Monday, August 7, 2017

Day 4 at sea

Today is day 4 at sea. So far it has been nothing less than amazing. The seas have been unbelievably calm with only a gently roll that urges you to take a nap when you can. I have been sleeping like a child being rocked in her daddy's arms. It is such a gift to be back out on the ocean. It has been far too long.

Depart Las Palmas Spain 11:00am

Our first day out was filled with bright sunshine and blue seas. We were sent off to the sound of trumpets playing hymns from shore as a friend of the crew played from the break water as were left port. Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross and It is well with my soul could be heard echoing out across the port even over the sound of our engines and that of the tugs. It was the first of many pinch me moments. I had tears in my eyes as we sailed out and I reflected on the fact of where I was. This is my life now. How far God has brought me and how unfathomable it truly is.

It was not long before dolphins were spotted on the bow. I actually missed those , but one of my friends got them on video. I will post that when we get to Cameroon. not enough Internet at the moment. I  did manage to make it out on to the bow of the ship in time to see several whales spouting and the dorsal fins breaking the surface. A nice moment indeed.

Day 2- 100 miles West of Morocco 

My second night on the water was spent with friends old and new on deck 7 of the ship. We gathered at sunset and spent the next 2 hours singing praises to God. Fred brought his guitar and a drum and several others arrived before to long. By the end there were about 20 of us joining our voices together in worship. It was deeply moving and blessed my soul. I pray it blessed the Father as well.

Day 3- 120 miles West of Mauritania

Yesterday we worked and got our first chance to work in the store room below decks since leaving. I am happy to report that all of our hard work has paid off so far. Everything has stayed on the shelves and nothing was lying on the floor. That may also have to do with the fact that the seas are nearly flat. We have not been pitching at all and we are continuing to only roll very gently. the most has been 5 degrees with most being 2-3 degrees. 
Last night the majority of the crew-somewhere around 200 right now, met on the bow for evening worship. It was lively and loud. It was standing room only so I made my way to the flying bridge. I could see much better and the wind carried the music right up to where I was. There were several of us up there and we had a lot more room. We were free to sing along with the others as well as having room to dance and move about. The sound of 200 people worshiping God rang out across the waves as the sun quietly slipped behind the gray clouds on the horizon.

Day 4- not sure of location. should be announced sometime today.. we are headed south.

This morning began to the sound of my upper bunk mates alarm ringing somewhere around 5am. Her name is Damaris and she is from Romania. She has also lived in Spain and the UK and has the most beautiful accent. She is very good to try and slip out quietly in the early mornings. She is currently working in the dining room and has to be there very early for breakfast set up. I drift back asleep until the sound of my alarm begins ringing at 6:20. Today is a work day. My schedule at sea is very light but this morning there are things to be done. I head upstairs 2 decks to the dining room and the smell of fresh coffee greets me as I walk in the room. I grab a cup and head up and out 2 flights. It is still dark outside. The moon is just beginning to set and head for the sea. There are a few scattered clouds and the air feels warm and tropical. The moon is full or nearly so. To bright to see many stars, but the light is soft and dancing on the waves and the foam kicked up from the ship cutting through them.
It is quiet and peaceful. The sea is inky black. I am amazed at how the color of the sea can change. At times it is the deepest blue I have ever seen and others the blue is light the color of someones eyes. Sometimes it appears green and at others various shades of gray. It is always mysterious, and somehow powerful and peaceful and the same time. This morning dark and not revealing what lies beneath. I am at peace and my heart is thankful. Another pinch me moment. How is it I get to be the one to stand at this railing this morning. Sipping my coffee and hearing the silence. How is it that He chose me? His grace is so amazing. I wish everyone could experience these moments, this joy, His Love.

Work was easy today. we started at 8 and ended by noon. We gathered supplies needed for the galley, dining room and a few things needed for the store . We then spent some time washing our vegetable crates. We have many but most of them are full right now. We had a huge produce order arrive the day before we left. It took many of us most of the afternoon to process it and find space for it below decks. Some one brilliantly decided that we should wash the crates as we empty them along the way to Cameroon. Then by the time we arrive nearly all of them will be empty and clean and ready to use again. So that was my work day today.
That was followed by lunch, a nap and now some computer work.
Tomorrow I do not have to work. I think a date with my hammock and book may be in order.
The light work load at sea is a very nice and welcome break following the 7 weeks of crazy I had at home before leaving. I am feeling rested for the first time in a long while. I am sure that may change once we arrived in Cameroon but for now it is lovely!
Thanks for your prayers. Keep in touch. Love to you all.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Spain- Who can believe it?

