Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bitter Sweet

The field service is drawing to a close and many crew, including some of my closest friends, are returning home.

And that is why it has been a bit of a struggle for me these last two weeks. When you share most meals with these friends, exercise with these friends, and laugh and cry with these friends for most of the year, the line between friendship and family becomes blurred. So while those of us who remain on the ship are happy for our friends to be re-united with the ones they love, we are also sad because we lose a part of our ship family.

Even while I have been experiencing this rather selfish sense of loss, God has been blessing new friendships. And reminding me of the blessings that exist in old friendships.

Some friends that have returned home...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hospitality Centre

The Mercy Ship hospital treats patients from all over Benin. Many of these patients travel long distances to come to the city of Cotonou, where the Africa Mercy is docked. Often these patients need somewhere to stay in the days leading up to their admission into the hospital. Most of the time, the patients need to visit the hospital for post-op care. They cannot stay in the hospital though, as the bed space is needed for new patients.

The hospitality centre is Mercy Ships solution to this logistical problem. This centre is a large warehouse that is about a fifteen minute walk from the ship and it houses all those patients that need to remain close to the hospital for post-op care. While the patients and their families stay there, they receive meals and have a warm bed. The adults also receive basic education (reading, spelling, etc.) from one of the crew who has been assigned to develop a daily programme for them. Crew are free to visit the centre any time to play with kids or provide comfort to the families.

The hospitality centre from outside

The patients' beds

Last week a few of us went to visit the children at the hospitality centre. We took tattoo's, balloons, colouring books, etc. along for entertainment.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Here are some more pictures of the International Evening of Worship.

The crew singing and dancing

The South Africans

The Beninoise worship team