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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Finishing in Benin

We are all now working hard to secure the ship for sail.  The last week has been very emotional for many people,  Saying goodbye to the Day Crew, considering them not coming to the ship daily made me feel sad for a variety of reasons.  Sitting in the dining room, I felt encouraged by the Lord, He reminded me of the the friendships that had been forged on the ship and all the support they had from each other in edging their ways in the new roads ahead.  That helped.

Flights have been frequent, dinners out plentiful, although I always tend to eat on the ship, but the dinning room has been empty as so many have been going out for those last meals, last connections and fairwell parties.

On Sunday a group of us headed off to our last Church meeting.  We had a great teaching by Andy Stanely whom I have come to listen to quite a bit and we then had a Pot Luck lunch.  Again we said some goodbyes or farewells for now.

Goodbyes on the ship tend to be that way, you never know when you will see someone again.  I am so looking forward for instance to my friend from Holland, Martha whom I spent a lot of time with in Madagascar, coming back in August.

We are now in for an end season and a new one to begin from when we sail, this will be fairly soon.

This morning I was up at 03:45 in order to help out with a pre-sail activity, this was from 04:00 till 06:00 and it was not too easy to sleep as I kept thinking the alarm wouldn't go off, but it did and I was up and awake before long.  Then the rest of this day has been quite a heavy load, we were securing the ship for sail, this for our department means making sure that the computers and fastened to the desk and the big printers etc are also secure.  My fingers are a bit sore tonight as you often have to pull off the old Velcro to put on the new ones.

The next few days will be more farewells and more pack up activities.   Once we do sail, the Internet connection will drop radically, we currently have had close to 50mb and that will drop down to about 2.5 so needless to say, Skyping and other such forms of communication will drop off for a while, although e-mails will be possible.

I meant to thank everyone for their prayers for the final patients we had, who needed healing,  the prayers were answered and thankfully, we had some really miraculous healing as we had our special prayer evening.  The stories just kept coming in, so thank you to everyone who prayers.

We sail to Gran Canary for Ship Yard.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Latest Sketch and Prayer Requests

This is a picture of young Bailey, my friend Lyndsey' Granddaughter, I stayed with Lyndsey in South Africa and she was so amazing in all she did to help me.

I realised after I had started how important the right tools are, I was very much struggling with the eyes and then realised why, I was using a B5 pencil, instead of my usual B.  This is not quite finished but I am leaving it were it is, although I may give it one more session for a final touch.

Prayer Requests:
Continued prayer for Mom's healing and a new home.
A very busy time on the ship

We will be doing some Stowaway watches coming up soon, not exactly sure when but when we do it will be a very early start to the morning as I am planing with my friend Kim to do a 4 - 6 am.  

Please prayer for the final patients that still need healing and for all our Day Crew who will be saying goodbye to us at the end of the field service.  Please prayer that they will all find new jobs and have found their time with us a blessing that they can take with them into their new roles,  They have all been such a blessing to us.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Janets patient story

My room mate Janet told a touching story on Friday about a seven month journey with one of the patients that she was very involved with.

Cecile had one of the saddest stories and I can see know why her eyes were so shy and sad when I first meet her towards the beginning of her journey.

She developed a small pimple on the side of her chin and as it started to develop into a tumour.  This grew and grew and she was not able to get any medical help.  Her husband got scared and therefore left her and shortly after that 4 men arrived on her doorstep and physically took her out the house and just left her on the street as they didn't want someone with her condition staying in their premises.

She managed to get some help - for a lot of money - and some people took her to her fathers were thankfully she got help.  Many though of the people in the community also rejected her.

Her father heard about a Pastor who stayed a distance from the village and took her to see him  This wonderful man had a real heart for people in her condition and took her into his home and treated her as one of the family, given her love, telling her about the love of Jesus and looking after her.

He tried to get her medical help but nothing helped, it just kept growing.  He then somehow found out about MercyShips coming to Benin and arrange to get her to the screening and mercifully, the doctors thought they could help her.  When Janet first met her, she was very under nourished and needed to get added nutrition in order to help prepare her for surgery.  She had the surgery and the difference was so amazing.  It was a very long journey for her with us and Janet was by her side all the way, loving her and showing her how much value she had.  Janet was able to have the privilege to take her home and to meet the wonderful Pastor who had helped her and hear her give her testimony to the whole village, giving glory to Jesus all the way, she knew how much He had done for her and quite a few of the villages gave their lives to Jesus, wanting to know this God who was able to do so much for her.

