Walvis Bay, Namibia :: Logos Hope's crew members receive a personal welcome in each port they visit. We look at what it means to find new family at the bottom of the gangway.
Sailing out of a port tugs at the heartstrings of Logos Hope’s 400 volunteers. Their stay in each destination may only have lasted for a few weeks, but it often produces lasting friendships.
“Walvis Bay has been my favourite stop so far,” says Cassidy (Central Asia). “I became so close to some local friends that they joked about taking my passport from the ship so that I could stay behind with them!”
The 25-year-old has spent 16 months aboard the world’s largest floating bookfair, visiting 14 countries. She co-ordinates the team activities on shore in each location, liaising with churches and charities, schools and port volunteers.
“The Smith family invited some of us to stay at their home. They cooked us a traditional braai barbeque, and just told us to relax, use their wifi, even take whatever we wanted from their fridge. It was a real break to watch TV, stay in bed late and play with a cat and dog again,” smiles Cassidy.
Karen Smith, Cassidy’s Namibian ‘mother’ was delighted to welcome guests from the ship: “It’s more than a privilege – it has been an absolute honour to serve God’s children.”
Karen and her husband, Bennie, showed hospitality to more than 70 people from Logos Hope during the two-week call in Namibia.
“If I were a stranger in another place, I would appreciate someone making me feel at home and showing me around,” she says. “I’ve never been to any other countries besides South Africa and Namibia, but I’ve been able to experience the world by getting to know people from Brazil, Korea, France and the Netherlands.”
Saying farewell is tough, but both Cassidy and the Smith family feel blessed to have made a special connection, which they say will span the nautical miles as the ship moves on.