At the beginning the Passing the Torch ceremony from the gangway of the m/v Anastasis, Dr Gary Parker raised the cross from the Anastasis bow high above his head. Forever going before us, the cross is passed from one hand to the next; it too will lead us at the front of the Africa Mercy. The photo shows Deyon Stephens, one of our co-founders, receiving the cross on the m/v Africa Mercy.
The torch started on the m/v Anastasis with our longest serving crew member on the m/v Anastasis, Dr. Gary Parker. I am about 5 people back on the gangway between my friends Joyce Samuels and Oliver as we pass the torch from one ship to the next. Special time.
We just had the special Passing of the Torch ceremony between the m/v Anastasis and the m/v Africa Mercy here in Monrovia, Liberia. The torch was beautifully crafted and burning brightly in the morning sun it is a symbol of past and future; teak from the Caribbean Mercy, Oil separator sleeve from the Anastasis and a small wooden cross from the bearing on the Good Samaritan.
Photo of Fredene and her ‘boys’ as we celebrated together with her as she prepared to leave and return home to marry. The guys are from Ghana, Togo, Benin, Kenya, Sierra Leone and maybe I have missed a nation. This was taken at the end of her party which we had in the ‘family room’ on the m/v Anastasis.
In Mercy Ships, you have many welcomes and also good-byes. Yvonne and I hosted a party for our dear friend Fredene as she left the m/v Anastasis to return home to get married. She is in the bright blue on the far right. The special part was the opportunity to share an experience and/or what she has meant to us and so everyone shared and it was a great evening together.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf waving goodbye after her visit and tour on the m/v Africa Mercy. The visit occured on Tuesday, May 29th. She was elected and installed as the first female elected president on the continent of Africa. Her election happened during the second visit of Mercy Ships to the nation of Liberia. She has visited the m/v Anastasis in the past and shared with the crew just prior to our departure from Liberia last year in May.
We hosted the President of Liberia in the International Lounge of the m/v Africa Mercy. She is seated between our co-founders, Don and Deyon Stephens. We have many of our International Board with us also for the welcoming of the Africa Mercy and the visit of the President.
We were blessed to have the President of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf visit yesterday to welcome us to Liberia and in particular to welcome the Africa Mercy. She toured the Hospital on board and this photo is when Dr. Gary Parker was showing her the recovery room on board – deck #3.
Final Community Meeting on the m/v Anastasis – held on the aft deck outside – with both the crew of the Anastasis and the Africa Mercy. Don and Deyon Stephens, our founders, shared from their hearts with many memories from ’78 when Mercy Ships purchased the m/v Victoria, now the m/v Anastasis. He shared the below scripture also:
I Chronicles 29:10 “David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saving, ‘Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours, Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.”