Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Read ahead to catch up on what we’ve been up to and also an important update on our future plans.
It has been a truly joyful time onboard. Scheduled surgeries have stopped until the new year, which has enabled us to catch our breath and be able to spend some good family time together as we celebrate the gift of our Savior. Each year, we make a BIG deal about Christmas on the ship. There are numerous activities for the family to take part in. It’s really been a lot of fun.
December is also a natural time for people to end their commitments with Mercy Ships. As such, we have had to continue to say goodbye to more friends on the ship. Some have been here a few weeks, while others have been here for several years. I’m not sure we’ll ever get used to this part of ship life. Still, what a privilege to work with such exceptional people from all across the world!
Jamie and I were also able to spend a night off ship at a local hotel to celebrate our 14th anniversary. I’m so blessed to be married to this woman!
On a completely unrelated note, I have taken up a new hobby to connect with the patients. I’ve found that they really enjoy magic tricks, so I’ve learned a few. It’s so funny to see their reactions! I know magicians don’t usually reveal their secrets, but after one of the patients accused me of being a voodoo priest, I’ve made it a point to show them how I do the tricks.
Now for the big news..after much thought, discussion, and prayer, we have decided to extend with Mercy Ships for another year. This means we will be with Mercy Ships until at least June 2018. While we miss family, friends, and home tremendously, we sincerely feel that God still has work for us to do here.
What a tremendous opportunity this has been for us to play a part in the transformation of so many lives. Thank you for your continued prayers, financial support, care packages, and loving messages/emails. You are making this possible and sustaining us on this adventure!
And finally, a reminder of the ultimate Christmas gift!