Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships
The largest NGO hospital ship in the world providing free medical care to the forgotten poor

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Abandon Ship!

Rules for a Ship Emergency

Stay on the ship if possible.
If you can't stay on the ship, get in a life boat. 
If you can't get in a life boat, wear an immersion suit.
Flipping a life raft upright - this was the funnest part of the whole training!
I love swimming!

We had to be able to put on our immersion suits in under 2 minutes.
It's harder than it looks!

These suits keep you floating face up even if you're unconscious.
They make you so buoyant it's even difficult to stand up in shallow water.


Forming a train to move towards the life raft.
We made it onto the life raft!

Monday, July 13, 2015

You Can't Call 911 When You Live on a Ship

This last week of training was the most exciting yet!  We learned how to fight fires because if you're at sea and the ship catches on fire, you can't call the fire department. It makes me realize: I'm not just joining a non-profit ministry, I am becoming an actual crew member on a ship!

We started our fire fighting practice at 6am to try to beat the heat.  Trust me, the uniforms are hot, sweaty, and heavy. We were covered from head to toe with protective gear: boots, pants, jacket, hood, globes, helmet, and breathing mask with attached oxygen tank.  Wearing the uniform was harder than actually putting out the fires.

We worked in pairs and learned how to stay low and how to keep one hand on the wall at all times so you don't get lost or disoriented in the dark and smoke.

While it's unlikely I will ever have to fight a serious fire on the ship, we did practice using fire extinguishers, which could definitely come in handy some day.

We are ready in our fire fighting gear. These suits protect us up to 900 degrees.

Learning how to work together with a hose.  It's heavier than it looks!

It's hard to tell who's who with all the helmets and face masks.  But here I am in this one.

Using a fire extinguisher to fight a Class B fire
Using water to cool down the door enough to enter the burning container

Yes, that is a real fire.
Here we go!
It was almost 700 degrees inside!

My fire fighting partner, Emma and me

Helping others get their gear off when they come out and are hot, tired, and disoriented.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Take-Aways from Training

We are finishing up our 4th week of training.  Each week we have focused on a different theme: 

  • Faith Foundations (Understanding God's Character, Communicating with God)
  • Personal/Interpersonal (Understanding Ourselves & Others, Conflict Resolution)
  • Working with Those We Serve (Cross-Cultural Training,  Different Worldviews)
Although the days have been long, the content has been excellent.  Here are a few quotes that I particularly liked.

The size of the gap between our hopes and reality will be the measure by which we get to practice our faith.

The way you see your future is important because it determines your thinking today and your thinking today determines your performance today, which is important because your performance today determines your future.
                 -Tony Campolo

Your time is best spent in the area of your strengths.

Your work is your worship.

If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.      -Lewis Carroll

Conflict is a doorway to intimacy and greater relationship and understanding.

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today. 
       - Chinese Proverb

“This is the true joy in life — being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one… being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.” 

           -George Bernard Shaw

An overall theme of our training has been that God is interested in all parts of life, not just the spiritual aspect.  Following His principles will bring health and wholeness to people and communities.  Today we watched a video that shows these ideas in action among the garbage collectors of Cairo, Egypt.  It was a very powerful video; here is the link if you are interested: There is a 2nd part to the video which should pop up when you finish this one.

And here's a few pictures...

Everyone in our OnBoarding cohort

My small group