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Monday, 9 October 2017

Quick Prayer Request

We have a lot of people on the ship sick, that is crew.

I would like to prayer that in the next few days I can stay healthy and of course for the crew on-board who are sick.  There is fever and diarrhoea, cold and vomiting and a few other symptoms too, this seems to last a week or two for most people.  Its been going on for the past few weeks and I have been fine but as I am so busy and getting a bit run down, I would not like to travel whilst being sick in this way. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Trip to Eco Waterfalls

We had a great day out and a long drive, we left at 7:30 in the morning and all meet on the dock and then headed to the central gate to meet the tour company, they were waiting for us and off we went.  The police at the gate signed us out as they like to look after us as we venture out.  There is quite a bit of unrest in the country at the moment which I will write about later, so there are some areas we are not allowed to go to and there are a lot of police around.

We were only stopped twice on the way there, other groups reported a lot more stops so we were fortunate.   On the way there we saw many plantations, we stopped off at at Kena making oil facility and I could not help but wonder about the lungs of the people who were involved in this process, the photos will follow and you will see what I mean.

We also stopped at a flower plantation and were fortunate enough to see some of the packing and production of the flowers and we took a walk though the flowers.  Our tour guide I nick names Hello Travel Agent as she kept on saying Hello Hello when we wanted to move us on and I was always the one in the back trying tons of photos, so I heard a lot of Hello hello to move me on.

We finally arrived at the Waterfall area for a lovely picnic lunch.  Our tour guide had cooked some wonderful rice and chicken which was so tasty and there was plenty of it, and we also had the most wonderful fresh pineapples.  It was a treat and she provided us with proper plates and cutlery.  Then we went off to see the waterfall, I guess the best way to explain that will be with the photos which I will put on as soon as they are downloaded.  They were beautiful and a few of us ventured down the long walk to the lookout were we could see another 3 waterfalls, from a different angle.  We got soaking wet but it was sooooo beautiful and totally worth it.

On the way back we needed to use the loo, this is always quite adventurous when you are travelling in Africa, its by the side of the road or in the bushes, to be honest,  I would have preferred the bushes to the toilet, next time I will remember.

We headed back and found that it was quite late, 4 pm by the time we left, we wouldn't be back for dinner then.  The drive back was fine and the adventure there was when it started to pour with rain and I heard Martha in the back seat saying, Dayle please take a photo, but I had unfortunately put my camera away, but I turned around and say the 3 in the back seat sitting with plastic around there head, as the water was seeping in the back seat.  Oh yes, twice as we were driving the back door flew open and thankfully the seats were  well in and we didn't loose anything.  This is Africa and I am going to miss these wonderful friends.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Last Week

Work is going well, its very busy, we had waffle day today.  Packing has started and a week of lasts are happening again and I feel, how can I be leaving here when I love it so much.

Don't look back and don't consider the losses but celebrate what you have ahead is what I see, the mountain is still there even though I don't see it just yet.  I am encouraged to look forward to trust God in all things, to know He is calling me to a new season for a while anyway, He is always right and I do trust Him but its going to be hard.

Tomorrow I go to Eco Waterfalls, were Tarzan was made with a group of my close friends on-board, we are up early and off for the day.

Tonight was my last Thursday community meeting for a while anyway.  It was a great talk by Susan Parker, about being incarnation and what that means.

Monday, 2 October 2017

On the Wards

Tonight I popped down and meet young Kana, I had meet him yesterday at the award service and had got to tickle his toes.

This evening I had some cross stitch that Di had given me, I stopped by Lyndy to get some instructions on how to best do this craft and then headed down. The ward nurse directed me to Kana and his grandma who is his career whilst in hospital. She sleeps under his bed. 

Kana was up for a game of dominoes and beat me the first two games. The day crew from Cameroon are really lovely and one of them helped translate and was such a patient lovely lady.

The rest of the girls on the ward also wanted to do the cross stitch , this is always a big issues when going down. Luckily I had just enough except for one but luckily she was crouching and I had some spare wool. It is quite difficult really, you never know when you go down if you will be OK with just a couple of crafts or need more than you have.  I think on Wednesday, I will go back to the flowers as there is always enough to go around.  

