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Friday, 28 April 2017

More Info on Mercyships and an Embassy Night Out

Our pre Cameroon team have been in Cameron and this is a small but they wrote:

Its been a pleasure and privilege of training 30 young Cameroonian doctors on the Mercy Ships Screening process for Cameroon. 
We spent the days covering topics such as:
-       Mercy Ships history and vision
-       Core Values
-       Surgical Scope of practice
-       Communication with patients
-       Patient flow and transportation plan
-       Taking medical photos
-       Mobile Screening App technology
-       And more…
I went last night to an event at with 8 other South Africans, for Freedom day, it was an SA Embassy event and we had the Embasoders  from all the other Embassy as well.  We had a few snacks and it was a delight to sing in the car on the way there,   "Agh please Daddy won't you take us to the drive in", all in a strong South African accents, we spoke (I listened) Afrikaans and generally were very South African, it showed me just how South African I still am.  And at the end of the evening, we went off for ice-cream.  It was a pleasant evening and I really enjoyed being with my fellow crew mates. The mingling at the Embassey was not my favourite part but the South African Ambassador is a really lovely lady whom I enjoyed meeting again, she is very gracious and a real servant heart.  I am hoping they will send us a photo through.  I have a rather blury one I will post if we don't get the photographers one.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Testing E-Mailing Posts

This is just a test to see if a setting to setup Blog e-mails work.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Little Blessing & Dominos

A wondered down to the ward this evening, feeling inspired after watching episode four of the National Geographic series and there was still within visiting time.

I grabbed some stickers, which the young children always love,  Di had sent them to me and they have been an lovely surprise to see how the younger children are not the only ones who like a smiley face.  One of the little girls though who seems to be recovering well from her operation, took delight in taking each sticker I gave her and sticking them on the nurses, rather than herself.

I checked in with the Ward Sister and she let me know of a young child around the corner who might like to play some Dominoes, a newly arrived game that Di's lovely sister Jan sent me with a crew member, alongside Othello, both games that I thought would be easy to teach and requite little language.

The young teen was not quite up to playing or was not too sure of what he was getting into and said no but next door to him was a young mom called Flo and her very cute little daughter called Blessing. Blessing just looked at me with the biggest eyes, that were penetrating and I was not quite sure if she was going to cry or just stare at me.  As she looked, the tiniest little smile entered her eyes and never quite made it to her lips for a while at least but as she watch her mom and I start to play, she slowly smiled a little more, mostly with her eyes. She was the sweetest little thing and so good, she must have been a couple of years old and didn't make a fuss at all.  She just watch and occasionally let me know that she was OK but the little smile that was just behind her eyes.  I think I may have just found my next sketch, if I an find a photo of her. She definitely crept into my heart and I really enjoyed the game with her mom.  We ended up winning two games each and tying twice, so I will go down again tomorrow and we can finish the game.

I also did a job shadow today as a Ward Administrator and although I think I can do the job,  I am not really sure if it is the right job for me.  There is much time though, as the job is not going at the moment.

I must just do some more praying about this and will see what transpires.  In the meantime, I am happy in IS and the investigations have helped me be settled.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Few More Photos from Various Things

From Craft Evening
 My Friend Lyndy, pondering her Poetry
 My South African Friend Karen
 Mireya, Theresa & I
 The StarBucks Cafe
 Giving Blood
 On the Way to Babs Dock
 Recycling Creativity on the Way
 Joan and Fiona, 2 South African Ladies I spent the day with at Babs Dock
 Mangrove Trees on the Way to Babs Dock

Saturday, 22 April 2017

No Photos and a Minor Accident

We headed out all excited to go and visit with Theresa. Within about 5 minutes of leaving the Port, we were suddenly in a minor accident.  The car in front of us did what seemed like a sudden turn to the left and our driver did not have time to pull the car away to the side quick enough and we connected with his vehicle.  Initially it was a little frightening, although I didn't really feel threatened but in this country that is so community based, we were suddenly surrounded by quite a few people, coming to see what had happened.  We were not sure what to do and radioed immediately to the ship and locked our doors.

