Thank you for creating a new year of hope and healing for suffering children and adults!
As we enter the new year, we hope you welcome it with great joy, knowing that the lives of so many have been transformed. Because of our incredible partners, we were able to accomplish amazing things in 2020, despite it being a challenging year for everyone worldwide due to COVID-19. By the time the Africa Mercy left Senegal last year, our volunteers were able to perform 1,407 surgeries, serve 5,597 dental patients, and train over 1,000 doctors and nurses in medical procedures.
So many lives were changed during this time, and we are looking forward to the many more lives that will be touched when we return to Senegal later this year.
Lives like Birane’s, a 5-year-old boy in Senegal who came to us suffering from a severe cleft lip that made it hard for him to speak or eat properly — and harder to express the joyful spirit he had inside. Birane’s dad died when he was 2 years old, and ever since, he has lived with his grandmother, Maresme, who worried desperately for his future. She prayed for a way for Birane’s cleft condition to be healed.
When she learned that Mercy Ships was on the coast of Senegal and could provide the surgery her grandson needed to be healed, she was overjoyed. Her joy grew even greater when they arrived at the port where the Africa Mercy was docked, and Birane was selected for a life-changing surgery.
After surgery, Birane attended a series of follow-up appointments to make sure his lip was healing properly. When both he and his grandmother were able to return home, Maresme promised to continue to pray for the Africa Mercy and the life-changing work – made possible by the generosity of our both our individual and corporate partners.
“I am very happy to see my grandson smile,” she said. Thanks to his free surgery, Birane is filled with hope for the future!
The new year brings so many new possibilities! Thanks to our dedicated partners and selfless volunteers, we have the opportunity to make this a year of hope for many people who live in a place without access to the medical care they desperately need — those suffering from deadly facial tumors, terribly twisted limbs, blindness caused by cataracts and more.
Beyond saving and changing lives with surgery, our volunteers and partners also provide holistic healing initiatives through our various programs. Our Infant Feeding Program helps parents keep children with cleft conditions, like Birane, healthy until they can get the surgery they need. These programs also help train local doctors in the places we visit, strengthening local healthcare systems around the world.
With the launch of our newest ship, the Global Mercy™, this year, we will soon double our capacity to provide life-changing surgeries to people in need and train local healthcare professionals to continue healing others after our ships leave port.
We are so thankful for everyone who joins us in our mission of bringing hope and healing and for continuing to renew hope in the hearts of those who need it most.