Sunday, March 11, 2018

Birthdays on The Ship!

One week has passed and I think I have finally recovered from Tytus’ Birthday party. It was the first kids birthday party I had to plan and I wish someone had warned me. Birthdays are a BIG deal here.

Tytus’ actual birthday was on Friday, March 2nd. He received little gifts throughout the day. Our door decorated with balloons and banners. Mr. Fred bought him a Fanta (orange soda) at the cafe. Twice serenaded with the "Happy Birthday" song. Once by Tyrone’s
dining room and galley team, and once by the crew after ringing the Birthday bell. It was so fun to see my son so celebrated he soaked it up! His sweet self loved it so much.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I was told "God is at work!"

Stephanie & Julienne
I find myself thinking frequently about you, our supporters, our friends and family. I sincerely want you to feel a part of this great thing we are doing here in Cameroon.

I want you to know... 
  • Your prayers and financial support is the reason why people are being healed from the inside and out. 
  • Our patients come in broken. The love poured over them and the gospel they hear is as much a part of their healing process as surgery. 
  • Before and after pictures remind me this ship that brings free, safe surgery is a weird and wonderful place to do life and raise our kids!
I also want you to know that the last 6 months have been full of challenges. Let's be honest, it has been rough!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Giving Blood, Sweat, & Tears at Work!

When someone uses the term "Blood, Sweat, & Tears" we get the idea of hard work. For sure, if you work in Food Service you are WORKING HARD! I guarantee it. You will sweat, at least at some point. Tears? There are pounds/kilograms of onions to peel and prepare each day. Blood? Hopefully not! Unless you have agreed to be part of the ships blood bank for patients. Then I most definitely hope you get to give blood!

Mercy Ships has a unique blood donation system. They only use whole blood that contains plasma because they can’t separate it on the ship. The crew on-board the ship are literally a “walking blood bank” because there is no means of storing blood past 72 hours here on the vessel.

On the Africa Mercy they test every donor’s blood before the need arises. This allows the lab to call crew members immediately to start the process of donating blood.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Did you know what Encephalocele is?

If you have ever heard about the amazing work that Mercy ships does you have heard about facial tumors, cleft lips & palates, plastic surgery for burn patients, obstetric fistulas, and eye surgeries to name a few. Mercy ships does a lot of things but did you know we do crainiotomies? No? Me neither until serving on board in 2008. 

These patients are not the ones on the Mercy Ships commercials or websites. So most of the nurses that come are quite surprised to hear that we do crainiofacial surgery.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas!

This year, you changed lives. Thank you for partnering with us and leaving a lasting impact!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Who Holds Tomorrow?

Sometimes I think the reason I can't remember where I put things or remember any of my passwords is because my brain is full of song lyrics. Some days I can come up with a song for nearly every sentence I hear. The funny thing is I can't carry a tune to save my life! So I try to keep this hidden talent to myself except to the ones that love me despite my terrible voice.

Yesterday I was listening to music while I ran and it really resonated with me. All the songs were about how we may not know what tomorrow holds but we know who holds tomorrow. Song after song spoke to my heart and encouraged me to my core.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Time Keeps Ticking

Time is a funny thing on the ship. I have come to realize that time is not my own, even more so than off the ship. Community life makes that very clear. Simple tasks like doing laundry can take much longer than normal. You may see a friend that needs you to listen to them. Or a new person that needs to be shown how to use the ships laundry machines. Tyrone laughs at me when I say " I'll be right back." We both know that's highly unlikely. Time seems to both fly by, and creep, on the ship. My days on the ship are packed between kids, work, quiet time, exercise, cleaning, and relationships. The days are quick but I find myself thinking it feels like we have been here much longer than 3 months.

My time on the ward is sweet. Some days are full and others I leave early. It depends on if the nurses need any help with complicated dressings, lab draws, or other tasks. Some days I spend tidying up the ICU or spending time with the patients playing games or cuddling a baby.