As our crew is made up of singles, couples and families, we have an Academy on board. They had an Open House and we were able to visit their various classrooms. In the photo is Josephine Biney, her and her family were on the Caribbean Mercy years ago.
The Academy has 49 students in nursery (6), preschool (9), elementary (35), junior high (4) and high school (5) with 11 teaching staff using the Texas Education Knowledge and Standards curriculum.
One of the patients I am currently visiting is Aaron. He has been with us for 3 weeks now and soon he will be able to return home. The surgeons were able to do a surgery to correct a problem he has had since birth. On Thursday his wife Hawa brought their son William to visit, you should have seen Aaron’s big smile. We stepped outside of the hospital and took this photo together.
As part of our Women’s Empowerment program, we are conducting Beekeeping training with two groups of women. Beekeeping is something that the women can start up and maintain and yet doesn’t require alot of her time away from her family and does bring in income from the sale of honey, wax and other products. We brought in Dr. Kwame Aidoo from Ghana to do this part of the training. One of our crew members and Dr. Kwame will return in March to continue with the training on harvesting and marketing.
I joined some other crew as we attended the graduation ceremony for one of the six Agriculture Training classes. Ben and Jean-Claude start the teachings from Genesis 1 and God’s intent for man and the land. This group of participants included various ones from some of our mercy ministry locations – orphanages and home for the disabled. They are so proud of their accomplishment. During the graduation, many shared in song, including one about Composting which they made up.
One of our mercy ministries sites available for crew involvement during the week is at the AIDS hospice run by the Sisters of Charity. I was able to visit last month myself. Our group splits – the men go to the men’s ward and have a Bible study and discussion and the women go to the women’s area and then other women to the children’s ward. Today we had the privilege of hosting on board some of the sisters and the brothers from their partnering ministry – Don Bosco. We had refreshments and time showing them around the ship. As one brother shared, we are all serving the same person – Jesus.
I signed up 3 months ago to observe a surgery and my opportunity was last Friday. I watched Dr. Tony Giles from the UK perform a tumor removal surgery on Philip from Guinea – one of our neighboring nations. A cell that is used to make enamel went bad and formed a tumor in the chin/jaw area. They had to take out the lower jaw along with the tumor. It was interesting to watch and see all the tools they use and how they are able to do these life changing surgeries. Last night, I visited briefly with Philip in the hall and he is on day five of his recovery and doing good. We were limited in our conversation as he speaks French and I have not yet learned much of that language.