Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yesterday evening we had worship on the bow with a lot of the crew. It was an amazing time of thanking God for who He is and what He has done. While sitting on the bow, worshipping Him I was in awe of His creation…the vastness of the ocean, seeing flying fish and dolphins early in the afternoon, the blue sky changing into various shades of orange as the sun slipped under the horizon. Even later in the evening as it started to rain and the clouds moved in there were still bright stars to be found and marvel at! He definitely is the Lord of all creation!

Last night we also had a big farewell to long term crew who have served with Mercy Ships for 5 years or more. Sad goodbyes. Actually over the next month approximately 200 people will be leaving the Anastasis and new people will start arriving to start the Ghana outreach and eventually move onto the Africa Mercy.

This morning we found out that we should arrive at the bunker destination this evening…and depending on when the bunker barge arrives we will refuel. After refueling we have another 20 hours to sail before arriving in Tema, Ghana.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

on our way...

We set sail just after 9am today. We had a little trouble bringing in the anchor as we were leaving the port; but thankfully the problem was resolved quickly with no consequences. The captain and pilot did a great job in getting us out of the port- there are said to be 31 shipwrecks in the harbor of Monrovia! The rest of the morning was spent on promenade deck, overlooking the ocean, and enjoying lunch on the deck. At about 1:30 pm about ten of us on the bow of the ship were fortunate to see the first dolphins of the sail. Two large dolphins swimming side by side, from port to starboard side along the bow of the ship. They stayed with us for just a few minutes before heading off into the vast ocean.

As we move through the waters and leave a trail behind us I am again reminded that this is the final sail. The crew over the years has accomplished a lot; the Anastasis has been a vessel bringing hope and healing to thousands. I am thankful that there is a ship that will continue in her footsteps. As has been stated before: “Her service is finished, God’s legacy lives on.”

Monday, May 29, 2006

guess where I am...

I decided to return to the Anastasis one last time (with my mom) for the ship’s final sail as a Mercy Ship, from Monrovia, Liberia to Tema, Ghana. After having lived onboard for 14 years it is kind of like a home-coming, yet it’s with mixed feelings that I am here. This time will be the last. However, while it lasts, I will enjoy every minute of it. And it is quite a treat to be here for the final sail.

Yesterday we tested the main engines.
This afternoon we had our fire and life boat drills.
This evening we had the stowaway search.
We arranged extra security on the dock for the night…a UN tank! It was a “Kodak” moment most of the crew when the tank arrived!!! Children and adults alike.

All of this brought back memories…

Standing around with life jackets on at the muster stations! I remember as a kid, I loved long drills- because they’d get us out of school! The longer, the better. I remember helping search for stowaways…in the holds, in cabins etc. I remember good hiding spots from when we played sardines and hid for the searches- above the rope ladder, vent stations etc. What a childhood.

ACFC celebration...

The ACFC has already been up and running for over a year. However, we only celebrated the official opening last week on May 23rd. So, I'd almost say it was our 1 year celebration! We also opened the Hostel of Hope- which various Rotary teams from the UK have helped build over the past year.

A number of international guests joined us for the event; including Don and Deyon Stephens (co-founders of Mercy Ships), Ann Gloag from Scotland, Nigerian actress Stephanie Okereke and a number of guests from various Mercy Ships offices. His excellency the President of Sierra Leone, the Vice President, and other members of the Ministry were also present.

It was a good day, with many (short) speeches, cutting of the ribbons, etc.

For more info:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Patient reunion...

The first weekend of May was busy for us at the ACFC as we had our one year patient reunion. Ladies who had undergone VVF surgery over the past year had been invited back to the center to celebrate with us. A total of 31 ladies showed up; some coming as early as Thursday. Most of these ladies had successful surgeries and showed up with huge smiles on their faces. We spent a lot of time on Friday and Saturday singing and dancing, marching around the room, cheering, eating, taking pictures, watching the Prince of Egypt on big screen etc. It was like a camp weekend- it was quite a sight. There was also time for testimonies and a chance for the ladies to perform a skit for us (re-enacting how they got the fistula, hearing about Mercy Ships, having surgery etc.). I must say we had some good actresses! The ladies stayed in the hostel, which is in the final stages of the building process. There weren’t any beds, but the ladies were very happy with their mats! Needless to say, it was a busy weekend for the expatriate staff, but well worth it, seeing these energetic ladies express their thanks.

Attached is a picture of me and Ramatulai- she was here last year while her mom had VVF surgery. She’s now 8 months and doing great.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

another Kenya favorite...

Friday, May 05, 2006

My little friend Mamadu...

This is a picture of Mamadu, his mom and myself on the ship in Liberia.

Mamadu is a cute kid that showed up at the clinic one day, looking for medical help for his cleft lip. And even though I couldn't help him myself, I knew who could...

To read Mamadu's story check out the latest newsletter from Mercy Ships Sierra Leone. Click on:

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~