Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ganiyou recovered so well under the care of the Africa Mercy nursing staff that no skin graft surgery was necessary. Another positive outcome was that no burn contractures developed.
Ganiyou has made a remarkable recovery. He believes that because he was happier onboard the ship than in the local hospital, his body was able to heal faster.
Though Ganiyou has lost his arms, he hopes that he can one day “do things normally again.” With the help of Mercy Ships and his new positive outlook on life, Ganiyou will no doubt achieve his dream.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FRIENDS : God has provided so many dear friends!
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Hettie, Becky, Jane, Pamela,

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple Psalm 27:4


This precious smiling face is Atonenent. She came to the dock side with open wounds on her face. It was a mystery as to what could be causing the skin on her beautiful face to be slowly destroyed. One of the doctors who came diagnosed it:
Leishmaniasis: The Sand Fly's Bug
It is commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The troops who return from Iraq have returned with Leishmaniasis.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by a protozoan that initially lives in the sand fly and is transmitted to people through sand fly bites. The organism develops and multiplies in the gut of the fly and is introduced into the bloodstream of humans after a bite. It can cause a skin infection or a more serious systemic infection. The skin infection, which consists of sores, develops weeks or months after a sand fly bite.

~When Atonenent came to the ship she was quite withdrawn however now after several weeks of treatment she is opening up and playing we are finding out she has a real strong personality.
The treatment for Leishmaniasis is a strong intra-venous drug. Atonenent has endured a lot of needles and discomfort. However praise the Lord that the medicine arrived and she is repsonding to it. We can notice an improvement each day. One of the crew members visited her village and said the villagers did not believe that there was any chance that Atonenet could be healed! He is really excited to bring Atonenent back to the village and show the 'miracle' performed. ~

Joy on the Ward! Smiling faces!

Fun and games!

More smiling faces!

Another travelling goat this one does not appear quite as comfortable as the last one. Rainy season in Benin flooded streets.

There are so many motorcyles on the streets! They carry absolutely everything! We have seen car windshields, a freezer, goats, chickens, ducks, lots of babies on backs............ pretty much anything that has to get from point A to point B.

And this little piggie went to market.................. there are so many ways for pigs to get to market, smile and what other way in Africa than on one's head.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
Psalm 144:9I

Eyes is such an intregal part of Mercy Ships.
Through operating on thirty two cataracts a day, to the mobile eye clinic, to the giving of prosthetic eyes.
It is truely life changing.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness
Fun at the beach. Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, Psalm 148:7

Hettie at the "Hospitality Centre with some of the patients.
"Approximately two blocks from the the port of Cotonou, where the Africa Mercy is currently docked is a warehouse which has undergone a tremendous transformation. Now referred to as the Hospitality Centre it functions primarily as a non-medical, temporary housing unit for pre- and post-op patients and their caregivers. It consists of two air-conditioned wards with room for 76 beds.
This is Maria from Nigeria with Emily at the Hospitality Centre. Maria had the large tumour removed from her jaw. Staying at the Hospitality Centre enabled her to return to the ship for daily dressing changes.
African turtle
This is a heart warming story similar to the children I seen on the Ward.
"For seven years Genevieve has been the eyes for others. She gave birth to three children - two boys separated by a girl - all with cataracts in both eyes, preventing them from seeing anything but the most subtle shifts in light and shadow.
Going anywhere has been an exercise of patience and strength for Genevieve - tying one year old Ricardo on her back with a piece of brightly patterned cloth, taking seven year old Alexis by the hand, holding three year old Nadge by the arm - then guiding them up the steps.
For years, her eyes have been vigilant guards against danger - coal stoves sitting in the corners of rooms, containers of liquid that could scald or poison and all daily threats that could harm her children.
"Because of the blindness I must be with them all the day," Genevieve said. "Even if they are playing, I have to watch them. In everything, I have to be right beside them."
"To make matters worse, she heard people whisper, "It must be witchcraft or a curse because three blind children in one family is too unlucky."
They came to the ship - three happy children, laughing using their fingers to "see" the toys the nurses handed them.
"I hope that the children will recover their sight," Genevieve said, "and they can go to school. I will be happy if my children can see my face and my husband's face."
The expectation for successful surgery was highest for three year old Nadege. She hadn't been blind long enough for permanent damage, yet her eyes were developed enough for the new lens to fit well. For congenital cataract procedures, children over the age of seven often have permanent damage because the optic nerve develops, and the brain adjusts to blindness.
All three children received their operations.
First they removed Nadege's when the badages came off "she grabbed the doll we were holding in front of her and said 'Bebe, bebe.' So she knew what it was, and we knew she could see."
Next was Alexis, who they feared would not see as well. They put toys on the floor. He looked around, walked straight up to Dr. Glenn, and took something he had in his hand.
Finally they removed Recardo's bandages for some time he lay with his eyes squeezed shut. Finally he opened one eye and glanced around. Suddenly he saw something on his mother's shirt, and he reached up and grabbed it.
Now Genevieve's hopes are realized. Her children will see her face, and they will know their father by sight. They will go to school. She will see them holding hands and walking outside to play on their own."
Story by Carmen Radley

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Mercy Ship wedding. Esther from Switzerland and Israel from Togo. The wedding took place in Togo, June 20, 2009.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life in Benin................... I think this is one of my favorite pictures! It appears that they are good freinds on another outing.

Another day in life of the Benin people. They were pretty much born in boats and feel quite at 'comfortable' on them.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Recently one of the translators who works on the ship came and told us his three year old daughter was critically ill with malaria and needed a blood transfusion. She was at a local clinic, unresponsive. The translators daughter, Abigail, needed O positive blood. I was able to donate so at
3:00 a.m. the translator left with blood to bring to his daughter at the clinic.
We found out the next day Abigail was drinking and playing. The translator said three hours after receiving the blood she started to wake up and respond.
Hettie at the other end of the needle.

Africa Mercy hospital corridor.
Some crew members at the local hospital with the woman who recieved the blood The surgeons were able to reattach the woman's leg. One can see the joy on her face.