Friday, December 23, 2011

Seasons Greetings


This is our third visit to the beautiful country of Ghana in our Mercy Ships 'career' so far. Our last visit was in 2006 and it is weird to realise that 5 years have passed since then - the children have grown so much and we have experienced so many amazing things, met so many inspirational people and of course visited 4 other West African countries (plus South Africa and Tenerife).

At present we are taking a short break from the ship to get our strength back after a very long and challenging 10 months in Sierra Leone. In January we sail to Togo for a 'short' 6 month stint, and then on to Guinea for a 10 month field service.

We pray that all of you will have a peaceful Christmas and a blessed 2012. None of us know what lies ahead, but it is with confidence that we look to the future knowing that the one who has faithfully guided us this far will continue to do so.

So it only remains for me to wish you lots of Seasons greetings from the whole Clan.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

When in Rome

OK I'm not in Rome, I'm in Texas. Came over for the Global Leadership Conference and stayed an extra week for follow on meetings etc. Been busy but fun as well. Yesterday I went with two friends to a shooting range where we shot off 400 rounds of 9mm ammo in just over an hour. Awesome!

Friday, October 14, 2011

What a Peach

A long time since we blogged - but here is Natty with his classmates making models of Giant Peaches as they read the infamous book about James and his fruit associated adventures!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Small Boy Blogger 7

It is the last week of summer program and we are doing lots of fun things. Today we are eating waffles and playing lots of cool games. I am excited because we go to a different family’s house for a holiday and my mummy’s coming back tomorrow. We have welcome back things for her and she is bringing some stuff for us.

Friday, July 22, 2011

small Boy Blogger 6

last week we went to the team house. It was great!! When we got there, we swam in the pool. Then we played lots of tennis games. We did those things for a while and then we had lunch. It was delicious! We had kebabs, baked beans, rice krispie treats and Pringles. Then we did lots more fun games and then left. On the way back the road was blocked so we had to take a different route and we got stuck in a very deep ditch and all the Africans were trying to push it out. When they got it out, we got stuck in some terrible traffic all the way back. When we got back to the ship, we were so glad that we went straight to our cabins to rest.

small Boy Blogger 5

Two weeks ago we went to the chimp sanctuary and Charlotte Falls. The Chimp sanctuary was pretty boring to me because all it was, was a man talking about chimps and occasionally we would go see some chimps getting fed or even throwing rocks at us. I liked the hike a lot more because we had to climb and jump over rocks and when we got there, we each got 4 biscuits and were allowed to play in the water. Then we came back home to the ship.

Small Boy Blogger4

The weekends here are great! Sometimes we go to the beach and occasionally to restaurants or cafes if it is a special treat. A few weeks ago our chef organised a huge BBQ at Bhura beach. We had hotdogs and hamburgers. They were delicious!! We also swam in the sea, and my friends and I did some football. Then next weekend we went to the Aberdeen womens centre and stayed there for a few days because one of the people running the place went on holiday and offered to let us stay there. The Aberdeen womens centre is a place for women to come and have their babies delivered safely. Jude and Katie are the people who run the place. Jude is from Scotland and Katie is from South Africa. I like living on a ship but sometimes it is nice to stay on land as well.

Next week we are living in a different family’s house. It is a really big and one of the kids living there has a wii and lots of Lego. The weekends are great and really fun.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

small Boy Blogger 3

Sometimes in summer program or even when I have some spare time I will go to the ward and play with the patients. We do something called shareable parables. It is where someone reads a story and everyone acts out, even the patients.

Sometimes we make bracelets or necklaces. We also play with balloons and board games. Playing with the patients is a good thing to do so the patients can have fun and we do to.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Small Boy Blogger 2

We have been doing lots of fun games in summer program. We are learning to make friends and be a good friend to others. A little bit ago we were at the hope centre and we played with the kids there. We played football with some of the boys and we played with bubbles and chalk as well. We also went to the beach the day before that. It was lots of fun, there was a thick layer of seaweed all across the beach by the water. Some days we just stay inside and do crafts and indoor games. We even go down to the ward and play with the patients. I think that summer program is great and lots of fun for all the kids.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Small boy" blogger

A few weeks ago school ended and summer program started. Summer program is a place for kids to go and play games and go to beaches and orphanages. Lots of the parents volunteer to help and so do others.

Very recently, lots of people have left the ship including some of our very good friends, which were long termers. A little bit before that the president came to the ship. The whole crew had to dress up nicely and then go to the international lounge and watch him speak. Thank you for reading our blog and being interested in Mercy Ships.

