Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mercy Ships- a legacy lives on...


This past week has been an exciting one for Mercy Ships staff all over the world. As I am sitting here in Freetown, looking at the photos online, I can only imagine the excitement the crew of both ships felt as the Africa Mercy pulled into port on Wednesday. Friends on both ships emailed saying it was quite impressive. The crew on the Anastasis watching the Africa Mercy appear on the horizon and slowing making its way towards the dock. The crew on the Africa Mercy, as they catch glimpse of the port and the Anastasis already docked there, being welcomed in by crew lined up on the dock waving flags. What a historical moment! It’s amazing to think that a former rail ferry has been transformed into a hospital ship, which will be used by Mercy Ships to serve the poor in Africa. It has taken longer than expected, but the time has come. By next month the Africa Mercy will carry out the first surgeries.

However, as I look at the photos, I quickly realize that with the excitement comes sadness. Is it because I wish I could have shared in the moment? Is it because I know the Anastasis is being decommissioned? Is it because I know this is one of the last times I will see new pictures of my former home? Is it because I know I will never be able to show anyone where I grew up?

It is bitter sweet. Excitement- the AFM is starting up. Sadness- the Anastasis is coming to an end; not only being decommissioned, but also scrapped; a ship with so many memories, forever gone. I can’t help but be sad. If only there was a way to keep her 'alive'. In our memories she will have to remain. As has been stated before: “Her service is finished, God’s legacy lives on.”

I guess I feel this way because I spent 14 years onboard...and am attached to the ship. However, I am sure that next year when the Africa Mercy arrives in Freetown, and I am standing on the dock watching it pull in, I will be overjoyed that the work of the Anastasis has been carried on by the Africa Mercy. It'll be strange not knowing my way around the ship, but it will be a new adventure as well...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We too share in this bitter sweet moment with you. Thank you for all the years we had together on the Anastasis and looking forward to ALL God has instore for the Africa Mercy.
Mama

Sonja said...

Hi Sandra,

I feel exactly the same as you do from my home in Australia..... watching the videos, excited and full of grattitude for Gods faithfulness, and yet wondering why I left just before the commissioning and swapover! Too painful to farewell the Annie whilst there I am sure. No doubt closure would come quicker if we were able to farewell her in person at the right time!

I would so love to be on board the AFM right now and to be moving all those supplies, finding new homes for all the boxes out of Hold 2 but accept that my new mission field is Sydney for now.

I am looking into adding an honours component onto my Masters to bridge to a PhD. I would love to do some research with VVF..... can you send me an email so we can chat more? I don't have your email address.

Love your blog and live through all the stories with you from afar. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Regards,
Sonja

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