Monday, May 17, 2010

Kindergarten Play: The Great Big Enormous Turnip

On Friday my students and I performed a play based on the story of The Great Big Enormous Turnip by Alexei Tolstoy. The students invited their families and some friends to watch our show.

Visit The Farrell Family in Africa at the link below to read a review and view some pictures:

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Aissa lives in the north of Cameroon, West Africa.

Abandoned by both her mother and father, she was living with her grandma when she got sick. Her family brought her to the Meskine hospital, run by the Medical Centers of West Africa. She was found sitting outside the hospital pharmacy, skeletal, her face covered with a dirty rag, surrounded by a swarm of flies.

At 6 years old, she weighed 10 kilos. She was dangerously anemic, and could no longer walk or eat. She was diagnosed with NOMA , which is fatal in 90% of cases. She was hospitalized, but the family wasn’t able to pay for her care. They planned to take her home after just four days. Had they returned home, she would have surely died. The Medical Centers of West Africa chose to cover the cost of her care.

Slowly she came around. One day she smiled. Then she began to walk and play. Her photos were sent to Mercy Ships, who invited Aissa to come for a life changing surgery. A surgery that would bring her healing, restore her spirit and give glory to God. The organization Willing and Abel paid for Aissa’s travel. So this baby girl, who almost died in obscurity just one year previous, got on a plane and flew to Togo.

Aissa and Sarah after receiving care at the Meskine hospital

And our God, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, placed her in the care of a team of specialists who gave her back her face. Hallelujah.

After surgery on the Africa Mercy

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge… Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” -Eph 3:17-20

Written by Sarah Root. Sarah is a physician assistant at Meskine Hospital. She travelled to the ship with Aissa and has been acting as her caregiver and translator.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Before and After

Lawson before surgery

Lawson after surgery.

The tumour that had been growing in Lawson's mouth for four years made it difficult for him to eat, breathe and speak properly. He was ostracised from his community. Now he is able to smile again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Is washing your hair becoming a chore? Are you tired of having to brush it EVERY SINGLE day? In just five easy steps you can simplify your life and your hair routine:

1. Auction yourself off at a Mercy Ships Academy fundraiser.

2. Ask the hairdresser Paul to 'work his magic'.

3. Be sure to do this in front of the entire crew.

4. Wear a pink bow. It adds a touch of spunk.

5. Console yourself with some ice-cream.

Thank you Murray and Shelly for the pictures.


I'm giving You my heart, all that is within
I lay it all down, for the sake of You my King

I'm giving You my dreams, laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride, for the promise of new life

And I surrender all to You, all to You
And I surrender all to You, all to You

I'm singing You this song, I'm waiting at the cross
All the world holds dear, I count it all as loss

For the sake of knowing You, for the glory of Your name
To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain

And I surrender it all to you, all to You

by Lincoln Brewster

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kossin Delou

Sixteen-year-old, Kossin Delou, spent four years of his life sheltered by his family and kept out of the public eye due to an enormous tumor that dominated the left side of his face. When the tumor first appeared, Kossin visited local hospitals in Lomé, Togo. But his family could not afford the necessary surgery.

So, the tumor, which started from Kossin's upper jaw, continued to grow. It soon covered his eye, hindering his vision.

As the insidious growth enlarged, Kossin's life became more difficult. Kossin's father is a local pastor, and the church is an important part of his family life. But people viewed the tumor as a curse, so Kossin's shame prevented him from attending church.
In fact, the children who were once his friends now ridiculed him on the streets and at school. He even felt like an outsider among his own siblings.

His emotional turmoil intensified as his dream for his future began to fade away. Kossin wanted to study at a university to become a teacher. He wanted to enrich the lives of children with knowledge and love. His grotesque facial deformity would prevent him from pursuing his education.

Then Kossin came to our hospital ship, the Africa Mercy . After many hours of surgery, he emerged with a newly constructed face.

Kossin Delou waits in line to be examined by volunteer surgeons to be scheduled for surgery

Kossin Delou is examined by Dr. Gary Parker in order to schedule an appointment for surgery.

Joy radiated from Kossin and his family. His father, Pastor Delou, says, "In this life each one of us need s help in some moments of our life. I can say that through Mercy S hips, we have found that help. Y ou can have a bad story - but, before the end of your life , God will open a door and smile deep into your heart. I know that God is working through Mercy Ships for the best in my life and in Kossi n 's life ."

Kossin Delou three weeks after surgery.

Kossin is ecstatic about his new life. He can go to church with his family and friends. He's no longer an object of ridicule. And - best of all - in September of 2010, Kossin will be able to start school to fulfil his resurrected dream of becoming a teacher.

Written by Joy Clary Edited by Nancy Predaina Photos by Debra Bell and Liz Cantu