All comments contained within this blog are my personal observations while serving on the M/V Africa Mercy. They are not the views or opinions of Mercy Ships or partner ministries.»

Friday, February 22, 2008


I had finished all the projects I needed to send off to the International Office yesterday, so I spent most of today dubbing tapes and trying not to pass out.

Growing up in Arizona, you would have thought I would have grown up understanding the importance of drinking enough fluids. I must have not really picked up on that lesson because it is one I still struggle with and today was not exception.

I started feeling really faint and dizzy and knew right way what was wrong. So, after filling up my 'nalgene' water bottle twice with Gatorade I was made right as rain. I just forget to drink.

So, with that little drama taken care of, Debra and I headed down to the ward to capture some images of some donor cards being given to the patients.

Debra was delayed a bit so I headed down by myself. As my descent to the hospital deck was finished I was greeted with a glorious sight. Beatrice was up and walking the halls. Her face was a bit swollen, but she looked beautiful. My spirits were lifted immediately!!

I followed Beatrice and nurse Stephanie into the ward and when I looked around I was amazed at what I saw before me. The place was hoping!! Almost all of the 20 beds were filled. It was right at shift change so there were nurses and translators EVERYWHERE! People coming and going. Two patients were getting ready to be discharged.

One older gentleman was being given final instructions by his nurse. He had a cloth bag she was going through to make sure he had all the needed items with him when she pulled out a smaller, colorful bag. She had a perplexed look on her face and leaned over to pick up a similar bag on his bed.

Remember the teddy bears I mentioned in yesterday's blog? That teddy is an exception in that it is quite a big one. However, before each patient arrives there is a little hand knitted or crochet teddy that is about 10 inches tall popping out of a hand made cloth bag. On each of their tummies are the words, "Jesus Loves You".

The older gentleman explained that he new the woman who was in the bed next to him and that when she was discharged, she forgot her bear. He was going to take it to her. With that the nurse smiled and gently put the bears into the larger cloth bag with the rest of his belongings.

Within 10 minutes his bed was empty and being stripped of the sheets, awaiting the next patients arrival on Monday.

Across from the now empty bed Beatrice was resting from her walk up and down the hallway. After Debra and I finished finding out how the greeting cards were going to be dispersed, Debra spoke to nurse Stephanie to find out about Beatrice's feeding schedule and the sort.

Since I filmed her during her surgery, I am wanting to follow up and find out more of her story. Part of it will be her amazing recovery, so with Stephanie being willing to be on video, she went to check on Beatrice and get her stats.

Debra explained to Beatrice what we were doing and how it would help other people continue to receive free treatment just like she had received. She was okay with being filmed.

After Stephanie checked her breathing, heart rate and the wound I sat down on the bed next to her and reiterated what I was going to do with the filming and that I would like to come back tomorrow (Saturday) and talk to her about her story.

Through the translator, Beatrice told me that she looked forward to me coming down and telling me all about how the Lord had worked in her life.

I shook her hand and bid her so long until tomorrow.

The greeting cards were ready to be handed out to the patients in the ward and when I saw the large box overflowing love I was happy to know that people had taken time to send a greeting to the patients whom they would never meet.

I picked up on card. It was signed by the Johnson family of Las Vegas Nevada.

Again, if you recall the very last observation made yesterday I told you about about a frightened woman stoking the teddy bear as she gently swayed back and forth. Today she was no longer fearful. She was the first woman to receive one of these letters of love.

Julia had a goiter removed from her throat and was doing quite well. I filmed the translator as she read the card to her, but pulled back a bit while Debra spoke to her. You could see her eyes beaming as they spoke. She was holding a love letter from people she had never met, but who cared for her by supporting the ministry of Mercy Ships and taking the time to send this card. That is what this is all about. Love!