Greetings from Congo on the Africa Mercy. Mercy Ministries provides off ship ministry opportunities for crew working alongside existing national organizations, demonstrating the ‘face of love in action’. We wish to demonstrate God’s love, care and concern for those we have come to serve, through prayer, listening, counseling, teaching, building relationships, play and interaction. I am involved at various sites myself and provide oversight to the Mercy Ministries Coordinator, who is doing a great job. I am most thankful for our crew who volunteer to be site team leaders, our translators, and all the crew who sign up every week.
Here are our partners for Congo 2013-2014:
Espace Orphanage – up to 40 children, primarily those from the streets – Bible stories, games and sports. I heading to this orphanage on Saturday.
Centre d’Accueil Boys Orphanage – 15 boys, age 5 to 18 years old – evening program with sports, arts and mentoring.
Amour de Dieu Orphanage – up to 20 children – in the process of moving, so some practical assistance for the new facility and time with the children and teens.
Mvou Mvou Creche Baby Center – home for abandoned and orphaned babies – time of play, nurturing – visits twice a week – our Infant Feeding Program is involved with some of their babies also.
Senior Community Center – a time senior citizens gather from the community – share story or drama, dance, exercise and encouragement.
Handicapped Tailors – up to 24 adults learning to be tailors – time of Bible study and mentoring with crafts.
Photo: With the seniors under a tree – Thomas is to my right and he was real helpful with my French and understanding.
Sewing Sisters – working with young women who have been chased from their homes and poor schooling, many have babies – time of Bible study, mentoring and teaching crafts.
Hospital Pediatric Ward Visitation – evening event to a local hospital to visit the children and caregivers there – basic crafts and loving on children.
HOPE Center – place where our interior patients stay after discharge from the wards but need to return for outpatient care – time of Bible stories, songs and crafts.
Men & Women’s Prisons – takes place on Saturday mornings – a time of worship and Bible teaching and study.
School for the Deaf – opens later this month – weekly visits and program with art with rotating classes.
Photo: With the children – showing my ID badge with a photo of the ship and showed where my cabin is and demonstrating my ‘snoring’ – they love it.
Pre-Operative Center – similar to the HOPE Center, but the place where the interior patients and caregivers come before coming into the hospital wards here on board.
Jesus Film – sharing the film in French and local languages in partnership with an association here in Pointe-Noire and local church leaders.
More about the Republic of Congo – Life Expectancy at birth: 55 years, Under Five years old Mortality Rate 128 per 1,000 live births, Median age: 17 years old, 0 – 14 years old 45% of the population, Literacy 83% (can read and write), School Life Expectancy 10 years and 62% of the population live in urban areas of Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire where the port is located. Refugee population in the Republic of Congo primarily from their neighbor Democratic Republic of Congo – though primarily in the northern sectors of the country and the capital of Brazzaville.
Please pray *Our mercy ministries partners, the relationships and all the activities with them *Our hospital staff as they care for our patients *All of our patients, their surgeries and their recovery time period *For the continued efforts with screening and patient selection in the capitol city of Brazzaville on Wednesday 06 November.
PS: Following our field service here in early June 2014 we will sail for the Canary Islands for a drydock period in Gran Canaria. Announcement on the next country for 2014-2015 will come soon.