“What is your dream job?” I asked a new friend I was getting to know in the car ride back from D.C. just last night. She shared her thoughts and I gave her some of mine. “Have you ever heard of the Mercy Ships?” She hadn’t so I began to explain what it was and how I first heard of it.
I’d first heard of ‘Mercy Ships’ through a fabulous homeschool curriculum called, “A Child’s Geography Vol 1: Explore His Earth” by Ann Voskamp. You can read a summary/review of the entire series here. (You can also download the first 3 chapters by signing up through the publisher’s link.) So, after each chapter in this book it has a “Reaching Out to His World” section that highlights a different organization or way to share or support or be aware of and pray for those who go out and help others.
“Knowledge without love is an empty, heartbreaking gong. It would be a very sad state if our young geographers knew much of His world..but had hearts that were indifferent to the people with whom we share our home. What are we without love? … We are called to be Christ’s hands and heart to a hurting world.” (copied from page 6, A Child’s Geography Vol 1: Explore His Earth by Ann Voskamp (2005).
Almost two years ago, as we were going through this material for school, I came across page 67, which introduced me to Mercy Ships.I was amazed about this organization and googled for more information about these ships. I found this 13-minute CBS Video about Mercy Ships (below) and looking again today, I see the video even won an award!
When I found out about these floating hospitals that served the poorest of the poor staffed by all sorts of volunteers I wanted to do this. I excitedly shared with my husband about this as he is nearing retirement from the military within 5 years or so. Truthfully, he wasn’t as enthused. I know many folks talk about and look forward to settling down and relaxing. You know, sitting back and enjoying their earned retirement but I just don’t think that way. There are so many people out there who need help! I used to not think about or see these needs that exist in our world but now I cannot help it. There are so many people around us, even in our own neighborhoods or within our own circles of friends, who have various needs and have lost their hope. Do you know that we CAN help others even in the most dire of situations?? We can always encourage others and point them to the One who is able. We can also help by supporting those who are able to go out. (1 Cor 12:12-27) We all have a part.
In the case of those served by the #AfricaMercy , the care that they lack caused even greater medical (and social) issues for themselves and their loved ones. We receive this care here in America without much issue and so, in our case, my children grow up not realizing how fortunate they are and what other people go through. We have had to be intentional in talking with them regularly about what we often take for granted. We just don’t see these issues here in our communities and so we forget. Out of sight, out of mind I suppose.
I’ve found you do not need to have some sort of medical degree to be used on a Mercy Ship. They need all sorts of people to do different things because from what I have read they try to be self-contained. Think cooks, teachers for the children of the staff on board, fire fighters, human resources, supply personnel, technology people… It takes a lot of hands to make operations run smoothly. Check it out for yourself! Click here for job information. Oh how I wished I had been made aware of these types of opportunities when I was in high school. All I knew to do next upon graduation was to find a college to attend and choose my major. (I did end up joining the military so I was able to do more than just go to school.) I just really had no idea that something like this existed until recently nor that there was a need that I could have helped make a difference in as a bright, young adult. Now (many years later) that my eyes have been opened as a mother and as a military wife who has traveled the world (but really as a Christ-follower), I know that there are many needs among us in our world. They are everywhere. But, are we willing to check them out and be open to doing something about it? #volunteer
Since I am not able to travel and work on a Mercy Ship right now (but maybe someday?) what I CAN do is help to share about this opportunity with you. Would you check them out? Would you watch their videos? Would you share with others what you have learned? Maybe someone you know is able and willing to go and help. Maybe you or someone you know could help sponsor someone else who is going or even to help to fund the operating expenses for the entire ship! Who knows? Perhaps you can commit to pray that God would show you what He’d like you to do next regarding this. May we all pray that God would continue to raise up people who will help others receive the help that they need in Jesus’ name.
No, I am not affiliated in any way with Mercy Ships nor anyone else besides Jesus (just in case you were wondering). I love the Lord and He is changing me to see His world and His people. My heart is opened to move when He speaks and to love as He has loved even me. More about that here.
More videos about Mercy Ships https://vimeo.com/mercyships/
Mercy Ships official website https://www.mercyships.org/