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Ward Service

I was up and about and down to the ward service this morning.  They now do that in the orthopaedic ward which makes much sense.  I sat next to a little boy who slept a lot at the beginning but after a while he opened his eyes and was immediately instructed by his grandma to start clapping, the poor little thing looked blankly at her and tried as best he could to comply.  He did a good job.  Tickling his toes on one foot made the toes on the other foot giggle around too and a small smile was raised.  Its quite amazing the nerve blocking that the medicine does, keeping him out of pain for the first days as he is healing.

The ward is always a colour and fun place to be, but also a lot slow healing of body and spirit.  When the patients first arrive, many do not know what to expect and must feel very scared and unsure, I believe there can be a lot of false stories going around about the ship when it first arrives but as patients come and go home healed, the real heart of our mission is then what they can tell.

There was singing, hair being platted, bright coloured hair bands decorating hair and nurses singing on guitars,  there is Koffi a wonderful Benin Chaplain who tells bible stories and asks everyone questions about what they have heard and what other options the people in the stories had with choices they made, that is a lesson I always take with me.  Lord what other options can I make or could I have made in any given situation.

Its always so uplifting and humbling to attend a ward service.

Saturday, 30 September 2017


Next Steps

My next steps are to be heading off the ship.  Yes, another chapter calls.  A while back on a retreat, I thought I heard the Lord asking me not to be afraid to get off the ship.  Of course this was at a time when I was indeed afraid to leave.  I love it here and there is so much about life with Mercyships that meets my heart. The Mercy, the Compassion, the Unity and the lives that are changed.  Not just of the patients but also of the people who come here to serve, yet are changed in the process. There are stories after stories and my life is the same.  How sad I will be on my last day but I will not be afraid, because the Lord has told me not to be and my love of the ship and the ministry will go on and I feel I will be back at some time.

The most definate of that journey was getting out of computers, to get out of a profession that started 20 years ago.  Its the right decision though and I am excited about my next steps.

I have loved horses all my life, I have also loved art since I first saw a pencil and I have always loved people and Jesus.  For a lot of my life I have neglected all of those things, but Jesus who found me when I was lost and loved me when  I was at my worst did a miracle for me when I was 15 and healed my best friend who was my horse at the time.  He has always been a God of healing and mercy and it was His character of love and light that gradually called my heart back to Him about 16 years ago.  If you hear the call in your heart, don't delay, there is not better home and place of safety than with Him.

During shipyard on the ship, it became clear to me that I couldn't keep ignoring that I was not a good fit for the computer world, I tried and I worked hard and I loved the ship and the mission but when I was back in the UK, Di took me to a ministry in Wokingham which combined all that I loved, horses, art, people and Jesus.  An opportunity to work alongside this ministry is what has given me the courage to step out of the boat soon, it will be with acknowledging God and asking Him to guide me, it has been with prayer and many many people saying, this will suit you so well, that I have made the decision.  As yet, it is still not totally clear how the future will unfold but I will keep this blog updated with the progress.  Our Mount Cameroon, keeps appearing and then disappearing and in that analogy, I hear the Lord telling me to keep my eyes focussed on Him, keep focussed on whats here right now and that the vision He has given me will not go away, it is just hidden for good reason at the moment, so that I can concentrate on what I am doing today. I love working in Starbucks, I love that lack on complexity, the contact with people daily and many other things about it.

I leave the ship on the 12th October and fly to Durban where I will spend some time with family and friends there, and in the process I will be exploring and finalising next steps.

Today I ventured out into the town of Duala with my dear friend Shirley, we caught the bus and wondered down past the flower stalls and a few art stalls and then back down the road were we found the bats, that is the bats we see each night from the ship, as the sun drops behind the horisen, the first ones take flight and before long, we see a procession of them coming over.  They were plentiful and next time I will bring a camera with me.  The photo I take will be for Simoen and Marilyn.

We are having our Hope Centre dedication tommorrow.  I hope to go along if there is room.

There is quite a lot of sickness on the ship at the moment, so please keep the crew in your prayers. Living onboard the wonderful vessel has its difficulties and passing on illness is one of them.