Celebrating Three Decades of Service

Today, Lawrence Adjei serves as bosun, commanding the deck department on the newest Mercy Ships vessel, the Global Mercy®, but his journey with the organization began years ago.

Lawrence learned about Mercy Ships while working for fishers in his home country of Ghana. When he heard about the Anastasis, he thought it seemed worlds apart from his fishing boat, but something caught his attention. He was hooked. Lawrence signed on to volunteer with Mercy Ships, not realizing that he would soon consider a hospital ship home for nearly three decades.

Lawrence served with Mercy Ships for a few years, bringing hope and healing to those in need, but in 1995, he experienced something even more impactful. His grandmother’s sight had been affected by cataracts, and hoping for healing, she came on board the ship for surgery.

“She could see again after many years, and that was something that stuck with me,” Lawrence said. “I have seen a lot of patients recover because of Mercy Ships and have their life back, but this one is my family — my own grandmother.”

Moved by the impact that hope and healing had on his own family, Lawrence continued to serve with Mercy Ships — eventually transferring to the Africa Mercy® — raising his family with his wife Gina on board the ship.

 

 

Over the years, Lawrence and his family sailed with Mercy Ships through England, Ghana, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, the Netherlands, Spain, and Togo.

Unfortunately, after years of service, Lawrence and his family decided to leave the ship due to Gina’s declining health. Lawrence and Gina traveled between England and Ghana for cancer treatments until she sadly passed away in 2012.

“I never thought I was going to come back because having gone through all those changes, I needed a break,” Lawrence shared. But in 2017, he began to consider returning to the ship he once called home. His decision was met with a timely call from the captain on the Africa Mercy. 

The very next day, he took a vehicle straight to Benin, where the ship was docked and joined the crew.

Today, life looks differently for Lawrence, who has since remarried and now lives on board the Global Mercy with his family. Helping to prepare for the new ship’s first sailing to Africa, Lawrence continues to add to his three-decade mission of bringing hope and healing to those who need it most.

Our mission of hope and healing is only possible because of our dedicated volunteers who give their time and skills to help others. Are you interested in coming on board? Join our community of over 1,200 volunteers from over 60 nations and see how you can make a difference.

Are you a photographer, engineer, or hairstylist? No matter what skills you bring, there is a place for you. Whether you have two weeks or several years to give, you can Make Your Mark. Visit mercyships.org/makeyourmark to get started.