The driver of the other vehicle strangly enough didn't come over and we were fortunate that one of our crew happened to be walking along and saw what had happened and he knew French so was able to come over and have a chat to the driver.

Before too long the police arrived and our driver had to get out the vehicle and go and speak with them.  It was all resolved before too long and we ventured back to the ship.

Sadly, we were not able to continue onto our friends home and she felt so bad that we had the accident which of course was not her fault at all.  So I am hoping that we will be able to plan this again for another day.

The photos will have to wait for another day.

News April

Here is a picture of our lovely dental crew who are with our 6000's patient.  The dental team does a screen once per week on a Monday and the crew on thip act as the Screening Security.  This is were Pauline was found, who has been discharged and is doing well.

Yesterday at work was a normal day on the ship, including having the Kindergarten kids coming in to give us a Bible Verse,  the knocked on the door with their teacher, there were 5 of them, and they were excited to share the verse with us, especially to discover that some gummy bears were part of the equation.  Gummy bears do venture in the Computer department, part of our instructions in certain jobs, often have documentation, which included a Eat Gummy Bears.

A bit later, a trip to the dining room for a cuppa tea, it was a blessing as I watch the Captain of the ship and his deck crew with arms folded together in a group, praying together.

Also today, I woke to a note on my door, asking me to report down to the Laboratory for a pre-screening to give blood.  On board the ship, we the crew are the blood bank, we keep the blood fresh by keeping inside us, until its needed.  They have a lovely sign on their wall that says, 
Give 100%, unless you giving blood.

Today, I am off to one of our Day Crews house, Theresa has become a friend and we are going to see her children. My friend Mireya and Lyndy are coming with me, I am going to miss Mireya as she leaves us soon, she has been someone really special to me here.

I will post a photo later.

Tommorrow, I will be off to church and then to Babs Docks,  This is apparently a Mangrove area, 

Oh yes, next week is a busy week to. We will watch the 4th in the National Geographic series which is due to be launced in Australia very soon, and then South Africa in early May and in the UK on the 20th May and in various other countries.  

I have also then been invited by the South African Embassy with my fellow South African friends to a dinner, That is for Thursday.  

My other news that I have extended my contract unless 1 July 2016, so my next job is to fill in forms, reasses were I am with finances and await the confirmation.  It looks like I will stay in IS (Computers), there is still a possibility of working in the Crew Clinic but for the moment, I will be committing to the Computers.  My boss is aware that I may then transfer and is ok with that.  

Friday, 14 April 2017

Other News

My boss let me know yesterday that the IS Department are happy for me to stay under their banner for the while - this was due to the fact that I had been looking at other roles so I was not sure if they had filled the team for next field service.    I have tentatively put my name down to work in the Ship Shop and Starbuck from April next year for a few months.  I am doing a Job Shadow for that on Monday.  The following week I will do a Job Shadow for the Ward Admin Role.   Its good though to know I can stay in IS am actually settling there well and enjoying the work.

This weekend I am also spending praying about a few other things on my heart.
I have realised that I would very much like to apply myself to a bit more study in the Theological area.  I am not sure yet what course or what to study but after doing a strengths finder course, I started to see that perhaps this line of study really would be good for me to do.  This with a love of Art, I am also considering combining the two in some way.  I have not plotted out the course yet, so am going to put some more concentrated time into praying about next steps.  I feel not to pray for clarity, although I would like clarity but to pray for a day by day faith to take me one step at a time.  I am not apposed to clarity in the least but I do just feel that at the moment I need the Light for the Path.

Prayer Points:

  • The Ship is moving towards the last month of operation and then shutdown, so prayer for all our patients and our relationships with our Day Crew and friends that we will be saying goodbye to.
  • Inspiration for more time spent with the patients
  • Prayer for the National Geographics Documentary Series that are going to be shown World Wide, this will be a wonderful exposer and help people hear about it : both financially as well as staffing and other support.
  • Mom has sold her flat and know needs to find a suitable and new home & needs prayer for the stress of the move & all that goes with this.
  • Next steps for me 

Easter Begins on the Ship

We had our dinner and then there were different rooms / activities that were available to the crew.

