In January 2013, OM Norway signed a cooperation agreement with the Naval Training Agency/Maritime Opplæringskontor (MO) for internships on board MV Logos Hope. The two-year internship is focused on leadership training, team building and promoting cultural understanding, as well as providing opportunities for community development and practical service. Kari Anne Meberg, field leader of OM Norway, gives insight into the programme.
Can you tell us more about the history of this internship programme?
Kari Anne: In October 2012, the OM team in Kristiansand, Norway, held a ship presentation on board a Christian training vessel, Gann. We talked with the principal of the training school, who was very interested in giving his students the opportunity to do their internship on board Logos Hope. He recommended sending an application to the Norwegian government to have Logos Hope approved for internship, which we did. The Marine Office discussed this possibility and OM Norway and Logos Hope received acceptance in January 2013. OM Norway is now approved to send deckhands, motormen, chefs and electrical students for internships aboard Logos Hope.
How does this fit into the overall vision of OM Norway?
Kari Anne: The vision for OM Norway is to mobilise, equip and train believers for world mission. We see this project helping us fulfill our vision by mobilising more young people into mission. The Ship Ministry provides a unique training opportunity, which includes both practical job training as well as a Bible study programme and ministry experience for all crewmembers. This provides them with real-world skills as well as an important foundation in their Christian walk. When they learn the truth from the Bible, they become strong in faith.
Romans 10:17 says, “…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (NIV). One of the key areas in equipping believers is to know the Word of God and to walk by faith, not by sight. Crewmembers learn to act on their faith and experience the power of God in their life. Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23; NIV).
This is the challenge we face within the Norwegian Church. Many believers don’t want to spend time reading God’s Word, so they do not expect God to move in their lives. However, Logos Hope provides the resources and a loving community that encourages one another to seek God on a daily basis. They will have the opportunity to grow spiritually and become more mature in their faith.
The crewmembers also put their faith into action by participating in challenge teams, giving them first-hand experience in sharing their faith with others. We have seen the major impact two years have had on the people serving on board the ship. They have learnt tools to do creative street evangelism, church presentations and preaching. Crewmembers also have their daily responsibilities on the ship, which helps them to build strong character.
How does OM Norway expect this to impact youth in Norway?
Kari Anne: We expect a revival among seamen along the Norwegian coast from south to north. These students will be serving on many different boats when they return. It will not be possible for them to keep quiet about what they have seen God do in their life: “…we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20; NIV). The OM Norway team will keep encouraging them to share the Gospel on board the ships when they return. We have regular inspiration conferences and prayer meetings on the OM base. When they come home, they are still part of OM and are on the same assignment, to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19).
Why is this an exciting partnership for OM Norway?
Kari Anne: It is quite unique that the Norwegian government is covering all the costs for these students during these two years. The Marine Office in charge of all the internships in Norway is even helping us to promote this opportunity among the 1,000 marine students going through the marine study on a yearly basis.
Are young people already applying for this opportunity?
Kari Anne: We have had four applications from students: three deck hands and one chef. We have just received the applications and are in the process of interviewing them.
Why is this a good internship opportunity?
Kari Anne: The ship moves from port to port approximately every three weeks, which offers great sailing experience. Dry dock provides an even better opportunity, because they will gain experience doing mechanical operations. On modern ships in Norway, there are hardly any mechanical operations, because the ships are often new. These graduates will be shipping companies’ first choice when they are hiring. These students will have more experience than their fellow students serving on Norwegian ships.
To apply for this internship opportunity, visit: www.maropp.no.