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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Praise always Bring Back Hope

I can't say I am enjoying Ship Yard, its hot, sticky, living in a mettle home with no aircon and being below deck is not the most pleasant environment.  Work has been a bit harder, energy has been low and my tooth has been playing up again, and I can feel a summer cold coming on.

The day was a touch one, emotions all over the place for various reason, but in the middle of all this, God is good.  Community meetings that I just didn't feel like going to was just what I needed.  Starting off with praise and worship and being reminded of who God is, how great, amazing, compassionate and powerful and feeling His greatness even in a small way brought my heart in the right direction and being reminded of our mission and why the ship is here, in her own hospital, being fixed and refitted, again, pulled me higher.

Why do I forget so easily?
Why do I let worry and fretting come in? That only leads to evil, His word says.
Why do I stop even for a moment, looking to the One who can help and wants to help?
Why, because I am frail, and He know it, He knew I would need Him, He knew those I love would need Him, He knew that is would all be too much for me, He knew forgiveness would be needed, He knew that Grace, Compassion and Long-suffering would need topping up and He knew that I would need all that from Him.  So, He sent Jesus, He sent Him to live and die and raise from the dead, He sent Him to be my Savour and Redeemer and I am so glad He did.

Where would I be without Him.
Where am I with Him.

And, today, He also send me good friends, friends from afar, to talk to, to prayer and to help.

Praising Him always brings back Hope.

1 Corinthians 13,

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Week One in Canarie - A Tweet

Weekend  : The weekend was very full, it was hot, it involved tons of walking, and ships moving out of the ocean.  Yip, really, into Dry Dock.  I have some photos that I will post.  They sailed the ship around to an area, they had already built a mould of the bottom of the ship, we sailed in and a diver went down and made sure everything was line up as it should be and then they raised up this prebuilt mold and it lifted the ship.  Once that was done, three trucks or power trucks came and pulled the ship to its holding place for dry dock.

Whilst this was happening, we all had to get off the ship, so we went down to Port Mogan for the day, 3 buses, some bright red crabs, many sailing boats in the water, tons of hotels and people on the way, we walked far, and relaxed a bit in this town.  This is the same town or near to it that the lads and I will be going to in July.  Dogs, I saw dogs, they were so cute, having not seen dogs for so long, it was a treat, dogs always make me smile and think of God's creativity and humour and compassion as He give us such loyal friends.

So it was back to work today and with no aircon on the ship, I was feeling rather sick by the end of the day and was very happy to get to my cabin.

The ship is really high now, when you walk up the stairs, you get to deck 7 and you feel like you much highter than before, because you are. The view is very different and suddenly we have tons of new people aboard too, and no more French, but Spanish. Things have changed rather dramatically in so many ways.  The food is different, the people are different, many many many people have left, hopefully to be seen again, but many perhaps only in the next life.  The view is different, the temperature is different, the language different the computer  systems changing and the ship itself is transformed in its look and its feel.  No longer a hospital for people but a ship hospital, all its revamps and fixes, bandages and overhauls.

Prayers:  Heat& protection.  Heat because its really hot and I  tend to feel sick in the heat, half an hour of humidity is enough to make me nauseous and get a head ache, so I would much appreciate prayer for the next few weeks.  Protection for everyone around the ship as they work and walk around a working dock. and travel around a new place.

Please also continue to prayer for my mom who is still in hospital but moved to rehab today, she is not having a good time and its been hard being here where I can't help.  My aunt too has lung caner and needs prayers for full healing.  My tooth is also playing up again, not too badly but enough to make me wonder if I do need that root canal and cap.

Friday, 16 June 2017

First Few Days in Gran Canary

Our Home is turning into a maintenance time, the hospital is no more a hospital and their are workmen all around.

Everyone was excited to be here and lots of people took the walk to the Port gate and into town, that is about an hour walk, I see some Mercy Hips being shed, but then if you eating ice cream then maybe not.  It was wonderful to see little dogs on leads, something you dont' see much of in Benin and I have so missed the animals and pets that are around, something good about were I am now.

Many many goodbyes are happening and of course many hellos as well.  There are more new people each time I look.

When we walked down to town, we took our little town with us, wherever we went, we saw Mercyshipers along the route, sitting down and having a meal and watching the sun go down.  We saw a lady walking down dressed in African gear and we called out, Mamma Africa, and she came over and had a chat with us, there really was a lot of joy amongst us all as we ventured out.  The new African crew members who have not travelled outside Benin before were exploring this new land.

The other thing that struck me was the greenery and trees, and along the Port main walk, are trees from Madagascar,  go figure.

There are new sites and sounds everywhere and each time I walk past the window, I have to adjust to the different view  Home that move.  I will post pictures soon.

In the next couple of days, we will go into Dry Dock, I am working on Monday, most of the ship have been asked to go ashore because there will be no water, toilets, cold food etc, as we enter into the dry docks, it should be an interesting experience.

News on mom:  She is still in hospital but seems to be doing well.  I will be speaking to her again tommorrow.  Please keep her in your prayers, for a good recovery, for her to grow strong and get good nutrition in her.  It is very worrying, but I am asking the Lord to be were I cant and know He will be.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sunday Update - Mom in Hospital Again

This morning I awoke to a message from Mom's friend Mandy letting me know that mom had fallen again and was back in hospital with a broken leg, this time the other leg.

She has had an operation this afternoon and I have not been able to speak to her yet but apparently she is doing ok.

Please be praying as she was going to have an interview about accommodation this week.

