Supporting Mercy Ships
On 4 March the Explorers introduced the 2018 charity, Mercy Ships, to the congregations, along with their representation of ‘Africa Mercy’. The Explorers had a visit from Matthew who told them about the charity who sail to the edges of the poorest continents, bringing hope and healing to adults and children in desperate need.
Matthew volunteered on the ship Africa Mercy as a navigator. He could see first-hand how much it helps the people in the countries it visits. He even helped with some dental surgery. He showed the Explorers pictures of the ship and all the different facilities they have on board. There are operating theatres, wards, a school and even a swimming pool. He challenged the Explorers to make their own version of the ship but it was quite tricky as the ship is 152 metres long and carries a fleet of 27 vehicles!
When the ship docks there are thousands of people queuing for medical treatment, People start queuing long before daybreak and some have walked over the borders of 3 countries when they hear the ship is coming. During the screening days, the crew decides who they can help on board. Their faith helps them through these very difficult decisions.
There are a whole range of services available on the ship from basic dental and eye surgeries to cleft lip and limb correction. Often there are cases where people suffer large growths on their bodies which have to be removed. Matthew showed some ‘before and after’ photographs of people who have been helped and the children were amazed at the life changing transformations that had been possible through the help of Mercy Ships.
All the volunteers live on the ship and their children are educated on board. It is a way of life for them, as once the ships docks, it stays in the same place for many months. Each year more than 1600 volunteers from over 50 nations give their time to be of service on the ship.
The sale of cakes after the service raised £30. We would like to thank everyone for the kind donations of Easter Eggs and for buying raffle tickets. The draw will be made on Easter Sunday before the service, so please check to see if you are a winner! Also, on Easter Sunday we will be selling take-away cream teas, kindly donated by Val Lloyd.