During my visit to the venue for the Mental Health / Whole Person Ministry workshop, Debra Bell from our Communications Department took this photo of us all. Great group of male church leaders who are now friends and brothers in the Lord.
In memory of my friend from The Gambia here in West Africa – Lamin Conteh who died on the 13th of October due to drowning as he gave his life to save a friend. My last communications with him was at the end of September as he stayed in touch via email.
Last week, I was able to go to Newcastle, Kwa Zulu Natal for a couple days for the mental health/whole person ministry workshop for 24 church leaders from the TAM Christian Council. Dr. Lyn and Clementine had 70 hours of training with these church leaders over two weeks. It was a privilege to visit them. Part of my role here in South Africa was to make initial contacts with the Christian Councils and see what might be possible related to this type of training plus to assist with administration and logistics.
This is a photo of one of the new MAN generators to be installed on the Africa Mercy. They will be able to produce all the electrical power needed while sailing and while in port and being able to do that with less noise pollution and will offer better fuel efficiency also.
The Africa Mercy is in the graving dock/drydock now here in Durban – here is a photo looking in on the engineering space as they have been taking out the old and preparing to bring in the new generators for decades of good life. The reports are that the progress is going along well. Please keep praying.
KRB Update #2159 October 08, 2010
Keith R. Brinkman
Programs in South Africa
Greetings from Kwa Zulu Natal, Republic of South Africa. As the Africa Mercy is in the drydock at the shipyard currently up on blocks, we do have some programs that are active here in South Africa. Those three programs are: Mental Health Training, Dental Care and the Eye Project. Here is a little more information on those:
Mental Health / Whole Person Ministry: Our team has been working with church leaders here in this province to offer training in Mental Health & Whole Person Ministry. As part of my role on the Advance Team, I researched and connected with possible partners for this training. I am grateful for Mxolisi Nyuswa, who is the director at the Kwa Zulu Regional Christian Council. Our team has offered four courses with them in Pietermaritzburg, Pongola, Eshowe and Mbazwana for a total of 96 participants. Their last training seminar is happening now and will continue till next week with the Thukela Amajuba Mzinyathi Christian Council (TAMCC) which is led by Rev. Gugu Shelembe. We are really believing that this will help to make an impact in the Christian community and that they will share what they have learned with their churches and other leaders. Here is a quote from one of the participants Pastor Gumede: “God can heal psychologically, mentally and socially… but it will start with their heart. First they must change their mind before their spirit can be changed. Then they can accept Jesus. They must then apologize to their victims and ask for forgiveness, even if they are in jail for life.” He has found this training seminar extremely helpful for dealing with members of his congregation and the prisoners – especially in dealing with trauma and conflict.
Dental Care: In partnership with the Department of Health, a smaller version of our Dental team is going to rural clinics. They are offering training for some of their dentists in specific surgical skills (incision and drainage, removal of impacted teeth). The Dental team is doing dental procedures for up to 1,000 patients and some dental hygiene services. They are also going into the public schools and doing sessions on basic oral health with a goal of 5,000 students.
Eye Project: In partnership with the Mercy Ships Southern Africa office and the Fred Hollows Foundation, our Eye Team professionals are working in another province – the Eastern Cape. They will be in three locations – Port Elizabeth, Queenstown and Umthatha. Training will be provided both to surgeons, surgical nurses and the community eye care workers. We are hoping to assist to build sustainable capacity of the local eye care system. I enjoyed recently being able to visit them for a few days in September to see how things are progressing and to have a few meetings.
Prayer Requests: ** Safety for those living on and off the ship ** Training Participants – church leaders participating in the mental health training ** Dental project working with the Department of Health – providing services and education ** Eye project working at 3 locations in the Eastern Cape ** Our community as we are separated
The Africa Mercy is in drydock here in Durban, South Africa. As you see in this photo from this past weekend, they are removing one of the generators through a large hole in the side of the ship. The removal of the old and placement of the new generators is part of a four month technical phase.