Logos Hope crewmembers seek to share knowledge, help and hope with people in each port of call, but in the process they often learn a few new things about loving and serving others from the local people they labour alongside. “I left with many new ideas that I hope to take back to Papua New Guinea,” said Ofasia Wayne (PNG), after helping a church in Montego Bay with its community feeding programme. “Maybe I can implement some of these things in my own country!”
The Meeting Place distributes food vouchers to widows, orphans, sick and elderly people every second week during the Sunday church service. The following Friday, the men and women are invited back to the church to receive a bag of non-perishable food supplies from its feeding ministry, Mission of Mercy. The programme’s director described it as an initiative to first feed the spirit, and then feed the body.
As the church staff checked people in and distributed bags of food, ship volunteers sat down in the crowd to talk to some of the men, women and children about their relationship with God and their experience with the feeding programme. They learned that some families travel great distances to receive assistance from Mission of Mercy. Ricardo, a twelve-year-old boy, told volunteers he walked for two hours to pick up a bag of food for his family. He rested in the shade of the church for less than an hour before saying goodbye and starting the long journey back home.
Crewmembers also met two elderly women, Joyce Sterling and Gwendolyn Jacobs, who told volunteers that the community has been blessed through the services of the church for many years. “It is a good work the church is doing,” said Joyce. “The church helps many people in the community,” said Gwendolyn, echoing Joyce’s sentiments.
The volunteers were encouraged to see the success of Mission of Mercy’s feeding programme model, and the impact the church’s other initiatives have had on the community. They hope that the conversations they had will have planted seeds that the church will be able to nurture for many years to come.