I have arrived in Spain. I continually have to pinch myself to make sure this is all real. I cant believe this is my life. Yesterday I spent part of my day reflecting on just how far Christ has brought me and just how different my life looks. It seems impossible. And in the world it would be. But with Christ all this is possible. He makes the unreachable reachable and the unremarkable something new. He redeems all that is lost if we just ask him. I am left in awe and so very thankful.

I left Virginia on Sunday after running lots of last minute errands. Lori then drove me to North Carolina. It was a difficult goodbye for me as I was leaving my closet friend in a unsure situation. Recent changes in her life made walking out this decision very difficult for me.What I really wanted was to put her and her dog on the plane with me and bring them along. What I had to do however was place her in God's hands. This was so hard for me, and my emotions were a wreck. Lori has been a good friend to me for many years. The enemy whispered to me "How can you leave her in her time of need?" But God....God says He loves her and will never forsake her. That he has a plan for her. So in those promises I must trust. To walk forward and hold a steady course with Gods help.  

I arrived on Tuesday in Gran Canaries, Spain. My travels were quite smooth and I did not have any problems. A few moments of discomfort and self doubt as I arrived at the airport and did not find my ride waiting for me. I began to question  if I flew in to the correct airport. You see the Canary Islands are a chain of islands and I suddenly wondered if I had booked a flight to the wrong one. My phone would not connect to the Internet in the airport and I had no way to call the ship as I turned off my phone service as I left the states. Anxiety began to rise after about  10 minutes- you see it is very unlike Mercy ships to not be there.. I walked outside to look for the very familiar white vehicles and back in again several times. Then I remembered to stop and pray. I decided it would be best to just sit down and wait a few minutes and then if no one came I could ask the police near by for help. It took only a few short minutes for a young women from the ship to walk up and ask if I was Jennifer. Her and several others from the ship had been waiting for me in International arrivals. I however had changed planes in Madrid so I had arrived  in domestic arrivals. So they were there all along and we were just  at opposite ends of the airport. We were soon loaded up and were on our way to the ship with no further problems.

Arriving in Port took only about 30 minutes. As we rounded a corner in the shipyard, the large freshly painted Ship loomed ahead. Ready or not-home sweet home for the foreseeable future. The next few hours consisted of embarking on the ship. Very similar to what happens if you take a cruise, if you have ever done that. I check in, get an ID badge with my picture, and deal with some of the legal paper work that needs to be done. I then get my room assignment and begin to drag my luggage to my room. I am grateful that Sue my new roommate and Hannah a young lady I know from my last visit here helped me to get my bags down 2 flights of stairs to my new room. My room is on the 3rd deck. Just at the water line. It has no windows and 3  compartments with 3 sets of bunk beds. I will eventually be sharing it with 5 other women. But as of this morning there are 3 of us with 1 more expected today. We have 1 bathroom/shower to share, with others available down the hall if needed. Space is limited but sufficient. I am thankful to have a bottom bunk. A small, but important thing I had prayed for.

I spent Wednesday unpacking and attempting to fit all I brought with me in one closet about 12 inches wide from floor to ceiling, two small shelves  and 1/2 of the 8 inches of space under my bed.  A challenge to say the least. I made most things fit and will donate the rest to the boutique on board. It is a small "thrift store" where crew can shop for things they might need for free. It is a good lesson for me to decipher what is really important in my life and "space worthy" and what things I can really live without. I also spent some time making my part of the cabin feel more like home. Hanging pictures and a few items from home that warm my heart or help me keep my focus where it needs to be. This is all done with magnets as you can not go around poking holes in a metal ship with a hammer and nails- bad things happen if you do!

Thursday and Friday were spent working in general supply. It was a work out to say the least. I walked more than double my step goal on both days. Up and down  many flights of stairs. In and out of freezers and refrigerators, weighing large amounts of produce as it arrived on board and moving pallets of freight.The men I worked with were very kind and often tried to stop me from doing the heavy lifting or pulling.  In the evening I was able to go to the local boardwalk with one of my roommates and see a little bit of Spain. It was really lovely. It was the perfect temperature,  in the 80's, with a cool ocean breeze and cool drink in my hand . We sat at a beach side cafe as the sun went down, listening to someone play a saxophone close by and just relaxing. Another pinch me moment for sure.

