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Friday, February 26, 2010

If An Anchor Could Speak

Here is a copy of an article that was recently written by Mercy Ships which involves Tim in his younger days!
Click Here to read article

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Screenings Begin

Here are some of our medical crew who do such an amazing job. Over these coming months they will be joined by many others as we seek to bring hope and healing to the country of Togo.

Over these last weeks the first of many screenings have started to take place with many people attending with a hope of an appointment card. This year we are doing things a little different due to the coming elections in Togo. We have been asked not to have big gatherings so we are doing lots of smaller screenings to minimise crowding. Although if you heard that you could have a life-changing surgery, free of charge, it's not going to stop you queueing up for that hope, as we saw about a 1000 turn up for some.

This is Dr Gary (Our Chief Medical Officer) performing a ultra sound. This can tell what the tumour could contain, certain ones could cause the patient to bleed to death if the operation took place.
Many came with different afflictions
Here you can see the diagram drawing of the shape of her legs.
For many it is a day of rejoicing as they receive their appointment card for surgery. For others, we find it so hard to say we can't help and have to send them on there way. Each of those have crew members spend time with them, who pray for them, praying that the new hope of Jesus Christ will fill their lives.
Pray that God will bless all those that we come in contact with.
Let the surgeries begin!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hospital Open Evening

Things all seem to be happening all at once in Togo and it's difficult to keep up with the amount of work that is needed to get ready for patients. All this last week the medical staff have been cleaning the hospital from top to bottom, they are just amazing! Last Friday they had an open evening for the crew, so we can have an inside peek of what goes on. We enjoyed it so much last year that we went again. Nathanael got to throw the toothbrushes and floss in a tin can.
Tim got to play the stirrup game, which seemed to amuse a big crowd.
Kids got to operate on a monkey ?!
we met the pirates that pass gas
others tried to feed a dummy
and some even got to play at being a nurse.
It was a great evening and gives us a bigger appreciation for the medical staff have to do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pancake Day

Happy Pancake Day / Shrove Tuesday to everyone. Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving, when the faithful confessed their sins to the local priest and recieved forgiveness before the Lenten season began. It also marked the beginning of the 40-day Lenten fasting period when the faithful were forbidden by the church to consume meat, butter, eggs or milk. However, if a family had these foods in the cupboard they would all go bad by the time the fast ended on Easter Sunday. So what did they do.....with the addition of flour, they made pancakes! Today, the Shrove Tuesday pancake tradition lives on and in the UK it is simply known as Pancake Day.
So what do you do when you have a crowd of Brits on a ship in Africa......you got it, make pancakes. Around 50 Brits got together to enjoy the tradition of lemon juice and sugar on pancakes (crepes to some countries!). Plus we even sang the national anthem to make it really British!
Sharon helping to cook the pancakes - 4 Stoves on the go
Sharon's pancake station!
Brits getting together

Monday, February 15, 2010

Easter Breakfast

Do you like food? Like to eat with friends, church , work etc? Why not consider holding an Easter breakfast for Mercy Ships.
Mercy ships UK is again running it's Easter Breakfast Fundraising Campaign. Click the link below for more details if you would like to get involved and sign up to receive a fundraising pack.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Togo Arrival

Nathanael has been saying this to everybody on the ship, which has been quite funny.
We have arrived in Togo and there was an amazing welcome, with a band playing, drummers and dancers.
Many of the crew turned out in their best African Dress and sang along to the African tunes that were being played on the dock. Click play on the video below to have a taste of what we saw.
This was the moment we had been waiting for, when Clementine, a crew member from Togo, carried her national flag down the gangway for the welcoming ceremony, followed by our interim managing director.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


It's amazing the different emotions the crew can go through when we're about to sail or are sailing. Running up to the departure, everybody dreams of sun, ocean breeze, dolphins, whales, flying fish and the words "Oh I can't wait until we sail" are often heard.
(Tim getting ready for departure with discovery channel film crew in tow, filming for a TV series "Mighty Ships") We wave to all our friends on the dock that we leave behind.....then reality sets in. The dream fades and the seas start to roll and for many the sea sickness pills come out. How come we forgot about it from the last sail? After leaving Tenerife, the following days start to get rougher and one particular morning, after a rough night, many crew opened their office doors to find this:
Just to give you a little impression of what it was like, here is a video of Nathanael (the true sailor) walking on a very rocky boat, notice how he angles his body to compensate for the motion.
But don't worry not all was lost. Our hospital has the enormous task of making sure all of the hospital equipment is secure and this is how they do it (very inventive). We had the watchkeepers doing hourly rounds to ensure it kept in place.
It did, however, eventually calm down and the dreams we had at the start came into being as we saw dolphins and whales, crew enjoyed worship on the bow at sunset and following the stars at night. Yes we do enjoy sailing.
(Dolphins on the bow taken by a crew member)
(Flying fish taken by a crew member)
(Relaxing on the bow)
Lome, Togo is now in sight and we look to our next field service with excitment. Join with us in prayer for a safe arrival and that God will be glorified in this country.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Benin Field Service

Sorry, we are playing a bit of catch up at the moment with the blog after the Christmas season and travels to the UK. Here are the stat's from our last field service. It is great to see what God achieved during our time there. 996 reconstructive and plastic surgeries; 185 cleft lip and palate repairs; 1161 general surgeries; 2 local surgeons trained;
3,521 cataracts removed; 570 other eye surgeries (pterygia and stabismus); 2 local eye surgeons trained; 33,851 eye evaluations and other treatments; 7,083 pairs of sunglasses distributed; 5,689 pairs of reading glasses distributed;
18 community eye field workers trained;
154 obstetric fistulas repaired; 4 local surgeons trained in fistula repair;
231 Orthopedic operations
10,175 dental patients seen; 794 dental hygiene patients; 13,174 oral health education; 25 oral health teachers trained; 2 dental assistants trained;
28 patients received palliative home care; 6 Burkitt's Lymphoma patients received palliative support; 19 families trained in wound care;
10 agricultural staff trained; 23 local agricultural trainees; 1 hostel constructed for agricultural college; 19 mental health workers trained; 119 church & community leaders trained in mental health; 50 prison officers and workers trained in mental health; 2 church leaders conferences attended by 602 attendants; and 12,000 people watched the Jesus Film and many made a commitment to Christ.
We pray that God's name will be glorified in Benin. Please pray for our up and coming field service in Togo for the next 6 months.