Monday, 16 February 2015

Angels of Mercy

Hello. I've just read something that has brought me to tears. I don't cry very often because I have nothing to cry about, but occasionally something tugs at the old heart strings and opens the floodgates. An article in the Daily Mail, yes goddamn awful newspaper I know, I still read it though. If it was a paper version it would only be fit for tearing up into squares, and hanging it in the lavatory, but once in a while there is a heartwarming story which shines out from among all the doom and gloom, and banal celebrity claptrap gossip.

The headline that caught my eye was, 'Desperate Grandfather has one stone tumour that measured twice the size of his head removed, after walking for three days to seek help'.  When he was in his 20's a swelling on Sambany's left cheek began to grow. After hearing that the charity Mercy Ships had docked in Madagascar he walked for three days then took a four hour car journey to seek help. The volunteer crew performed the life changing operation, removing the biggest tumour they have ever seen. Hey, look at him now, such an amazing transformation.

Photographs from the Daily Mail
I've never heard of Mercy Ships before. Here's a little bit from the web site.

In 1978, a team led by Don and Deyon Stephens began the process of finding a suitable vessel to fulfil their dream of a hospital ship that would reach out to the world's poorest people. On July 7th 1978, this dream became a reality. The first Mercy Ship, a retired ocean liner called Victoria, was purchased for £600,000.

Since then, various ships in the Mercy Ships fleet have served in more than 150 ports in developing nations around the world, bringing lasting change to hundred of thousands of lives. From the beginning, Don Stephens has served as Founder and CEO of Mercy Ships. Deyon, a registered nurse, serves as the Director of Training and oversees the Ships Watchmen programme.

Mercy Ships is an international faith-based organisation with a mission to increase access to health care throughout the world.
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to transform individuals and serve nations, one at a time. Through the deployment of the world’s largest charity hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, Mercy Ships works with host nations to help fill the gaps in health care systems, while serving the immediate needs of their population.
Now isn't that amazing. Everyone who works on board is a volunteer. They all have to pay for their own transportation to and from the ship, and they pay for their own board and lodgings while volunteering. The ship, Africa Mercy,  is currently docked in Madagascar. 


Isn't it wonderful that these kind hearted people do this work. And more wonderful that people in far off countries can get the help they so desperately need. If you want to read the newspaper article click on this link.  It has a short video about the work of the charity.

The link to the Mercy Ships web site also. I've had a good look round the site. There is a page about how to help, there are lots of different ways. I make my charitable donations as and when I can afford it. I send a cheque in the post because I don't like paying online and putting my card details into a computer. I put a note in with it to say I don't want a receipt, and not to put me on any mailing lists. I haven't made a donation since September, so I can afford to send Mercy Ships one now. If you would like to do the same, that would be very nice. If you already have your chosen charities that's great, carry on supporting those, and thank you for reading this blog post.
Lots of love, xxx Ilona

15 comments:

  1. I saw that too and it is a super thing they do. There was a programme on our tv in Canada about this charity.

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  2. I haven't heard of the Mercy Ships but I'm aware of the Lifeline Train which is very similar, staffed by volunteers who perform life-changing operations on the poor fixing cataracts, cleft palates and similarly routine operations . The BBC did a documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNqjOTx6nR0
    It certainly restores your faith in humanity. xxx

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  3. These are wonderful missions of mercy. Though they go to the people (and other mercy missions do too) the people often go through great hardship just to get to the right location. It's wonderful when they are successful!

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  4. I am always impressed by these stories of professionals giving of themselves to help out folks who have no hope. Can you imagine? This must have been quite an event for the doctors as well as the patient.

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  5. Hello.The story of Mercy Ships was very moving and uplifting.These very special dedicated people doing faith based work to treat and care for others in need is exceptionally positive and changes everything for those that would otherwise be without this crucial medical care.I'm familiar with the doctors without borders and other missions, but this was new to me.Actually our family doctor spends his holidays away on a mission with his family delivering babies in Africa.A heartwarming post, Ilona,and a good reminder to us all to appreciate our blessings.Regards, D.

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  6. How uplifting...there really are so many good people we rarely hear about...thanks for sharing

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  7. I do know the Mercy Ships. In fact I know people who have served on them. One in particular is a young woman, a nurse, from England and another a gynecologist M.D. from our church, here in California. They do a wonderful work. I wonder what people would think if they knew they are committed Christians, who do their work entirely to please the Lord.

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  8. Thanks for the link MQ
    Arilx

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  9. There are some truly wonderful people out there who give up their time and expertise to help those who really do need it the most. A heartwarming story, thanks for sharing and for the links.

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  10. Amazing selfless superstars that work within the mercy ship, thanks for highlighting:)

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  11. A very interesting post. How good that you've brought it to another audience here on your blog. As a little aside, please remember to drop off one's old glasses to opticians in town - there's usually a bin. The specs go to really needy people in poor countries. Natalie

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  12. Very interesting; my granny (who is nearly 99) has been supporting the Mercy Ships for years, so glad to know it's worthwhile!!

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  13. I have watched programs about these ships. It is truly a wonderful organization. Thank you Ilona.

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  14. What a great story. I had not heard of them before. Such a nice change from the evils that go on in the world. Thanks for posting this! Debbie

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  15. A good friend's daughter worked for two years on a Mercy ship. That's where she met her husband, who had been working a year when she got there. Important and necessary work is done by the staff of these ships.

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