Friday, December 11, 2009


I remember my first blog mentioned rocking. I knew nothing of rocking ships. We are now sailing around Africa and the rocking has increased exponentially. Strangely enough, I am not sea sick, though I do gain the occasional bouts of headache’s – my brain does not like not knowing what is going on.

As can well be imagined, we are finished with our Benin mission and are moving on to Tenerife. Yes, there is a certain sadness in leaving a country, which has been our home for so long, but the excitement is growing in the idea of a break for Christmas. Though Tenerife is near to Africa, it belongs to Spain, therefore it is very European. While there, we can relax from our guard and enjoy the sights. The reason for this venture is to do a little bit of doctoring on our ship instead of the human populace of the country. I, of my own self, am excited to be able to go out on my own without an escort. As a woman, I was highly advised not to go off ship on my own. In Tenerife, this fact becomes almost nil.

What creates even brighter spirits is the sailing itself. The physical being: when I go on the top decks or the bow, I can feel the wind in my hair, hear the waves, and enjoy the splendor of the sea. One day, while I was out until the sun crescendo below the sky, we saw a water spout, dolphins, and the after affects of whales breathing. It was truly, all an amazing sight. At night, if there are no clouds in the sky, the stars turn out for the event and give us a real show, for there is not a light to be seen in any direction, except off our ship. I am truly amazed by God’s wonder.

Last, to speak of is the spiritual wonder of being out here. I have often heard but not truly experienced the fact that demons are territorial. This means when we left Tenerife the spiritual lackluster we felt immediately came off. It may be partly because we are nearing the holidays, but people are less moody, and my mind seems released. Yes, there is something different in the air. If anything, that would make me want to stay out to sea forever. I wonder what Tenerife will be like

God bless you all,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Making up for Lost Time

I was checking my blog and realized, I have not posted in a long time. There is nothing specifically new to report. I am still working at reception and my days and nights are pretty much the same as always.
I will report, I have given blood for the first time. It was an interesting experience watching my blood flow right out of me and feeling as if my arm was about to faint and almost throwing up. The cool thing was, I got to hear about who was going to receive my blood. She is a VVF patient. I hope the best for her.
Other than that life has been pretty quiet. We have the President's banquet comming up but that keeps being post poned. I think it is part of their culture to not actually cancel just keep on post poning until we give up. At any case, I doubt it will actually happen.
I did have the opportunity on Saturday to take a trip to Bab's Dock. Its a beautiful little place with hammocks, a bar, kyacks, and the assortment of little things to do. I mostly relaxed and went in the kyack. I received a sunburn a week ago so I was extremely careful. Thankfully, no more sunburns.
It is not just sunburns and hammocks; I have been working, but the fun stuff is always more interesting to report.
God bless all of you

Thursday, October 15, 2009

football (soccer)

Imagine a place with barbed wire and what looks like large mettal bins on one side, and on the other a road with zipping motorcycles and a mosque. The field itself, is only a land of sand and two goals. The sand is wet, which is good because it doesn't get into your shoes. The bad is, it stinks. This is the feild I played football in yesterday. I say play as only a flippant word. I merely ran and watched as the ball flew from one set of skilled feet to the other. I was there for the exercise and possibly because we were playing shirts against skins. African men don't have much fat on them.

The game became interesting not because our playing was good, though Africans are pretty darn good players, but because a small crowd formed on the side of the field where tires set up on end were seperating us from the road. Zimmyjohns, that is motorcycles, lined the tires, where people stopped to watch the game. I suppose seeing white people, especially a white girl was a novelty, plus the chance to sit down, relax, and watch a game was more than tempting.

The crowd only left when two things happened; it started getting dark and the mosque started singing its call to prayer. I have rarely disliked music, except when its badly done. Admittadly the man on the microphone did sound a little croaky but not exceptionally bad. No, it was the fact that I have never heard that prayer in real life. I have traveled around the world but I've only heard it in movies. It was kinda creepy. I didn't get the shivers or feel like I was going to faint but my ability to concentrate was hindered considerably. Then again, I'm ADD. That may have been the reason.

Once it turned dark we piled into the cars and drove home, or I should say crawl. Dark seems to be the rush hour. Zimmyjohns zoomed past, cars inched in, and the general assembly milled about with wares, baskets, and other nicknacks. Sometimes, or maybe allways when I am in a country such as this, I feel that the drive makes anything worth it. It is most interesting!
Well, God bless, and good day,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A prayer

Sometimes the best way to pray is in front of others so it becomes a true prayer so here is mine,

