Sunday, September 30, 2012

Through The Eyes of a Nine Year Old

I don't like to be nine very much because there's one more year before I can go around the ship by myself.  Natty and my other friends, who are already ten, can go up to deck 8 and the Town Square by themselves but I don't get to.

Sometimes kids who are not ten yet run around even though they aren't supposed to.  I don't like that.  It makes me feel a little bit annoyed because they aren't supposed to.  My parents tell me it's a ship rule and I have to follow it even if other kids don't and their parents don't make them.  Grrrrr. 

My mom and dad say that we need to set a good example and that the bible says we should obey people in charge.  I think that it would be fun if there didn't have to be older people in charge but I guess if there weren't then it would just be chaos.  I'm not exactly sure what that means but we did a game in PE and Mr. Calvert said it.  I think it means when everything is out of control and crazy (my sister added crazy). 

When I'm ten then I will be happy because I can go up to deck 8 by myself, I can go to the computer lounge by myself, and I can watch PG movies.  Oh yeah, then I get to have a later bedtime, too.  And birthday presents.   

But there are still some fung things to do now.  I like it when my parents take me places to play and hang out.  I also like to do PE and Drama in school.  They are fun subjects.  I like living on the ship because the classes are small and there aren't very many people.  Sometimes there are yummy things to eat.  It's fun that we get to sail to lots of different places.  And we get to be in new places but still have our house with us.  It'a also fun that we get to drive in Landrovers and go to African places.  Like last weekend we went to somebody's house.  My parents say that it was the house of the acting US Ambassador and his wife.  They invited us over to eat muffins and play in their pool.  I guess most kids don't get to hang out at the houses of people like that.  It's also fun that presidents and people like that come to our ship. 

- Malachi

Monday, September 10, 2012

Locking Shields

Today was one of those days.  You know the kind I mean.  I'll no go into details but suffice it so say that most of it revolves around being offended; either me offending others or them offending me.  It seems like 'taking offense' is spreading like the plague in the first few weeks of this field service and in times like this, when I am reflective and prayerful, it is so easy to see the hand of Satan at work encouraging 'offense' to create division and broken relationships.  A very wise friend shared a few days ago an image he had about all of us, in addition to putting on the Armor of God, needing to lock our shields together and advance as a team to that we all remain protected and the line unbroken.

Really, the things that offended me were not particularly major and allowing myself to be offended was a reflection of my lack of willingness to lay down my 'rights' and die to self.  It really isn't worth the energy to be offended and it certainly isn't worth the harm that it does to relationships. Choosing to be offended weakens the line and leaves others unprotected.

Will those of you who read this and are followers of Jesus please pray with me that the Lord would crush the spirit of offense in the crew of the Africa Mercy, that He would replace it with humility and a willingness to believe the best in others, and that we would live up to the admonition given in Galatians 6:9-10 - "So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith." (The Message).

Pressing On,

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Conakry, Guinea is our home for the next 9 months.  Guinea is a bit smaller than the state of Oregon with a population of just under 11 million.  Islam is the major religion, with approximately 85% of the population adhering to it.  The average life expectancy is 58 years. It is ranked 178 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index.  Guinea is the second largest producer of bauxite in the world.  French is the official language but there are 24 other languages spoken in the country. 

The need for both the specialized surgeries that we provide and the light of Christ in the nation are quite evident.  We are looking forward to new adventures, personal growth, and to be used by the Lord to help accomplish His purposes in this country.

Malachi's class on arrival holding their Guinean flags.

The view of the dock toward the stern of the ship.
The view of the dock towards the bow of the ship.

Sunset over the harbor on the sea side of the ship.