19 June 2015

Cash Kids: Questions & Answers

Thought it would be fun to ask the Cash Kids a few questions and share their answers with you.  

We asked.  They talked.  We typed.  


What's your favorite thing about the Africa Mercy?

ELI - the easy accessibility to things...like the dining room and friends.

CAROLINE - all the nice people you get to meet.

EMMA - that it's a ship.  because it sails.  and i like the sails.  except for the parts that give me headaches...the part over bumps.
What's your least favorite thing about the Africa Mercy?

ELI - food selections probably.  they only rarely have chicken nuggets.

CAROLINE - the rule about having to be 10 to fix your food and you can't run.

EMMA - we don't get to go to mcdonald's very often.

Where is your favorite place on the Africa Mercy?

ELI - mid-ships - it's a place where I can meet with my friends and play with them.

CAROLINE - our cabin - my stuff is there and if i'm bored there's stuff to do.

EMMA - with God...He's everywhere.  And the dining room because you can eat food there and get food there.

If you could add something to the Africa Mercy, what would it be?

ELI - a target store that could fold up into a box.

CAROLINE - an amusement park with a roller coaster, water park & mcdonald's..things like that - and it can fold up into a box so that we could store it well during the sail.

EMMA - a vanilla icecream machine.

What's your favorite meal here on the Africa Mercy?

ELI - chicken strips.

CAROLINE - well...umm....i like...uh...let's see...um....uh,,,i really like the chicken strips and the hamburgers...and the hotdogs - those are delicious.

EMMA - chicken strips and french fries.

What's one thing you want people back home to know about your life on the Africa Mercy?

ELI - living on the AFM is entirely awesome.

CAROLINE - there's no traffic - so you can get to school in about 10 seconds....unless a bunch of people start crowding the stairs - so then there is technically traffic - human traffic - not car traffic.

EMMA - sometimes in the middle of the night I go and sleep on the floor in my mom and dad's room.

There ya go!   A bit of a different perspective on this place we call home.  Let us know if you have any others that you'd like to hear their  answers to!

Surely there will be more to come.

07 June 2015

faces & numbers & pie charts & life change

This time of year is a bit tough - it's tough to say good-byes, tough to wrap things up and get ready to sail away (but it happens to be a bit easier this time around since we'll be returning to Madagascar in August).  

But this time of year is also a whole lot of beautiful -- it's a natural time for reflecting back on the field service.  Final statistics are gathered, infographics are created, stories are wrapped up.  

Here are just a few bits and pieces that we want to share with you -- just a taste of what God has been doing...(just a heads up, you may need to take this post a few bites at a time...read a bit, rejoice a bit and then come back for more!).

BANAY had a bilateral cleft lip and palate.  She has lived the majority of her teen years avoiding people. Now with her new lip she says she finally feels beautiful enough to go out into the world. “I was ashamed,” she says. Her first plan now that she’s left the hospital is to take swimming lessons. She’s always been afraid of the water due to her deformity and now she plans to conquer that fear!

JOCELYN had a tumor near his eye that caused his eye to protrude from his face.  With the tumor removed, Jocelyn can now return to a normal life.
MARIA was 2 years old when she fell into a pot of boiling water.  Since Maria’s parents didn’t have the money to seek medical treatment, her arm healed improperly and she was no longer able to raise it away from her side. Her parents said, “The problem was always the money. Always the money. It would have been impossible for us to find the money to do surgery.” The Lord proved faithful and Maria had free surgery and can now lift her arm like she used to when she was 2 years old.

MINETTE had a 9 lb tumor hanging from her back...she would do her best to hide her tumor by wearing oversized t-shirts...now she's 9 lbs lighter and has a changed wardrobe!

ROMINO had bowed legs.  After orthopedic surgery earlier this year his legs are now straight!

SANTA tripped over a pot of boiling water which severely burned her neck.  Due to lack of money and access to healthcare, Santa’s burns weren’t properly treated, leaving her neck immobilized due to skin contractures. The skin on her chin healed poorly, attaching to the burned parts on her neck. She wasn’t able to lift her head.  She can now extend her neck like she never could before and will continue to gain mobility as she heals.

VANYA had “windswept legs.”  Vanya would come home from school and tell her mom that her friends would make fun of her because she couldn’t run. She wouldn’t wear clothes that other girls her age would wear for fear of people seeing her crooked legs. Now, for the first time in 10 years, she can run with the other kids and show off her straight legs!

Dental Numbers At the close of the dental activities here in Madagascar, the Dental Team provided 6,290 dental patient encounters with over 22,000 procedures - that is an average of 3.5 dental procedures per dental patient encounter (5,074 adults and 1,216 children).  That's more than 6,000 smiles that are better and brighter because of the hard work and love of our dental team!

And for those of you who love the numbers and charts and pie graphs and such....here are a few for your enjoyment: (these are just the surgery and health care education numbers)

And where did all of the patients come from?  Thanks to some excellent records kept by our friend Davi Trotti, we know that we registered patients from 20 of the 22 regions in the Republic of Madagascar - only two regions (Amoron'i Mania and Androy) have not had any patients registered.  20 out of 22 regions -- that speaks to the excellence of our screening team - the flights and cross-country car rides and extremely long days were worth it!
Aren't you amazed?!  When you really stop and think about these stories and numbers and graphics and charts...it all adds up to lives forever changed.  AND YOU ARE A PART OF THAT!  With your prayers...with your friendship...with your interest...with your financial support...with your life - you are a part of what God is doing here on the Africa Mercy...not to mention what He's doing through you in your own neighborhood.

Aren't you amazed?! We have the privilege of being earthly representatives of God's love and kindness and grace - right where we are with the tools His given us.

There's a song we sing here on the Africa Mercy that we've come to love.  The words are "Great things He has done.  Greater things He will do.  Unto the Lord be the glory.  Great things He has done."  (click on the words to hear a version of it - it's the first song in the medley).

It's so true.

Great things He has done.
Greater things He will do.
Unto the Lord be the glory.
Great things He has done. 

Surely there will be more to come.