Waves of Mercy: 2024 Winter Digital Newsletter
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The New Year Has Arrived

We are in a monumental season of hope and healing, which is only possible because of one thing: compassion.

Compassion that moves a doctor, nurse, and many other local medical professionals to pursue additional training so that one day, they can bring more hope to their community. Compassion that drives our volunteers to serve for weeks, months, and even years on board our hospital ships on the other side of the world. Compassion that inspires friends like you to create even more stories of transformation through your support.

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And we are so grateful for you all! As you read the stories in Waves of Mercy, we hope you know just how vital you are to bringing hope and healing to those in need. Thank you for being a part of our journey!

Beauty Inside and Out

“She’s very beautiful.”

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This phrase was one that Theresa would often hear as she and little Elisabeth walked around their community. With a sweet smile and kind heart, Elisabeth’s beauty could be seen both inside and out. But by the time she was 6 years old, those kind words had become judgmental whispers as onlookers became distracted by the tumor growing on the left side of her jaw.

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Read about Elisabeth’s incredible journey to healing.

Reclaiming Life

At just 21 years old, Papa was hard at work as a mechanic, pursuing his dream of fixing motorbikes. But when a large tumor began growing from the left side of his face, his dreams for the future became shadowed by fear.

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“This work has a lot of physical demands,” Papa shared. “It is even harder to do with a tumor in the way.”

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Read the rest of Papa’s story.

The Impact of Healing

A few months ago, Hawa, an aspiring nurse from Sierra Leone, came on board the Global Mercy to encourage volunteers. Though the young woman had not volunteered herself, the scene before her was familiar.

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The sight of a large ship, the warm smiles of those serving, and the feeling of hope and healing reminded her of the last time she stepped on board a hospital ship nearly 20 years earlier.

Read about Hawa’s journey with Mercy Ships here.

Serving Sierra Leone

Volunteers on board the Global Mercy have been hard at work for nearly five months, providing life-changing surgical care to patients and expert training for medical professionals in Sierra Leone. This triumphant return to the country after more than 10 years has been met with so much joy.

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Since our arrival in September of 2023, we have been able to provide more than 2,200 surgeries as well as education, training, and advocacy courses for over 700 professionals. As a result, families filled with fear over their sons and daughters’ painful conditions are finding hope once more. Thanks to access to safe surgery on board the Global Mercy, children who have had their lives stifled by painful tumors and growths are receiving life-changing surgery and can embrace their futures at last.

And there’s more hope on the way!

Thanks to the support of friends like you, our hardworking volunteers and national crew will provide even more moments of transformation for the people of Sierra Leone as we finish our field service this spring.

And with the Africa Mercy preparing to set sail soon, there’s twice the hope and healing ahead…

A New Season of Hope

Since 2007, the Africa Mercy has been home to volunteers bringing hope and healing to those hurting along the coast of Africa. Thousands of people have walked up the gangway burdened by painful conditions. But the smiles of joy on their faces as they make their way back down shows the importance of safe surgery.

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And soon, even more journeys of healing will occur. During 2023, the Africa Mercy underwent a major renovation — expanding vital hospital and living spaces across the ship. And now, after months of work, we’re ready to put our ship back into action.

Soon, the Africa Mercy will return for the first time in seven years to serve the people of Madagascar. Though this beautiful nation is home to over 29 million people, it has less than 6,000 doctors in the entire country. Without access to medical care, conditions that can be caught and treated quickly often become burdens of pain and sorrow. But together, we can bring hope!

While in Madagascar, our volunteers will provide more than 1,150 free surgeries as well as training for healthcare professionals. Painful burdens will be removed, hope restored, bodies healed, and lives transformed! And we’re so thankful that you have chosen to be a part of this journey.

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From the renewed futures of Elisabeth and Papa to the wonderful return of Hawa nearly 19 years after her surgery, these stories are testimonies to the power of hope and healing.

And we invite you as we see even more stories of restoration in the coming year! We know the need is great, but together, we can make a world of difference in the areas we serve. Thank you for playing a vital role in renewing the lives of so many.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…” – Hebrews 10:24