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Saturday, October 22, 2005

There was a re-commissioning ceremony held for the well-drilling rig that was once onboard the Caribbean Mercy and is now being sent to the Africa Mercy. This drill will help drill 38 water wells during the first Ghana field service.

Bob and Maggie Atkinson, who gave Mercy Ships the rig, traveled to the IOC to participate in this ceremony. Don Stephens, Mark Thompson and others prayed a blessing on the rig - for its future service in Africa, as well as for the family who has donated it.

During the ceremony Bob shared with us that he and Maggie had attended a Crossroads Discipleship Training School in 1996. During their outreach, they served with Mark Thompson in Nicaragua after Hurricane Mitch came through and destroyed many villages there. The Caribbean Mercy had left a group of well diggers and the well drilling rig from the Caribbean Mercy on land in Nicaragua after the ship's field service there prior to Hurricane Mitch. The need was great for clean water and it was decided to leave it there for service while the ship went back to the US to resupply and have a Public Relations time.

The impact of the need for fresh water and the exuberant joy it brought to the people served by the well helped Bob and Maggie decide to invest in a well drilling machine. They dedicated this new rig to serve on the Caribbean Mercy in honor of their parents to leave a legacy of how they served other's during their lives.

This machine was taken off the Caribbean Mercy, two years ago, when the planned outreach assessments did not find a need for drilling wells for the outreach locations. This well drilling rig will be sent in the near future to the Africa Mercy for use in Ghana where the two locations that ship will serve have great need for potable water. In one area only 42% of the population have access to potable water and in the other area there is only 17% of the population with access to potable water! We look forward to the time when this machine is again drilling to bring hope and healing into a community needing clean water!

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