Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekly Challenges

Another week in Liberia nearly over with its blessings and burdens. So what has gone on this week?
Well a major water shortage meant that the laundry was closed for nearly 4 days onboard - 350 people, tin box, hot humid weather and no laundry - atmospheric to say the least! For some reason the water just stopped flowing to the ship so I had tankers organised ready to deliver to us incase things didn't improve. Thankfully the water plant managed to 'find' the elusive valve that had been closed and we are slowly topping our tanks back up again. However we are still limited to 1 load of washing per person per week and of course continue with the 2 minute showers.
Our shipping agent has had their challenges as well this week as the Ministry of Justice marched in on Wednesday, told them all to leave their office and then locked it up so they couldn't get back in! It seems they are stuck in the middle of a dispute between one of their customers and a shipping line, and as that particular shipping line has no office here in Liberia the agent is being held accountable instead. So no containers for us again this week.

The satellite connection has been poor for some reason so e-mails, internet and phones have all been sporadic. Bad news for productivity but at least we've had 2 rather quiet days in the Pursers office which makes a nice change.

Iona had her hair cut into a very cute 'bob' style on Monday and looks totally different. She used to have it like that when she was two so it's a bit of a flash from the past.

Although we only have about 6 weeks left in Liberia the medical teams are still working flat out to treat as many people as possible. One of our eye surgens did 15 cataract surgeries yesterday morning alone! I know the medical team would appreciate your prayers as a lot of patients coming to the ship at the moment have various sicknesses in addition to their surgical needs. This not only lengthens and complicates their stay onboard but of course the nurses are starting to catch the illnesses as well which places a heavier load on those left.

So all in all another busy week. On Saturday we go to the orphanage again and on Sunday I'm going to a local church led by Pastor Charles Coleman, the brother of the Immigration Officer who died last year. I try to go once every 2-3 months to show support and because he is such a great guy! Nathaniel may come with me, but the heat and length of service always prove difficult for the children. I'll try to get some pics of his church to post next week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Listen in

Saturday was Anne's turn to lead the program at the 'Centre for Aged, Orphaned and Abandoned Children Liberia Corp.' She used all her parental skills to keep them in check - not least of which is SHOUTING to be heard! In seriousness though it was a great opportunity to teach the children a bit more about being part of the body of Christ and instill in them a sense of self-worth.

Cows and other hazzards

Potholes, torrential rain, vehicles that shouldn't be on the road driven by drivers that shouldn't be behind the wheel, the list of things that makes driving in Liberia interesting goes on and on. Occasionally though it isn't the sheer volume of traffic (or breakdowns) that holds you up...

Mind the Puddle

Rainy season may be over in Liberia (Hurray) but that doesn't mean no more rain. We are now into the wet part of the dry season! This picture was taken on Saturday as Anne and the girls went to the orphanage - praise God for Landrovers :-) Nathaniel and Rob remained onboard as Nathaniels had a birthday party to attend.....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fuel for thought

What uses 9000 litres of diesel and 35,000 litres of water a day? A mercy ship working 24/7 in Liberia! To keep the generators running to provide lighting, electricity and air conditioning for such a large ship is not cheap, but is essential to enable us to carry out our work. Our tanks can hold enough fuel for about 4 months use, but then we need to top them up from a fuel barge. This week was 'top up' week and the fuel sailed to us onboard the m/v Mars. Please remember to pray for all our technical crew who keep the lights on, the water running and the ship 'alive' so that the blind can see, the lame walk and the deaf hear about the God that we serve.

Night at the movies

Last weekend some of the creative talents of our crew were displayed as we had the first Africa Mercy Film Festival. Crew members made short movies (comedy, animated or documentary) which were then shown to the crew. A panel of 'illustrious judges' (inc Rob) then chose one from each category to win a trophy. It was a great evening of entertainment and fun, with the crew dressing in their best clothes and making a real event out of it. A you can see Rachel-Elise (in the centre wearing black)scrubbed up pretty well, and although her class' entry didn't win a prize, it did give them a taste of the work required to plan, shoot and edit a film.