Saturday, March 10, 2012

Feeding on Words: Logos Hope

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Logos Hope. It's a ship, no doubt, and it's the biggest floating book fair in the world!

On the off chance that I would actually get a flight to Manila last Tuesday, I dropped a hint to my fabulous mother about me flying off to MLA instead of CDO. Thanks to my only brother (hihi), who "volunteered" to pay for my flight, I landed at NAIA 3 at five something in the morning.

Logos Hope was not part of the plan yet. I didn't know they were still there. My cousins told me that the ship had been in Cebu and that it would have been great to visit and hoard books there. So imagine my surprise and delight when my relatives told me the ship was still docked at the port of Manila. (Is that what it's called? I was too busy looking for the ship to notice any sign boards =)

We planned to browse and buy for about two hours before heading back home, but for book lovers whose hearts are so inclined to literature, we ended up occupying the book-ship for three hours. 

I'm going to say it again because repetition is good for those who keep forgetting (like me), no pictures of the actual ship because I didn't bring my camera. =p

My meager haul:

From the top:

  • Dark in the City of Light by Paul Robertson
  • Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt
  • A Novel Idea by a lot of Christian writers including Jerry Jenkins (Left Behind books), Francine Rivers (Lineage of Grace), Karen Kingsbury (Take One, Two, Three and Four), Randy Alcorn (Heaven) and more
  • Creative Photoshop Lighting Techniques by Barry Huggins
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by (tada!) William Shakespeare =)
I also bought a joke book for my father, but I wasn't able to take a picture of it. 

I know, if I really am a book junkie, I should have bought more than six books. In my defense, I would be flying back to CDO, and I am not allowed to carry heavy baggage because of medical reasons. And because there were so many wonderful books, I couldn't decide which ones to buy. I wanted to get some Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury books, but most were part of a series, and if I got one book, I'd have to buy the rest of the books. There were also fact books and encyclopedias, and they were hardbound with quality magazine paper, but again, the weight of the basket I was carrying around was threatening to break my arm off. They also had Bibles, children's story books, coloring books, craft books (and I really wish I could have bought the sewing or crochet book), and cooking books. (Ha! They all started with C. Except Bibles.) 

I can't stress the number of great books the ship has, and I know that no amount of words will ever compare to the actual experience of being inside a floating book fair. To make the trip even more wonderful, the prices of the books were really cheap. See the following:

That's 400 pesos each. Four hundred pesos for the very thick Shakespeare book and the Photoshop book, which would normally range at the thousand mark in regular bookstores. =)

See that? Imported novels usually cost 300 plus, but would you look at that! Really, I could just live there.

So yeah, it was an awesome experience, and I know I would have gotten more if I could only decide which ones to buy. Maybe next time I should just grab everything I like and worry about paying once I get to the counter. =)

Now to the bigger reason I wanted to write about this:

Logos Hope is not just a floating book fair. As its name suggests, it is a ship of hope. It goes to different countries in the world, carrying books for knowledge, help in the form of medical missions and counseling, and hope in the form of communicating with the people they meet. The crew is composed of over 400 volunteers from about 45 different nationalities. They are all Christians who seek to spread the Word of God to the people who most need it---to everyone. These volunteers have to raise their own money to be a part of the crew, and when they are serving with the team, their reward isn't monetary. I know they are rewarded with joy in their hearts, a joy that cannot be compensated with money. They serve because they want to serve, and their relationships with God and one another bring encouragement to everyone they meet. 

I had the chance to talk to one of the crew, Rebekka from Denmark. She's just twenty years old and has been with the ship for about six months. In her own words, she says that those six months were just awesome. She didn't have to pay for anything because her family, her church, and her friends all sponsored for her two years in Logos Hope. She says that it's been amazing to work with so many different nationalities who have such a great faith in God. They have worship night and devotions, and it's just wonderful to see different traditions melding together in one ship. Rebekka, if ever you read this, I thank God for using you, and I thank you for letting Him use you. I know that you will bless more people as you continue to serve with Logos Hope and even after the two years of your contract with them. May God always be with you that you may overflow with His goodness and love. You are an awesome friend, and I hope I get to meet you again.

So there. Logos Hope uplifts people from despair and pushes us to be the best for a greater cause. It's more than just selling books and visiting countries. It's more of opening doors to different hearts and letting love knock down the walls that many have built around their lives. Logos Hope, I salute you for your cause and hope that you continue your journey into the parts of the world that need you most. I also hope someday I get the privilege of joining your crew because that would be just awesome.

Visit their website for more information on where they'll be docking next and how to help through donations or volunteering.

Have a great day everyone!

From the brochure:

The Logos Hope community of 400 unpaid volunteers from over 45 different countries lives and works together for one purpose - to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world.

Many people who are unable to study have learnt vital skills and been able to purchase from over 5,000 titles in what is known as the world's largest floating Book Fair.

Logos Hope also seeks to provide aid and relief in needy situations and to bring long-term change in each port.

Our volunteer crew seeks to bring new hope by looking to the needs of others. Every crew member has a story to tell of how entering into a relationship with God has given them hope and purpose.

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