Waves of Mercy: 2024 Spring Digital Newsletter
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A Mission You Make Possible

Hope and healing are on the horizon! Our hospital ships, the Global Mercy and the Africa Mercy, are currently docked in Sierra Leone and Madagascar, serving as a place of healing for many.

Our wards are filled with our volunteers’ warm smiles and heartfelt prayers as they come alongside each patient on board. Whether guiding a child learning to walk on straight legs, comforting a woman who lived in isolation, or praying with someone about to enter the operating room, these hardworking individuals become the hands and heart of our mission.

A mission you help make possible! Your generous support and prayers have kept our dream alive for over 45 years — and we are so grateful. Because of you, painful burdens are lifted, allowing for renewed hope for the future.

Double Portion of Blessing

“Emmanuel means God with us. God is with us, and God is with Mercy Ships!” 

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Of all the birthdays he’d celebrated in his life, the year Emmanuel turned 43 would forever be remembered as the most extraordinary. Just a few days after his birthday, Emmanuel was wheeled into an operating room on board the Global Mercy, where he became the very first Sierra Leonian patient of the field service, an opportunity he never believed possible.

Read about Emmanuel’s incredible journey to healing here.

Come Join the Family

Have you ever seen a movie that was so good you couldn’t stop talking about it? Or had a phenomenal meal that made you tell everyone to visit that restaurant too? Our joy goes deeper when we share our experiences with others.

But how much more when something has significantly impacted our life? That’s exactly how many of our Mercy Ships volunteers feel after they’ve served on board — they can’t help but invite others to have the same life-changing experience.

Beth Eggenberger has been volunteering with Mercy Ships for over seven years. Her life changed once she walked up the gangway and she hasn’t stopped recruiting others since.

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“I want others to know and experience the beauty and uniqueness of life on board. I think the community on board is as close to heaven as I’m going to get here on earth…how could I not want others to experience that?”

When Beth joined the mission of Mercy Ships, her biggest concern was being away from her close-knit family. But before she ever experienced ship life, she had already recruited her mother!

Caroline Kirchner, Beth’s mother, said, “I found out that Beth was going to embark the ship in Durban, South Africa, and sail up to Benin. I thought — I want to be in on that adventure! So, I contacted Mercy Ships and offered to scrub the floors, clean toilets, cook in the galley… I’ll do whatever you want if I can be on this sail!”

Beth was thrilled that she would not be making this transition alone. As it turned out, her mother arrived before she did and was there to welcome Beth aboard! After the sail, Caroline returned home and couldn’t stop telling everyone about Mercy Ships.

“The laser focused mission of Mercy Ships compels me to recruit. We follow Jesus’ model of bringing hope and healing very specifically by providing surgery. We are all behind that mission — no matter the department.”

Volunteering as a Kindergarten teacher, Beth quickly found a new sense of family through the global community and never lacked comfort and care. Beth’s life was being impacted and she wanted her family to also experience this transformative community.

Beth confessed, “My goal is to have my whole family here. Then I think I could stay forever.”

Eventually, her sister, Jennifer, joined the Mercy Ships family during a “gap year.” She volunteered as a receptionist for several months before heading to university. Beth was getting closer to realizing her dream of having her whole family become Mercy Shippers.

Beth continued her recruiting efforts with friends and family. Mike Kirchner, Beth’s father, said, “For the past six years, we’ve been hearing stories about Beth’s experience on the ship and how much she loves it.”

Now, it was time for them to have stories of their own. After retiring from careers in education, Beth’s parents made a long-term commitment to join their daughter.

While serving on board was rewarding, Mike and Caroline also had the opportunity to see a love story unfold… their daughter’s! Beth met and married a fellow crewmate from Switzerland.

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Mike shared, “This is one of the delights for us — to serve with our daughter and her new husband, and for my wife and I to get to serve together.”

It’s easy to see that Beth’s recruiting efforts have been wildly successful, not only to her own family, but to many friends as well. As our volunteers come from all over the world to join the Mercy Ships family, they raise their own support to impact lives.

One of the families that financially supported Beth loved hearing about her time on board and the work of Mercy Ships. Eventually, they decided they wanted to serve with this incredible mission and transitioned from being donors to becoming volunteers on board as well.

Coming in different ages and stages of life, Beth’s friends and family have come to serve in different capacities, all with the same desire — to bring hope and healing to those in need. From our donors to our volunteers, everyone is an essential member of the Mercy Ships family, working together to transform lives in the nations where we serve. And as they help transform lives, they find their own lives are changed as well.

“It is an incredible honor to be part of the Mercy Ships family that extends all over the globe. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve served on board, once you join the family, you are family for life.”

What are you waiting for? There’s a place for you with Mercy Ships. Find your place on board and come join the family!

And today, we want to encourage you to step out in faith and be an even bigger part of someone’s journey. As you read through this issue of Waves of Mercy, take a moment to think of what you can do to bring even more hope to those in need.

No matter how, your willingness to come alongside us to bring hope and healing creates a ripple of change that spreads for generations. We are more together.

“Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16