“As I sit here & think back on this past week, I find that there are no words to describe what my heart is feeling. There are no words in the dictionary that can accurately portray my thoughts.

Because what we see here at Mercy Ships is indescribable. You can read the stories, look at the pictures, and watch the videos, but until you’re actually here seeing things in person, there’s simply no way you can really understand the feeling you get when you look these precious people in the eyes. There’s no way to prepare yourself for what you will see.

For in their eyes, you see every emotion possible. Joy, nervousness, sadness, insecurities, thankfulness, love, hope … so many things. And every time, it completely grabs your heart.

No words are necessary to understand the pain they feel every moment of every day because of their medical abnormality and the lack of healthcare they so desperately need.

Then, you have those occasional moments after you complete their scan when you realize, “I don’t think we’re equipped to handle that here” or “all our surgery slots are filled”, and then your heart breaks all over again.

Because unfortunately, we’re not able to see and treat everyone. And it’s heartbreaking.

But even when we are unable to help them medically, I pray that we were sufficient in helping them spiritually. That us serving them, even if it was only for a short time, allowed them to see that they have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be embarrassed about, that they are not cursed & that they do matter. That we love them and accept them for who they are, with or without their abnormality. That their abnormality will never and could never define them. That they are loved, cared about & just as important as any other.

I hope and pray that we provided those things for them.”

This article is an excerpt from a blog by Holly Franklin, a volunteer Radiologic Technologist, who served on the Africa Mercy. You can read other stories on her blog at:  pathtomercy.wordpress.com