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Monday, February 26, 2007

Week 1 - Mercy Ships 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting

We would be grateful if you could spend a moment in your week to pray for some of these items...thank YOU for partnering with us.
Week 1: Feb 27 - Mar 4
m/v Anastasis Focus:
(Submitted by Solfrid Quist & Henry Gwani)
Click here to download prayer points Anastasis Week 1 40 days prayer.pdf

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mercy Ships 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Once again, it is the season of Lent: the season for preparing our hearts and minds for Easter. For the 5th time, Mercy Ships has set aside these 40 days as a time of prayer and fasting beginning February 27th and ending at Easter.

This year, we will again be looking not only to the resurrection of our Savior, but also in eager hopefulness to the long awaited sailing of the Africa Mercy. Throughout Mercy Ships is a growing sense that the “Year of Jubilee” has begun for each individual and location. In the past, a devotional has been sent out daily with words for meditation and a prayer focus. This year we will have a different focus for each week according to the following schedule:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~27 Feb - 04 Mar - Anastasis ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~05 Mar - 11 Mar - Sierra Leone
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~12 Mar - 18 Mar - International Operations Center ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~19 Mar - 25 Mar - Other Programs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~26 Mar - 01 Apr - National Offices ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~02 Apr - 07 Apr - Africa Mercy
Since this is such a crucial time for the launch of the Africa Mercy we will also have an Africa Mercy focus every week in addition to the other focus of that week. We will be posting some weekly points for praise and thanksgiving, points for prayer, as well as an aspect of God’s character for meditation and worship if you would like take part in this time. These will be activated according to the timeline.
Psalm 34 will be a scripture focus for the 40 days. It starts:
“I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
It’s a wonderful psalm of praise and promise, of teaching and caution.
Verse 18 could apply to many of those whom we serve:
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”
You may want to read all or part of the psalm as prayer and proclamation in some of your prayer times. May the Lord infuse our efforts with His Spirit and may He be pleased by our offerings of ourselves.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Deck Department Achievements 2006

What can a small team of dedicated people accomplish in a year? Move furniture more than 12,000 times? Prepare and paint an area the size of a WWII aircraft carrier flight deck? Move 20 tons of rubbish and scrap? Walk the distance from Newcastle to Jerusalem? These are just a few of the accomplishments of the Africa Mercy Deck department.
The year 2006 was a challenging and exhausting period for Africa Mercy’s small but determined Deck Department. The first two months of the year saw all efforts made to accomplish a planned limited capacity voyage from Newcastle to London. The Deck Department grew slightly during this time to 5 officers and 8 Seamen and deckhands. However, by early summer the department saw the departure of many of its long and short term crew. In addition, illness and leaves reduced the department to 3 officers and 3-4 healthy seamen/deckhands by December 2006, even though the ship was to be “sailing within weeks.” In addition to completing contract items renegotiated with the shipyard, and normal maintenance, the department was tasked to take over the moving of owner supplied furniture and equipment onto and within the vessel. Although various other individuals helped from time to time, the bulk of all labour came from the faithful few seamen/deckhands. Like Gideon’s army, they accomplished much with few people, with the help of the Lord. The following is a list of some of the amazing accomplishments made by the members of the deck department: FURNITURE MOVES: Furniture components amounting to approximately 4950 pieces were moved. However, although the shipyard wanted these items placed on board, most could not be placed in final position, necessitating two, three and even four relocations.
Therefore: 12,375 moves performed. 2062 Pieces of furniture by EACH person! STEEL PREPARATION AND PAINTING: These same people also accomplished the following, mainly using hand power tools due to limitations by the shipyard on the work done by the crew. Many of these areas were originally in the shipyard scope of work but negotiated back to the crew.
Deck and other areas prepared: approximately 3600 square meters of chipping Exterior area painting: approximately 8000 square meters of painting (various coats) Interior Painting: approximately 2500 Square Meters of painting Total painting in 2006: 10,500 Square meters, equivalent to about 2.6 acres or the flight deck area of a World War II aircraft carrier! SCRAP, RUBBISH, and DEBRIS REMOVALS The ship’s crew were called upon to remove old items and equipment, debris from work and rubbish from the ship. The deck crew also removed scrap materials and other salvageable waste. In all, about 20 tons were handled by the deck department, much of it by hand.
INSTALLATIONS and OTHER WORK Assisted in and/or provided fire cover for engine trials, basin trials, etc. Completely overhauled and repaired two original lifeboats Installation and testing of liferaft cradles, davits and rescue boats Adjusted and shifted moorings many times. Installation of 2 new lifeboats. Participation in installation of new 23-ton Crane, including testing. The deck crew were also deeply involved in cleanup and preparations for the Commissioning Service and other on board events. Responded to unnumbered by the yard to assist. Countless other jobs to assist other departments and advance the project. WATCHES AND PATROLS Deck and other departments covered all watches on board prior to the arrival of the Ghurka security team at the end of February. They continued to be included in the Saturday watches and daily safety patrols, up to the present.
All together, the watchmen walked 3700 kilometers, about the same distance as a walk directly from Newcastle to Jerusalem, with a few stretches of wet travel over the North Sea!
All this work was accomplished by a very small but dedicated group of people, on average less than 4 healthy persons. Often the goals and directions seemed to be conflicting but each one remained as focussed and determined to complete the ship as possible. Their work goes unrecognized, but their dedication is seen by the God they serve and their treasure is piling up rapidly in heaven.
We are extremely proud to serve and work alongside men and women such as those who faithfully served in the Africa Mercy Project in 2006.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Goodbye to the Security Guards.

You may have learnt, or even heard, that you should never to mess with a Ghurkha, but if you get on their good side they are the sweetest people to know. As part of the new security regulations that have been brought in on ships, Mercy Ships now has security guards to keep an eye out for those “unwanted visitors”. We have been blessed with 4 security guards from Nepal who have faithfully looked after our ship day and night. In the day they hold the gangway watch, checking security badges for who’s allowed on board and at night they are patrolling the decks and have clocked up 3700 km in the year they have been here (that’s like walking from the UK to Jerusalem).
Now it is time for them to return to their families in Nepal…..thank you Om, Pradip, Bharat & Tek for your faithful & diligent service & may God bless you as you return to the mountains of Nepal…you will be greatly missed!!

Meanwhile we'd also like to say a big welcome to 4 new security guards, Lum, Ras, Shyam & Bablu. Please pray for them as they settle into life on the Africa Mercy, for their safety during their watches and that they will see and know the love Jesus in their lives.