May 01 2012

Day 2 on the Ship

It’s day two on the Africa Mercy. This morning was baby Akou’s cataracts surgery. It was a success and soon she will be able to see clearly. I spent some time in recovery with mom, Ameze, and the baby. Ameze can’t stop saying thank you.
I met another woman in recovery with an amazing story. The Mercy Ships medical team did work on her mouth. For the last forty years she has not be able to talk and barely eat because a tumor inside her cheek hadgrown so large it had locked her jaw.  The tumor was removed and she’s learning to use her mouth and eat normal foods. She showed me a thank you card she wrote for the doctor who did her surgery….it said: Thank you, Dr. Gary, for helping me find my smile!
While visiting my new friends at the hospital, I saw/heard the ‘praise and worship’ team. They travel from ward to ward with drums and tambourines singing songs to Jesus as the patients recover. Many of the patients sing along and several even get up and dance, if they can.
From singing to surgeries, the love of Jesus is evident on the ship. Patients know they’re loved…like never before. One patient recently came to the ship with a large tumor on his neck. A nurse spotted him and walked right over to start examining him. The nurse put his hand on the mans shoulder and he started sobbing. Because of the tumor he was an outcast – no one would get near him…the touch of the nurse was the first time anyone came near him in over a decade. He felt love again.
These are the stories I’m hearing over and over again. Thanks to the volunteers on Mercy Ships, patients once unloved, feel love….patients once hopeless, have hope.  Tomorrow I’ll be at a dental clinic and a special dress ceremony for women who have had surgery to repair damage caused by childbirth. I’ll keep you posted!

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Apr 30 2012

Let's meet Akou!

You can change a life…really! I’ve heard it said before and today I saw it first-hand. It was our first full day on the Africa Mercy and early in the morning we went to the eye screening. While we were waiting, I got to know Akou and her mom, Ameze. Akou is six months old and has cataracts in both eyes; she can’t see.


They will be removed tomorrow.
Because of her surgery in the morning, Akou and her mom are staying overnight on the ship. Before I went to bed, I wanted to say good-night and pray with them. When I got to their room, Ameze starting digging through her bag.  Minutes later, she handed me a bracelet her daughter had been wearing earlier. It was a gift for me. Ameze knows very little English but I still asked her why.

She just hugged me…and her hug answered my question.



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Apr 30 2012


We've arrived safely in Lome, Togo with Mercy Ships aboard the Africa Mercy. Today we'll be in surgeries and at an eye screening. We'll also get a tour of the ship…it's about two football fields long. Pray I don't get lost!


Amy and Jessica, Promotions Manager for K-LOVE in Louisiana, in front of the Africa Mercy. This ship is amazing with eight decks, deck 3 being the hospital and recovery ward. The operating rooms are fully equipped with everything the doctors need to complete a successful surgery.


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Apr 28 2012

On my way....

I wish you could see me right now…I can’t sit still. You know how it is when you’re so excited you can’t contain yourself. I’m there. My plane leaves tonight for Africa. The flight will take around 10 hours. Once we arrive in Ghana, we’ll drive a few hours before we reach the hospital boat, Africa Mercy, in Lome, Togo. We’ll be serving with Mercy Ships for the entire week. I’ll call Craig and Kankelfritz every morning to let you know how things are going. I’ll also blog and post pictures so you can take the trip with me!! I would appreciate your prayers.

Okay, God…here we go! I LOVE you! Guide me, protect me and let me shine with YOUR love so lives will find HOPE and HEALING that only comes from YOU!

Mercy Ships

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