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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mighty Ships-Australia

GREAT NEWS! The episode of Mighty Ships featuring our ship, the Africa Mercy will finally be airing on Australian TV this coming Thursday, 31 March. Tune in for the hour-long program at 7.30pm on 7Mate (digital channel 73).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Salamatu's Story

We seem to be settling into a life in Sierra Leone. The people are wonderful, but as you walk around town you can still see the many remnants of the years of civil war that ended in 2001. We'd like to share with you this story about Salamatu from when the Anastasis last visited Sierra Leone. It gives you an insight of what people faced as they ran from the rebels during that time. For us, it is hard to imagine being faced with this and the trauma people have gone through. Click on the picture below to read her story. (in this evergrowing technical world, you can also download this story as a PDF if you would rather read it on a kindle, Ipad etc.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nathanael's New African Outfit

Each year Nathanael grows out of his African outfit so it was time to get a Sierra Leone outfit. We always try and get something different so this week we found this in the market and thought it was just right, what do you think? His Granny thinks he looks like Joseph and his coat of many colours!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Aloyi Update

Remember this?
Togo?........Village of Aloyi?
Click here & here if you missed the 2 posts on our involvement there.
We recently received news that after 2 years of fundraising, they have finished the school building.
The school opens on the 12 March.......what a great achievement!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Screening Day

The day we all wait for, happened on the 7th March, screening day. The day where we screen thousands for the surgeries that we offer. Somehow this day turned out to be very different to what we expected. If you've ever seen the movie "Vantage Point" you will know that there are probably many things that may have contributed to this and so we can't clearly describe what happened but this is the press release that was done by Mercy Ships so you can feel, somewhat ,of the tragedy of the day.
Mercy Ships is deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred today during medical screening at the Freetown National Stadium when a crowd stormed the gate resulting in several injuries and one life lost.
Mercy Ships personnel working at the site attended the injured and accompanied them to local hospitals. "Our hearts and prayers are with the individuals and families of those affected by today's events. The occurrence of this incident in the course of activities intended to restore lives is tragic. We move forward with tremendous sadness, but great determination, to assist as many people as possible in the next ten months," stated Mercy Ships Founder, Don Stephens.
Mercy Ships exists to serve the forgotten poor and has served Sierra Leone five times over the past two decades, also helping establish two land-based health care facilities. For the next ten months, Mercy Ships will be providing surgeries for qualified patients while working alongside the Sierra Leonean Government to support its five-year healthcare plan and strengthen the functions of the national health system. Please keep the people of Sierra Leone and the Mercy Ships crew in your prayers, not just today but in the months to come
If you would like to post a prayer to the Mercy Ships wall, please click here.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Arrival in Sierra Leone

On 27th February we arrived in the country of Sierra Leone in the city of Freetown.
Celebrations awaited us on the dock and that morning we weren't even too sure whether we would be able to dock there. The previous day we had heard that there was a strike at the port due to another company taking over on the 1st March. Our aim was to get in before that, but hadn't planned on strike action which meant there were no linesmen to take our lines to tie us up. Fortunately our advance team had a "deckie" as part of the team so he quickly gathered volunteers from the Mercy Teams and Gateway that we already had situated in Freetown and gave them a quick lesson on how to tie a ship up.
It worked and we arrived safely with the help of the 2 pilots, below, to guide us in.
It was a joyous occasion, the children had made Sierra Leone flags in School and the police band played and the baton twirler, twirled and even balanced his baton on his head.
Then we had the great moment as our 2 Sierra Leonian crew members walked down the gangway with their country's flag and at the bottom a child waited to receiveit, what was special was that child had received a surgery on board one of our previous ships, the Anastasis, when he was a baby. He was so proud as he carried that flag.
Our managing Director and his wife were received by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and she gave a speech to welcome us.
We are so looking forward to serving in this country and to see the changes since Sharon's last visit in 2001. Already Sharon walked down town last weekend and enjoyed interacting with those in the market. They seemed very respectable and never pushed to get you to buy things, if you said no, they accepted it. I think we are going to enjoy it here.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

You'll Be Missed

Last week in our meeting we were singing the song, Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine. As we sang verse 3, tearfully, my thoughts turned to a dear friend who I knew was living his last days. Perfect submission, all is at rest; I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

Cyril lived and breathed Jesus and my heart is divided today as I mourn the loss of my dear friend, the other half of me is joyful because he is now living everything he has lived for all his life. Cyril, along with his wife, Mary, have been a constant source of encouragement, love and support in my life. Without them and their faithful prayers I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I wouldn’t be in the place I am today.
Many Christians have those bands on their wrists with WWJD (What would Jesus do), if I had a choice I would have 2 on my wrist, the other one with WWCS – “What Would Cyril Say”. I always knew that I could go to him and he would give me a straight answer, along with Scripture…..you just can’t argue with that and I know that he has shown me what Jesus would do in just his living for him every day.
He has certainly left his mark on many peoples lives and he will not be forgotten in a hurry. I remember his face grinning as he greeted the kids at the church outreach rainbow club, his joy of gardening, his excitment of us having Hamworthy equipment on our ship, his love of hymns, there are too many memories to list here....but when it came down to it, he recognised his Saviour and desired others to know him too.
A big gap has been left this week and I kind of wonder how God is going to reward him.
God Bless you Cyril
When I stand in Glory, I will see His face
and there I'll serve my King forever
in that Holy place.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------(There is a Redeemer - Keith Green)