KRB Update #2156 July 19, 2010
Keith R. Brinkman
Durban / eThekwini – South Africa
Greetings from Durban / eThekwini, South Africa. The reasons we are going to South Africa are for a technical work phase primarily though we will have some programmatic activities ashore. These may include an Eye Training Program, Mental Health training for local Christian leaders, and a Dental Clinic outreach. I am here serving on the Advance Team.
Mercy Ships will bring the ship to the city of Durban. Durban is also known by its Zulu name – eThekwini – which is translated as the place ‘where the earth and the ocean meets’. It is situated on the east of coast of South Africa, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. The weather is milder, subtropical climate with all-year-round sunshine (down here the seasons are opposite to us in the United States and Europe, so here we are in winter). South Africa has eleven official languages – though the predominant language in this area is Zulu.
Some of our tasks here as the Advance Team include finding accommodations for the crew who are not able to live on the ship while it is in the shipyard – that consists of families with children (51 children in total), couples, and singles (though about 80 crew members, primarily technical crew, will remain on board). We as a team (primarily Cathy) have followed up on many contacts and have taken hundreds photos and written reports so our leaders can review the options. Brenda, who is our team leader, continues to work with the government contacts.
At the same time, I am here on the Advance Team, I am still doing various aspects of my role as Programs Administrator for the Africa Mercy – doing that remotely has had its challenges.
A side note – the nation of South Africa hosted the World Cup 2010 – Soccer or Football depending where you are from. The excitement was in the air – flags were flying – South African flags and also the flags of the other countries competing in the World Cup. Even though South Africa was knocked out in the first round, the people are still proud of the team and the country for being able to host this huge event. We as a team have watched various matches on the television.
Prayer Requests: ** Technical work to be completed with excellence and on schedule **All the logistics for the crew who need to move off the ship during the shipyard phase ** Divine opportunities and appointments ** Remaining funds needed to pay for the shipyard phase