Where Lives are Changed…

As many followers of this blog know, I spent the summer of 2010 aboard the M/V Africa Mercy working in the Stewards Department as part of the dining hall crew.  In my time in Lome, Togo and on the voyage down to Durban, South Africa, I had the opportunity to meet and get to know some amazing families, friends and individuals that lived and served aboard the ship.

Recently, CBS News’ 60 Minutes did a piece on the Africa Mercy, Africa Mercy: Hospital of Hope, where they revealed a piece of the story for the ship.

So many lives are changed each day, every week, month, year because of the work that these amazing individuals.  The ship is a place where the blind are returned their sight, the lame learn to walk, and those that have lost their lives are given new hope.  It is a place where miracles happen every single day.

But there is so much more to the story.  From the day workers who come onto the ship each day to the crew that has become so much more than family, this story could fill hundreds of pages and thousands of books through all the lives that have been affected, from patients to crew.

Yes, the mission of Mercy Ships is to serve the poorest of the poor, but so many lives are changed through serving aboard this ship, alongside its crew.  While not everyone has the ability or the skills to be the hands of healing, the hearts of service are evident in all the alumni that have returned home after serving as a housekeeper, in the galley, as a photographer, as an engineer, plumber, or mechanic.

The crew of the M/V Africa Mercy taught me what it was to love.  To truly embrace someone as a brother or sister, no matter who they were.  I grew in my faith and it is still changing me as I continue to remember the lessons that are buried deep within my heart.

I feel as if I have a family that stretches across the nations and I smile when I think of the memories; the laughter and conversations that echoed throughout the nights into the early hours of the morning at times.  I have brothers and sisters that come from all walks of life.

This is the story of Mercy Ships, a family that continues to grow and continues to serve the poorest of the poor around the world.  It’s in the hearts that continue to beat out in love that we find the words and the beginnings of a single chapter of a story that continues to be written through the miracles of modern medicine, faith, and caring hands.

God Bless and PEACE

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