Hong Kong (MNN) — Operation Mobilization is about bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who don’t have the opportunities to hear it. While OM shares Christ in traditional ways, they also do it in one very unique way: on board a ship.
The ship is called Logos Hope. OM’s Dale Rhoton says, “We get about one million people a year that walk up the gang-ways of our ship. We’re able to get into so many different kinds of countries:150 different countries, including over 20 that are closed to the Gospel.”
What’s the draw? Logos Hope has one of the largest floating bookstores, featuring all kinds of books including Christian and non-Christian titles. 30% of the books sold are Christian titles and Bibles.
People are also drawn to young people from various nationalities. Rhoton says, “3/4 of the people on-board would be under 25. They come to learn and serve. This attracts a lot of people to the ship.”
The diversity also allows them into the communities away from the ship. “They get into schools, hospitals, civil clubs, and all sorts of events off the ship on shore. Also, on the ship we have a lot of programs going on, so a lot of the Gospel is going forth.”
Recently, Logos Hope was in Sri Lanka where conflict had prevented them from visiting before. This visit caused a stir never seen before. Rhoton says, “There were so many people who came [to see the ship] that it became quite a challenge just to keep peace and order in the port. We even had to close the ship down at one point.”
More than 120 crew members, all volunteers, help run Logos Hope and the ship outreach. “We’re constantly looking for new people to come and join. You don’t need to be a professional seaman. About 20% of the people that serve on the ship have some special profession. But [for] 80%, their greatest ability is availability. They want to change the world.”
You may not be able to go on a two-year tour, but you can help financially to help cover fuel costs and other expenses. Rhoton says, “We can spend up to $2 million to move the ship from one port to another, to operate everything that’s needed on the ship. Some people are interested in helping to support some of the young people who come onboard.”
Logos Hope is currently in Hong Kong for a month in dry-dock for annual routine maintenance. Still, ministry continues at 120 crew members will be serving in 22 land base teams. Pray for the teams as they serve in local churches to assist in relief work in the Philippines.