More than 111,000 visitors stepped aboard Logos Hope during her month open to the public in Barranquilla.
The vessel’s crew is celebrating passing the 100,000 visitor-mark; which was last achieved in mid-2017, in both Jamaican ports Logos Hope visited: Kingston and Montego Bay.
“It’s been great to see so many Colombians come through our bookfair, to browse our new selection of books in Spanish,” said David Waugh, Logos Hope’s bookfair manager. “As we’ve seen elsewhere around the world, the ones people buy most of are Christian-themed and books for children.”
Bookfair staff member Christa Shipman (USA) said, “A pastor I spoke to was buying books for his church—he said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get these books in his language at reasonable prices.”
Ahead of the ship’s arrival in Colombia, the bookfair’s shelves were restocked, with around 70 per cent of those on sale now being Spanish-language titles.
“The local volunteers who helped us every day kept reiterating that when visitors left the vessel, they were changed,” said Christa. “They may have been irritated to queue for a long time to get on board, but they met with God during their time in the ship and it’s been so wonderful to hear that, over and over.”
Pastor Harold Beltran’s church, Faith Christian Community, was a key partner for Logos Hope in Barranquilla. But it wasn’t a one-way arrangement: “We participated in the organising committee to make arrangements ahead of the ship’s arrival; we have tried to help and give as much as we could—but at the same time we have received just as much or even more,” said Pastor Harold. “We’ve been able to join many different activities with teams from the ship, which has really encouraged our church and challenged the youth in how they may serve God.”
“I’ve been thinking that I’m going to be 60 this year, but I need renewal, not retirement,” said the pastor. “And, actually, I think I have received new breath and joy, thanks to being involved with Logos Hope!”