Yesterday, Saturday was a blessing for sure. My new supervisor Jim, my friends Marina and Kevin and I all went out to see the Island. Jim rented a car and planned out our route. We went from one small Spanish village to another covering a large portion of the island. We were able to see a large Gothic cathedral and sip warm cappuccino spiced with cinnamon while sitting in its shadow.
We saw elaborate mosaics, beautiful fountains and colorful markets. Lunch was delicious fresh fish served sea side in a small village along the way. It was grilled and wonderfully season with olive oil and roasted garlic. I could have lived without it being served with the head attached. Not to mention one of my traveling companions who proceeded to eat the head including the eye. Not the high point of the day for me.

We traveled high into the mountainous region of the island. This island was formed by a volcano and it was plain to see as our travel took us further and further into the remote places. The ragged coastline was breath taking. Large chunks of black volcanic  rock could be seen strewn about and it was very hot and arid as we traveled father from the sea. We ventured near the tallest part of the island and again stopped for coffee in a small sleepy village late in the afternoon. We were welcome into town by a very sweet elder of the village who spoke to us in Spanish and we could not really understand. I was able to discern he was saying we were welcome. The sweet melody of choir could be heard drifting out of the catholic church near by. I found myself drawn to the doorway to listen to the soothing sound. The church was over a hundred years old and I was dwarfed as I stood by the large wooden doors.

We then drove down the mountain through other villages and raced to the sea. the clouds could be seen rolling in from the ocean toward the island and it made for some beautiful scenes. We ended the evening eating pizza and listening to live music in the city park. It was festive and loud and a good end to a lovely day. Spanish women sat at nearby table using beautiful fans to cool themselves and the rose gardens nearby left a soft fragrance in the air.

It was a lovely day. A time of friends bonding and new explorations. I was really blessed by the generosity of my friends as I was allowed to pay for nearly nothing. It amazes me how the Lord continues to pour out blessing upon blessing on me and those around me.Undeserved kindness.  I ended the night lying in my bunk with a truly thankful heart. I am excited to see what this week brings. We will again be here in Spain and are scheduled to leave somewhere near the end of the week. Until then , I will  continue to look for opportunities to serve, pray for those ahead and those behind and hold all of them in my heart.
In His Service,
Jennifer

















Monday, July 10, 2017

emotions

It has been a roller coaster of feelings for the last week or so. It began with an emotional high of excitement to be going on vacation with many of the people I love. Only to come crashing down to the bottom as we all fell, one by one like dominoes, to an unseen enemy, a violent and extremely effective intestinal virus. It was fast and furious and without mercy. Every one of the sixteen of us fell into its nasty grip. Each us of for at least 36 hours were incapable of much more than kneeling before the porcelain bowl or lying feebly in our bed. Gratefully we slowly regained our stamina and are once again functioning among the living. It was a stark reminder of just how weak our flesh really is.

Next came my moving sale. I choose to sell most of my earthly possessions as I prepare to leave for full time service with Mercy Ships. Life on the ship requires one to be a minimalist and it did not make sense to pay to store what moth and rust will destroy. I thought I was ready for this. However, you do not know how much you are really attached to the "things I can surrender for the Lord", until you have people riffling though it and trying to tell you that it is not worth what you are asking for it. Or better yet, to not even be interested in your special treasures because to them it is just a bunch of junk. I spent a good part of my day in small and frequent prayers of surrender. Giving back to God what was already his and attempting to remember that it would all burn in the fire someday anyway. At least this way someone would benefit from it. Including me by having some extra finances to live on for a while. At the end of the day I was thankful for the freedom and grateful for the Lord for helping me work through the process.

Next came word from the Ship that a fellow crew member has died unexpectedly. It comes as quite a shock. Again my emotions are up and down. My heart grieves for his wonderful wife and the children I have never met. How their hearts must be hurting.  I rejoice for Him, for I know without a doubt he is in the presence of our King. This man loved, loved, loved the Lord. He and his wife have spent the last three years serving Him on the ships and doing all they could to share the love and light of Jesus with the people of Africa. I know he is in a place where there are no more tears, no more suffering and no more pain. He now knows even as he is fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. But oh for those left behind. How my heart hurts.