I will try and get some photos or her before and after if I can.

Preparing for Sail and My Room Mate Silke on Funky Friday

The Life Boats being tested

 Silke on Funky Friday were all the hospital staff dress up

Monday, 15 May 2017

Random Photos

Random things that Fly by your Window When Living On a Ship

Karen my South African Friend and Sveta from Russia
Our Tuesday Night Prayer Group
 Roses at her Birthday Part playing Wee Ten Pin Bowling with friends playing board games in the background.
The Service on Sunday for the Patients
 You can't see all the stickers on the wall, but there are many, these are the patients we were praying for.
 We will be sailing soon, so this was Life Boat Drill.

A Special Service and an Unexpected Blessing

After a busy weekend, we have a special Community Service this Sunday night that was very touching and sad but very worthwhile.

3 Teams came up to speak and the subject was sadness:  Three Areas, Three Teams that have had a lot of struggle over the Field Service.

The first team that came up to speak was the Screening Team and they showed a photo of some files on a shelve and then went on to explain that those files represented the patients that we were not able to help, people who had come with hope in the beginning of the service but that we had to turn away for a whole variety of reasons.  There were so many more no's than there were yes's and this special team of nursers and doctors were the ones who had to say no, over and over again.

The 2nd Team that spoke, was the Palliative Care Team,  there are were at least 26 patients that this team came alongside during our time in Benin, they walked the walk with them and she gave a beautiful talk about the ugliness next to the beauty of this walk, she spoke of the ugliness of finding cancer but the beauty that although we couldnt' operate, we were able to link them up with some other organisation that could help. the ugliness of a patient with cancer having HIV and his wife also being infected, but the beauty of her forgiveness that enabled her to decided to stay with her husband and with the teams help, was with him to the end, the ugliness of her having to come to terms with her own illness and the beauty of them helping her find local help to get the right medication and support quick enough that she will be OK.  The talk was beautiful and there were many more stories of how they had been able to make an positive impact in these peoples lives and to help them gain local help for when we leave.

The 3rd team that spoke was the Chaplaincy and their journeys alongside the patients,  each person that we have to give bad news too, who has to be turned away after they have been given a chance to see doctors with the hope that we can do something and then find out we can, this wonderful team is their to pray with the patients and to help them gain support.

After they finished talking, we had a lot of pieces of paper with each patients name, and we were asked to come up and stick the names onto the wall, These were all people that we are trusting God to bring healing and help in other ways, we wanted to cover them with prayer and to do the hard work of prayer and lift these burdens to God who is able to do what we can't.  We broke into small groups  and prayed for all we couldn't do.

Although this was a sad time and a time of reflection, it was also time were we knew we were doing the most powerful things we could and that placing these people in the hands of the one who loves them the most is a great part of the work of the African Mercy.

This evening, that is Monday, we all came together again in the International Lounge and we watch session 7 of the National Geographic series that is well underway in many countries and starting in Britain this Saturday at 10pm.  After that finished I headed down to the wards and started playing Dominoes with a patient that I had not met yet, when suddenly there was someone I recognised who came to say hello, it was Blessing and her Mum.  She looked happy but said she was not happy to be here because little Blessing had some sort of infection and that is why she was back.
She was very keen though for a game or two, so when the gentleman patient didn't want to play anymore, I headed around the corner for a few games with her.  We had a pretty even game and I am hoping to go up to deck 7 tomorrow, if I am not too busy and see if we can get a translator so I can teach her Othello. Little Blessing was getting a little tired and grisly but it was nice to see her, and be able to have the opportunity to see them again and no that I can prayer for her.

So the prayer request today would be to please join us on board as we get ready to sail and leave, for all the patients who we could not help and to please prayer for little Blessing and her mom, that they can leave here on Wednesday fully healed and whole.  I am hoping to get a picture of her, the only one I found the other day, she did not look very happy as it was just before her operation.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Whats Up

These are a couple of jobs I worked on during the week

  • Changed a couple of toner's 
  • Helped someone get sorted on their computer as they were just joining
  • Fixed a phone - the phone by the pool that was not working, due to a cabling error.
  • Got familiarised with the Pro Present for the International Lounge or Audio Visual presentations
  • Fixed a couple of corrupt user profile.
  • Helped our founder to post a happy birthday video to a friend on Facebook