By Nathaniel, aged 8 years

Thursday, May 12, 2011


We've made some great connections with patients this year both on the ward and at the Hope Centre (our off ship site where patients stay before and after their surgery. We've enjoyed visiting them in the evenings and weekends. We take games to play with them and the favourite among kids and adults alike is...FRUSTRATION! Connect 4 has also been good for times when we've not had a translator available to explain the rules - sign language has sufficed.


You may have trouble spotting the divers as there is so much garbage in the water! The plastic and other stuff blocks our water inlets for the A/C cooling system. The guys are having to dive every day, often a couple of times to clear it - this on top of their regular jobs. It's a lot of work to try to keep things running smoothly especially for the surgical unit (as well as the rest of the ship).

Anyone fancy coming as a full time diver?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


This was my second work experience, my first being a pre-school teacher in the academy. We can't choose the same area twice so I chose the sales department this time. Here I am making crepes for the crew at the coffee bar.

I was also able to be a buyer for a day for the ship shop, for items from local vendors. I had a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I recently spent three days working as a writer in the ship's PR office. This was a part of the work experience we were doing in the school on board. I had to do some interviews and produce some written work. It was a great opportunity to get to know the patients better. These pictures are of me with my star patient, Binta and her sister.

Below is one of Mercy Minutes that I wrote, these will be read out by Don Stephens on a number of radio stations.

Clean Clothes for Fatu

Forty-three year old Fatu is crippled from polio and can't take care of herself. She lives at a special community home in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
One day, two women-Herma and Tiffany- from our hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, came to visit. They found Fatu hunched on the floor. She was dressed in only a huge shirt because all of her clothes were dirty. So, Tiffany and Herma got to work doing Fatu's laundry. The other residents were amazed that the women would do such a humble task.
Sometimes very small acts of mercy make a big impact! Now you go, look for a way-even a small way-to show someone mercy today.
This is Don Stephens of reminding you, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

Rachel-Elise Cairncross, student in Academy on AFM
Reference: Information from Tiffany Bergman, 17 April 2011: 133 words

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mercy Ships will debut promotional spots starting this week on the CBS "Super Screen" in Times Square (New York City). We will have 30 seconds of air time each hour from March 14th through April 30th!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cape Town Capers

Here we are sailing into Beautiful Cape Town - see Table Mountain in the background? WOW!! We were last here in 1996 and it is still one of the most amazing places we've ever visited. Nathaniel was busy playing on his skateboard so missed the picture. Typical!

So here's the full family in the Victoria and Albert warf - yes right down on the waterfront where all the shops and restaurants are! All you need is the money and time to enjoy it all. We had just over 24hours to take it all in before heading to Sierra Leone for 10 months. Needless to say my feet ache!

So here are Nathaniel and Rob relaxing in a place called 'Scratch Patch'. A brilliant place where they recreate a cave where all the stones on the floor are polished and beautiful. You buy a small bag (ours were 15rand each - about $2) and fill it with as many as you want. A great (and cheap) souvenier.

Bye Bye Durban

As we sailed out of Durban a plane flew over and took some photos. What do you think of the new Logo and bigger web address on the side? Snazzy huh?

This is where the vehicles sit for the sail - snuggled under the swimming pool that was donated last year.
Not the most streamlined - but a VERY welcome site in West Africa :-)

A Big Bug to Bear

Thought you might like to see one of the bugs that Nathaniel caught in Appelsbosch. It was definately the biggest Beetle I've ever seen - and I hope never to see bigger!!

Now why are we glad to be back onboard? Hmh?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


After 5 months of living at 'The Bosch' as Appelsbosch College affectionately became known, we are back onboard the AFM. PRAISE GOD!

We moved on Saturday 29th and even though there were about 170 of us the move went very smoothly. Mind you I had been working 60+ hours a week for the 5 weeks prior to the move organising and setting things in place!!

We are now settling into a new (old) routine, getting used to small spaces, close community life and all that makes up life onboard the AFM. The children are back in school - but the main classroom got flooded today when a pipe burst ! Unfortunately it was right above the school library so many of the books got soaked. A real pain for the teachers who had just got it all set back up after being in Appelsbosch.

Anyway we are onboard and hoping to sail within a week to Cape Town for a very brief stop and then Sierra Leone. I have a good internet connection and so SHOULD be able to Blog a bit more often.

The generators? Well they are still being commissioned and set up. We had three power cuts today and a total black-out last night whilst pipes were adjusted and systems tweaked. Air con occasionally works as do toilets and water systems. Hey - we're just happy to be back onboard.

Thanks to all who have persevered in keeping in touch with us during my 'silent' period :-)


Rob for The Clan.

P.S. I now have a goatee beard - photos (maybe) later.........