Then today, one of the people I hold most dear in  the world is having a very difficult day. Unexpected change, and having people directly lie to her and about her. Undeserved, hurtful and undefended. My heart aches for her. Here is  someone  who loves the Lord and lives each day in surrender to him. Yet trouble still comes and knocks on her door. It is especially hard for me to deal with as I am scheduled to leave in  just a few hours. Everything in me, in  this moment, wants to stay and defend her, to stand and fight with her and to see what the Lords plan for her is. And yet, my path is  clear. I am to walk forward. It is not my fight. He reminds me that he loves her more than I do. That today was  not a surprise to Him. That he's got  this. And so again I am faced with the choice to surrender, walk forward in obedience or stay and have my own way. Walking with the Lord has taught me that my way is not the best way. It has often been a painful lesson. And although walking forward is challenging and may include some pain, I know it is the only choice for me. His way is always better. I have never regretted choosing to follow.  I don't know exactly what the path ahead holds but I do know it is where I am called. So the rest I lay down. I leave it at the throne. His hands are big enough, His heart is big enough and His grace is sufficient....even for my roller coaster emotions.





Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Procrastination

So I confess I am procrastinating right now. I should be in my room packing and sorting. It just is a bit overwhelming at times. It amazing me how much I have accumulated in the last 11 years. When I moved to Virginia 11 years ago it was with little more than a suitcase and my car. Now I have most of a 2 bedroom apartment filled with different things the Lord has blessed me with over the years. The challenge has been what to keep/store, what to sell and my upcoming yard sale and what to give away.

Part of me wants to just give it all away. However another part of me says selling it will provide support for me in the days ahead. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle and so it must be sorted. It is stunning how much stuff I can cram in my small room. A great opportunity to simplify and decide what it truly important to me .

The real important things, are not things at all but people. People I am parting with for now and that indeed is the difficult part. I am so excited to be going and stepping out to what God has prepared for me, but......
leaving my best friend is hard. It makes me ache. I know in my head she will be find. She follows the same God I do, often with more faith and trust. She amazes me. But it is hard to say goodbye to morning coffee as we read the word. Hard to know I cant just walk in from my day and know she will be there to listen about my day. I know we have email and phones but it really is not the same. The last 10 weeks have proven that. It is just different when your living on the other side of the world and in different time zones.

I'm thankful for the days we have had. Thankful that she always asks me the hard questions and challenges me to pursue the Lord with everything I have. I  cant wait to see what the Lord has next for her. My leaving opens a door in her life as well.

Then there is Mom. Well anyone who knows me knows how tough that one is. It is wonderful though to see how God is providing and making sure all her bases are covered. I must remember that he loves her even more than I do. That is true for so many, my sister. Graciously I get to go see her very soon. My niece is getting married and I get the gift of getting to go and see the whole family before I leave on the next leg of my journey. My friends, my church family. The amazing kids God has placed in my life. Most of whom I will get to see and spend time with on this  short visit home. It will be challenging to part with them. But I know if He asks it of me it is for good. He promised that. Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." So I am putting all my eggs in that basket and trusting him with the outcome, regardless of the cost.
Come Lord Jesus and amaze us. Your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are not our thoughts.

So that is where my focus must lie. On the path ahead. To what is next, and the steps needed to get there. So, back to my room. back to packing, sorting, reminiscing, and deciding.
Only a few weeks to go....

