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Monday, May 24, 2004

God is at work in Honduras!

May 23, 2004

Hello Friends,

We are well into the outreach here in Puerto Castilla, Honduras. This is a very wonderful time to be part of this vibrant community. We are able to reach out in so many different facets simultaneously. One of the highlights of each week is on Friday morning, when as a community we gather and here and see updates for the various departments. We hear how God is working is so many lives. This past week we had our first pediatric surgery on an 18 month old beautiful little girl named Cecilia. You can see pictures of this on our website www.mercywatch.com under the page Honduras Spring 04.

Cecilia after her surgery for crossed eyes. Posted by Hello
We also have heard wonderful reports from Bob Brownlee, our Community Development Services Manager. He, Ken and Dave….. Along with Skip…..and Juha…….have been very active in going to some very remote villages to educate the people on some techniques for purifying water using clear plastic 2 liter bottles provided by Coca-Cola and some corrugated tin. In addition, we are providing seeds for Moringa trees that they may grow and some of the leaves which has already been processed into a powder. They are explaining the nutritional value of the tree's leaves along with how to use it. Their classes have been well attended, with over 700 persons already attending. Bob Brownlee has been very encouraged by the response he has received from a local Principal who wanted to have Bob come and provide this training to his teachers. Bob shared the material with the principal and offered to have him share the presentation with the teachers himself as Bob observed. Some of the pictures for this are also available on the website.

Water purification! Posted by Hello
During this outreach unlike any other outreach before, we have two separate operating rooms in which operations are ongoing. Adults are being seen and operated on in the Dockside Unit (DSU) off the ship. The Dockside Units are portable units that have been erected; our electricians have completely equipped them with proper lighting and electrical circuits for the many instruments and equipment required in an operating room. They are also equipped with air conditioning. This frees up the two small operating rooms onboard the ship for the pediatric surgeries. The week before last, Bud Busby from the International Operations Center came and prepared the anesthesia equipment for the surgeries and then assisted in the surgeries this past week. We are blessed presently to have not one but four anesthetists volunteering.

The Operating Room in the DockSide Unit (DSU) Posted by Hello

The Operating Room on the Ship Posted by Hello
The Dental and Optical team has been working very hard, serving patients. The dental team is very happy to be performing more restorative procedures. Doctor Bob is very gentle and does a wonderful job. The Dental Hygienist assisting him this past week is Tabitha from Romania. The personnel in the Optical Clinic have been seeing hundreds of patients and have to brave "sand-fleas" while doing their work. The sand-fleas are so small you don't see them (we call them "no-see-ums", but you certainly know when they bite you. We have yet to determine the correct combination of Deet spray to combat them effectively.

Dental Clinic Posted by Hello
The Engineering department has been a blessing in providing all of the comforts of home onboard electrical, hot water for showers, filtered water for drinking and laundry, air conditioning, sewage the essential amenities that are often taken for granted. The deck department has been working diligently on chipping and painting the ship and providing security services for us. The Information Technology department has done a wonderful job of keeping all the bits and bytes in order to allow us to communicate not only with you our friends and family, but also with our vendors, home office and all of the potential volunteers waiting for information on our schedule so they can join us.

Blake in the engine room Posted by Hello
The Human Resources department has been working overtime, coordinating our changing schedule with the many volunteers. They are truly a blessing to all of us. We so much appreciate their tireless efforts, and the loving, gentle attitude that permeates all that they do. Do you ever wonder if God is calling you to volunteer for a couple weeks or several weeks? Do you possibly think, "What skill could I offer"? You may be happily surprised at the opportunities that are available. Denise would love to hear from you if you are at all curious and feel God leading you to Missions or a mission experience.

Denise in her office. Posted by Hello
In the last couple weeks we have had to cancel our Public Relations Tour to the Great Lakes and inform the applicants that were planning to join us there that we don't know where we are going! We feel their disappointment and encourage them to see what God is doing …. And encourage them to serve with us where ever we go! It looks like that will probably be Galveston, Texas! I feel that God is in the process of releasing His ship from Public Relations to spend more time serving the needs of the people! Public Relations may need to be done differently in the future…due to the changes in the ship and port security regulations! It's exciting to be a part of what God is doing!

Painting the ship Posted by Hello
As we continue on this outreach, please continue to cover us in prayer. We very much appreciate all of the prayers that you offer on our behalf, not only for us individually but collectively as a ministry. People sometimes ask us how can we volunteer and not get paid. It is when we see God moving in a person's life and that we are a small part of that. You couldn't put a price on such experiences; we are blessed in tangible and intangible ways.

May you be blessed today as you serve Jesus with your life.
God's blessings,
Rob and Denise
 Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 09, 2004


Our son, Jason at his Papa's house (Vivian in the background) Posted by Hello