Nikolae's journey

Career & Education

Nikolae's journey

A Jamaican's spiritual and emotional experience aboard the Logos Hope bookship

Sunday, February 09, 2020

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Jamaican Nikolae Beckford left her job in marketing two years ago to volunteer on board the world's largest floating book fair, the Logos Hope. She is one of three Jamaicans among 400 volunteers from across the globe who are currently serving on the ship, scheduled to be in Jamaica from February 13 to March 15.

Beckford is part of the vessel's advance team, which means her responsibilities include visiting countries where the ship is expected to call in order to make preparations for its arrival.

Since taking up the volunteer position, she has visited 13 countries and participated in a number of social intervention programmes on land at each port of call in keeping with the mission of the ship.

“I wanted to be involved in missions and volunteer work for a few years prior to taking advantage of the opportunity to serve on the ship. I felt it was a push in the right direction, and when I came onboard for a conference, it further confirmed that my next step would be to be a part of the Logos Hope community,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Beckford made the decision to serve during her second year at university where she studied business administration, with a major in marketing and minor in international business.

“On campus I was able to make good friends and grow in my walk with God through Christian clubs and my mentor, who was an amazing example of a Godly woman. She was from Trinidad and she inspired me with her humbleness and the joy she radiated. It made me want to experience God in ways that I had never dreamed of before,” she explained.

Beckford has sacrificed a steady income to volunteer on the floating book fair. She offered that she misses her family, especially her young brother who was seven when she left on her journey two years ago. But with all of that, Beckford said: “God has revealed more to me through this experience, and my volunteer service has been a blessing and an eye-opener.”

She admitted to experiencing “trying times” while living by faith, but she is convinced they have built character.

“I have grown emotionally and spiritually through my interactions with fellow volunteers from many different cultures. Professionally, I've grown in my presentation, organisation, decision-making, and people-relating skills. My current responsibility is to go ahead of the ship and prepare for its arrival in a new country. So my abilities have been put to the test many times as I interact with pastors, leaders, and officials on the ship,” said Beckford.

Her advice to fellow Jamaicans who wish to volunteer on the Logos Hope is that the time spent will not be wasted.

“As long as you have a servant heart and an open attitude you will fully experience the love from the ministry because it is an opportunity to learn more about God, different cultures, and yourself,” she concluded.

As a member of the advance Logos Hope team to Jamaica this year, Beckford was able to spend Christmas with her family due to the time of the ship's scheduled visit to Kingston, where her family resides.

The world's largest floating book fair is expected to dock at the Montego Bay Cruise Ship Terminal from February 13 to 23 and at the Cement Company's Rockfort Pier from February 27 to March 15. During both stopovers the general public will be able to go on board to participate in various activities and to purchase books from the 5,000 editions on sale at discounted prices.

The last visit to Jamaica by the Logos Hope was in 2017 when more than 160,000 visitors went on board at both ports.

Launched into service on February 19, 2009 as OM Ships International's (OMSI) fourth ship, Logos Hope has visited 73 different ports in Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, and South East Asia.

OM Ships International transforms lives by bringing knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world. OMSI pioneered the concept of using ships to transport personnel, literature and humanitarian aid resources. The organisation's ships are well known for their work providing educational and Christian literature in ports around the world.

Since 1970, over 43 million people have visited the ships during more than 1,400 port visits in 151 nations. People from all walks of life, from presidents and prime ministers to street children and the homeless, have been welcomed on board.

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