Update 

We are a few weeks in to surgeries and they are going well! Brian will describe his patients to us and we all pray for them as a family. Up until recently, the girls were scared to go to the hospital. I get it, hospitals are kinda freaky. I’ve been praying about this, but wasn’t going to force it, I wanted it to be on their own time.

We took the kids down just to see the photo boards in the hall ways.  One cute little boy came out in the hallway from his ward, and it was all over!   Maya handed him a sticker and asked if she could play jenga with him. Then Hannah played balloons with a little 2 year old boy who happens to have a four year old sister who is back in their village, hours away.  She said “i’ll be his friend, since he doesn’t have his sister to play with.”  Brandon played Jenga as well and laughed as hard as the little boy did when the tower crashed down.

Our friend, Patricia, invited us to a jam session with the worship team. Before we knew it, Brandon was playing the jimbe for worship in our Thursday night meeting. There is no way in a million years I would have done that when I was 9 years old. So thankful for the team to encourage and love on him. I’m praying we can find someone who will actually teach him.

More updates soon!  Please keep praying for these sweet patients and detailed wisdom on how our time should be spent!

She is learning how to pump! Pretty soon, I will be completely useless!


Had movie night with friends in our cabin. watched Princess Bride. The first time I’ve made “real” popcorn on a stove and not just microwave!


Bought a rug on the street from a sweet lady.  Just my style!!  The weaving people do here is incredible!


Brandon playing in the worship team!


movie night!!


Day out on the town with this boy!

Surgeries have begun!

I want so bad to describe each surgery that Brian is involved in this week and ask for specific prayers from you.  But, in order to respect the patients, I can’t right now.  But Brian has some challenging cases today, and he can use your prayers!  When we are able to ask what we can share, I certainly will. That is one thing I love about the people here.  I have become friends with several people on the communications team, and they take their role of sharing people’s stories very seriously. They are so careful to preserve privacy and dignity of each person. The patients here have trials and need help, but they are so much more than their illness. They are people..  with a sense of humor, with fears, with normal feelings that we all feel. They are not just before and after photos.  I’m so excited and hopeful that I will get to know them.  
 

our worship team let brandon practice with them and even taught him a few things

  

no words

  

people will row so far out in the ocean fishing in these canoes. it is so difficult to stay aflaot and you can see them scooping water out every few seconds. this was the first turquoise one I’ve seen! my fave

  

this is part of the communications team!

  

a sweaty night of riding on the dock. she put her helmet on by herself.

  

swimminng with amazing friends!

 

Surgery Starts Tomorrow 

After 1 week in Tamatave, the hospital has its first patients!  Normally it takes much longer to unpack the hospital after a sail, clean the wards, sterilize the ORs, and get all the equipment ready. It was a true team effort. People jumping in and serving wherever needed. 

Reminds me of Philippians 2:1-5. 

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”

Surgery starts tomorrow. We will start with general surgery and add oromaxillofacial (Max-Fac) this week. Next week, we will also add vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) surgery. For those that don’t know what VVF surgery is, click here.
I’ve met some of the Malagasy people that are coming to have surgery. Some of their conditions are truly heart-breaking. Large tumors coming from their faces. Burned faces and necks with contractures.  Very large hernias.  But I’ve also seen their smiles when you talk with them, when you touch them. Even just waving to them. They really are a beautiful people. 

Please pray that our patients would see and feel the love of God. That they would know that God not only cares about their souls, but also their pain and suffering, and that they would be blessed with hope, healing, and a new beginning. 

 

This is a room in the Hope Center. Patients stay here with a family member while transitioning on or off the ship. They may stay here prior to surgery to get good nutrition to build up their bodies, and they may stay after surgery when they no longer need to be in the hospital, but aren’t quite ready to go home yet. Operation Smile is here this week too sharing the space with us. After Mercy Ships renovated the building, it can now house 240 people.

  

Hannah riding her bike on the dock.

  

Took the kids to a local market. Pretty cool thay we were here a year ago buying gifts for them, and now they get to see it for themselves. We saw a man with a large hernia while we were out, but we had trouble communicating with him about the ship. Maya was really sad and worried for him and insisted I pray for him.

  

This was my view as I was running the other morning. Nothing quite like seeing cows on the beach with our floating home in the background.

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This blog reflects our own thoughts and experiences and does not necessarily reflect the views of Mercy Ships.