told.Doulos
Laem Chabang, Thailand
January 2001

In Laem Chabang, the Thai Bible Society generously donated 20,000 Thai New Testaments for Doulos to make available free of charge to every adult visitor. Children could also choose to take home ‘The Most Important Story Ever Told’ booklet.

Logos II
Torshavn & Runavik, Faroe Islands
May 2001

Throughout Logos II’s ten days on the Faroe Islands, the ship received donations of 100 tonnes of fuel, 1 tonne of shrimp and free water. All port and shipping agency fees were waived. The use of the hall for the International Night and the office used for the port preparation team were also free of charge. One of the largest churches in Faroes hosted the entire crew for a feast of seafood including whale meat, speciality cheeses, and a variety of fruit.

Tema, Ghana
November 2002

Waiting for Doulos to arrive in Tema was a shipping container full of Gospel literature. The donation, from the Northern Irish Revival Movement, was available for the ship to use in ministry. During the stay in Tema, hundreds of boxes were given to church leaders and Christian workers across the region. As the ship sailed from port, a quick count of the distributed literature was taken – more than 2,000,000!

Conatiners of supplies and donations are a regular part of ship life.Doulos
Trieste, Italy
July 2003

In Trieste, Italy, Doulos eagerly received a container of food, toiletries and 15 wheelchairs organised by a German aid worker in France and a Finnish Christian worker in Austria, to be distributed during help projects while the ship visited Romania and Ukraine.

Istanbul, Turkey
September 2003

God greatly blessed the visit to Istanbul before Doulos even arrived! Advertising banners are often used to promote the book fair, but this option was very expensive in Istanbul. Days before the ship arrived, the city’s mayor announced that 150 banners would be hung around the city for free! The government official also arranged for advertisements about Doulos to be placed on local buses at no cost. City staff spent hours making sure the publicity was all in place before the ship arrived. Humberto Martin (Argentina), who worked for three months preparing the visit, said, “This is truly a miracle!”

Scheveningen, Netherlands
April 2004

In Scheveningen, a fishermen’s association donated 50 tonnes of marine gas oil and 20,000 litres of engine lubrication oil, worth 70,000 USD. The vessel was also sold 450 tonnes of heavy oil fuel at the best possible price. “It was a very significant gift,” said Chief Engineer Dave Thomas (UK).

Torshavn & Klaksvik, Faroe Islands
June 2004

“Just be prepared to be blessed!” said Filip Eliason (Faroe Islands), former Doulos engineer and committee member when Doulos visited the Faroe Islands. Upon arrival, the ship was swamped with gifts. The ship’s crew rejoiced to see ‘real’ milk, a rare commodity on board, being served at breakfast the next day. A local businessman also facilitated a donation of 130,000 litres of diesel fuel to the vessel. “The shipping agent was a great help too!” exclaimed Karl Vang, another Doulos graduate. Karl who was also a committee member in this port shared how the agent ensured the ship would not be charged for all port facilities. “Basically everything in this port was free,” said Karl. This included rubbish disposal, fresh water and the berth. Even the tugs, which had to be borrowed from a nearby shipyard, brought Doulos in at no cost.

Members of the Doulos crew with the vans purchased through the generosity of Korean churches.Doulos
Gibraltar, UK
September 2004

In Gibraltar, UK, eight Toyota Hi-ace vans were delivered to Doulos. These could be purchased through the generous financial gifts of a number of Korean churches.

Nacala, Mozambique
July 2005

Chief Engineer Dominic Bothello (India) responded to the call to help with crowd control in the book fair. While there he met a group of 15 people from his home country and organised tours for them. The group was eager for the ship to stay longer, but Dominic had to explain that Doulos was running out of fresh water and had to sail soon. Unknown to him, one of his guests was a wealthy businessman who immediately organised a delivery of 24 tonnes of water to the vessel!

