I just wanted to give an update on my mission trip plans. After much discussion with my parents and prayer, I decided to take a year off after high school graduation to take an extended mission trip. When I heard about Mercy Ships, I decided that this was the opportunity I had been looking for.
Mercy Ships is a global charity that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since 1978. The 499-foot Africa Mercy is the world’s largest charity hospital ship. The purpose-built hospital includes six state of the art operating rooms, intensive care, ward bed space for up to 78 patients and has a berth capacity for 484 crew. Volunteer crew from more than 30 nations currently serve onboard. In January 2012 the Africa Mercy will return to Togo, Africa for a period of five months. They are currently revamping their schedule so as to avoid most of rainy season and make it easier for the patients to travel. After the Togo field service, they will resume their usual ten-month stay in the next country. You can learn more about Mercy Ships on their website (http://www.mercyships.org/).
I will be going to Togo, Africa January 10th to June 10th with the title of Steward. I do not know as of yet what my official duties will be (either Dining Room, Hospitality, or Kitchen). I am hoping to be working in the kitchen since I have met one of the head chefs currently on board but we’ll see what God has planned… The entire crew stays on board the Africa Mercy, but we can go onshore when we are not scheduled to work. We can visit the Hospitality Center onshore where many patients stay until they have recovered from surgery.
I am extremely excited about this opportunity, but I can’t do it alone. First, please be praying for me and for the work that Mercy Ships is doing. Also, pray that the patients would be healed spiritually and physically. And finally, pray also for the strength, health and courage of every crew member aboard Africa Mercy.
Secondly, since Mercy Ships is a volunteer organization, I need to raise $5,500 to cover monthly crew fees and travel to Togo. I am working 2 part-time jobs but I need help. You can either give a one-time or a small monthly gift. Your tax-deductible donation can be sent directly to Mercy Ships or online at my page on the Mercy Ships website: http://mercyships-us.donorpages.com/crewmates/winterst/.
I am really excited to be going on this trip. I will be trying to keep a blog while on board, but because there is limited Internet you are now forewarned! Also, if you want to hear more information you can call or email anytime!
Thanks and God bless ya’ll!
Video Tour of the Ship:
Video Tour of the Ship:
There are two parts to this video so make sure to look for the second part. :)