Prayers Please

My dad is an amazing man.  Patient, loving, thoughtful, generous, selfless, humble.  He’s my hero.

He is also having surgery on his heart today.  I would really appreciate your prayers for safe surgery, a good result, and quick healing.  Above all, I would ask that you pray for God’s supernatural peace and comfort to fill him and my mom.

As I’ve mentioned before, the hardest part of being overseas is being away from loved ones, especially during times like this.  Thank you for lifting him up!

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5 billion

5 billion.

that’s a big number.  But honestly, I don’t have a good sense of how big that is.  There are 7.4 billion people in the world.  5 billion of them don’t have access to safe, affordable surgery.  FIVE BILLION people out of 7.4 billion people don’t have access to safe, affordable surgery.  That is a lot of people.

They simply can’t get surgery that will save their life.

 

Smiles

The hospital is in full swing!  One of our patients had a very large surgery yesterday, and our chief Medical Officer asked everyone on the ship to pray for her surgery.  He made an announcement last night that the surgery went really well and to pray for her long road of recovery.  I was sitting in the public area of the ship and everyone started clapping.  It was such a joy filled moment and cool to see how everyone was involved in this girl’s care: the plumbers, business people, teachers, housekeepers, YOU, the list goes on and on.

Here are some pics of some of our brave patients.  They face so much to get here.  Most live in remote villages, so to travel so far and come on a big ship with lots of people speaking crazy languages who look different, smell different, etc can be more than scary.  They have to be so brave to come here!  We take for granted what is normal to us.  Things like door handles are foreign to many of the people we serve, but they come anyway not really knowing what is going to happen but filled with hope.  Please pray for them.  These are not just emotional images we see on a screen, they are real, awesome people!

 

Hospital Open House

A few nights ago, the hospital was opened to the entire crew and we got a little preview.  There were stations throughout the hospital, such as sterilizing instruments, being a nurse for a day, making the bed race, performing surgery, giving fruits injections, and much more.  I love our crew!

Patients!

More and more crew are arriving to the ship each day. The dining room gets louder and louder each meal. Every year, we hire local workers who work on the ship and live in town, they are referred to as Day Crew.  They have started working and it’s so exciting to meet people from Cameroon. They are thrilled to help people of their own country.

The first surgeries are on Tuesday!

Please pray for everyone involved as we get everything ready.

 

Hannah started Karate!  Let me tell you, she is fierce!

 

Maya had a great, messy birthday turning 9 years old!  

Maya watching our arrival ceremony and wearing a henna by her talented friend, Megan!

Our new cabin is big enough to host the OR team for dinner, and it’s been nice to hang out with them.  

Many of the crew (adults and kids) play ultimate frisbee on the dock each Friday evening.  AND, you will see that we can see green trees from our dock, which is a big deal becasue before I’ve only seen concrete.  Since BJ seems to be missing from all my photos, he is in this one, one of the blurs of neon.  

 

Cameroon

Hello!  We have landed in Cameroon.  As I am writing this, we haven't been able to leave the port yet, so we've been on the ship.  We are all excited to get off ship and explore our new town.  The kids started school on the sail, and we've been busy planning this new field service.  We also have moved!  We have a new cabin.  The biggest difference in the new cabin is that Brian and I have our own bed.  That means we are no longer sleeping on a pull out couch.  It is very exciting!  Although, our super dear friends went back to the states, which is why we now have this new, great cabin.  So, we've moved into our friend's home and I'd rather our friends be here!  There is a lot of transition going on.  New grades, new teachers, new friends, new co-workers, new country, new languages, new patients (soon) new, new new.  New is fun but also a bit exhausting and overwhelming.  The sail was a great time to slow down the transition a bit and get to know new people on the ship.

The ship did maintenance in the Canary Islands, and we met the ship there to sail to Cameroon.  It is so overwhelming to think of what all our crew did over the summer to get this ship ready to sail (with NO air conditioning).  Also, we had a whole team in Cameroon getting things ready for the ship to arrive.  There are so many details they had to go through that makes my head spin as I think of it all.  I'm so thankful for patient, persistent servants.

By the way, Grand Canaries are beautiful.  Brian and I got to go out on a date one night right on the beach, and since we didn't speak Spanish, our waitress took us to the back of the restaurant and pointed to all the yummy options.  We are getting used to looking like idiots when we can't speak a language and making signs and using body language.  Most of the time, the people we are speaking to get a good laugh out of the whole thing!  Nothing like spreading joy through ignorance!

I have started teaching a "student life" course in the academy on "blessing patients."  It is only 6 weeks and we are working on direct and indirect ways to bless our patients and discussing what that even means, why it is important and why it may be scary.  It's an interesting concept to think through.   As much as we all love the people of the countries we serve, there is also a "them" and "us" mentality when people are different than you.  It's a natural thought process and interesting to explore, especially with all the tension in the world on inequality.  I really liked hearing the students perspectives.

 

 

 

Summer

We had a wonderful time visiting family and friends in the US this summer., we missed seeing many people we wished we could have seen :(.
While we live on the beautiful ocean 10 months out of the year, one thing we really missed was green. We are surrounded by shipping containers, cranes and other metal and concrete things that make up a port. So we soaked up as much green as we could, trees, grass, moss, pistachio ice cream.

We are now sailing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean from Grand Canaria to Cameroon. We will be serving the people of Cameroon for the next 10 months. Please pray for God to make his path known and for us to follow it.

Here are some pictures from our time this summer.