Maputo, Mozambique
July 2005

In Maputo, Doulos was in urgent need of spare part to repair the fresh water pump. Enquiries were made locally and in nearby countries but to no avail. It would take days before a part could be located and delivered to the ship. Docked behind Doulos was a Russian container ship. One day seven of their crew came to visit the ship and when they realized that Russians and Ukrainians were living on Doulos, they invited some Doulos crew over to their ship. During the visit one of the crewmembers mentioned the ship’s need for a spare shaft for the fresh water pump, stating that he would like to buy a spare from them if they had one. The Russian vessel did have one and offered it to Doulos for free! On the next day crew from the Russian crew came to Doulos and asked up if we would like to have a second shaft for free, since they had six spares on board. What an amazing provision!

Logos II
Kristiansand, Norway
August 2005

“I didn’t spend one Kroner (Norwegian currency) on fresh fruit or vegetables,” said Chief Steward Hanneke van Kampen. The generosity of Norway’s Christians was clearly demonstrated through a steady stream of gifts to the ship. First came several bags of bread, then 175 kilos of potatoes, 400 individual servings of yoghurt, 150 fresh pineapples, 200 individual ice creams and several cases of eggs, coffee, hamburgers, plums, leeks and chickens. In addition, the ship was given two fridges for the onboard International Café and flowers for the official opening. The entire ship’s community also received free tickets to the local zoo, which included free bus transport to get there and back!

Director Daniel Chae receiving a gift while Doulos visited South Korea.Doulos
Mokpo, South Korea
July 2007

Mokpo’s Mayor Jong Deuk Jung was so excited to have Doulos in town that he attended several onboard events and hosted crewmembers for meals and a tour of the city. His generosity continued as he organised free entrance for crewmembers to local museums and Korean baths.

OM Ships US Office
Florence, South Carolina, USA
October 2007

The church building in Florence that was donated to become the US office for OM Ships International.In 2006 OM Ships was planning to relocate the US office in California to the east coast of the United States in order to facilitate simpler travel and communications. After visiting several possible areas, a team looking at options visited a friend of the ministry in Florence, South Carolina on the way to another appointment. Through this initial visit and further discussions, the leaders and members of Community Bible Fellowship decided to donate their church building, a secondary storage building and 12 acres of property to OM Ships. On the 13th of October, 2007 the donation was formalised through a special ceremony and the team based there now numbers over 20 with additional volunteers who help with the receiving, sorting and sending of literature to the ship.

Logos Hope
Kiel, Germany
November 2007 – May 2008

During Logos Hope’s outfitting in Kiel around 635 day and project workers from 30 different nations came to serve practically on board; others gave financial donations or gifts in kind. A manufacturing company in the USA gave two plasma cutters, much needed tools for steel works. Two ladies from the Netherlands donated mattresses, bedding and linen for all the cabins on board and a church from the Kiel area sponsored and built the Hope Theatre stage.

Members of the Doulos crew with one of the dontated pigs in Lae, Papua New GuineaDoulos
Lae, Papua New Guinea
February 2008

Two pigs were donated to Doulos by village leaders in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

Suva, Fiji
May 2008

“It’s my son’s 14th birthday,” a woman told Margaret Pendelbury (Australia) in the book fair. The mother continued, “Maybe you can help me. He doesn’t want a party but he has brought some money with him and he would like to donate it to Doulos!” The young boy named Matt, looked up at Margaret, who was thrilled with his generosity. “Would you like a tour young man?” she asked. The group soon found themselves in the alleyways of the world’s oldest ocean-going ship. As they arrived at the end of the tour, the boy saw the donation box. He took out 100 Fiji Dollars, his birthday money, and placed it in the box with a shining face. Margaret thanked him and told him, “Matt, if God has put a dream in your heart today, don’t lose it!”

Albany, Australia
October 2008

In Albany, local Christians generously donated supplies for the Doulos aid project in Dili, East Timor and these gifts were stored just about everywhere space could be found on the ship. Good use of space was important when expecting wheelchairs, computers, monitors and clothes that were on their way to the ship. Doulos also received a variety of medical supplies. The equipment donations went to hospitals and health care centres in Dili. Due to Albany’s generosity, the Doulos dream for East Timor could come true.

