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!