Monday, August 31, 2009

How british can you get.

Rachel-Elise proving that even when swimming there is nothing a Brit likes better than a good cup of tea!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dirty Jobs

Dirty job Every week two divers clean garbage and marine growth from the screens that cover the cooling water intakes on the Africa Mercy, so that the cooling water continues to pass, so that the engines and generators don't overheat. The visibility is usually very low, which makes their job extremely hard... Pictured: Olly

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nice Pic

Here's a nice picture of Anne. Why? Why not - it's our blog :-)

All aboard the merry-go-round

One of the hardest things about life onboard for those of us who stay for a while is constantly having to say goodbye to people who have become friends. Every week some crew members leave and more arrive, and with each turn of this emotional merry-go-round it can become harder to enjoy the ride. It's always nice therefore when someone who has been here before comes back to serve onboard again (Like Christine pictured with Rob and Tim). But of course it's then doubly hard when they leave again (Like Christine pictured with Rob and Tim)!

Feeding Program.

When a child is born with a cleft lip and/or a cleft pallet they have trouble feeding and so are often malnourished and weak when we see them. That's where our feeding program comes into play, making sure that the babies get a diet that will make them strong enough to have the surgeries. How could anyone not want to do all they can to help?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Academy Summer Program - Newsletter

Anne sent out a mini - newsletter about the kids summer program last week. Apparently a few folks had trouble opening it so here are the photos and comments for y'all (spoken like a true americanised brit) . I left out Nathaniels Prayer Bear and Adopt a Patient as they're already on the blog:-)

9 weeks of summer vacation, 6 of those were Summer Programme for the Academy students. I had the privilege of being a driver for them on a couple of their field trips……

Offers skills training for children who ‘live’ on the markets. Many of these children (aged between 13 and 18 years) have been abused, exploited and are prey for child traffickers. In addition to 2 meals a day and a safe place to sleep, Maison offers them training in soap making, baking and cooking and then help them to find jobs.

Rachel-Elise learning how to make soap

The finished products for sale!

Preparing the pastries

The finished product

Pasta from scratch!

We also made a visit to the Sisters of Charity (Started by Mother Teresa’s work with the poor). At their orphanage they take children who have been dumped – always babies and toddlers- whose parents can no longer afford another child. Some of them have H.I.V./A.I.D.S. They are cared for in the little clinic. The healthy ones all get adopted out.

This little one was like a ‘Cling on’ for most of the time I was there. These children are desperate for some love and attention

Preparing the parachute for some fun!

The older children had the chance to play ‘Secret Service Agents’- that’s code for doing special things for crew around the ship……

Preparing the cookie dough.........

Many hands make ?? (Hope they cleaned their hands first)

And they all ate happily ever after.....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prayer Bear

Whilst the school onboard was closed for the summer, Mercy Ships organised a 'Summer School' to keep the kids occupied (and the parents sane). This involved all sorts of fun things but also gave the children more opportunities to take part in different ministries onboard and ashore. Here Nathaniel is on the ward showing one of our patients how to make a 'prayer bear'.

Liberian Chaos continues

According to The Analyst, 9 Liberian Immigration officers have died in the last two weeks. The article suggests that they have been part of a 'power struggle', though it also goes on to say that others think it was due to witchcraft or juju. Officially the cause of death hasn't been ascertained for any of them yet. I don't recognise any of the names as being people we delt with directly, but it is still very saddening to hear news of this kind from a country that we spent so long in.

Monday, August 17, 2009


'As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen."Come follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.'

Many families in Benin still rely on fishing for their survival, with one generation teaching the next the necessary skills. We see the small hand-made canoes going out past our ship every day. Some are propelled by a father and son paddling, some use sails made from old sacks, whilst other more prosperous boats have outboard motors bolted to the side. None of them look sea worthy enough to leave the harbour yet they go out every day to catch fish to feed their families and to sell in the local markets.

The differences between their lives and ours are as marked as the differences between their boats and the Africa Mercy, yet Christ loves us the same and died for all of us - we are all called to be fishers of men.