As my home country just celebrated Thanksgiving, I wish to share with you from a letter that Paul the Apostle wrote: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:2 – 6 – verses of great significance to me over the years.
A short update on Axel as I have mentioned him before, he is my friend and one of our maxillofacial patients here in Cameroon. He expects to have another surgery on his lower lip this week, though unsure when he will be able to return home. His family lives two day journey from here, but his grand frère (big brother) recently made the journey to visit him. We can understand each other better now as more healing has come to his face and mouth. At times, we use Google translate on my phone to translate words neither of us know. Though, I am thankful for Sunshine and Chimene, both of whom are day crew translators who help with our conversations. Axel is a follower of Jesus and gives thanks to God for his surgeries and healing. He will be celebrating his 25th birthday on the 15th of December. It brings joy to my heart when I asked him what are his plans when he returns home with this church and he shared that he will go and give thanks to God.
Weekly on Wednesdays, our Hospital offers a Medical Inservice, though primarily for our healthcare professionals for continuing education, but open to the entire crew. I always learn more and gain better understanding even though at times there are words I don’t know. Last week, the teaching was on Craniofacial Surgery by our Chief Medical Officer. We are starting two weeks of neurosurgery here on board and will have a local Cameroonian neurosurgeon and together will provide these very specialized surgeries. Please pray for these patients and those caring for them.
Here on board with an international crew, we don’t celebrate individual nation’s holidays, but we are looking forward to the month of December as do observe Christmas. There will be various international Christmas activities throughout the month, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. My porthole area and door are decorated.
Our Mission Statement is: we follow the 2000-year-old model of Jesus, bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor. All services (surgeries, dental and training) provided by Mercy Ships are free of charge. Please pray that we are reaching those who have the greatest need for hope and the practical services we provide.
Please intercede for the spiritual protection of our crew, patients and ~270 Cameroonian day crew as we serve people from every region of this nation. We have dozens of new crew members arriving each week, many of whom are visiting Cameroon for the first time. Please pray for these new team members that they learn quickly and feel at home on the ship and in Cameroon.