A Weekend of Events

  • We have already had a leaving doe this Friday night for a girl who has been on-board for 9 years, so we all meet in Midships and celebrated her time on-board.
  • The next evening we had a birthday party in the Hospital Conference room, were we did some Wi Ten Pin bowling and then went onto play Bananagrams, which I am hopeless at, since I can't spell and then I went onto play a numerical game which was much more up my street.
  • Today, I am still on pager duty so I got up a bit earlier than normal but couldn't go off ship for church as I need to be nearby.  This afternoon, I have a bridal shower and then two events this evening.  We are hosting our on-land church family for a bring and share, on deck 8 and then I also have to help host our day crew, who is becoming full time crew's family, who are coming onboard to see where he is going to be living and working.  Elfred is a great to have on our team and I am so pleased he will get to sail with us and to work with us again next year in Cameroon.
I have also been battling a little virus which kept me from walking at 5am this week, so I am going to have to do double time next week.  Walking in the morning and early evening.  I feel that I must step up my steps, its just a good things to step into.  I am really hoping that Gran Canary has some nice walking spots.

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Busy Time Ahead & Prayer Request.

As we are on end phase of the Benin service, lots of people are starting to leave.  There are lots of farewells and as time goes on there will be less hello's and the ship will slowly become a slightly quieter place.

This last weekend I went out to lunch with my friend Karen and had some delicious ice-cream but then I forgot we were having the AFM African Material Fashion Show, apparently it was wonderful and I will post some pictures, even though I didn’t go.  During the services here, there has been a lot of people going out to the fabric markets and then we have two taylors who have done the most amazing job of kitting everyone out with African style clothing.  I have had a couple of things made, the one was after going out for the Batique day, the material I made, I had turned into a skirt and I had a top made.  So, they decided to have a fashion show and apparently they totally turned around the International Lounge.  I could kick myself for having missed it.  I would have loved to support the taylors who have worked so hard.

For some reason I have been fighting something over the past week and am feeling quite tired. I have had some issues with two of my important teeth, so I would like to please ask for prayer that they will be able to be sorted out.  Earlier on in the service, I mentioned that I needed a root canal and was supposed to have it in South Africa, but due to a mis-understanding was not able to have it, which worked out for good, as a covering seemed to be the trick and whilst it is still sensitive, it has improved.  I then found that I was getting a sudden pain on the opposite tooth and found out that I had something called galvanic activity which is caused by a metal filling again a gold crown, the two mettles through a I don’t like you party and the result is a shock to my mouth.  I thought this was sorted as the dentist onboard took out the metal filling and replaced it, having done that I had a few days of what I thought was bliss but he did warm me about something that I couldn’t understand and whatever that was, has occurred as the pain is back.  With the ship going to ship yard, there we don’t have a dentist on-board so I am hoping something can happen whilst I still have time.

The issue also is that back in the UK these sorts of appointments are quite costly and would be similar in Gran Canary and I am not wanting to go to a dentist I don’t know.  So prayers that the dentist here can sort out something or for a miraculous healing would be most gratefully accepted.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Surgery Ship - National Geographic Dates in Various Countries

From 26 March - 14 May 2017
BELGIUM & THE NETHERLANDSFrom 24 March - 13 May 2017
From 27 March - 15 May 2017
From 2 April - 21 May 2017
From 5 April - 24 May 2017
From 18 April - 6 June 2017
From 7 April - 26 May 2017
From 10 May - 28 June 2017
From 20 May - 8 July 2017
AFRICA - That's all across Africa 
From 6 May - 24 June 2017

Monday, 1 May 2017

Pager Duty Week & New's & Prayer Requests

Hi, this week I am on pager duty, for some reason this I find very tiring.

I think its the Adrenalin rush that occurs whenever the pager goes off, and this its think is linked to the fact that I don't operate well when I am called to do something that I am not prepared for, especially when I am called into a room, to a device or software that I have not yet been trained on.

I guess that means I won't be an ambulance driver.  Funny that.

So prayers for this week would be good.  Either that there will be no emergencies, or that I will just really start enjoying these jolts of electrical shock that goes through my body - maybe not then.....

Tonight I am going to watch number 5 in the National Geographic Series that they are showing on the ship.

Other prayers will be for all the goodbye's that will start to happen more and more from this week. We as a crew are edging towards the end of Field Service.  There are lots of people leaving and the day crew who will be also finishing with us.

It was the start today of new's for me.  I left last time in the middle of the field service, so  I have not done pack down and field service goodbyes.  So today was my first meeting were the procedures started to be announced.

As an IS department, we will also enter into a fairly physical side of the work, we will start packing down departments and storing equipment and also start to secure items for the sail.