21 January 2016

le restaurant sans nom

Last Friday Nick and I had the chance to have a pre-lunch snack in a French Cafe.  The best part was that the cafe was downstairs (and free!).  As a way for her students to practice their French, Miss Myriam - our phenomenal French Specialist Teacher - had the students in grades 4 and 5 create a cafe for us to come and enjoy!

The students chose the name "le restaurant sans nom" - the restaurant with no name (though one of the Cash kids would have liked to have seen the restaurant called "le restaurant internationa" - the international restaurant - but she was outvoted).  They set up a corner of the cafe in a most delightful manner - complete with decorations and tables set with candles, origami decorations, French speaking tips and cacahuetes (peanuts).

We had such nice experience being served by the cutest girl in the class - her french speaking skills are tres bon (very good!).
Caroline's thoughts on the experience: "I enjoyed serving because I got to have conversations with my customers.  I liked figuring out what I was supposed to say and telling the chef what the people wanted in French.  I'm glad Miss Myriam let us do this...it would be fun to do it again."
ne sont pas ses yeux etonnante? 
Eli was serving in the "kitchen" filling the orders that his classmates were bringing to him.  The menu was very diverse - with options ranging from fromage et des crackers (cheese & crackers) to  brochette de bonbons (candy kabobs!) to jus de pomme (apple juice) and lots of other tasty treats. 
Eli's thoughts on the experience:  "We had to speak French the entire time.  My favorite thing we served was probably the candy brochettes - which was basically 4 pieces of candy on a toothpick.  It was very fun because we learned sort of what it's like to work in a French restaurant.  I enjoyed it...I got to serve food and make it - a chef and a waiter and a food put-er outer."

What a wonderful way for the students to practice French (and to let us practice our French as well!).  We're so grateful for teachers who give their students hands-on, meaningful experiences as they learn.

If you happen to be a teacher - or know of any teachers - interested in serving on the Africa Mercy, there are some openings for the 2016-2017 school year!  We love being a part of the Academy - and we'd love to have you as a part of it, too!  Something to consider.  

Surely there will be more to come!

12 January 2016

Cloudio #nomoreburden

So this happened downstairs yesterday (thanks to Ruben Plomp for the pictures and captions). 


This is Claudio. A 14 year old boy who is courageous and brave. Without any hesitation he walked into the OR room today ready to see his life transformed. 5 hours later he was free from an obnoxious big deformity that grew on the back of his head.  #nomoreburden #mercyships #madagascar #part1
And here is Claudio one hour after his surgery. He gave me a fist bump and a smile and is laying on his back for the first time in forever! Wow... Go Claudio!  #madagascar #mercyships #nomoreburden #part2
Surely there will be more to come. 

06 January 2016

Somaya: beautiful garden surrounded by roses and flowers

This is a story put together by our Communications Team about a beautiful little girl named Somaya.  It's also a story about God's faithfulness to Somaya's Mama, Neny.  And it's about God's love for Neny's neighbors.   And it's about His goodness to let all of us be a small part of bringing hope and healing to some of His beloved children. 

Many times Neny’s neighbors told her to get rid of Somaya because she was born with a cleft lip and palate. They frequently told Neny to just put her in an orphanage, but Neny refused. "She is a gift from God. Soon I will find a solution to fix her lips and then she will be like everyone else. I was really sad and was praying for a solution every day.”

Neny was told it would cost US$122 for an operation to fix Somaya’s mouth.  “I earn 3,000 Ariary (less than US $1) a day. From this we must buy food and pay rent. It would be completely impossible for me to save this money. When I heard about Mercy Ships on the radio broadcast I knew it was my answer from God." 

Two year old Somaya was offered reconstructive surgery at no cost to Neny. Now she can eat and speak normally for the very first time. No longer will Somaya have to endure the ridicule from neighbors. Just a few weeks ago, Somaya returned home to celebrate her first Christmas with rose-bud lips and a restored palate!

Isn't she beautiful?  And with the tiniest scar to remind her that God sees her and cares for her....a testimony to the fact that He gives His children good, good gifts.  Isn't that what scars can often be?  A reminder of what we've been brought through.  A reminder of the healing that has taken place.

I wonder who this little girl will grow up to be.  I wonder how God's going to use her to bless and strengthen and draw people to Himself.  I wonder if she'll come serve on a Mercy Ship in a couple of decades.  I wonder what God has in mind for this little 2 year old treasure.  
I looked up the meaning of her name.  "Somaya: beautiful garden surrounded by roses and flowers." Our writer, Sharon, was spot on in saying that Somaya celebrated Christmas with rosebud lips. 

Surely there will be more to come.