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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sailing out of the Tyne

The day was a bit foggy ... never mind... the Africa Mercy was sailing out of the Tyne River! To see a 40 second clip of the ship sailing down the Tyne, click here. Denise was standing there waiving by the Lighthouse. Of course it's hard to see where she is. Rob was onboard for the Sea Trials. What a day this was!

Preparing to release the last mooring line!

Sea Trials 044
Originally uploaded by MercyWatch.
Phil, our chaplain, and Russ, our operations director, preparing to release the last lines holding the Africa Mercy in the shipyard!

Once these mooring lines are off the ship will be on her way to SEA TRIALS!

In the background you can see the red cards in the rack....these are the cards for the crew onboard for sea trials. Phil later gathered them up as the ship headed out down the river!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Here we go!

Originally uploaded by Mercy Ships Crew Member.
Symbolicly...we are taking down the map of the British Isles and taking the next steps forward towards our journey to Africa!

As we are packing up the Business Centre, Rahel takes down the map of Britain and Ireland as Cindy shows the map of Africa that has long hung up in the office! We're moving the office on board the Africa Mercy in preparation for moving the ship out of the shipyard to Blyth and then on to Liberia!

Sea Trials on Wednesday!!!

Well....we were approved to have sea trials on Wednesday, March 28th!! We received the word Thursday night on the way home from the shipyard! We are VERY excited! Lots to do, but finally the word we waited so long to hear! We had drills on Thursday and Friday, packed up many boxes of office stuff and yesterday (Saturday) moved the offices on board! It was a lot of work! But everyone chipped in and tomorrow .. we will work from the ship! Not yet sure how that will look as the phones and computers are not yet connected and what we'll need is in a box somewhere! But we will be on the ship and working it out with God's help! So Monday and Tuesday....working on the ship...Wednesday and Thursday .... sea trials and then...we'll see what's next!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The view looking out from the 150 man lifeboat!'s Rob! He was watching as the lifeboat training was going on. I was fortunate to be able to participate in the training given by our 3rd Officer, Rodrigo!

The inside of the 150 man lifeboat

Betina, Kingsford (at the bow) and Dimitri inside the lifeboat. You can see the oars are attached to the roof and the side curtain on the port side is open.

What is this a picture of?

These are bum prints in our 150 man lifeboats! In order to fit 150 people in the lifeboat, there are patterns on the benches of many levels to show you where to sit. Basically, you sit everywhere!

Lots of empty places

The various levels of seating in the 150 man lifeboats! Just imagine a person sitting on all of these places! may be a bit crowded in there!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Video Report of Water and Sanitation Team in Ghana

The Anastasis has just finished up an outreach in Ghana and arrived in Liberia. Colin and Heather Alderson came to the Africa Mercy Community Meeting to share with us the work they were involved with in Ghana since last March. They were a part of the advance team that arrived in Tema, Ghana prior to the ship coming in June. After their advance work was completed they stayed on to complete their one year service in Water and Sanitation (Colin) and in teaching women's micro-enterprise (Heather). Colin shared the video below with us about the water and sanitation projects.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Moving day for Rob into his new office!

Originally uploaded by MercyWatch.
Here's Rob sitting in his new office onboard the Africa Mercy! Rob's job duties have also changed. He has been doing the storeman duties since November 2005 and now he will be doing more administrative engineering work keeping the computer program (AMOS) up to date and getting all the work schedules into AMOS for the Africa Mercy. He is very happy to be moved into his office on the ship and is enjoying his new duties! He will be going to Systems Admin school for AMOS for a few days the first part of April!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Story of Harris, from Buchanan, Liberia

This is the true story of Harris. He had a huge growth on his jaw and was discovered when Scott Harrison, Mercy Ships photojournalist, was taking another patient back to his village after surgery stopped in Buchanan to buy rice for the homecoming. Scott was able to return to pick up Harris for an appointment to see if he was a surgical candidate on the next day! The movie below includes actual footage of Harris and Scott when they first met, how Harris reacted in seeing his face after surgery and the homecoming of Harris after his surgery to remove the tumor. Dr. Gary Parker, Chief Medical Officer on the Anastasis, performed the surgery on Harris. God certainly answered Harris' prayers to remove this growth from his jaw! The Anastais has just recently returned to Monrovia, Liberia for the third field assignment in this war torn country.

