Wednesday, October 7, 2015

First Dress Ceremony

Last Friday we had seven ladies in which the surgery was successful, were completely dry and ready to go home! 

In order to celebrate this Mercy Ships has organized a ceremony in which each lady gets to wear a new dress, hat and get their makeup and hair completely done. It's kind of like a wedding. They all get ready in one room and nobody sees them until the ceremony starts. There is singing, each lady gives a short testimony, and they have people pray over them. They also receive other new items like a mirror, lotion and a bible. Many people from the ship come to this ceremony and so many of them play a part in these women's successful stories. It truly is an emotional and exciting event. I can't describe the feelings we all had seeing the ladies come out of the room all dressed up, smiling and singing. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place.

As I was sitting with our other patients watching this ceremony the thought dawned on me that these women probably have never had this much attention on them in their entire lives. This is the first time somebody has ever really paid attention to them, celebrated with them or even just recognized them as a person, a strong, beautiful person. Let's be honest what girl doesn't like to get dressed up every once awhile and break out the good jewelry and take time to do their makeup?!? Yes, believe it or not even I do every ONCE and awhile lol ;) You have to admit it feels nice when people say you look great or hey I love that dress. All these women have longed for is acceptance, normalcy and to be recognized as part of society. Not only are they getting all of that back but their faith in God is restored. They are reminded that they have a purpose, that they are daughters of the most high God, that they are loved by a God that sees them and has been walking with them through every stage of this journey towards healing and restoration. 

These ladies are teaching us a lot already. The courage, strength and faith it takes for these women to come to Mercy Ships and actually trust us foreigners with their care is unbelievable! They are the survivors. They are the fighters and it is so awesome to witness this joyous occasion in their lives. Hearing the women praising God for healing them and then thanking us for taking care of them I mean truly an indescribable and humbling experience. These ladies have nothing to offer us in return and yet being apart of their journey, watching hope and faith slowly blossoming in them, rejoicing with them in the good days and being there for them during the rough days makes all of it worth it. These first seven ladies are so important because they pave the way for every other women that will walk in that clinic. They are the pioneers. They will inspire and encourage ladies just like themselves. They will offer that little extra hope that maybe another women needs. 

I think we all have that gift within us. We all have something to pass down to another generation, we all have been through a certain situation that another person is currently going through. Offer that small word of encouragement, hope or love to somebody and I guarantee it will make a huge difference. 

This was only the first dress ceremony and my coworkers and I were just overwhelmed with so many emotions hahaha! In the end, we all agreed that we can't wait to do it all over again next Friday :) 

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Some people were asking about mailing letters or packages. I for the most part have all the toiletries and snacks I need. Also, packages can get expensive if they are really heavy but I would love to receive cards, letters or anything like that! It usually takes about 2-3 weeks for the mail to arrive. The address is as follows:  

Deborah Mascia 
Mercy Ships AFM
Crew Mail 
P.O. Box 2020
Lindale, TX 75771-2020 USA

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I'am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19
Although I am currently serving with Mercy Ships, everything communicated here strictly reflects my personal opinions and is neither reviewed nor endorsed by Mercy Ships. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercy Ships