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Fresh Start


 “I remember one of the worst days,” says Veronique. “I was in so much pain, I could not even get out of bed.” 
Six years ago, a tumor started to grow on Veronique’s chin. What began as a small bump slowly gained momentum until it took over her jaw, weighing down her face and causing her great agony. But what was worse than the tumor was the fact that her family could not help.  “My sister could not, my children could not, even my own husband could not,” she recounts. “I cried over that many times.” 
Her family’s powerlessness was not for lack of trying. “A few years ago my husband went to the national hospital, but we didn’t have the money,” Veronique recalls. She spreads her hands on her lap, as if to show the family’s empty pockets. “He pleaded with them, said he would pay them in installments, anything – but the doctors just shook their heads.” Veronique bows her head, looking at the ground, perhaps reliving that time.  “After that, things got worse.”           
The tumor greatly affected her family life. Veronique continued to sell beans and rice at a roadside stand, but she hadn’t expanded her wares in years. She continued to serve at church, but she hadn’t been able to give to her full potential. And she continued to care for her five children, but she hadn’t been able to consistently provide for them for years.  Her husband would often cut his own work short so he could step in. “He did as much as he could,” recalls Veronique. “He would help them with their homework, take care of the house, anything.” But because of that, his own work suffered. 
But Veronique was not completely powerless. Her pastor was the family’s stalwart ally. He never stopped praying for Veronique and her family. Veronique smiles, remembering, “He had hope. I had hope. We all still had hope, that one day God would bring us a solution.” 
One Sunday at church, that very pastor approached the family and told them about Mercy Ships. She brightened at the suggestion. “I’ll go,” she thought to herself. “Then we can be rid of this and start again.” Soon after, Veronique left her family, tried to ignore her pain, and made the three-hour trek to the screening center.  
Screening led to testing, testing led to approval, and approval led to Veronique’s sitting in a hospital bed onboard the Africa Mercy, waiting for surgery the next morning. “When this is gone, when this is done, things can start fresh,” she declared, echoing her thoughts from that first day her pastor mentioned the ship. 
Three days after surgery, Veronique’s patient ID card hangs over her bed, a relic of the past. Today she points to the photo – the tumor prominent on her chin. She smiles, claps her hands together, and points back to her face, showing with a wide sweep of her arms that it’s done. “The pain is gone, completely gone,” she says as she shakes her head. “When my pastor finally sees me, he will be jumping for joy,” she declares. “He prayed for me, and now I am healed!”

Story by Anna Psiaki
Edited by Nancy Predaina
Photos by Miguel Ottaviano and Timmy Baskerville


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Veronique waits inside the Africa Mercy screening center. She’s travelled three hours alone to make it here today. She hopes she’ll be able to have a free surgery to remove the tumor that’s been taking over her life for the past six years. 

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Veronique waits the night before surgery to remove her tumor. “Pray for me,” she asks a nurse.

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“When this is over, things can start fresh,” Veronique says. She is sitting in a quiet corner of a hospital ward onboard the Africa Mercy, waiting for surgery the next day.  

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“When my pastor sees me, he’ll be jumping for joy!” says Veronique the day she’s set to return home. “He prayed for me, and now I’m healed!” 

Story and photos used with permission from Mercy Ships. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Djazim Sings For His Father


“When Djazim would wake up in the morning, he would go to greet his father,” said Salimatu, mother of the five-year-old. “He would say, ‘Papa, I’m awake.’ And then he might start singing a song. That would always make his father laugh.” 
Djazim is a little boy with high spirits and a winning smile – he’s a natural-born entertainer, and he knows it. At age four, though, his legs began to morph – one knee began to turn further and further inward, and the other turned outward. He could no longer run, join in neighborhood games, or go to school. Djazim was living with a genetic condition known as “windswept legs.”   
Salimatu and her husband, Jubulin, began to look for help. Little did they know that the Africa Mercy was at that moment sailing for the bustling economic center of Cotonou, only a few hours away. Through a connection made with Mercy Ships screeners traveling throughout Benin looking for patients, Djazim soon obtained a surgery appointment. 
The five-year-old was one of 76 children who would undergo an orthopedic surgery onboard the Africa Mercy during the hospital ship’s 10-month field service. Afterward, he would spend weeks in casts and months in rehab – his now-straight legs would need time and exercise to grow strong enough to walk. This would require the dedication of patients, parents, and the Mercy Ships rehab team, but it would be a challenge well worth it. 
Djazim made it through his operation with flying colors, and Salimatu called home to share the news. “But when I called, my husband said he was not feeling well, that he was feeling weak,” she remembered. Alarm bells went off in her head. Soon, her fears were confirmed – when she called again, her husband could not even hold the phone to talk. All in the space of a day, Jubulin had grown gravely ill.   
While Djazim recovered, blissfully unaware and in his usual high spirits, Salimatu was wondering if her precious five-year-old would ever see his father again. “I did not feel like eating,” she remembered. “I was constantly praying for God to be merciful, to heal Djazim’s father.” 
The days and weeks passed like that – Djazim, happy and making steady progress, and Salimatu, constantly praying and calling home, wondering if the tide would ever turn. 
But one day things changed. “When I called, I heard my husband’s voice on the other end!” Salimatu said. He was finally strong enough to hold the receiver. 
It was only one week later that Jubulin walked through the doors of the HOPE center, the Mercy Ships outpatient facility. He was bombarded by Djazim hurtling himself into his father’s arms. Jubulin spun his middle child around, over and over and over again. “I thought perhaps I’d never see Djazim again,” he recounted. “But I did, and he was running to me!” 
Soon, Djazim was strong enough to return home. Mother and son rejoined the family, helping Jubulin as he made a full recovery. Djazim’s legs were now straight and strong enough to run, to take part in neighborhood games, and to go to school. 
And he didn’t let go of his old tradition either. Every morning he’d get up, greet his father, and sometimes break into a new song – one he learned on the Africa Mercy. “When Djazim starts to hum the ship song now,” says Salimatu, “his father just looks at him…he can’t help but start laughing.”

