Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Here for you...

When I first came to Mercy Ships back in 2007 and certainly early in 2008 I struggled to view myself as being a missionary while working in the Reception department on a ship. I was not on the so-called "front-lines". I wasn't working in the Hospital, where the nurses and doctors have daily interaction with patients. The extent of my serving the poor and needy in West Africa seemed to be when I adopted a patient in the Mercy Ships "Adopt-A-Patient" programme. This was one of the few opportunities I really got to serve the people. That was my early experience in Liberia. Later on I got more involved with the New Matadi Orphanage in Monrovia. A group of dedicated crew members would lead a Bible Study there every Wednesday evening. That was a special time.

But on the ship I still struggled to see myself as a missionary. However, God has begun to shift my perspective. And especially this past year, going to America for Gateway last June/July and then on to the ship in September, He has continued to reveal to me that my role on the ship is my primary ministry - and it carries the same weight as that of a nurse or a doctor. I may work onboard the ship and have limited opportunities to get out and visit orphanages - or head down to the Hospital for that matter - but the Reception department is where I am a missionary.

Reception is a very public ministry. Crew members on the ship whose names I do not know, somehow seem to know my name! I've got to allow God to use this to His advantage. Yes, crew members know my name. Now I need to know their names. So often showing an interest in people's lives and asking questions like "How's your day going?" really do lighten up a person's day. Praying for situations, such as a medical emergency, as I sit at the desk, is also a way in which Reception is part of the ministry. Even a smile can turn a dark day to a bright one. I've seen it happen.

I may not minister to those in the Hospital, those in need of physical healing, but I do minister to the crew of the Africa Mercy. I am here for you.

1 comment:

clare davis said...

thank you Murray! We appreciate you.