This movie was posted by Pat Matas on Thanks for sharing Pat!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Laurence's Incredible Life Changing Procedure!

"For 18 years, five months and five days this piece of broken knife was hidden in my cheek." For many years Laurence describes how he had pain in his cheek. "It used to swell, on and off, all the time. Stinking water would come from my mouth, the taste was horrible. I attributed it to the stitches and the beatings."

(right: Picture of Laurence - Before)

In June 2006, Laurence heard about a floating hospital coming to Ghana. Believing he had dental problems, Mercy Ships gave Laurence an appointment to visit the mobile dental team.

Mercy Ships dentist, Keith Chapman continues the tale, describing his own initial frustration at not being able to find the root of Laurence’s pain. Gradually beginning to piece the information together, Keith performed additional x-rays. It was then that his suspicion of a foreign object was confirmed. It only took a local anaesthetic and a short half-hour procedure before the cause of irritation was laid visible to the naked eye.

Laurence relates, "Mercy Ships have done a great job. Should Mercy Ships not have come to Ghana what would have been my fate? I couldn’t have peace of mind or work. As I used to teach, offensive odor would come out of my mouth and I couldn’t touch a woman. It has been a very big problem for me. But now it is very, very fantastic. For the past 18 years this knife has been in my body, but now it has gone and I am praising God very, very much."
(left: picture of Laurence - after)

To read more about this story and see the pictures.... please click here (story from June 2006 in Ghana - Anastasis) or visit for other stories of life changing operations.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Waiting to start the main engines!

Basin Trials 008
Originally uploaded by MercyWatch.

Chief Engineer, Ciaran (in blue) and 2nd Engineer, Andy (in red) await the word from Capt. Jurryan to start the main engines during basin trials! A couple weeks ago, the technical crew had basin trials to become more familiar with all of the systems running at the same time. During surveys and testing, each system is tested individually and commissioned, however, during normal operations the systems are all running as they are needed. As we prepare for sea trials, hopefully in a few weeks, the technical crew is now gearing up and becoming more familiar with the ship in normal operational mode!

To read more about the systems being tested and completed, please click here. Included in the article is a Thank you to Rotary! and a new system being installed on the Anastasis to catalog the library books prior to moving them on board the Africa Mercy!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Welcome to OSCAR visitors and Happy 7th Birthday, OSCAR!

Today is the day that OSCAR's blogs section goes public! Our blog is featured on this UK run site for mission blogs and you can find us under OSCARactive, Blogs, Global. The OSCAR network comprises of roughly 750 email subscribers and the site gets 12000 visits a month and we would like to welcome you to our blog! Please contact us and let us know if there are particular questions or information that you would like to see included in our blog. Thanks for visiting us.

For our friends and supporters, this organization is a UK Information Service for World Missions. If you're involved or interested in mission or Christian work around the world, OSCAR is a gateway to useful information, advice and resources. We are happy to be a part of that information to involve more people in missions to bring the love, care and word of the Lord to those people who do not yet have a personal relationship with Him! Click here to visit the OSCAR website. and here to find out why it was started (look for the press release of 14 September 2002, Christian Herald Article).

If you have a mission blog and are from the UK or your mission is to the UK, please submit your blog to OSCAR at OSCAR (One Stop Centre for Advice and Resources) - The UK Information Service for World Mission Registered UK Charity No. 1093265, Mike Frith, Founding Director.

May God bless you abundantly as you trust in Him!
Denise and Rob Miller
Mercy Ships, Africa Mercy
Organizational website:
Right: An artist's rendition of the Africa Mercy on field service in Africa.