Special Report by Desiree Joubert principal of Fountain of Life Christian School in Uitenhage
Feedback from the 10 students and 7 teachers who signed up
Luxolo & Romano
Towards the end of May, I met two of the Logos Hope Advance Team members at our local Ministers Fraternal meeting. Hearing them share about the opportunities for volunteers to serve on board the mission ship for 10 days whilse it was docked in Port Elizabeth really stirred me.
Because our school uses the Accelerated Christian Education system, our students work individually, at their own pace, and are therefore more at liberty to pursue ministry opportunities during school time – as was the case with the Logos Hope – and I knew that I absolutely had to make this opportunity available to my high school students.
Luxolo & Yoneza.
Mickey Song, one of the Advance Team members came and spoke to my high school students and staff – and within a day 10 students and 7 staff members signed up and were approved for service on the ship from June 9 to 19 2016.
The students range between the ages of 17 and 19, and are: Amoré Nel, Lifalakhe Kungwayo, Luxolo Lize, Yoneza Lupondwana, Nelisa Tshayana, Romano Surtie, Farai Nyoka, Dean Carter, Immanuel Gordon and Ajoke Ogunbire. The staff members are aged from 34 to 52, and are: Masimba Mupinga, Deon Jaffa, Jacqui Tiger, Lynette van der Merwe, Louise Moos, Christine Nyoka and Vee Louw.
Lynette & Deon
This is some of their feedback regarding the experience:
Why did you volunteer to serve on the ship?
Yoneza: So that I could help others and also spread the Word of God. Also for experience.
Lifalakhe: I volunteered because I wanted to do God’s work by helping people.
Ajoke: I was told about the ship at school and was really interested in getting to know more about the ship and doing God’s work.
Lynette: I volunteered because I wanted to be obedient to God. The Holy Spirit spoke to me twice about going, and I had a dream. In the natural, I had no desire to go on the ship.
Nelisa: I wanted to explore and be of service to other people.
Deon: I went on a mission trip before and was curious to see how it was done on the Logos.
Ajoke & Romano.
What were your expectations before you went?
Masimba: I expected to see many people being saved. I wanted to get a hands-on experience on strategies to win lost souls.
Luxolo: I wanted to see godly, loving people that love the Word of God. I wanted to get closer to God.
Deon: To meet people and to serve at the lowest level possible and learn how to be humble.
Lynette: I didn’t know what to expect and to be honest, I was scared at times. I did go with an open heart, mind and spirit to go and serve in any way.
Ajoke: My expectation was that I would be a blessing, and my experience lived up to my expectation and more.
Lifalakhe: My expectation was to make international friends. I wanted to grow in my relationship with Christ.
Yoneza: That [we would] get a lot of people saved, and I knew by doing that God will reward me.
Lifa, Deon, Nelisa & Romano
What was it like serving on the ship? What were your greatest challenges and your greatest blessings?
Nelisa: It was such an awesome experience. Being on my feet for hours was quite a challenge. My greatest blessing was all the discipleship training sessions we had, and God spoke to me through all those people that trained us.
Masimba: It was serious business. I was always on my feet and busy with delegated tasks. My greatest challenge was dealing with people who did not want to cooperate with orders given. My greatest blessing was listening to, and being motivated by the testimonies, devotions and training programmes.
Jacqui: It was a God-send to work on the ship. I learnt things there that will stay with me all my life. God wants us to do more. I think I will be able to do more for Him now that I saw what the crew members have given up just to serve the Lord. One of my challenges was learning about the death of a family member as we were on our way to the ship on the Saturday — yet sticking to what I believed God called me for.
Immanuel: It felt like I was at home when I was on the ship. My greatest challenge was talking on the microphone, because it was my first time ever. My greatest blessings were to spread the gospel to people and getting to know their background. Because everyone has a story about their life.
Amoré: It was hard work every day. Challenges were having to stand all day with a smile and fold clothes, which is not my thing. It blessed me meeting so many people from different backgrounds. Just to be there was a blessing.
Dean: Challenges: Connecting with foreign people. Humble servanthood. Blessings: Food. Warm welcoming. New foreign friends. Devotions. Bonding with the team.
Amoré & Farai
Luxolo: Serving on the ship was a wonderful experience. My challenge was getting things done on time and in order. My greatest blessing was that I got to get closer to the Lord and our relationship is strong.
Vee: It was a wonderful experience. My challenges were being on time, and having so many people around you all the time. We are all different, and for me not to have my own space was a great ordeal. My greatest blessing was to experience how people function in unity, and all the love they share. And to hear everyone’s life-story, and to be able to share mine.
Deon: To serve on the ship was a great honour, to be part of a great diversity of people, with one goal. My challenges were to endure to the end, and to keep my fruit at all times. My blessings were to receive answers to questions I had, and to work with a fine girl, named Reiske, in the hold.
Lynette: My greatest challenge was to persevere every day, to have a good spirit and a good attitude. I was sick most of the time we were on board. My greatest blessing was to see and experience the love and care of the crew while I was so sick. It was also a blessing to minister to other volunteers about intercession and prayer.
Lifalakhe: Serving on the ship was life-changing. My greatest challenge was coming out of my shell to connect with the visitors. My greatest blessing was my buddy – he is a man of God.
What did you learn during your time on the ship? (Spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially?)