Story by Anna Psiaki
Edited by Nancy Predaina
Photos by Miguel Ottaviano, Katie Callow, and Timmy Baskerville 
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We meet Djazim – a little boy with windswept legs, high spirits, and two parents (Jubulin and Salimatu) who simply adore him.

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Even during a cast change, Djazim’s grin doesn’t crack. 

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Djazim exhibited his usual high spirits as he recovered from surgery for windswept legs. He had no idea that his father had become gravely ill. 

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“I thought perhaps I’d never see Djazim again,” recounted his father, Jubulin, who had fallen gravely ill during his son’s treatment for windswept legs. “But I did, and he was running to me!”

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“I love Djazim so much!” said Salimatu, who stayed with her son during his treatment with Mercy Ships. The two are finally at home. 

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The family wasn’t sure they’d ever be reunited – while Djazim was receiving surgery to correct windswept legs, his father, Jubulin, was battling his own life-threatening illness. But now everyone’s home, and everyone’s okay. 

Story and Photos used with permission from Mercy Ships. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bibiane’s Message Of Hope

Bibiane’s Message Of Hope 


She’d given birth to nine children, but four had died at a very early age. And her husband passed
 away not long ago. Still, Bibiane found the strength to keep going, the will to survive.
She’d created a small business for herself – selling a type of corn dough known as “gui.” She didn’t
 seem to mind the three-day process of soaking, grinding, pounding and cooking the corn mixture to
 create this widely-used staple for Beninese cooking. “I like serving it with fish and onions,” she says,
with a sense of warm familiarity.
But when Bibiane started having serious stomach pains, she was forced to go to the local hospital
where they performed surgery. “I’m not sure what they did, but something went wrong … and ever
since then, urine has been leaking out.” The surgery had caused a hole, called an obstetric fistula,
 that allowed urine to leak uncontrollably from Bibiane’s body.
From that moment, her life changed drastically. “I couldn’t cook or sell any more.
I couldn’t do anything.” Her daily habits and routines stopped, as did her income.
“I was stuck in the house.” Fortunately, she had support from her grown children
with whom she stayed.
The Africa Mercy was docked far from where Bibiane was living. However, teams had been sent to
 remote areas of the country to find people who were in need of surgical intervention … people like
 Bibiane. Upon hearing the news of their arrival, Bibiane’s brother urged her to try Mercy Ships. She
did, and visited with the nurses to explain her problem. They took her information and told her
 they’d contact her soon.

And they did. “My phone rang, and the voice on the other end told me the ship had accepted my case
 to work on me!” Bibiane remembers.
Just a few days later, Bibiane traveled to the ship for a few more exams and then, finally, surgery.
Despite her experiences with hospitals, she wasn’t nervous or fearful. “I know it will work – I don’t even
 think about it anymore!” she said confidently. 
The surgery was a success, and Bibiane’s leaking stopped. During a special Dress Ceremony in front
 of a group of fellow patients and Mercy Ships crew, she shared her success story with pride. “I had this
 sickness for five years … but, today, it is finished! Now, when I wake up, I find myself dry.
 I'm fine – I have no problem now!”
To women suffering from similar conditions, Bibiane has a message: “All I can tell them is
 to not get discouraged. God's time is right, and I believe they will also one day get healed just as I did.”

Story by Windsor Marchesi
Edited by Nancy Predaina
Photos by Justine Forrest

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A surgical procedure at a local hospital caused something to go terribly wrong … Bibiane hopes
that surgery on the Africa Mercy will make it right.

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Bibiane had lost so much – loved ones, freedom, independence. Free, safe surgery was an answer
to prayer.

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Bibiane warmly shares her testimony of healing at a celebration ceremony. 

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Bibiane has a message for other women suffering from obstetric fistula: “All I can tell them is to not
 get discouraged. God's time is right, and I believe they will also one day get healed just as I did.”

Story and photos used with permission from Mercy Ships.