Holidays and Beyond

Happy New Year from Douala, Cameroon!

Below are a few tidbits about our holidays on the ship.  Please read the whole post for an important update about our future plans.

We have been here since August, and it has been a very busy, yet fruitful field service.  We’ve performed hundreds of transformative surgeries and trained several local doctors and nurses in the ORs.  Just when we think we’ve seen it all, we will stumble across a patient with a new condition, or with a condition more severe than we’ve ever seen.  On the bright side, the health system in Cameroon has a solid foundation with eager and intelligent doctors and nurses.

All of that is great.  It’s why we’re here, but it’s also nice to take a break every once in a while.  Ship life is fun, unique, and truly special, but it can also be exhausting since we never really leave work.

That’s why we welcomed a week off from scheduled surgeries over the holidays.  While we had a few patients that had to return to the OR during this time, it was still a much-needed time to catch up on rest and spend some time together as a family.

Those of you that have kept up with us know about the special events on the ship around Christmas.  We absolutely love taking part in these.

What was different this Christmas was that my parents were able to visit the ship for the very first time!  It was SO good to spend some time with them.  It was really special for them to finally see the ship for themselves and get a taste of what we have been a part of for the past 2.5 years.

There are some pretty incredible stories of how God worked to make this trip possible, and also how He used my parents’ gifts and talents to bless others while they were here.  Thank you to all of you who prayed for my father’s heart condition.  His heart behaved enough for him to travel to the ship, and he never had a single problem during his 2 weeks here.

Now for the update on our future plans.  We have decided to extend our time with Mercy Ships for another year.  This will take us to June 2019.

The original 2 years that we committed to serve have come and gone.  We extended our time once, and now we’ve done it again.  When making the decision, it came down to the fact that we love where God has us right now, and we feel this is where He still wants us to be.  We are passionate about the work we are doing, and we love the transformations we get to see in patients, local doctors and nurses, fellow crew members, and ourselves.  Brandon, Maya, and Hannah continue to enjoy the Academy and are getting a great education in and out of the classroom.  The hardest part continues to be missing our family and friends back home, but overall, we are thriving!

Thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years.  Your friendship, prayers, financial support, care packages, Christmas cards, emails, and messages continue to sustain and encourage us.  We know life is busy, which makes it even more meaningful that you would continue to remember us and partner with us.

May you all have a wonderful 2018!