MV Doulos (1977-2010) - MS Franca C (1952-1977) - SS Roma (1948-1952) - SS Medina (1914-1948)

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A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she remains with us to this very day!

With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960


A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she remains with us to this very day!

Please Note: All ssMaritime and my other related ssMaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues and I hope that the well over 675 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers ships I have written on will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts and continue a great deal of information and pleasure!


MV Doulos

“A Ship Like no Other”

By Reuben Goossens 

--MV Doulos--

Chapter Nine

Doulos' Mission

“For the Earth will be Filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the LORD, as the Waters cover the Sea

Habakkuk 2:14

Over many years many have supported “GBA” - “Gutte Buche fur Alle” - “Good Books for All” later known as “OM Ships International - “Operation Mobilization” for being an excellent Christian Missionary work. The work is supported because of the wonderful work that is done by the many wonderful Douloids (volunteers) who so faithfully give years of service free of charge in the Lord’s service, although they are generally supported financially by their home Churches and/or various Christian companies and organisations. Every single person onboard is a volunteer, including the captain, all the officers, engineers, carpenters baker, chefs to the all-important deck hands and those involved in the various areas of maintenance onboard. Thus all on the Doulos are 100% equal and they are not paid for the work they do on board, but receive accommodation and full board, etc!

However, as I already indicated the means of support comes to OM Ships from various Churches and other organisations as well from individuals from their worldwide funding campaigns who faithfully provide for their care, as well as for fuel and the upkeep of the OM ships by donating! In addition, everyone who does a tour of the Doulos pays a small fee, whilst other will head for the book fair for the sale of books and these all make a reasonable profit. Although funding is provided by the aforementioned means, but there are such high overheads and as we should know, ships cost a great deal to operate as well in upkeep and in maintenance, thus a great deal more funding is required. To donate to OM’s current ship the MV Logos Hope Click Here.

 OM’s New ship the MV Logos Hope see at Sea

A Message from Doulos’ Captain:

“Wherever we go it gives us an opportunity to invite the local people on board and visit our book ship, as well as give books to those who are in need and do whatever we are able can to assist with the people in various lands. But more importantly if there is a good Pastor around we provide Bibles and other suitable material to him and he will distribute it. In addition we will the Word through our actions and we have seen many lives touched in that way. Thus our work on the Doulos is worthwhile and it is a work for Lord and the Lord alone! Praise Him”

The work of those who have worked on the Doulos is faultless and we should applaud them and their wonderful spirit as they go and spread the Word!

A Message from the Doulos’ Project Coordinator - Marlieske Smilde 1999:

“MV Doulos promotes international understanding and world-wide education, through cultural exchange programmes, community service initiatives and as a floating book fair.

The Doulos as she sails the globe carries a stock close to half a million books. There are thousands of titles that cover a wide range of subjects, including many Bibles covering all versions, be it the KJV, NIV and others as well as countless Christian books, but we also carry thousands of educational and general reading books on Doulos, from science, technology, sports, the arts, philosophy, as well as hobbies, and cookery. These books are chosen to meet the educational and social needs of the various local communities and a large selection is devoted especially for children. Local language materials are also available together with the vast array of English books where they are needed!

The Doulos experience encourages all who come aboard to expand their horizons and embark on a voyage of discovery and it is our Christian lifestyle that touched those who come on board, thus we do see many lives changed.” Marlieske Smilde. Sydney, July 8, 1999.

OM’s, past ships Logos and Logos II and now the MV Logos Hope have been serving the nations since 1970. Over the past forty five years (updated in 2015) the vessels have visited ports in well over 140 countries in America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the Pacific, promoting international understanding and world-wide education. Through cultural exchange programs, community service initiatives and a floating book fair, a ship experience encourages all who board the ships to expand their horizons as well as those who embark on a voyage of discovery. The ships carry a multinational crew and staff, of up to 500 volunteers, whose service is a practical expression of their Christian faith and commitment to serving the nations.

A Special Thank You to …

1999: I wish to thank Captain of the Doulos, Captain Graeme Bird for his enthusiastic hospitality! The ever delightful Doulos’ Project co-ordinator, Marlieske Smilde for her efforts and all of Doulos’ wonderful staff for their outstanding hospitality and co-operation whilst I was onboard. Also, thank you, Richard Beaumont Doulos' National Director in Australia for all your assistance. Sadly not long after Richard Beaumont retired, and he was a true man of God! I am sorry, but I cannot be as complimentary in regard to GBA/OM’s leaders in Germany for very good reasons!

2008. I hereby wish to give a very special thank you to Doulos’ Director Dr. Daniel Chae for his friendship whilst I spent my 23 days on board. Also my good friend and host Mr. Sven Benseler, Manager of Doulos’ “Partner Ministries,” who was kind enough to assist me in every possible was whilst I had a wonderful time the MV Doulos most of August 2008. Sven has become a great friend and he and his wonderful wife Mirjam and children will remain in my heart always! Also thank you to Captain Ashley McDonald for sharing time with me and allowing me on the Bridge as we sailed out of Brisbane and the time we spent in your cabin chatting about Doulos’ future. I gave you a vision that I had, at least now in 2010; you will have seen that it has come true!

The voyage in 2008 meant a great deal to me as both a Pastor and a maritime historian, thus to all the aforementioned a special thank you so much for making my time onboard the Doulos and my voyage a very special experience! And I pray that the lectures and studies given will also have been a blessing!

Photographs of the Doulos in Australia 1989 / 1999 / 2008

MV Doulos is seen here in 1989 before the Darling Harbour complex was built. The new Aquarium can be seen on the right

Photograph by & © Stephen Moore


Doulos livery in 1989 had a black funnel dome and boot topping and hull ribbon, today it is blue

Photograph by & © Stephen Moore 


Doulos in Sydney 19 July 1999

Photograph by & © 1999 Reuben Goossens

Go to Chapter 10 - Doulos Goes High Tech Satellite Dome/Dish fitted 2006

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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. As provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are photographs provided to me without details provided regarding the photographer concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me, that due credit may be given.

Copyright: “MV Doulos - A Ship Like No Other” is owned, protected under the International © copyright laws and is the property of Reuben Goossens of No part of this work including any of the images shown may be copied or reproduced by any means or reproduced by any format whatsoever, be it for private or commercial usage, without prior written permission from the author. is owned and © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved