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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Update on Caribbean Mercy Status

Here is the latest status on the Caribbean Mercy:

It is with regret that we have to tell you that, due to the surveyors report received this week, the ship will be further delayed while repairs are completed. At this time, the Dominican Republic Field Assignment (Outreach) will be delayed at least until July to October 2005.

These repairs involve the entire dining room, Amazon CafĂ©, book store, aft lounge and the pre-school, and the surveyor decided that they should be completed prior to our departure for the Dominican Republic. Our understanding from last year’s survey was that this work needed on Promenade Deck could wait until our next Dry Dock in 2007.
Mercy Ships has hired contractors to complete this work quickly and thoroughly, so that we can move forward in planning the Dominican Republic outreach. The disassembly of the areas affected has begun as of April 11th and we are getting more estimates to help us determine how long these repairs will delay us. We hope to have more information and a timeframe by the end of next week. The field assignment will also have to be approved by the government in the Dominican Republic, once firm dates are determined.

These changes are outside our control, but we know that God is in control and we trust in Him for His time and plan. Much prayer and discussion has already gone into this decision, and we hope to have some answers soon. Please continue to pray!
We are excited about what is already going on in the Dominican Republic prior to the ship’s arrival. Our advance team has been in the Dominican Republic since the beginning of January 2005 working out all the details in preparation for the field assignment. The Community Health Education Coordinator arrived mid-March to begin teaching in the villages and Barahona. She has been warmly welcomed and has experienced high attendance in these classes in the communities. The Health Care Fairs (clinics) are going on in the villages. The Ship’s Outreach Team (Evangelism) has just arrived in Barahona to begin building relationships and assess the spiritual needs of the communities. Please join with us in prayer for His guidance, preparations and His ongoing plan for the Dominican Republic field assignment.

We pray that you will experience blessings from God for your prayers, patience, perseverance and steadfastness in standing with us during this time of uncertainty. May God bless you abundantly as you seek Him and trust in Him more and more!

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