Waves of Mercy:The Summer Digital Newsletter

A Year of Joy, Renewal, and Hope

This year has been one of joy, renewal, and hope unlike any in Mercy Ships’ history. For the first time, the Global Mercy has been fulfilling her purpose as a platform for hope and healing. Our volunteer crew on board our new hospital ship has spent the past six months serving the wonderful people of Senegal and The Gambia through free surgeries for patients in need and additional medical training for healthcare professionals throughout the country.


We’re so excited to tell you the stories of the many lives that will be forever transformed from pain to hope. We hope as you read this edition of Waves of Mercy that the following stories of hope, healing, and lives restored touch your heart in the same ways they have touched ours.

Healing Has Arrived


Sira’s legs began to bow outwards when she was 4 years old. Developing an orthopedic condition at such a young age was discouraging, especially when the main mode of travel for Sira and her community was by foot. But over time, her condition began to affect more than her ability to walk… it started to overshadow her joy. 

“It’s very difficult to have your child like that,” her father, Ibrahima, said. “You sometimes lose heart to see your child in that situation.”  

Sira’s family searched for help around their community, visiting the few doctors available to them. During these appointments, the doctors shared their suspicions that malnutrition was the cause of Sira’s pain but were unable to help her.

Eventually, Sira’s parents — small-scale farmers with a little shop — could no longer afford the medical bills and were forced to stop looking for help. Then one day, hope arrived. Sira received a free operation on board the Africa Mercy that removed the tumor. Now the young girl’s future looks brighter than ever. 

“If she studies hard, she will succeed, and she will help herself and the people around her,” her mother, Binti, said. “I used to think her legs wouldn’t change, but God helped us.” 

Read more about Sira’s journey to hope.

Double the Healing


Maman is one of the few patients who can say they’ve been on board multiple Mercy Ships vessels. When she was 46 years old, Maman visited the Anastasis, which was docked in The Gambia.

At the time, Maman was suffering from a condition called noma, a bacterial infection that affected one side of her face leaving her badly scarred. Thankfully, surgery on board the hospital ship helped heal Maman’s spirit and brought a brighter future!

Nearly 20 years later, Maman returned to Mercy Ships.

Read more about Maman’s journey to healing!

Open Hands, Willing Heart

After a season of dramatic life change in Australia, Keren Fuhrmeister applied to volunteer with Mercy Ships, prepared to serve. “I came very much with open hands,” she shared. Those open hands led her to be named the first Hospital Director of the Global Mercy, an honor and privilege she does not take lightly.

“I just love my job and love that I work with this group that I get the privilege not only to lead, but also to follow,” Keren said. “They are some amazing people that really know their jobs and are super skilled!”

As Hospital Director, Keren oversees all the medical teams that take potential patients from screening all the way through discharge after successful operations and recovery. She makes sure everyone is equipped with the necessary resources to achieve the ultimate goal — hope and healing for our patients. Her work is behind the scenes, but without her essential contribution, patients’ lives would not be transformed.

“…they may never see all the logistics and all the things that go on behind the scenes, but it is what it takes for them to get that miracle or that answer that they’ve been longing for in their lives. That makes this job very worthwhile.”

Keren recalled watching a father enter the OR after his son had just woken up from anesthesia. “He just sat next to the bed and held his son’s hand and looked with complete and utter relief,” she shared. “For me, that made my year and made every minute of the work that I do here make sense. That what I do can make a difference — I just cannot fathom that.”

Everyone on board has a part to play that contributes to the greater mission of Mercy Ships. Our volunteers bring skills and experience from all over the world, and together, they are changing lives forever.

“I often will talk to our new crew, and I say to them, ‘You are not here by mistake.’ We assign each bed space that we have so carefully because we want to make sure that what we have is what we need to do our jobs.”

Volunteering with Mercy Ships means serving with a purpose and working together towards a common goal — whether in the dining room, engine room, or hospital — everyone plays an important part.

“It doesn’t matter what position you’re in, we’re all hope carriers because we’re carrying the hope of not only healing through surgery — we also carry the hope of Jesus.”

Reflecting on her time with Mercy Ships thus far, Keren says, “What I give pales in significance compared to what I get.”

Interested in joining our mission of hope and healing? See how you can get involved at mercyships.org/get-involved. And don’t miss Keren’s full story and other’s like hers on our podcast, New Mercies.


We’re so excited to tell you the stories of the many lives that will be forever transformed from pain to hope and invite you to be a part of this new season of service. Your willingness to come alongside us as we work to bring hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor creates a ripple of change that spreads for generations. Thank you!

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” — Colossians 3:17