Story and photos by Lara Pickford-Gordon
Booklovers gravitated to the Logos Hope popularly called the ‘book boat’ during the vessel’s January 2 to 26 visit to Trinidad, the third stop after Guyana and St Vincent. More than books are offered as volunteers from more than 55 countries share “knowledge, help and hope”.
Boasting to be “the only floating book fair in the world” with 5,000 titles available, many people sought deals on books.
“We love books” said Shannon Jordan, who added the prices were another draw for her and husband Mario. Books on the vessel are priced in “units” with 100 units equivalent to TT$15. Their love of books was obviously passed to their son Eliakim who clutched a children’s book.
Ann and Anya Rouse visit the boat whenever it comes. This time, Ann came in search of a ‘how-to’ book related to music but did not see any. She did not leave empty handed though as other books were purchased.
First-time visitor Josanne Arthur was prompted to visit with her two sons after being invited to tour the boat from a member of the Logos. Arthur met them at Maracas Beach, and they shared with her about Mary and Jesus.
He said, “normally in each port we have the opportunity to go to schools, have the opportunity to go to jails, to install water filters, we also paint.” Through their “service” people realise that they are sharing the Word of God. “What you do for her or him they will realise ‘oh they are different’…” Suarez said.
From Trinidad the Logos Hope moves to Jamaica, then to the Bahamas. It then visits the Canary Islands in April where it will dry dock for one month. Suarez said teams from the vessel will go out working and sharing in the Canary Islands and different countries before regrouping in Ireland.
Persons curious about being a crew member can get a one-week experience as part of the “vision team”. They are required to register at an OM Ships office and if accepted they go through pre-ship training.
This was how Suarez, a television journalist in Colombia started; he spent three months training in Ecuador before joining the Logos in Brazil. He ended up working in the communications team. Suarez said he had to leave his “comfort zone” on land to take up the challenge of being onboard.
The ship is operated on behalf of OM Ships International by GBA Ships e.V, a private, non-profit, charitable organisation registered in Germany. Logos Hope is 132.5 metres in length and 21.06 breadth. It has a capacity for 442 people. Seelan Govender, chief executive officer, OM Ships International states on the company’s website (www.om.org/ships/logoshope): “I believe that OM Ships exists to show that Jesus makes the difference in all of our lives. We take the message of the gospel to some of the least-reached people and places, in order to fulfil what is written in Revelation chapter 7; that one day there will be a great multitude representing all nations, tribes and people, standing before the throne of Heaven….”