There was a station for food washing :  as I stood outside on the deck having a diet coke and waiting for 6 0'clock, when the different activities would be available to the crew.
I pondered :  Foot washing, I have never felt comfortable with it, always wanting to quickly leave, YET I have always found it a most worthwhile and light given symbolic action.  The reason came to me.  Its hard for our dirt to be exposed to others, we would rather not expose it & that feels right.  The cross is the same, our sins, those things that separate us from God, we also would rather try to hid, its uncomfortable to bring them out in the light.  But its necessary, like washing out feet - having someone else wash them for us, feels undignified. and it very humbling - thus the necessity.  This is what Jesus did for his disciples - pointing them to serving others and so much more. 
With the cross, there is no option to just ignore : we either come to Jesus and have our sins cleansed, or we don't.  If we do, they are washed clean, forever gone, on Jesus shoulder, OR  we chose not to and then, they remain on our own shoulders.  
This was a great analogy for me.  It show it so clearly.
Gratitude : Love : Freedom : Eternity : Cost :Servant : Humility : Forgiveness, Sacrifice ......................

The other two symbolic activities that we had were:

The Upper Room
Garden of Gethsemane

Our wonderful Chaplancy team had spent the day preparing two most beautiful rooms for us.

I stopped by first in the Upper Room - Pictures below

 All around the room, we had different stations, here are a couple of examples:
I would have like to have spend more time in this place.

Next, I went to the Garden of Gethsemane

This was a time to sit and ponder what it must have been like for Jesus on that night, the night when He needed his friends to be by his side and prayer and just be with Him; the night when He knew what was coming; the night that He called out to His Father and said, not My will but Yours be done. 
The night that the heaviness of each of our individual sins, were laid before Him : The night He said I love these people so much, I have to go to the cross, I have to have them with me in Eternity, I don't want even one of them lost, this is a price I must pay and I have know about since Eternities beginnings.

After I had spend time in both places, I wondered down to spend a little time with the patients.  I had some craft crosses that my lovely friend Di Berry sent for me & I knew that this was the night for me to take them down.  I had Di in my heart with me whilst I was visiting, knowing her love was with me and them to.  I gave a couple out to two of the children, and what do you know, a few of the adult men from the ward next door must have found out & I was asked if they too could do the craft.  I have been surprised this way before, when I took down some serviettes to make flowers and had a big interest from the men in the wards.  

I then sat down to watch a patients and one of the male nurses play Avwale, a game that is played a lot here.  I was trying to figure out how they played and what the game was all about but I couldn't - reason - I had some seriously wrong  concepts in my head about what the object of the game was.  I came back to my room and found a google page on it and am a little closer to the game now, but I will need to go back and try and play to really get to understand.  

Good Friday :  Breakfast and then a service in out International Lounge.

We watched a very touching video about a woodcutter making a cross, as I watched, I saw the small individual marks and cuts that went into making the cross.  I also saw, each of my small day to day individual sins also contributing to the need for the cross.  I saw the maker of the cross, place his marker on the cross to say it was his work, I saw my need to say, it was me too.  I saw Jesus say, please forgive.  We were then asked to come and hammer into the cross anything we felt we had not yet confesses and also those things that were holding us back from a relationship, a closer relationship with our Lord.  I came and drew a cross and wrote in it, forwards and then backwards as I wrote across the length of the cross, I watch my sins being erased and I was grateful that that is what the Lord has done for us.  Why is it called Good Friday when something so horrific happened, because His Blood washed us clean, our sins removed from our shoulders and placed on His.  
I then took the paper and I picked up the hammer and I nailed the paper to the cross. ....................

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sully and the Gospel

Last night I watched the movie Sully and found it a beautiful story of bravery, sacrifice and the product of a life long work - a salvation story, I noticed how spontaneous yet synchronised & un-organised the event was.  All the people in the many teams who came together, they had no idea what that day would hold - all working together for the salvation of many.

Many were saved by Sully and his co-pilots quick actions, yet at the same time, the quick actions were based on a long term plan of hard work, diligence and 1000's of miles of preparation.  All the other teams that too fell into the same salvation plan for the whole 155 people on-board.

