It’s Official.

 

Most of you will have seen this post on my Facebook already, but it’s official. The M/V Africa Mercy will be my home till 2019. It’s a bit scary, but I am very excited about staying on the ship.

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Surgeries have started and it has been so fun to see patients as they come on board and leave after surgery. I hopefully will be getting off ship to visit the HOPE centre soon. It is were patients can live while they continue the recovery process.  I was able to visit in Benin and really enjoyed my time. Many of my friends have gone here and have loved the experience.

Now that the hospital is up and running we have many new crew members on board. We have many new nurses and surgeons on the ship as well as new Housekeepers, engineers, and receptionist. It has been fun to see how the Lord uses different skills to further his kingdom.  I love how multicultural the reception team has become. We have a Canadian, two Brits, a Beninois, and an Aussie. It is often this way on the ship. My group of friends all come from different places and have different backgrounds, but we are all here with the same purpose. We want to be part of something that is bigger then ourselves. We want people to know the love of Jesus and experience physical healing. Each has a different role that helps create the whole.

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Almost every single member of the crew. The people in the white shirts in the front are the reception team.
Often times you will find my little group of friends in the dining room late into the night. We have a table that we have claimed as our own. The tea table as I call it is a place we talk about life, Jesus, and the ship. (And drink tea. Tea has become a very important part of our conversations.) It’s only the beginning of the field service and we have already had many conversations around this table. There is nothing special about it. It looks like every other table in the dining room. The only difference is the people that sit around it with me. We tend to giggle (a lot), but we also have conversations that remind me why I am here. Conversations that remind me of the Character of God and what he has done for me. Even though it is still the beginning of the field service when I think about my time in Cameroon one of the images that will come to mind is the tea table.

If you remember a couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of the first patient coming on board before surgery on my Facebook. As surgeries continue please pray for the recovery process that many go through. Thank you for your prayers and support. I am so thankful that I get to be involved in this. 

If you are interested in seeing some of the patient transformations you can follow the field service on Instagram @mercyships.

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Hello From Douala, Cameroon!

Hello from Douala, Cameroon! This will be the third country we have been to in three months. (Four for me if you count my visit with Veronica.)  The changes have been swift and constant. I am very excited to settle in one place for a bit.

The last couple of months have been a little overwhelming. There has been a lot of transition and change here. As I sat in reception this week and the first couple of patients came on board it made it all worth it. I was reminded why I am here. Not only to do a job, but to love people. It is easy to get caught up in the work and deadlines and forget that. So the Lord was reminding me that my first job is to love those around me well. For this field service that is my goal. To love and support the reception team well, that they may love and support the crew well.

I’ve done a bit of exploring in Douala. We have found food that is amazing and walked done streets that are new to us. The hospital was open the other night for crew to explore. I got to walk through the O.R.s that where our patients will have surgery and through the wards where the patients will recover. They told me my blood type in the lab. I am A+ if you are curious. One of the most amazing things on the ship is that the crew is the blood bank. Crew volunteer to give blood and if they need your blood type they will come find you and ask you to give that day. You get to meet the person that your blood helped saved.

We also had a dessert night with friends. We divided people up into teams of two and they had to provide the dessert and entertainment for the night. Below is a picture of what one of the teams made. The in the dessert is the country each individual was from. Some of my friends had two or three flags in their desserts.

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They made a lemon tart dessert and pavlova. It was very yummy. For our night we made no bake cheesecake and I taught everyone the paper game (Picture Telephone). Such a fun game to play.

My boss has asked me to extend my time on the ship. I am in the process of praying and planning for this. If it is approved I will be on the ship for an additional 11 months. It is a bit scary to commit for that long, but I feel this is where the Lord is leading me. I enjoy my time on the ship. It can often be tiring and difficult, but there are great moments as well. I have met people that have poured into my life. People that love Jesus and love those around them.

This is not a comprehensive photo list of those people, but I tried my best with the time and internet I had.

I have had experiences that only come from stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself. I have relearned what living in constant community looks like. I think we all have an idealized view of this. The Lord continues to remind me that community can be difficult, but so worth it. That serving others is better then serving ourselves. That living in grace and loving him is where true faith begins. Please be praying that I will make time for him, that I will love others well, and that wherever I am after March I will rest in His plan.