Ships - Cleaning for Jesus

Second Kings 5:1-18 tells the story of the prophet Elisha healing the general Namman of leprosy in the Jordan River.

Yet, how did Naaman come to know the prophet? It was through a maid of Namman’s wife who suggested they meet. The sincere influence of a girl whose daily life was full of household chores planted the seed.

The high-ranking general listened to a young servant girl who had been trafficked from a small country. What did Namman see in her that made him heed the voice of someone who’s life work consisted of cleaning, cooking and serving? Through all the work, she must have shown faithfulness in an attitude that said to her master: she can be trusted.

Life on board an OM ship: meaning and ministry

That kind of faithfulness is shown through cleaning and service which are essentials on board the OM ship Logos Hope. Since 1970, OM ships, with missionary crews, have visited over 480 different ports in more than 150 nations around the globe. On average, more than one million visitors are welcomed on board every year, including many dignitaries and heads of state. The Logos Hope now navigates the world, replacing the earlier MV Logos, Logos II and the retired MV Doulos.

The ship ministry visits port cities throughout the world, supplying vital literature resources, encouraging cross-cultural understanding, training young people for more effective life and service, providing needed relief work and sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity.

An international crew and staff, representing around 60 nations, live and work on board. All are volunteers, usually serving for two years. Some serve in their professional capacity as deck or engineering officers, seamen, carpenters, welders and electricians; or as doctor, nurse or cook.  Others participate in the on-board training program, combining a full workweek in an assigned department with devotional studies, discipleship, prayer and ministry training.

Finding the Divine amid the mundane

One department is the ship’s hotel service and cleaning team. Every day at 6:00 a.m. the team scurries up and down the many decks to all corners of the ship, to clean it with great detail. They fold clothes and clean more than 200 toilets.

“Am I a missionary? All I do is clean.” ––Logos Hope trainee

One team member confessed wondering, “Am I a missionary? All I do is clean.” But God changed her attitude when a leader reminded her that they were cleaning God’s house, and, “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” — Luke 16:10 (NIV). God could see how she served, and people could also see. Many times, visitors were amazed by how the hotel and catering staff served on board. 

All for His glory

While finding ways to win people for Jesus, we’re reminded not to neglect starting small. Namman’s young servant can teach us a great lesson: do daily routines with Christ – such as cooking and cleaning. Then, when the opportunity comes, boldly demonstrate and talk about the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ to all you encounter.  

Go and Serve with OM

Join one of our many short-term trips or view our long-term opportunities.