There are so many reasons I write a blog. Many are personal. Many are related to my interests like photography & DIY projects.
One other reason I write this blog is for advocacy.
It is a great honor to have a little corner of the internet that I can use to advocate for others.
I’m thankful for my little www nook where I can use my voice for those whose voices are often not heard.
Today I want to talk about Mercy Ships. There are a vast number of organizations out there doing so much good, but many I don’t have any first hand connections – with Mercy Ships, I do. Last fall a good friend of ours spent a couple weeks on board a Mercy Ship as an anesthesiologist. If you aren’t familiar with Mercy Ships, they are basically floating hospitals that dock at port cities, primarily in Africa to “bring hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor.” Over 2.35 million people have been impacted by the work of Mercy Ships. “Many nations lack basic infrastructure services such as clean water supply, reliable delivery of electricity and medical facilities and personnel. A ship is a controlled, safe and environment ideally suited for serving patients and crew.” (Mercy Ship website)
~ worship service on dock, photo by Brian B. ~
This is my friend, Brian – the one in the middle with the big smile. Brian’s wife is one of my very close friends. My family loves their family deeply. I can’t imagine the last several years without their friendship and influence in the lives of my family. Last fall Brian had the opportunity to serve on board a Mercy Ship. I asked him if he would mind sharing a few photos and answering a few questions. It is one thing for me to say Mercy Ships is a great organization, it is another thing to hear it from a volunteer doctor. Thank you Brian for helping me with this post.
The following were Brian’s answers to a few questions I asked him:
After volunteering with Mercy Ships, what is your perspective on the organization?
As an organization, Mercy Ships is top-notch. It serves as an amazing example of what God can accomplish through his people, using their time, talents, and technology. They have over 35 years of experience operating hospital ships, and it shows in their thoughtfulness and organization. I was very impressed with their attention to detail, and their commitment to safety for the patients and the crew. More recently, they have started making more investments in infrastructure and education in the countries they are serving. While they are already having a tremendous impact on the people they serve, this will allow them to touch the lives of many more long after the ship has departed.
~ prayer & worship before starting surgeries, photo by Brian B. ~
If you are able, can you share about a specific experience during your time on the ship?
The patient I remember most was a man in his mid 20’s. He had a tumor in the back of his throat that was obstructing his airway. His voice was muffled, he could barely swallow, and he was unable to sleep at night because of pain and difficulty breathing. We did a CT scan on board (yes, they have a CT scanner!) and found that the tumor was so large, the man was breathing through the equivalent of a coffee stirrer straw. He would die in the very near future without an operation. Long story short, he had this tumor removed by Dr. Gary Parker, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who has served continuously with Mercy Ships since 1986. It was an extremely dangerous, but life-saving surgery all made possible by how God is using Mercy Ships.
This week Mercy Ships is being highlighted by Sevenly. For every purchase you make from Sevenly this week, $7.00 will go towards Mercy Ships. For those unfamiliar with Sevenly, is a social good company that selects a different charity to highlight and raise support for each week…not to mention, the shirts and products are designed by such talented artists. This week Facebook highlighted Sevenly and Mercy Ships in this video:
So there you go…Mercy Ships & Sevenly…this week…make a purchase and difference. This is Chris and I pretending like we are Sevenly models in our new shirts….Love is the Bridge Between You and Everything; Anchored Love.
And here are the real models…they have more of the cool factor going on…
We attempted a shot including our faces, but it is quite possible that it is impossible for me to make a normal face in front of a camera. Nonetheless, this capture us. And he’s hot. And mine. And I love that he is willing to pose in a shirt all in the name of advocacy. I’ve got a good man.
Learn more about Mercy Ships by clicking here
Check out Sevenly each week to learn about other great non-profits and products that do a little social good, click here
small photos & ship photo are from the Mercy Ships website