Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Mercy Ships Bug

We have a joke on the ship about people that keep coming and going over and over again - You've caught the "Mercy Ships bug" - and I've got it bad! The only cure for this virus is to keep serving...This place, these people and the incredible mission of Mercy Ships have been deeply seeded in my heart forever and I cannot imagine doing anything else with this one life I've been given. The past two years have been full of so many indescribable experiences and I've learned more about myself, others and God than I would have ever imagined. 
I am overjoyed to announce that I will be continuing on the Africa Mercy for it's next 10 month field service in the country of Cameroon! Cameroon is a large country in Central Africa just two countries away from where we are currently in Benin. This is an exciting time to be serving as it's the ship's first ever visit to Cameroon. It will be exciting to represent the ship on it's first mission the Cameroonian people and to explore another country and culture on this awesome continent of Africa. I will continue to work in the hospital - again as the Orthopedic Team Leader and also as the Ward Team Leader during the months of plastic surgery. This will be a bit of a new role for me and an interesting challenge as we care for more plastics patients than ever before!

Cameroon here we come!!

As part of my new commitment to Mercy Ships, I will be attending a training program at the Mercy Ships headquarters in East Texas in June and July called OnBoarding. These 5 weeks will include classes about Mercy Ships, culture, interpersonal development and theology that are made to prepare crew members for long term service on the ship. As of now, my 10 month stints qualify me to be a "short term" crew member. After much prayer and consideration, I've felt like it was time to commit "long term" to this ministry. For now, that means 2 years starting in July but it's relatively open-ended time frame - or as we say here, TGS: till God says! Now, I will essentially be an employee of Mercy Ships, which brings both increased benefits and increased responsibilities. However, I still have to pay to volunteer ;)

Once again, I ask for your help to make this mission possible! I need your continued prayers more than ever. Every year on the ship brings new challenges- spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. While I still love this place and the work I get to be involved in, the huge needs we face in every country we visit becomes increasingly harder to bear. I must remind myself over and over again that "we cannot change the whole world but we can change the whole world for one person". Pray that as I face these challenges, I will seek the answers and comfort only God can provide and continue to trust Him in every circumstance. And begin praying for the patients we will meet in Cameroon; that God will bring the right patients at the right time and He will make himself known in that country as we share His love there.

I cannot say enough how your support has encouraged me and pushed me to continue on with this work. God has placed in me this passion; I am willing and able to continue serving but I cannot do it without your help! I will need to raise approximately $400 per month, plus travel expenses for the next 2 years. Below is the link to donate online and the address to send donations. If you are feeling called to donate, would you consider joining my monthly support team? I have committed for 2 years and I would be honored to have you join me in this commitment. It's easy to enter your information online and you can even set up automatic payments so you don't have to remember! Thank you for your continuing help to make this mission possible for years to come.

Online donations: 

Donation by mail:
(Send a check made out to Mercy Ships to this address with #4015 in subject line)
Mercy Ships
PO Box 1930
Lindale, TX 75771

Right now as I type this, I'm getting ready to leave the ship and the country of Benin. In order to have some time at home with friends and family before I am due in Texas in June, I am leaving a few weeks before the end of the field service. 'On the way' home, I'll be stopping in Australia to visit a friend from home who is living there for a year! I'll update more when I am back in the States, but for now, thank you so much for following along with my journey and continuing to support what Mercy Ships is doing in Africa!

No comments: