It was appropriately just before the midday gun salute from Signal Hill, when the Logos Hope ship steered its way into the V & A Harbour, to receive a hero’s welcome from the faithful few, who would not miss this auspicious occasion for anything.
As the ship turned the corner, the marimba band of Rhenish High School fired up and played welcoming and warm tunes to the delight of the ship’s packed sides.
The ships’ perimeters had the full crew of 400 members waving and flying their national flags in a stirring fashion.
There was perhaps a disappointing small band of locals to welcome the ship, however they were caught up in the majestic moment of the sheer size of the ship — it is substantially bigger than the previous OM ship, the Doulos, which last docked some 13 years ago in Cape Town.
Captured in front of the magnificent Table Mountain, it was picture perfect and arrayed in glorious sunshine; there was joy all round.
The son of the Captain, Tom Dyer, Tommy Dyer (a United States member of the team) was elated to be reunited with the ship. He is one of the four line-up team members that have worked tirelessly for three months to prepare for its arrival. They made contact with the local churches and sought to build partnerships to secure the success of the ship’s visit.
He humbly said, “The ship has come with its expressed purpose to be a blessing to the people of Cape Town and serve the local church.”
When asked about the highlight of his time in Cape Town, he was quick to respond: “I have loved travelling around your beautiful city: both the natural beauty and the beauty of the people have impacted me. I have found the people warm and most hospitable.”
OM’s National Resource Director, Theo Dennis, based in Cape Town said: “This for me is a historic occasion, the ship is busy with its maiden world tour and has chosen to favour us with its presence.
“It is a joy to welcome this international crew representing some 60 nationalities in our city.”
When asked what he hoped the ship would achieve by its visit in Cape Town he said: “I hope the church of Cape Town will experience and realise the impact of the ship’s ministry, and through the meeting of individuals of this international community they will discover that the church is bigger than what we think it is. Consequently they will be enthused to have a missional outlook, so that we can impact the world too.”
He was quick to add: “The ship is a model of international cultural living (a showcase) which is desperately needed in our city. Through learning from them, we can overcome our differences and racial tensions.
“I am particularly pleased that the Logos Hope is arriving during our school holidays,” said Trevor Pearce, the chairman of the Port committee.
“This means that many will have access to the ship, there will be those on leave and thus be able to visit Cape Town from out of town.
“The ship offers a wealth of education through its books, boasting 5 000 different titles, both Christian and educational books. These books are at significantly reduced prices.
“It is a mere R5 entrance fee and free to children under the age of 12 and pensioners.”
Pearce’s hope is that many will be reached by both the love of God and the Word of God. He is very excited about the programmes on board ship, as well as the conferences on offer. [See link for the programme: https://gatewaynews.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Logos-Hope-on-board-Programme-CT.pdf]
As a pastor he was overjoyed to announce that George Verwer, the founder of OM, will be one of the main speakers at the pastors’ conference.
“OM has approximately 4 000 missionaries based in 100 different countries today. The opportunity to hear George speak will be invaluable and I believe that many will be inspired in both leadership and missions.”