Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Comming Up

Well, I’m back on night shift again, land of solitude, movies, and random nigh owls. Strangely, I like it.
Since the last time I wrote, not much has happened. I have gone to the beach once and had an African meal on Monday (specifically made so westerners can consume).
After much thought, the Africa Mercy crew is having another screening on Saturday. Surprisingly, people seem even more driven to be a part of it. This is why we are here, and the saddest part of last time was the fact that people would not be seen. So now a chance has been renewed and everyone is getting ready. Please pray for that day.
Thank you for all your support.
God bless.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pics of Sierra Leone

Freetown, Sierra Leone from the ship at sunset. Absolutely beautiful.

Our Dock and home for nine months


So, the reason why I uploaded these photos instead of writing about my adventures is, I haven't had any lately. I've been working night shift, but as I was posting these pictures a group of patients came in. Each one of them had various expressions on their faces: hope, fear, awe, and even blank looks. They have tried to get this healing for so long they don't know what to think and are saving the happiness of health for when it actually happens. Still, it is such a good reminder of why I am here. It makes me happy that the patients pass by me as they come in.

Thank you all for reading and praying for me,

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Good Day then a Bad Day

After ten days of working at reception, I finally got a day off on Saturday, and went to the beach with my good friend, Becca. This was also a bittersweet day since Leah, another good friend, had gone home. Nearing the end of our time at the beach on Saturday, we went for a walk then met up with one of the people Becca had met before when she was scouting beaches (she was making up the intertainment book for the Africa Mercy). In both Togo and Benin, the people I interacted with, especially potential patients, did not speak good English. It is so much harder to click with someone you do not speak the same language as, then with those you can understand. I did not understand this fully until I met this man. He spoke fluent English. My brain instantly clicked him as being my equal. I hate to say it, but sometimes I find that hard to do. Now, he did not want to become a patient, but his father was going blind. The hope on his face was absolutely beautiful when we told him his father might get treatment and see again. It instantly brought to life the hope people gain when they even hear the name of "Africa Mercy". See, they aren't just thinking rich people, white people, westerners, a nice facility. We are their only hope of ever walking, seeing, or being normal again. Most African countries have minimal health services and even smaller surgery ability. When they do, there is no insurance affordable enough for more than half the people. Sometimes it is easier to remember them as a statistic, but the hope I saw in that young man's eyes, when he heard there was a possibility that his father, a man he loved, could see again, then that statistic fell away, and I saw a human being clinging onto something. That is so powerful. Hope can be dangerous.
Today Mercy Ships had screening day. It is when thousands of people come to a large stadium or building to be looked at and get the yay and nay on getting a life changing opperation. This is a lot like getting in line for that Peter and John miracle in the Bible with the lame guy. Same desperation.
I'm not sure what, so I am not going to speculate, but something went wrong. Quite a bunch of people got into the gaits before they were supposed to and a lot of other things escalated to created panic, panic born of desperation made worse by hope. Something I almost feel bad about, is I am thankful no Mercy Shipers got hurt.
Amongst the Africans who were in the midst of the chaos there were injuries and one death - an African man who only wished to be looked at and maybe cured. Hope had spured him. I have no idea who this man was. I do not know his family. I have never see his face, but I pray that his family will be ok and that the comfort of God will flow over them.
This makes what we are doing so much more real. This is why I'm here. To help those doctors and nurses who are essentually being Peter and John. Peter and John did not give money. They did not tell the begger he needed to follow Jesus first. They just layed their hands on the man and he was healed.
Who are we? We are just tools God uses, and Satan hates that. Satan hates healing, joy, and hope. Hope is a powerful thing.
So please pray for us on board the Africa Mercy as we process everything that has gone on today. It is a tragedy that Satan used what we ment for good. Still, God is powerful and will use this tragedy for good. Thank you God.

God bless you all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sierra Leone

Well, I'm here!
My camera is full, and believe me I have found no time to take download those pictures so I can take more, so you'll have to live without for a bit.

Anyways, it is absolutely beautiful here. The city of Freetown is basically crowned by mountains and water. People have built their houses all the way up the mountain, and the two are so close together, that we can see the individual lights of the houses up the mountains. I haven't been here long to gain a general outlook on what the people are like, and what the atmosphere is like here. I took one walk from the port to one of our houses, which took five minutes. Still the walk was somewhat adventurous, considering how friendly people are here. Everybody stopped to say hello and ask how we were. There are little shanty shops all the way up the road but people aren't grabby about getting customers just a friendly hopefulness.
I think I'm glad we are here.

Work itself has been a tiring, long process. I can't complain. Most of the time we have little work in comparison with everybody else. Still, work has been non stop busy. On monday I must have worked for twelve hours all together and stayed up till one am embarking thirty new crew members. The next day was quite the challenge. Its been good though. I feel useful, and like I know something. Just tired. God is good though, and he has provided the strength I've needed.

Well, I hope all is well. Don't forget about us here in Sierra Leone.