A Season of Blessing
This year has been one of hope and healing unlike any other, and lives continue to be transformed forever. Over the past eight months, surgical procedures have lifted burdens, and healing has continued through medical training projects both on board our hospital ships and across Africa. What a blessing.
Today, over 1,600 lives have been forever changed — from small children and adults healed at last to whole communities transformed thanks to medical training and partnerships. But this is only possible with the dedication of our volunteer crew and the continued support of our compassionate partners. Because of their faithfulness, people are being healed, hope is being restored, and lives are being renewed. Thank you!
As you continue to read the latest edition of Waves of Mercy, we hope the stories of hope and healing inspire you the same way they’ve inspired us all.
The Love of a Family
Awa was a sweet but shy 5-year-old who loved to play with her baby doll like other girls in her village. Though her family adored her, the cleft lip the young girl was born with left her feeling different from the other children. Unable to find surgery to correct the cleft lip as an infant — a procedure easily available to many in developed countries — her mother worried that Awa’s future would be shadowed by her condition. Then they heard about Mercy Ships.
When Awa’s uncle heard about the hospital ship, he encouraged Awa’s mother to take her, but unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to wait. Despite the delay to surgery, Awa’s family never gave up hope and this year, that hope was rewarded.
When the Africa Mercy returned to Senegal, Awa and her mother eagerly came on board for surgery to change her life. Today, Awa’s smile is fully healed, her joy radiating from her expression whether with her friends or playing with her precious doll.
“I am so happy,” her mother said. “I could not heal my child, only God and Mercy Ships can do this, so this is such a joyful time.”
Awa’s story of healing is only one example of the life-changing impact that you have.
Translating Hope and Healing
Eric Diatta chose to volunteer with Mercy Ships after encouragement from a friend. Originally asked to serve as a translator for the patient selection team in 2019, his role changed dramatically after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
When the Africa Mercy was forced to leave Senegal for the safety of both patients and crew, Eric found himself with the task of sharing that heartbreaking news with those who had been scheduled for surgery. But even then, he knew the ship would return to bring hope and healing once more.
When the Africa Mercy returned in February 2022, Eric was among those standing on the dock.
A Promise Fulfilled
When Mercy Ships arrived in Senegal in 2019, we made a promise to the Senegalese people that we were there to work together to bring hope and healing to those who needed it most. Then the world shut down.
Though many of our medical projects continued in a few African hospitals, our immediate plans shifted dramatically. Through everything, our hearts longed to continue serving the people we were forced to leave behind. Then hope returned.
While we celebrate those whose burdens have at last been lifted away, we are all too aware of the work still ahead of us. Together with our volunteers, friends like you, and the countries we serve, we have the opportunity to see transformations continue.