World’s largest floating book fair welcomes its five millionth visitor as tour of Asia comes to a conclusion
News Release from OM Ships International – For Immediate release
Contact: Jon Crowe,
Director of Marketing and Communications,
OM Ships International
Tel: +1 843-679-1862, mobile +1 843-758-0083
YANGON, MYANMAR (ANS – November 17, 2015) — Sailing in to Myanmar ahead of the recent elections, the first ever visit of Logos Hope brought a wave of opportunity. From the ship’s five millionth visitor to a special event for monks and nuns, crew and staff could bring knowledge, help and hope during their time in this memorable port. This is the first visit of an OM ship since Doulos (now retired) in 2002.
“The previous two visits of Doulos were successful, but the visit of Logos Hope is beyond that – this is incredible. The book fair was full all the time and shelves empty every night!” enthused Reverend Dr. Go Chin Zam, leader of OM’s partner organization in Myanmar. “Thousands of people queued for hours just to meet the international crew and access the books on board.”
Altogether 102,195 people visited the ship, 124,195 books were purchased (of which 29,902 were Bibles or other Christian literature) and 6,183 people attended programs on board. One of these was a special event for around 100 monks and nuns from a Buddhist school who were invited on board to learn more about the purpose of the vessel and meet the crew and staff.
A major milestone was reached during the visit when the five millionth visitor to Logos Hope since her launch in 2009 climbed up the gangway in Yangon. Local taxi driver Mr. U Tin Hla, and his family of four, were welcomed at 11:30am local time on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, by Logos Hope Director Seelan Govender (South Africa), Captain Tom Dyer (USA) and Managing Director of Public Ministries Ronnie Lappin (UK).
Excited, as well as somewhat overwhelmed by all the attention, Mr. Hla said he had first read about the visit of Logos Hope in the newspaper and was keen to come on board to find books for his teenage children. When it was revealed to him that he was a very special visitor, Mr. Hla commented, “I never expected this, not even in my dreams!” It was his family’s first visit to the ship and they were grateful for the warm hospitality they received, including the personal tour of the ship given by Captain Tom Dyer.
Logos Hope also sent out teams to visit orphanages and childcare centers for abandoned children almost every day. These orphanages and centers are located in rural villages, where houses are mostly built out of simple materials.
Apart from games and fun with the children, love was shown in practical ways through repairing and refurbishing the buildings and the surrounding neighbourhood.
An event for children from these orphanages and centres held on board saw more than 600 children attending. Drama, juggling, clowning and dance performances kept each one at the edge of their seat. Every child received a book voucher, donated by visitors in Hong Kong, to spend at the book fair – a real delight for them.
“We rejoice at the opportunities we have had to provide practical help to needy communities and be a testimony of God’s love in Myanmar at this important point in the country’s history,” said OM Ships’ CEO Peter Nicoll. “Logos Hope has left Asia after four remarkable years, with so much to praise God for. The ship is now bound for Africa – a continent with many struggles but also enormous potential for the Gospel.”
A video with highlights from this port is available to view at logoshope.tv/video/143258521
About OM Ships International:
OM Ships International (OMSI) exists to transform lives by bringing knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world. OMSI pioneered the concept of using ships to transport personnel, literature and humanitarian aid resources. The organization’s ships are well known for their work providing educational and Christian literature in ports around the world.
OMSI began in 1970 as part of the global Christian training and outreach movement, OM International. On board Logos Hope the crew and staff of 400, including professional seafarers, are all non-salaried volunteers. With around 60 different nationalities represented, the onboard community is a fascinating expression of cross-cultural living and understanding that reflect the church around the world. Crewmembers are unified by their faith and goal to share God’s love as they serve in port communities. The ship remains in port for several weeks and opens to thousands of visitors every day.
On average, around one million visitors come on board each year to browse the hallmark of the Ship Ministry: a large floating book fair with over 5,000 titles in stock. Resources include books for university studies, professional and career interests, history, science, economics, language learning, hobbies, novels, children’s stories, biographies, dictionaries, atlases and a wide variety of Christian literature, including Bibles, study materials and books on Christian living.
The ships also bring aid and relief to needy people and places around the world. Crewmembers go ashore to provide medical aid, help construct schools, orphanages and homes, and give gifts of food, clothing and books. Teams also visit hospitals, orphanages and prisons to share God’s compassion and love.
Since 1970, over 44 million people have visited the ships during more than 1,400 port visits in 151 nations. People from all walks of life, from presidents and prime ministers to street children and the homeless, have been welcomed on board.
As the fourth ship operated by OM, Logos Hope launched into active service on 19 February 2009. Since then she has visited 73 different ports in Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia.
OMSI’s operational costs are met by sponsorship of onboard personnel, general donations and gifts, reductions and waivers of fees by civic and port authorities, book sales, and corporate support in each port of call.
Logos Hope is operated on behalf of OMSI by GBA Ships e.V. (formerly Good Books for All), a private, non-profit, entity registered in Germany.
For the latest news, further information, port schedules and opportunities to participate please visit www.omships.org .
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Photo captions: 1) The Logos Hope. 2) The five millionth visitor, Mr. U Tin Hla and his family, are welcomed to Logos Hope. (© Ships Image OM International – Credit: Abelardo Perez – Reference: hopd19258). 3) A visitor visiting the floating book fair. 4) Some of the monks onboard the ship enjoying the program. 5) Logo.
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