Saturday, September 26, 2009


I am back to my home onboard the Africa Mercy. I'm keep catching myself calling it home, but it truly is with my adopted Gateway family and friends from all over the world. It is where I eat, sleep, and work- what I call my triathlon training. Africa is where my heart is the happiest right now as I serve the Lord. Even in this life, I have ups and downs, but its worth it to see healing come to the people of Benin. To see relief for a man with a hernia, a new smile on a cleft lip baby, new sight to the blind, and to see a death sentence from a tumor erased for good. Most of all, to see God's healing power overcome not only the physical ailments, but the dark forces that are binding the country of Benin. This place I call home, needs prayer from all of us. Pray for the crew onboard the Africa Mercy to stay strong and finish the outreach well. For people of Benin to feel and know the love of God. Pray we do not just leave the country with just temporary changes, but transformations and eternal impressions on the people of Benin.

Flying from Paris to Benin- As we were approaching the city of Cotonou, I could see the Africa Mercy at the port outside my window. With tears in my eyes, I knew I was home.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Good-byes are always hard to say. In the beginning, it was ok for me to say goodbye- almost every night someone left the ship. Then it started becoming difficult with Gateway family departing and close friends going home who I arrived with in January. I know God calls us at different times and places to be to serve. So you have to look forward to reunions whether here on earth or in heaven one day.
So yesterday I had my first Mercy Ship reunion in Paris! My friend, Liv, from Texas, finished her time on the ship as Ortho Coordinator and she had a layover in Paris. Our friends, Sarah, from Austria and Margreet, from Holland, took trains in to meet us. It was such a sweet time over lunch in cafe to catch up on life. My parents were able to meet my friends and hear their stories. We spent the afternoon walking around seeing Notre Dame and then took a boat ride on the Seine River. I took them to my favorite crepe stand to pick up dinner so we could sit below the Eiffel tower as it lit up the city of Paris. It was such a good time to share ship memories and as well as talk about "post-ship" life. We all have lived an unique life together these past months in Benin. As we said our goodbyes again in Paris, it made me think back to the dock in Cotonou. Tears are shed, hugs are given, and we wave farewell to each crew member and look forward to reunions with our friends we make onboard the Africa Mercy.

Friday, September 18, 2009


This week has flown by in Paris with my parents. We have done so much together in the City of Lights and also traveled to other parts of France. We spent a day in the Luxembourg gardens and seeing amazing stain glass in churches dating all the way from the 11th century. A day at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Always had a constant view of the Eiffel tower right down the street from our hotel. Walked the market streets of Paris eating crepes. Amazing birthday dinner on top of the Eiffel tower with views that went on for miles. Trips to the Normandy beaches reminded me of my world history and champagne country brought on new tastes and smells. Of course, I went a little click happy taking pictures to document the trip, but I must say the best one is me with the two people I love the most. Thank you to my amazing parents, I was able to have a wonderful vacation and unforgettable birthday in Paris.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Most High God

So Friday I had the privilege of helping in all the operating rooms as the OR coordinator for the day. I love being a part of it all and seeing what God is doing here in Benin. OR 1 &2 had plastic cases scheduled and OR 4 had one major max-fax surgery for the day. I was able to give coffee breaks to my coworkers and help with turnover between cases. McDonald's did teach me a valuable lesson on how properly mop a floor. In the afternoon, I volunteered to go pick up our next patient from the waiting bench. This is where we do our pre-op interview and pray with each patient before walking them back to the OR. I came to the bench and Ines, brave little girl, just 11 years ago, came up to me to shake my hand. I noticed it was not the normal movement for a handshake because of the burn contracture on her arm. I learned from her mother, she was only a couple years old, when she fell into the fire and her clothes caught fire. The scarring was from her ear to her hip on her left side. It was amazing to see the transformation the plastic surgeon and OR nurses were able to do for her arm in just one surgery. More will follow for Ines. I saw her today at church in the ward and her right arm was raised as we sang " Jehovah, You are the Most High God." I have to agree with her. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009


My OR assignment this past week was cataracts. Woohoo! Let me tell you how exciting it gets:

Microscope handles, drape,  straight scissors, eye speculum,  calibri foceps, iris scissors, bipolar cautery, weck spear, blade, slit, keratome blade, silastic gel, BSS, lens loop, irrigation & aspiration, lens forceps, Y rotator, and gentamicin injection. 

Now REPEAT 4o times per day. It is exciting and a blessing to assist Dr. Glenn giving sight to 30-40 Benin people that were once blind to cataracts.   

 It's all about love in the OR with our heart scrub hats- Melanie, Michel, and me. 


The views expressed here are solely mine and are not the opinion of AWC/Mercy Ships.