21 January 2015

Something to think about...

Nick came across a really neat website put out by the World Health Organization (WHO) with interesting comparisons between countries...we thought it was quite interesting and thought you might like to think about it, too.  

If Madagascar were your home instead of The United States you would...

  • die 14.36 years sooner
  • be 7.3 times more likely to die in infancy
  • make 98.11% less money
  • spend 99.8% less money on health care
  • use 99.61% less electricity
  • consume 98.65 less oil
  • experience 5.56% more of a class divide
  • be 16.67% less likely to have HIV/AIDS
  • have 2.5 times more babies
Size Comparison - Madagascar and the US

If The United States were your home instead of Madagascar you would...

  • spend 488.7 times more money on health care
  • use 253.9 times more electricity
  • make 52.8 times more money
  • live 14.36 years longer
  • consume 73.9 times more oil
  • be 86.25% less likely to die in infancy
  • experience 5.26% less of a class divide
  • be 20% more likely to have HIV/AIDS
  • have 59.48% fewer babies
If you want to find out about other countries (or if you happen to be one of our Non-American friends and want to compare your country to Madagascar), check out If It Were My Home.  There's more information about each statistic and plenty of countries to input.  Fascinating stuff!  

Surely there will be more to come. 

10 January 2015

Jenga Joy

A friend posted this on her blog, thought you might like to see it, too.  It's just a glimpse into patient (and nurse) life here on the Africa Mercy.  We love the way our patients are loved on and the simple tools God uses to bless them!  
"Recovery can be a pretty long and boring process… what better way to pass the day than to play Jenga with a friendly nurse"
Photo credit : Catrice Wulf
Thank you, God, for the gift of Jenga...thank you for the joy and connections it brings...for the faces that smile and the friendships that are strengthened over this game of stacking blocks.  
Surely there will be more to come. 

04 January 2015

Wrapping things Up in GA

It’s hard to believe that our 6 weeks in the States is coming to an end (well, to be more accurate, our 6 weeks in THE State – The great state of Georgia!  Our travels took us all over Georgia…but we never ventured into any other states!).  It has been a WONDERFUL time...so very full in so many ways.  We are so very thankful to have had this time with friends and family.

For your reading pleasure (and for a glimpse into our hearts and minds), all 5 Cashes have answered 2 questions -- 2 questions that help us to look back and forward:  

  • What's been the best moment, meal and/or memory of these past 6 weeks?
  • What are you MOST looking forward to as we head back to the Africa Mercy?
Before sharing the answers, one other thought for us all: this morning at our beloved Christ Community Church we sang the familiar words "I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind."  With tears streaming down our faces, we're so very thankful for that Truth - He is going before us as we travel back to Madagascar...and He stands behind us as leave this place we love so much.  He's got us in front and in back and all around (and He's got all those who have hearts involved in our coming and going as well!).  Our God is Faithful...and we are grateful!

On to the questions and answers:

What's been the best moment, meal and/or memory of these past 6 weeks?

Nick: My favorite thing has been the warmth that we’ve been shown – the loving, kind and generous welcome we received from so many.  So many displays of hospitality from people inviting us to stay with them, people cooking us meals, people hosting us in their homes for a visit or playdate.  It’s been such a warm and loving time back home.
Emma: 2 things: jumping and playing football and a 3rd thing:  going to McDonald’s and I’ll even say a 4th:  icecream with Yaya & Benny
Caroline: Spending time with all my family…grandparents…cousins…in Warrenton and Columbus.  And the trampolines - I liked having so many trampolines to jump on – at the White’s, at the Taylor’s, at the cabin….And driving the golf cart.  And spending time with the White’s.  And all the good American food we ate – candy corn, plain cheeseburgers, Cali n’ Tito’s, American French fries, really good Mexican food at that Mexican place and spaghetti.  I also really enjoyed the coolish weather (everyone else thought it was cold).
Dianna:  The Cappucino Blast that I had from Baskin Robbins in the Landings (NOT the one from the BR downtown).  So many rich and meaningful conversations.  The news that Molly is having a GIRL.  A fresh realizing of JOY.  Time with just Nick at Callaway Gardens.
Eli: Spending time with my family.  Seeing people again.  Eating chicken nuggets, burgers, French fries. 
What are you MOST looking forward to as we head back to the Africa Mercy?

Nick: I’m really looking forward to returning to my role onboard as a chaplain.  I’m excited about really pouring myself into building up the community of faith onboard. 

Eli:  Seeing friends and playing at mid-ships.  Not having to drive everywhere. 

Dianna:  I’m looking forward to being back in our own space and getting back into our routines. I’m excited to see friends and continue building on relationships.  Other things that make the list: wearing flip flops most everyday, opening the mail and packages that have arrived since we’ve been gone, and the possibility of more skype time with friends and family!

Emma: Going to school and seeing my teacher and doing crafts.

Caroline: I’m not most excited about school…but I like school so I’m looking forward to school.  I’m looking forward to seeing my new teacher (“me, too” chimed Emma) and my friends (“me, too” chimed Emma). Using the good internet (“me, too” chimed dianna).  Working in the cafĂ© on Sundays (“me, too” chimed dianna).

Hope you enjoyed the interviews :)  Please do be praying for us as we head back to the Africa Mercy - and join us in thanking God for the wonderful gifts He's given us these past 6 weeks!
Tomorrow (Monday) we’ll head to the airport in Atlanta and share one last meal/snack with family members….then we’ll get on a plane that will take us to Paris.  Then we’ll get on another plane that will take us to Tana, Madagascar.  We’ll land late late late at night on Tuesday and get up early Wednesday morning to ride the bus down to Tamatave.  Hopefully we’ll arrive to the ship late in the afternoon on Wednesday.  Kids are due to be back in school first thing Thursday morning.

What a journey….it’s been a good one, it will continue to be a good one.  We’re so thankful for every single person that is a part of this journey with us. 

One last thought:  for anyone who may have left us a message on the phone that we were using while we were here, we are REALLY REALLY sorry if you wanted us to call you back…we didn’t know how to check the messages…

And a little heads up for those of you on the ship:  our Georgia accents are a little thicker than when we left 6 weeks ago.  

Surely there will be more to come. 

03 January 2015

A few pictures from Christmas

Christmas Eve

 Christmas Morning

 Christmas Evening

 Christmas in Crawford

Surely there will be more to come!