I am still sailing and we had worship on the bow this afternoon, we spotted some dolphins that came springing along to play in our movement, and the flying fish were also in abundance and were flocks or schools of them.  Last year the same thing happened, when we were worship the dolphins came along. What a blessing to end a day that started out so bad.

I spent a lot of the time on the bow praying and trusting God to be were  I can't be and asking Him to sort out what I cant.  I am so grateful to Lindsey and to Mandy, they have both been so amazing that I can't even express my gratitude.

God is good.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Update 9th and 10th

Africa Mercy Update - 9 June
The Africa Mercy is currently west of Guinea sailing through rain squalls. The course remains 307, as of this noon report.  The ship will soon be turned to a northerly course. The temperature has warmed to nearly 90 and the wind is 27 knts.  The vessel continues to roll about 3 degrees

The day was a good one, I had the afternoon off and was about to dash out to the bow but when I got there it was closed,  suddenly the rain had come up and we had headed into a small storm.  I was pretty tired from the working week, which is always a big harder during the sail, we are funnily not as busy but that I find to be quite tiring along with the motion of the ship, so I headed for my cabin and had a little nap.  I woke up in time to get back to the bow which was then open and was surprised by a wonderful wildlife moment, as we were looking over the bow, a sea turtle floated past, he or she was bobbing alongside the boat and didn't look very confident at all and I was a bit concerned he might bump into the ship, what an amazing site though.  The flying fish were also seeming to have some flying competitions out there,  and there were more of them as we go more north.

Today, the 10th, I woke with the Captain's announcing that the bow was open, that alone is enough to get me out of bed and excited to get out and about. Sailing is got to be one of the best things.
I headed to deck 7 first and spent some time playing the guitar but then decided I just couldn't stay away from the bow, so I headed there and spent most of the day, firstly reading for a bit and just watching the flying fish and again had an amazing spot of 3 dolfins that had decided that they would come along with the ship and were directly below the ship racing it. What an amazing site.  A little later in the day, we spotted some whales spurting but never got to see them come up at all.  Next was a flying bird that nearly hit into a flying fish.  During the sail they have quite a few activities for the crew, the activity tonight which I didn't join in for is sock golf, but I can hear it going on.  Last night was open mike, which I did stay and watch.

Tomorrow I am going to be shown how to dry flowers and then we will have worship on the bow at 3pm.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Update 8 June & 9th

The vessel is rolling lightly, hardly noticeable. The Africa Mercy is west of Sierra Leone and has traveled over 1300 nautical miles.  There is another 1400 nautical miles remaining in the voyage. 

Today we did a Man Over-board drill  and as I was sitting assisting a crew-mate with her computer, the call came over the system.  There are whales on the Port Side,  there was a stampead of what sounded like elephants going up the steps as everyone clambered to see the sea and where the whales were.  Alas I saw none, but saw some satisfied faces, a reminder for me to make the most of being as sea tommorrow, when I have the afternoon off.

Today is the 9th and Yippee, I am off this afternoon, and the Bow is open, so I am off to make a sandwich and head onto the Bow to watch for wildlife.

A few more flying fish, in fact, they are with us the whole way.  I also spotted a silver something in the middle of the ocean. 

I am hoping for some dolphins soon.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

June 6 Update

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The Africa Mercy continues to make god progress on its journey to Las Palmas.  As of noon (ship time or 0600 CDT) the vessel has traveled 768 nautical miles. Just over 1900 nautical miles remaining.
The temperature is 28 C or 82 F.  It is slightly overcast. The ship is rolling slightly, up to 5 degrees.  

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

5 June Update

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Africa Mercy is making good headway on the sail to Las Palmas.  The vessel is approximately south of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.  The sea is calm and the vessel is rolling lightly.

I saw a couple of whales spouting from a distance today,   I think I did anyway.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

We Are Sailing

We set sail on the 3rd June at around 2:30pm, we all were standing on the Monkey Bridge, just above the bridge and were waving goodbye to Benin and to many people down on the dock who were from surrounding ships.  A couple of our Worship leaders starting playing the drums and we sang a song that was so reminisant of dancing and singing with our patients.  It was one of those moments when many different types of emotions came to the surface, faces of the people we have connected with, the images of the types of operation that were done, from the dental to the eyes, to the tumours and orthopaedics.  It was not feel sad and happy at the same time. 
This was the first time I had left a country, but have arrived twice.  As we were sailing in a slightly dodgy area, pirates wise, we had a Navy escort for the first 50 miles, lots of us spent the first part of the day on deck, watching the waves, looking out for the flying fish and seeing the little Naval vessel just off our Starboard side. 
The first night on the ship was calm and although we had a few bigger roles in the middle of the night, I never heard too many bangs or clangs, so it seems like its smooth sailing.  We cross the equator today and will be heading into the Doldrums sometime soon, I never realised that the Doldrums was an actual place.  It is a very calm sea area, with very little wind, which meant when the sailing ships are trying to catch the wind, they could be struck in the Doldrums for days.  Just as well, we not relying on the wind then.

Today I woke and headed up to the Monkey Bridge again and spent a good hour or two out there before coming in to High Tea on the High Seas, and our Acapella group which I used to be part of and will be again next year, sang to us.  After that, it was more watching out for wildlife, and saw a few flying fish again and then we had Worship on deck 7 for a good hour.

Tomorrow will be a working day, so I best get to sleep.

Oh yes, we are on our way to Gran Canarie for Dry Docks and ship maintenance.