On Finally Boarding.

After two weeks of radio silence, our newest team of Mercy Ships volunteers has finally joined the Africa Mercy.

I’ve seen 100 pictures of the ship, but it is SO MUCH BETTER when people you’ve grown to love are standing in front of it. There’s Ally from the UK and Lewanna from BC with Stefan our Field Service Director.

Photo Credit: Amy Jones

Photo Credit: Amy Jones

Prior to boarding, the team spent two weeks working in a local orphanage in Pointe Noire, Congo. Since there was no internet connection (nor running water or power evidently) I’ve been jumping out of my skin in Texas to hear how it’s going, because someday I’ll get to go too.

KJ from Seattle wrote a fun post about it here. Ally and Amy, husband and wife team from the UK photographed it here and wrote about it here. Katie and Jordan from Ohio talk about it here. If you’d like to see missionary work in action, complete with its myriad heartbreak and surprise, take a moment and check out these blogs.

Photo Credit: Amy Jones

Photo Credit: Amy Jones

All of these people have committed to living on the Africa Mercy for at least 10 months. Some are planning to be there for years. They raise their own money and actually pay Mercy Ships to do this, committing their lives and finances to deliver healthcare to the poorest of the world’s poor.

The money part used to seem weird to me, but it doesn’t anymore. It’s just another example of how life works in the beautiful, radical, upside down Kingdom of God.

**As ever, the views expressed herein are my own and not of that of Mercy Ships International.

I Really Am Going to the Sea.

We’ve got some big news around here.

I have just accepted a position with Mercy Ships, a Christian, non-profit organization that runs the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world. Since 1978, Mercy Ships has provided more than $1 billion in medical services for more than 2.35 million people, through approximately 575 port visits in 54 developing and 18 developed nations.

English: The Africa Mercy, operated by Mercy S...

While the MV Africa Mercy is currently docked in West Africa, the organization is headquartered in Garden Valley, Texas, 30 minutes from my house.

I will be working with the doctors, nurses and laypeople who travel from all over the world to volunteer on the ship. My job is to help prepare them. The team arrives in Texas next Saturday, and while there are shorter terms of service, this group has committed a minimum of ten months. All this may send me to West Africa for a few weeks, a couple of times a year.

Yah, I’m still absorbing all that too.

Mercy Ships was featured on 60 Minutes last month and if you’ve got 12 minutes, this segment is pretty inspiring. Former U.S. Press Secretary Dana Perino spent all last week on the Africa Mercy as well. You can read her thoughts here.