Worthy Christian News » Christian » Operation Mobilization Announces Search For New Ship
July 17, 2001
ATLANTA, GA (ANS) -- Operation Mobilization has begun the search for a vessel to replace one of the current OM ships. The mission agency's ship ministry currently operates the M. V. DOULOS and M. V. LOGOS II and would like to replace the latter with a larger ship to expand ministry capabilities.
OM Ships Managing Director Bernd Guelker explains, "We see our visitors as gifts from God, but there are many times when the possibilities far exceed our capacity, and space on board runs out. The answer is not to reduce the opportunities but to increase our resources. Our vision is for a replacement ship that will include a larger, more customer-friendly indoor bookshop, several rooms for smaller programs and a much larger cafe facility where visitors can interact with the ship's crew."
The board of Educational Book Exhibits (the U.K.-registered charity legally responsible for LOGOS II) estimates the cost of replacement and refitting to be in the area of $12 million to $15 million. Upgrading LOGOS II was considered, but the ship's design limits the possibilities too severely.
LOGOS II accommodates approximately 200 crewmembers. Ministry leaders are looking for a ship that can be converted to accommodate 400 and also have more flexible and comfortable visitor facilities. DOULOS, the oldest ocean-going passenger ship in operation today, houses approximately 300.
George Verwer, OM's Founder and International Director, says, "I am astounded at what God has done through the ships over these 30 years. I thank God for the team of people now leading the ministry and stand 100 percent with them in this new venture."
LOGOS II houses the world's second-largest floating bookshop (second only to DOULOS) and has distributed nearly 390,000 Bibles and New Testaments, 2 million Christian books and over 3 million educational books in its 12 years of ministry. In addition, when the ship visits port cities, thousands of lives are affected through conferences on board, church leaders receive vital training and encouragement, young Christians are prepared for lives of service, and impoverished communities are assisted through aid programs.
Together, LOGOS II and DOULOS welcome more than 1 million visitors each year. However, large crowds and current conditions mean that only 20 percent of visitors can attend programs on board or spend time in conversation with the international crew.
Although replacing LOGOS II is the current focus, OM Ships leaders recognize that DOULOS' future must also be evaluated. New maritime regulations, which become effective in 2010 will require careful examination of the ship's viability.
OM Ships is a part of Operation Mobilization, an international, Christian mission organization with 2,700 people working in more than 85 countries.