|Palm branches for Palm Sunday|
|Garden of Gethsamane presentation|
Easter is a very special time to be on the ship. Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and we had palm branches brought down from up country to put round the boundaries of our dock space and on Deck 8 at the top of the ship and a service in the evening.
During the week there were various events and services. The Youth's 'Presentation in the Garden of Gethsemane' on Maundy Thursday was particularly beautiful, reflective and atmospheric, as was the Good Friday 'Tenebrae' service. Tenebrae is Latin for 'darkness' and the service is characterized by the gradual extinguishing of candles (battery operated ones for the ship!) until the room is in darkness at the end.
|Back to Roume|
Easter Saturday we took the opportunity visit Roume Island again - probably for the last time. We have really enjoyed the peace and beauty of Roume and enjoyed going with friends and making new ones.
There was an Easter Sunrise service, an Easter Celebration Service then a feast at lunchtime not dissimilar to Christmas. So grateful to all the crew who put so much time and effort into planning and organising this week, including Chaplaincy, Food Service and Crew Service as well as other crew who use their creative and craft skills to make the ship look amazing.
|Easter Sunrise service|
|Easter Sunrise service|
We continue to be amazed and humbled at the work Mercy Ships does. Tomorrow is the start of the final week of surgeries and the hospital will stay open for one more week after that. The second round of Plastic surgeries has finished and a six week stint of Women's Health surgeries (childbirth injuries and gynaecological) has also finished. Medical Capacity Building where nationals are trained in many different medical areas continues pretty much all field service long in different parts of the country but has also now finished. The final week of surgeries bring General Surgery (hernias and lipomas) and Maxillo Facial cleft lips. Stuart and Mike, another carpenter, have also been capacity building by training the local day crew, in twos, in some basic carpentry skills.
|Two of the Carpentry trainees|
So, what is a typical week like. We were 'warned' before we arrived at the ship that is is very easy to develop 'FIMO' (Fear Of Missing Out') and we fairly quickly realised what that meant but we have still managed to fill our week! Hmm!
We both generally work an 8.00 am to 5.00 pm working day which just whizzes by and our evenings have started to fill up - Stuart and Matthew also do 'On-Call' and Matthew has 'Night Patrol' to fit into all this. We usually have dinner around 6 pm. On Mondays Stuart goes to a book study group from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm, Lynne started a small group but hasn't been due to needing to rest, ice, etc her knee. At 7.00 pm on Tuesday evenings we usually go to a 'Music Get-Together' to play and sing with a group of others, and on
|Our OnBoarding family|
|Deck Team on Ice Cream duty|
|Local church we've attended recently|
Saturday we might go out for the day or sometimes there is a film or just for part of the day,other event in the evening and Sunday varies - we have been to the Hope Centre service several times, we have recently been going to a local church or we may rest and catch up with things as in the evening is Church on the ship, followed by Brits tea in one of the family cabins. There are always other ad hoc events going on too.
|'All British' goodbye breakfast to Judith|
|Bye to Lee at Guinea Gardens|
|Obama where we enjoy going to eat.|
|Hey! That's our berth!|
|Getting ready to move again|
|Masks on for another move|
|Followed by a long night|
As we start to pack up the outlook changes again and yesterday we watch the resident T-Rex (Terex) move two containers into place ready for the pack up team to begin their work.
|Getting the pack up containers in position|
|Father and Son at work|
As we finish this field service and look back over the last year, we are thankful to God for His goodness and faithfulness. We thank Him for all of our friends we've met on this ship, the work of this ship and our family and friends back home supporting us. In just over five weeks time we will be home for six weeks and Matthew will be following us a couple of weeks later as originally planned; we will return to the ship in August in time for the sail to Senegal and the next field service.
'The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.' Lamentations 3:22-23