On the Africa Mercy our prayer for our potential patients, before we even arrive in country, is always that same, "Lord send us those who you have in mind for transformation, spiritually, mentally and physically. Help them to find their way to a screening site or to the ship. Give them a divine appointment. Help us to find the right ones, whatever it takes."
So just how do people find out about the ship? Long before the ship's arrival in port, the Advance team does a stellar job of advertising the ship's arrival and the surgical specialties we offer on board. Advertising is done for screening day/s and surgeries by way of poster, billboards, text messaging, radio advertising and probably a whole heap of other creative ways. The advance team also spends a lot of time forming strategic relationship with local hospitals, churches and government officials.
So by the time we arrive into a port our prayers have been lifted high and God is whispering in the right ears and planting seeds in the right hearts, prompting them to find a way to the ship or to help another find their way, often against great adversity that continues to stun us. So many of our patients walk for days to reach the ship with debilitating conditions, facing torment and ridicule along the way. Many are already on death's door and somehow God makes a way. We are often their very last hope. It is a miracle, plain and simple!
Things have been a little different in Madagascar. Ordinarily we conduct one huge mass screening day in a large facility such as a sports stadium. However this field service the screening in Tamatave was held over a period of two weeks at a local hospital, Hopital Be (pronounced Bay). After that several surgical screenings were held in large cities all over the island of Madagascar, including the capital Antananarivo. In conjunction with the surgical screenings, eye screenings also took place in many other regions of Madagascar.
Screenings have now finished for this field service and miracles are taking place everyday on deck three!
|Miracles like eight year old Sandrins (below, right), her right leg was negatively affected by a quinine injection. The medicine that cured her of malaria unfortunately damaged the nerves in her right leg, causing her foot to bend inwardly at the ankle. Now she is free to go to school again with her twin sister, Sandra!|
Look closely.......fraternal nine month old twins, Ichaya and Aycha, were born with polydactyly (extra digits) of their hands and feet.
Zakael was ashamed of the cyst on his neck and would be teased by the neighborhood kids. Now that Zakael is healed, he want to follow his dream to become a soldier just like his grandfather!
Two years ago, cataracts robbed William of his sight making it impossible for him to see his wife and son.
Minette has been carrying around a 4.3 kilogram neurofibroma, that began growing on her back when she was just five years old. This young women has shed her large, oversized t-shirts and her sad demeanour. Now her face shines with joy!
Meet four year old cutie, Priscilla who suffered from bowed legs, a physical deformity that gave her legs an “O”- shaped appearance. This condition created many limitations. She was unable to walk long distances or jump and walking up and down stairs was painful for her. Other children teased her. Priscilla’s mother, Llanariana prayed for a miracle and it came in the form of a hospital ship.
Now this little bundle of mischief is achieving all kinds of new things! She can squat, stand on one leg, and has even returned to school.
"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for,
Being forgotten by everyone,
I think that is a much greater hunger,
a much greater poverty
Than the person who has nothing to eat..."
Just to finish up, I couldn't resit a few pics of our othopedic cuties! How could you resist these gorgeous faces?