Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Prior to patients having surgery here on the Africa Mercy we have several conversations with them in which we discuss how the surgery will be done, how long the recovery will be and all the details that one needs to know before undergoing any type of surgery anywhere really. With all of our patients we talk about what their expected outcomes are. That we hope and pray for the best but that sometimes the surgery isn't successful. We try to prepare the patients and family members for both the good and bad outcomes. The recovery road is long and some times the patients expectations are not always met. Sometimes they are discouraged, upset and frustrated after their surgery. I guess people at home in hospitals experience the same things. The first round of chemotherapy doesn't work, the rehab or length of time in the nursing home is endless, or complications seem to keep arising.

I'll be honest friends the last few weeks have been challenging and hard. Dealing with difficult situations, false expectations and realizing that certain circumstances are out of my control. Wondering what is the best decision for the patient and how those decisions will effect their family, friends and job. This ship has highly trained nurses, surgeons and doctors. We have a fully functioning lab, radiology department with X-ray and CT scan, we have supplies similar to home, and clean, safe OR rooms. We see some of the most incredible recoveries, crooked legs becoming straight, eye sight being restored and futures becoming bright again. We almost get used to seeing miracles everyday and with that routine we forget that the extraordinary is happening everyday on this ship.

Lots of crooked legs becoming straight in this picture!

Extraordinary joy and hope being restored

Dignity, love and strength made new for these ladies!

I don't ever want to stop being in awe of the extraordinary but the reality is some days its hard and in the end, despite all of our resources, knowledge and technology sometimes the expectations are still not met. Which brings me back to reality. It reminds me that we are only human. That even though we work diligently with our hands, resources and knowledge it isn't always enough. 

But God. He is enough. He is more than enough to make up for our faults, failures, inadequacies and can make a way in situations that seem they have no way. He controls every circumstance. The ones that we think we have control over and the ones that we clearly don't have control of. He is enough for the false expectations, loss of hope and discouragement that the patients and even myself feel at times. When modern medicine and humans fail us He is enough. Abundantly more than enough. And that is what I cling to. That is what gives me strength. I don't have to bear all of the burdens. I don't have to have all the answers. I can turn them all over to a loving, kind, merciful God who loves these patients more than I ever could. My human love and compassion will never compare to His. And the more you experience God's love the more you realize how true that is.

“If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest.” Corrie Ten Boom

I'm starting to plan for my return home, which includes booking flights, job searching and organizing things for my departure from the ship. Leaving this ship, these people and the patients is so bittersweet.  Pray for me as I begin to organize all of this and seek to enjoy and finish my time here in Cameroon well. I will do some traveling before coming home but will be back around the beginning of January.

Please continue to pray for our patients as they heal, for the country and government of Cameroon and for good health, strength and unity among all of the crew members.

All photo credit: Mercy Ships
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

No comments:

Post a Comment