Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 30th September 2019

Holy Trinity tower illuminated at night.

Only one service today, so it was up early for me as a church musician.

Today was our Mission Sunday, with Lindy, a former worshipper who has gone to work on Mercy Ships and who the church still supports. In low-income and lower-middle-income countries, nine out of ten people have no access to basic surgical care. Mercy Ships charity hospital ships sail directly to these people to offer the medical care they need – for free. The ships contain a well equipped operating theatre, something that is often fully lacking in the countries they visit.

This is based on notes I took on Lindy’s talk:

Her title is Executive assistant and protocol officer, which means that she is responsible for the highest of high guests, heads of state, ambassadors etc.  She also has to find a bed for everybody, which is the most difficult job.

Mercy Ships work in partnership by invitation of the government of the countries they visit. 593 ports have been visited and the 100,000th life-changing surgery was passed earlier this year. They are in Liberia, in discussion with the government about what they want Mercy Ships to do.

Mercy Ships spend 10 months in each country and 2 in maintenance. The ship is currently in maintenance in dry dock.

The ship contains five operating theatres and 82 ward beds, these are surgical beds only. Everything is free, something we are used to in the UK, but in Africa just seeing a doctor can take a whole year’s wages and then the doctor might not be qualified for that condition. To see another doctor who is qualified will mean another fee. Sometimes people come to Mercy Ships with things they cannot treat or are too far gone in their condition.

70% of the population of the world do not have access to medical care.

Mercy Ships do not only do surgeries, but the training of local doctors and equipment technicians is also important too. They improve buildings and equipment and training.

There is currently a need for ship captains and deck crew. All are volunteers and need to pay their way, so finding crew members who can finance themselves or raise money to be able to work for Mercy Ships is difficult. Please pray for this.

Lindy will be leaving Mercy Ships at the end of the year and has no idea what she will be doing next. Please hold her in your prayers as well.

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