Masimba: I learnt that we should always seek God’s will first – and even in sharing His Word with others, to ask for the right message. I discovered that God can heal emotional hurts in different ways. I discovered I do reasonably well in talking to people – and that physically I need to stay fit!
Christine: My time on the ship really touched me and changed my perception regarding being a volunteer. Serving other people draws you closer to God. You really search your heart to find your position in your journey for life.
Jacqui: I took away a greater awareness of how to love, to give and to serve the Lord with everything I have in me. I look at everything with new eyes.
Immanuel: I am not patient, but when I went to the ship I learned patience and to love people for who they are. Because I worked in events I had to greet and welcome people. When I came back home, I saw each person differently, because some are rushed, others are not. But everyone should hear about Jesus.
Amoré: Spiritually – Please God, not others! Be for God, not against God. Emotionally – Do not base your actions on feelings. Physically – Climbing stairs is very good for weight-loss. Socially – Share your testimony more, it inspires others.
Luxolo: I learnt that I should take time and soak in the Lord’s presence, and have faith in the Lord. I learnt to share the gospel with others, and give my worries to the Lord.
Vee: Spiritually I still have a lot to learn before I can become a missionary. Emotionally I had to cope with realising things are not always as one expects them to be. Physically it was hard work, but it was rewarding once a task was completed. Socially, I learnt a lot about working together as a group.
Immanuel, Lifa & Yoneza.
Deon: Nothing I do is in vain, and will be rewarded accordingly. I must be content with every job I am given to do, because they put you anywhere, and you must still smile. I learnt that mission work physically drains you and tests your endurance. Socially, I learnt to mix with everyone, even if we differ in opinion. I learnt to take orders from people younger than I, and enjoyed it, because at the same time I was a blessing to them.
Lynette: Spiritually – it is never about self, but always about God and how you can serve in His Kingdom. To win the lost and serve His children. Emotionally – I am a very punctual person. Being late most of the time was not good. I had to work very hard to control my emotions. Physically – the stairs were a great challenge and driving to PE and back every day was also very tiring. Socially – I met good people, and will always remember them.
Simba, Jacqui, Vee and Christine.
Ajoke: I learnt and discovered a lot about myself and God. I learnt to be patient, and whatsoever I commit myself to do, I should do it wholeheartedly. I have learnt that life is not about me, myself and I. I have learnt that the little I do matters. It has also helped me to grow spiritually and relate to people more.
Yoneza: I learnt to have more faith in God, be committed in everything I do, and when I do it, to do it right the first time. I also know what the words “volunteer” and “flexibility” mean now.
Nelisa: I have learnt that I have so much to give the world. This experience has made my faith in God stronger, and I want to do more for Him. I want the Lord to use me and place me where He wants me to be.
Farai, Luxolo, Nelisa, Simba & Ajoke.
What would you tell someone who would like to serve on the ship?
Christine: I would advise everyone to go serve on the ship, to get a touch of the presence and work of God.
Jacqui: I will say go for it – it’s the best thing you can do for your life. It’s a nice way to serve the Lord and find yourself in His love, and to do what He wants you to do.
Amoré: God loves a cheerful giver. Give your everything to God, and He will do the same.
Dean: Do it! Don’t allow the world to speak evil over you because of it. Trust God to help you gather resources for the mission.
Lynette: Your heart must be committed to Jesus Christ. To be a servant of Jesus is a heart-thing.
Nelisa: If you feel God has called you to serve on the ship, go ahead and do it. You will be a blessing, and those around you will be a blessing to you too.
Luxolo: They should be prepared to learn more about God, and be committed to what they are doing.
Christine telling someone about Jesus.
Would you do it again? And would you like to become a missionary, or give a year or two of your life to serve God in a similar way?
Immanuel: Yes I would! I would love to serve others and show them who Jesus Christ is, because He loves us all.
Amoré: I would do it again, but not become a missionary or serve on the ship. God called me to join the medical field, and doors are opening for me to do so.
Dean: No, I do not believe I have been called to missions.
Luxolo: Yes, for one or two years. I want to help others understand the gospel.
Lifa, Luxolo, Jacqui & Yoneza.
Deon: I certainly will do it again, but in short trips. Missions give me satisfaction and fulfillment. I can finally live out who I am.
Lynette: Yes, I will do it again. I know that missions is my calling – God already spoke to me in a dream.
Ajoke: Yes, I would do it again. I would like to serve God in a similar way, because it is an experience out of my comfort zone. It also brings satisfaction and joy.
Nelisa: Definitely! My 10-day experience was life-changing, and how much more would it be if I served longer?
Masimba: I would like to be a missionary, but not on the ship, due to family reasons.
Jacqui: Yes, I’ll do it over and over again. I think these two weeks saved my life.
THE WHOLE CREW: T = Teacher / S = Student
Front row, from the left: Deon Jaffa (T), Lifalakhe Kungwayo (S), Jacqui Tiger (T), Luxolo Lize (S), Louise Moos (T), Vee Louw (T), Nelisa Tshayana (S), Farai Nyoka (S), Amoré Nel (S), Christine Nyoka (T)
Back row, from left: Masimba Mupinga (T), Ajoke Ogunbire (S), Romano Surtie (S), Yoneza Lupondwana (S), Immanuel Gordon (S), Dean Carter (S), Lynette van der Merwe (T)