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Sunday, October 31, 2004

News from the Caribbean Mercy

It is estimated there are over 21 million people in the world lacking mobility from land mines, polio and war amputations. “Volunteers are needed to help load pets…” receptionist Katie Albers announced without hesitation Monday morning. PETs stands for Personal Energy Transportation. The device is a hand-cranked rough terrain wheelchair, designed to go where normal wheelchairs cannot. It provides a free gift of mobility to persons who have lost the use of their legs. Click on the title to see the news article.
Last weekend, we went out and delivered PETs with Bill and Rebecca Long.

Rob helped Bill put them together on Saturday and then on Sunday we took 6 PETs to Tocoa for distribution to the individuals selected according to their needs. PETs are Personal Energy Transports and are built by retired missionaries (these came from Penny Farms...just south of Jacksonville, FL) . The picture below is of Guatalupe and Rob. Guatalupe is a 22 year old man and he lost his legs trying to get to the US by way of a train. He fell off the train in Mexico. It is a miracle that he survived!

Rob carrying Guatalupe to his new PET (Personal Energy Transportation).  Posted by Hello
Guatalupe didn't have a wheelchair and now he'll be able to get around much easier! These PETs are a HUGE blessing to those without use of their legs or who have lost a leg(s). The PETs are shipped to us when we are in the US and then we are able to deliver them as needed. They are made in adult and children sizes! We have brought 30 of them with us on this outreach and 30 on the last outreach in Spring of 2004. And the need is still greater than our current resources. Several of the people waiting for us at this distribution had been waiting since last spring. To view the pictures from the PET distribution ... please click here:

Guatalupe and his new transportation. He didn't even have a wheelchair before. He has a new freedom thanks to some retired missionaries in Penny Farm and other's who donated funds! Thank you so very much for caring! Love, Guatalupe in Tocoa, Honduras Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 24, 2004

We are in Puerto Castilla, Honduras! This week we began surgeries!

Dr. Harold LeDoux from Canada and Dr. Doug Merritt from the US and the international surgery team performed 26 surgeries this week. The Surgical Team consists of specialized people from the Netherlands, New Zealand, Cyprus, Canada and USA. Rob and I really appreciate the international crew that come together on the Caribbean Mercy from all over the world to serve the people of Honduras for God's Glory!

The cataracts in the eyes of the people here are much more developed which makes them more difficult to remove. They are harder and larger than cataracts seen in people from the developed nations. The people that we serve are also sometimes much younger than what you would expect. In the picture you can see Sergio's cataract in his eye under the red dot.

Sergio - Before surgery Posted by Hello

Sergio...the day after surgery! Posted by Hello

Dr. Harold performing cataract surgery. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 16, 2004

In Memory of the Lives of the Andy Welch Family

The following is included in this blog to remember and celebrate the lives of Andy & Joyce Welch and their children, Maddison and Samuel. This precious family was killed in a car accident while traveling to see their families and fund raising in churches to join Mercy Ships as long term staff. This was also included during the memorial service to honor their lives and to share in grieving with the family!

Please see the pictures below.... Posted by Hello

Welch Family Posted by Hello

Welch Family Posted by Hello

Welch Family on Outreach Posted by Hello

Welch Family Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 14, 2004

This week we held two screenings for Eye Surgeries on Tuesday and Wednesday. There was also a screening for Dental on Friday. Some of the people were standing in line since 2 am. There were about 300 people each day for screening. The screening was only a preliminary screening and the candidates for surgery were given a pass to be able to come to the Dock Side Unit for a full screening for surgery.

Screening days are difficult due to many people we are unable to help due to the type of injury to the eye. The eye must be healthy and have potential to be corrected. Our Outreach Team comes alongside the Medical Team to pray with those unable to be treated. There will be more screening days after the full screening has been done to find more patients to help! Also as the Community Development Team goes out into the villages, they will take some passes with them for surgery candidates they may see. Look below at the pictures of the screenings from October 5th.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Eye Surgery Screening in Trujillo, Honduras Posted by Hello

Dr. Steve Farris, optometrist, with a patient checking her vision Posted by Hello

Patient screening cards (blue) and companion card (yellow) for the person coming with the patient. All the paperwork must be done for the patients to be able to come to the ship with the new security restrictions. Posted by Hello

Waiting...waiting....waiting... Posted by Hello

Praying with people who are not surgery candidates Posted by Hello

Precious little ones waited with their parents for long hours Posted by Hello

Giving companion cards to those accompaning patients for further screening Posted by Hello

More waiting...waiting...waiting Posted by Hello

Dr. Steve Farris examining a Honduran man's eye. Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 03, 2004

We are in Honduras! We docked in Puerto Castilla, Honduras about 7 am on Thursday, Sept. 30th! The Commander of the Honduaran Naval Base here rode out on one of the ships to greet us and he had Hank Miller, one of our Advance Team Members out on the ship with him! The troops of the Naval Base were standing lined up on the dock! Quite an impressive greeting! We were very honored and wish we could show you a picture...but pictures of the Navy Base are not allowed! So we honor them by not taking pictures. The following is a picture looking from the other side of the bay in Trujillo, Honduras.

The view of the Bay from Trujillo, Honduras Posted by Hello