It also reminded me of the Gospel message. The Trinity's salvation plan.
Our Captain, our Co-Pilot, our Hudson River, our wounded plane and the eternal hours of preparation.

The message that came out to me is that God looked at every variable and then took on-board humanities humanness and provided the river and a perfect team.  The plane landed but was wounded by the birds who flew into it, this reminded me of our many sins - (sometimes we are hit by others sins and sometimes they are hit by ours).  Jesus got hit and wounded for us yet He saved many.  The Holy Spirit imparted the much needed wisdom in the moment.   As Sully decided to land the plane on the Hudson river and after the fact when the investigation team showed, that they were other options that seemed to be more viable, there really was on only one escape route that would have worked. We too have one escape route, Jesus.

I was also reminded that the ship is the same, many people come here to help or be helped.  They all plan individually for their small part, years and years of experience, plans made before this plan was plotted.  They plot, they plan, they arrive and are thrown together with many others, some here for two weeks, some for 29 years, a forever changing team. All focused though on bringing hope and healing, all inspired by the One who loves us most and the one who loves all and wants all to have Shalom.  Who else could make this work?

Shalom (Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם‎ shalom; also spelled assholom, sholem, sholoim, shulem) is a Hebrew wordmeaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.

I have just come back from my tiny role of helping setup for Easter, today was putting palm leaves around the International Lounge.  It looked great.

Now that I am settled back in, I plan on starting to learn cross-stick, quilting and loom band - these skills will be helpful when visiting the wards.  There is not long to go now before the end of the field services.  We sail in early June and there will still be securing the ship for sail and packing up, so I think that is mid May.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

A Day out Batiquing and Making Crosses in the Eveing

9 of us ventured off today to go and learn how to batique , I am not sure how to spell that but its dying of fabrics.  I was not sure if I wanted to go, only because of the heat here and knowing that you can't drink very much due to lack of toilet facilities when one is out.

We had a good day and I will photo my design but for now here are a few photos of the day.
We had chickens running past us, dead trucks behind us and if you look carefully at the truck photo, you will see a young man sleeping in a hammock under the truck, that is a very common scene here,

Coming back at the end of the day, was straight to the loo and shower time and then a quick rest.

With Easter coming up, I spent part of the evening with friends folding and making some paper crosses and singing For God So Loved the World, that He gave His Only Son, that Whomever Believes in Him, shall not Perish but have Eternal Life.  We have great time, sore fingers and lots of crosses, we were making for 400 crew.

Monday, 3 April 2017

A Bad Photography Day with a Good Message

My photographs from the Orphanage mostly turned out really bad.  I didn't know what was happening but it seemed to me with my limited vision that when I was taking the shots they were blurred.

Well lots were and as I pondered with limited knowledge what went wrong, I suddenly realised that my flash had not been working properly in the poor lighting.  I don't know a huge amount about photography except, I wish I had followed it as a line of work and do love being behind a camera but have not a lot of technical know how.

As I pondered I realised that the camera was getting camera shake because it was opening up the aperture for too long due to the limited lighting and the flash not working.

As I looked at the pictures with disappointment I realise that there was a good spiritual message here.  When we have distorted views on theology or wrong views, our thoughts and perspectives can really give us wrong and that means we can be looking at things quite screwed.  This came together for me as I was started reading the Cover to Cover Bible after the orphanage visit.  I found a passage that had always troubled me, I didn't understand it and it left me feeling confused.  I did a bit of research and slowly things came into the correct light for me and the confusion cleared up and suddenly I could see the picture differently and with a better perspective.
I did get a few nice shots and here are a couple,  the first one is of a real cutie, she would not take her glasses off the whole time we were there.

When the couple who took over the Orphanage bought it.  The children were all in one small room together, that was about 13 of them.  They raised a lot of money and have built the most wonderful home for the children, with tons of space and clean and good size rooms

She was a real cutie, she wouldn't take the glasses off for a minute

 Making Crafts - Jesus crown of thorns

 My friend Janet with a couple of the children.
 This young boy was so supportive of his little friend, what a beautiful heart he had.

 The play unfolds

This young lad was not feeling well.  Further up, his old friend cheers him up.