In Tanzania, I held my emotions in check until the last day of the medical clinic there when the non-sponsored children came through. It finally broke through my tough exterior and pierced me deeply. I simply do not know what to expect with this trip.
I called the ship today and spoke with my friend Deb. She and I did two schools together in Youth With A Mission, our Discipleship Training School in Kona, Hawaii and our School of Video Production in Kalk Bay, South Africa.
It was good to hear her voice. She is the type of person in my life who really helps to keep me focused. I so appreciate her and have missed her over the last two years.
She is the MV Africa Mercy photographer, so she and I will be working closely together. If you have seen the photos on the Mercy Ships website, a lot of those are her shots. She is a fantastic photographer with a great eye.
When I got off the phone with her, I felt energized again about this adventure. This adventure I have been praying for for the past nine years. I feel like the lady who kept going to the judge and basically bugged him till he heard her case. I have cried out to God to open the doors for me and make this opportunity a reality. He answered my prayers in a mighty way.
One of the struggles I was up against was that this trip is not sponsored by my church and I am only with Mercy Ships for one month. This meant that if I had people who wanted to give towards this trip, their donation would not be tax-deductible. God had that worked out too.
Just by chance, yeah right, last week I was in the admin building duplicating some DVD's. Darien, our men's pastor rushed past and I made a comment to him. Well, he was in such a hurry, he did not respond.
I finished my chat with Donna and went to wait for my copies to be completed. Darien happened to be making photocopies and we started chatting.
Well, long story short, the men's ministry is a stand alone 501C3 and they have stepped up to process the funds for me. That is a tremendous blessing!!
I currently have $1,500 in donations towards the $3,300 total for the trip. I have complete faith that this will be covered.
So, the serious countdown has begun. I leave a week from today. Deb and a couple of other people I have spoken to on the ship told me that the sail has been smooth since they left the Canary Islands. Please keep the crew in you prayers. They are going through training during the sail and preparing for what lies ahead.
Here are some additional prayer. Please pray for:
- ...safety during the sail. Piracy has been common in East Africa for years, but the risk is growing on the other side of the continent.
- ...the health of the crew.
- ...the staff and volunteers who will be traveling the same day I am. There are 30 nurses arriving on the same flight as mine. That is a lot of people to pick up at the airport. The airport is 1 1/2 hours from the ship and we are all arriving at night.
- ...wisdom for the doctors for wisdom in their treatments.
- ...for the patients who have been waiting for years for the treatment they will receive on board the ship.
- ...the entire country of Liberia as they are still trying to recover from years of civil war. The ship is constantly surrounded by UN peace keepers.