Logos Hope
Tòrshavn & Kláksvik, Faroe Islands
April 2009

Parmesh Gavit (India) shows off a whole frozen salmon, part of a half ton of salmon donated by a local company.Logos Hope’s Executive Chef Andy West (USA) talked with his wife about how he missed the “good old times” when ship people could enjoy salmon because it was more affordable. To his surprise, a whole tonne of processed fish and many boxes of fresh salmon were donated to the ship by one of the islands’ biggest fishing companies. The owner was a member of the home church of Logos Hope’s Security Officer at the time. The ship received further donations of drinks, pastries and cakes, potatoes, flour, frozen meats and cheese, bread/rolls, as well as clothes and small electrical appliances.

A former Chief Engineer of the ship when it was called Nörrona brought ten other engineers and skilled workers to overhaul two of the main engine cylinder units. Normal cleaning and fitting of these units would be very expensive but in a further expression of  Faroese generosity, they donated their time and skills to help with this work. Most of the people from the islands have travelled on the vessel as the ferry Nörrona. Now, as Logos Hope, locals wanted to bless everybody on board in any possible way.

Hong Kong, China
June 2009

When Doulos sent teams to do practical work at Crossroads Global Distribution in Hong Kong, they didn’t expect gifts in return. Crossroads IT Manager Tom Pike arranged for the Doulos to receive 25 computers which were two years old. This was a great help as funds had not been available to purchase computers for the ship for the previous two years. Additionally, the ship received spare parts for the IT workers to use when needed. In return, Doulos IT Manager Chris Coles (UK) asked the Crossroads representative, “Would you like our computers?” Twenty five older computers and 31 wireless access points were given to Crossroads to meet a need somewhere else in the world.

Thalita Cirilo (Brazil) stacking some of the new mattresses received in Cork.Logos Hope
Cork, Ireland
July 2009

In Cork, Ireland, the Dutch company which donated the first mattresses for Logos Hope decided to give over 500 even better mattresses to the ship. The older mattresses then were given to a youth camp, a hostel and the Red Cross. Everyone on board enjoyed this timely gift right before the ship’s long voyage across the Atlantic.

Logos Hope
Port of Spain, Trinidad
September 2009

One evening at around six-thirty, Logos Hope Executive Chef Andy West (USA) realised that with the large number of guests on board they hadn’t cooked enough food for everyone for dinner. Then a donation, large enough to feed a hundred people of roti, rice and other local delicacies, arrived from a local pastor. “The only thing I can say is that God provided right on time,” reflected Chef Andy.

Logos Hope
Oranjestad, Aruba
January 2010

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Logos Hope decided that the best way to help was to collect monetary donations for relief work in Haiti by OM Caribbean. One day when were exiting the Hope Theatre after a school programme, one little girl saw a donation box for Haiti. Stepping out of line, she took some money out of her pocket and slipped it in the box. One of the event organisers witnessed the strong emotions on the girl’s face and asked a teacher who explained that the little girl was from Haiti. The girl was thankful to be able to help her home country in their time of need.

The Logos Hope cake presented at the official opening in Penang, Malaysia.Logos Hope
Penang, Malaysia
September 2011

At the official opening of Logos Hope in Penang, Malaysia, the ship was presented with a cake, a miniature version of Logos Hope. The Guest of Honour, Tan Cheng Liang, representative of the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs also announced a 40 per cent discount on the port duties, granted by the Transport Minister.

Lastly and perhaps most significant of all…

Throughout the 40 years of OM Ships, the ministry has been sustained by God’s provision through the faithful and generous giving of individual Christians and churches around the world. Without this continual expression of partnership, 40 years of ministry could not have taken place. As a result, countless lives have been changed through thousands of port visits in more than 160 countries. If you would like to partner with OM Ships in this way please visit our giving opportunities page for more information. Thank you for your partnership!

Thank you for considering a gift to the ministry.

We hope you enjoy this month’s feature and, as always, if you’ve spent time on board an OM ship, feel free to share your memories with us using the comments function below.