It may not always feel like it, but there in an awful lot of good going on in the world. From the deck of a hospital ship in Africa, we see it on a regular basis, so we simply wanted to share. Amid such divisive times, hopefully these few reasons to “keep believing” will lighten your day and put a smile on your face.

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1. Giving mercy is good.

Imagine not only volunteering your time but actually paying your own way to serve some of the poorest people in the world. By personally fundraising through family, friends, and neighbors, our volunteer doctors, nurses, and crew truly embody selfless service. Some leave home for years when they volunteer to embark on a journey with Mercy Ships — a floating hospital that delivers free, life-changing surgeries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. good great samaritan

If you were passing through a poor village in Africa, saw little Tene by the side of the road and noticed her swollen foot, would you stop? Would you help? Miriam (pictured on left above) did all of that and more. A kind stranger, Miriam, couldn’t look away when she saw Tene’s foot. After she asked around about surgical options, locals told her there was only one choice — go to the ship. Miriam helped get Tene to the Africa Mercy, a hospital ship docked in nearby Conakry, Guinea. Tene received life-changing surgery to correct her left foot, which altered the course of her future. Tene’s mother was so deeply touched by Miriam’s generosity that she named her next child after her. Little Miriam is a symbol of the love and mercy our world needs more of.

3. future looking bright

For a generation often criticized for staring down at their phones, the future of activism and philanthropy is really looking up. But understand, these young adults tend to care about the issues, such as the lack of access to safe surgery that 5 billion people desperately need around the world, rather than institutions or partisan politicking. “I can confidently say this generation is on its way to becoming the most change-making generation in our country’s history,” said Derrick Feldmann, founder of the Millennial Impact Project.

4. putting others first (literally)

The life of Edoh was forever changed when she was just a child. A disturbingly large facial tumor was crushing her windpipe, destroying her face and threatening her life. When Mercy Ships docked near her village, the line of prospective patients was enormous — thousands of people desperately praying for their personal miracle. And you know what? Each and every one of them agreed to pass Edoh to the front of the line. Dr. Gary Parker, Mercy Ships’ Chief Surgeon, was there: “When they saw Edoh, they picked her up, put her over their heads and passed her through the crowd. They got her up over the gate and into the screening — because they recognized that her need was greater. I am always amazed at the sense of community here.”

5. “come together”

When a child’s life and future is at stake, there’s no stopping the indomitable spirit of love and mercy. With the support of a global community, folks just like you — from every aisle, every creed, race and color come together onboard our ships to help heal the world, one precious life at a time.

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As you can see, the view from our decks are inspiring. These were just five reasons to feel optimistic about the human spirit that we see every day. There are so many more. Journey with us today. Learn more about how we can change lives forever. Together.