Monday, 30 May 2011

Nursery Rhyme dress-up...

Whenever we play games on the ship, we often decide to have a dress-up theme - just for the fun of it. This last Friday a group of us played some card games and the theme was Nursery Rhyme characters! I was dressed up as Humpty Dumpty - and I even shaved my head for the occasion. Note the cracks and egg yolk! There was also the Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Little Jack Horner, the Farmer's Wife, Little Boy Blue, and the Three Blind Mice in attendance! It was another fun evening that highlighted the awesome community spirit of the Africa Mercy.

Itsy-Bitsy Spider...

The Queen of Hearts...

The Three Blind Mice...

Little Bo-Peep and her sheep.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Ship Birthdays...

Whenever a Mercy Ships crew member has a birthday on the ship, there are always some traditions that are adhered to:
  1. At lunch or dinner, the ship's bell in the Dining Room is rung in honour of the crew member whose birthday it is, and the whole crew sing "Happy Birthday" to the birthday boy or girl.
  2. Their cabin door is usually decorated with balloons and streamers.
This past Wednesday a couple of my good friends shared a birthday, and so we had a joint-surprise party for them. We shared cake, stories and played some fun games. It's another one of those things that really highlights to me that my friends here are family too.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Where Land Rovers go to die...

On a corner along Freetown's busy streets, there is a place where many Land Rovers are in various stages of degradation. Can you spot the old Mini in the below shot?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Beautiful Sunset...

Some days you walk out onto Deck 8 after supper and are met by this sight... No more words - I'll let the photos convey God's glory.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Anyone for some fish?

Today I went to Bureh Beach with some friends. We had some African food, prepared by the locals, as we watched the waves wash up the beach. It was a lovely meal (they make an amazing peanut sauce for the rice), but I must say my piece of freshly-caught fish was rather disconcerting. It was definitely the first time I've received a whole fish head complete with eyes and teeth!

Hmmm, lovely African food!

It may not have looked appetising, but it sure tasted good!

I look rather enthusiastic about my fish head.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sierra Ferries...

A while back I blogged about the water taxi we use for our arrivals and departures. Well, we are no longer using that company, but are now using the new Sierra Ferry to assist with our arrivals and departures. The ferry itself is Government-owned, but the company that operates it is an independent, privately-owned company. This ferry operates a service from Government Wharf, Freetown, across the river to Targrin, on the Lungi (airport) side.

Today Tim and I went and did a trial run, taking one Land Rover with us, because we needed to go to the airport to meet immigration officials there. The trip went really well and we were very impressed by Sierra Ferries - the vessel is in very good condition and there are life rafts and other safety equipment on the ferry.

We pray that the arrival and departure process will be stress-free for crew with the use of Sierra Ferries! It was certainly a relaxing trip across the river for us.

Here are some more photos from our trip across the river.

Driving our Land Rover onto the ferry.

Got to give it plenty of juice!

Life rafts on the ferry.

We were impressed by the well-maintained Man Overboard Boat it carries.

Government Wharf.

Freetown scenery.

Passing the Africa Mercy docked in Freetown...

... And leaving her off our starboard quarter.

Early morning fires add to the hazy atmosphere of Freetown.

Approaching Targrin Ferry Terminal on the Lungi side of the river.

This is the older Government Ferry.

The two ferries alongside one another at Targrin.

Airport business done... Time to head back!


Passing the Port of Freetown again.

And back we are at Government Wharf!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Love and Good Deeds...

I feel as if whenever I am learning an important lesson - like how to walk in step with God - something always tries to derail the process. And honestly, it's usually me.

I have lately been really challenged by a passage in Hebrews 10 which says:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
(Hebrews 10: 24)

As a result of this, I have been looking for ways in which I can bless my friends in order that they may be spurred on toward love and good deeds. I can encourage them by being there, listening, and praying for my friends. The sky's the limit when it comes to how I can bless people!

And yet last week I messed up and I did not live out this truth. My pride was stung by something pretty small and insignificant and I overreacted by saying something sarcastic to a friend. It wasn't major, but it was hurtful, and I knew that. My sarcasm can be pretty brutal sometimes. On the one hand, I can use it to joke around and have fun with friends - and I can actually use it to build people up. But those rare occasions when I bring it out with different motives in my heart are the worst. It can be pretty destructive!

It was a real eye-opener how my stung pride can really be rather harmful. Thankfully, my friend is big enough to forgive me when I have these Murray moments of madness. In this whole scenario, I certainly was not spurring the individual on to love and good deeds. I was instead creating a rift and animosity - I was breaking down love and good deeds.

It's time to get back on track and spur one another on towards love and good deeds!

Friday, 13 May 2011

International Nurses Day...

It was International Nurses Day on the ship yesterday (12th May). Of course, being a hospital ship, we rely heavily on medical personnel, and none more-so than the many wonderful nurses who serve here. This is Liz, one of those wonderful nurses.

I am so very thankful to have the honour of knowing so many amazing nurses who see their work as a special call from God. They truly make a lasting impact in the lives of the patients on the hospital deck - and the general crew on other decks too! Thank you Nurses for all you do!

If you're interested, International Nurses Day commemorates the birth of Florence Nightingale, the forerunner of modern nursing. For more, click here.

(I was going to post this on the day itself, but unfortunately issues with Blogger meant that I was unable to - as well as meaning that the post I wrote about the Academy Creative Arts fair has temporarily disappeared. Oh well. Hopefully it will turn up soon.)

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Academy Creative Arts Fair...

Last night the Academy hosted the Creative Arts Fair, in which the students were given an opportunity to show the rest of the crew what they have been learning in their classes. There were musical interludes as well as displays of colourful artwork. As always, it was an honour to see how the hardworking teachers of the Academy bless the crew through what they do - and through the skills that are being learned by the students. If you are a teacher and would like to try something different for a year or two, why not volunteer to teach a truly international class on the Mercy Ship. You will not be disappointed!

The evening started in Town Square with musical recitals from some of the students...

Followed by the choir singing "Let My People Go".

Then the evening moved on to the Academy itself, where there were many interesting displays - including this "City Cell", a Lego city comparison of how a cell functions.

The Energy Plant/Mitochondria unit. Not sure about how much energy McDonalds gives though!

There was also many different examples of painting and drawing techniques on display. This is Op Art.

These works are inspired by Romero Britto of Brazil.

More art with an African theme.

Painted bits of wood showing places that are close to home for the students.

Wire sculptures... One of my favourite ones was this one. But that's no real surprise, is it?

Crew members enjoy being blessed by the Academy. Thank you Teachers and Students of the Mercy Ships Academy!