Lord forgive my wandering heart. I jump to fast, I break before the shot is fired. Who am I that I worry. Your time is perfect, your heart is all love. I am just a stone in your hand. Throw me where you may. Though it may hurt, change me, make me. I fear for my heart that it may be forever lonely. But two things you tell me. You are near me. You love me. I am not alone. The second is close. God is the founder of love. Lord you created Eve for Adam, how much easier it is to match two hearts together.
My heart is in your hands. I give it to you. Do as you wish. Send it where it may. If it forever stays in your hand bereft from another, teach me contentment. If you match it with a broken heart, teach me patience. If you match it to one amazing, make me ready. I know your timing is your own. Do not let me rush you. You are the lamp to my feet and the light to my path. You do not show far into the future. Who am I to question what comes next, to solve the riddle of tomorrow. Though you have something ahead, yet undone, I will wait. Help me to be patient. Let me see the roses along the path as you walk beside me, guiding me towards the future yet unseen.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I have a confession to make. The reason why I have not updated my blog is this: I have very little to report. In all basicness, I have been lazy. No, I have not shirked on my job and I have hung out with my friends. It was amazing leaving the ship with my two good friends and just hanging out at the pool doing absolutely nothing. I didn't have to bother about people who I work and live with. No, I don't mean that type of laziness, for that has its place. What I mean is I haven't done anything to make this become my trip. I have yet to find my niche in usefullness. I think God has let this pass because I needed to get used to my surroundings. Now I can feel his prodding. I'm starting to feel that missing niche. There are so many things to Africa. We can adopt a patient - go down to the ward and visit with a specific patient. We can go with one of the land teams. They go to all places, there is the growing, building, watching kids, esc... If I want to stay here awhile, I need to find something to do. I need to let God use me.
Some other things I am finding is the wonder of God. He never stops working on us whether it be large or small. Over the past few years he has been doing some major construction work on my self esteem. What other god does that? I have this amazing God who cares about how I view myself. I find myself talking to someone and catch myself thinking two years ago I would have wondered if I was a charity case for them. I tell people that, and my good friends believe me, but the people I just met, don't.
God also seems to be working on my patience. It may just be my imagination, but I keep getting the feeling that God is up to something and he won't tell me what. At least I am not sure what that up is. It is one of the most annoying feelings in the world as well as encouraging.
So maybe not much is going on outwardly, except maybe I changed my shampoo, but I feel like God is constantly changing me. It shall be exciting to see what God has up his sleeve for me and the rest of us.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It is amazing how many things can be accomplished in just one month. I have been to the market twice, one the food market, the other a cloth market. The people are incredibly friendly, though in the cloth market the muslim influence is a stark reality. I have purposefully not gone with money, as that way I just tell the vendors I have no money and they leave me alone in a friendly manner. 
With a group of about eleven or so people I went to Ouida. This is a place well known for its gate of no return (where Africans went before being herded onto boats for the Americas). It was quite the eyeopener. Never has the slave trade, and the gruesomeness of it been so real to me as when I saw that place. I looked accross the waves, and can imagine the people turning and looking at their lush home one last time before sailing to Brazil, or dying on the way. Thankfully, we went swimming after, and as the cushioned American that I am, I forgot all about it. Lastly, I have played football (soccer) twice. I think I'm actually starting to enjoy exercise, which is a scary thought if I've ever known one.
As for life on the ship, I haven't truly known a bad day yet. If I believed in Feng Shui I'd think bad was just below the horizon kinda like the sun right now. I can see a little bit of pink out the window. Mmmm ain't life beautiful? I think God likes to spoil me sometimes. I have good friends, wonderful cofee, exercise, and beautiful days. What more can I ask for? Oh yes I don't have tv or the ability to watch it on the internet - life is beautiful and my mind loves it.
Almost everyday there is something to entertain, a movie in the queen's lounge, a dance party on deck 8, or simply a good book from the library. Really my life is great. Did I say I was a missionary - a very spoiled one. I know that missionaries are supposed to say how hard life is but really, what is the point of that. If life gets hard maybe I'll write about it but until then... I'll keep my happy face on and feel amazingly blessed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A day in the life of Heather

First off I just need to say none of this is from Mercy Ships but of me.
To all my friends and family I have to say I miss you loads.
To live on a ship is to feel the swell and shift of the ship, to hear the roar of the engines, and to have black black cabins. To live on the African Mercy we learn the meaning of little personal space, lots of love, and prayer for those we have never seen. This past week we prayed for two babies. Unfortunatly they both went home to God. I don't know the reason for this and I'm not going to pretend to know but needless to say there was more than a few teary eyed crew members on board the ship.
I'm finding it hard to say exactly what a day for me contains. Last week I had the morning shif, which is to say I woke up, took a shower, then went to work. We worked till two then got off. I sometimes get a chai tea, other times I watch movies with friends or whatever else is randomly set up for the day. Like in real life there is not an itenery to say exactly what each person will do every day. This is, after all, many people's lives.
Right now I am sitting at reception on night duty. If your wondering if its exciting, not really. The beginning was because I got the pleasure of doing the paperwork of all the new crew members who joined today. After my night shift is over I will likely go to bed, so it feels like my life is flipped over on this shift.

Friday, August 21, 2009

life on a semi-rolling ship

Oh a sailor's life for me... I don't know if the word sailor is the correct term for me but I am now officially living on the ship. I suppose I should mention the week I had before the ship. Just to put everyone's jealousy on its toes - I stayed in Paris for three beautiful days and nights. We biked around Paris visiting places like the Tour de Eiffel, Sacre Coer, and lovely restaurants with lovely food. I think that's the part I'll miss the most - the food.
As for my life on Mercy Ships. Its not too bad. Actually its quite nice. The food is great - not very cafetereish. They have allready put me to work. I have successfully transfered calls, signed in keys, and learned about the fire pannel which isn't as complicated as I thought. My room, as I've told various people, is small, very small. I will say some advantages, the bed is soft, I'm skinny, and it is pitch black making sleep in the day way too easy. In the mornings. Reminding myself that yes its morning and I should get up is always a interesting task involving thinking in the morning. So far no trouble. The alarm clock hasn't even done its job yet (thank goodness since it is loud) instead I wake twenty minutes before which is perfect for me who likes to lie there and just enjoy staying in bed.
I should mention my decorations, for at least my family's sake. One wall bears the a Darcy poster with a bumper sticker stating I <3 Darcy nicely put under it. The wall opposite wears my Nightwish poster. Now my room is the simplist Phengshui room I've ever seen though I truly didn't try and I don't believe in that stuff. Maybe the slight clutter takes away from that aura who knows :).
Heather out