Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships

July 2015 Update

Mercy Ship Donations, Always Appreciated!

Items Needed:

  • 7-8 oz. toothpaste
  • adult toothbrushes
  • sharpie markers
  • batteries
  • Bic pens
  • balloons
  • yarn
  • crayons
  • jumbo crayons
  • construction paper
  • water colors,
  • glue sticks
  • 4 oz. bubbles
  • pipe cleaners
  • kids scissors
  • zip lock bags
  • Dominoes
  • Checkers
  • Connect Four
  • Kid Card Games: Old Maid, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Uno…

A container for on-going donations is on the credenza outside the office.

January 2013 Mercy Ships Update.

Holy Nativity participates in the Mercy Ships program through providing supplies needed to support their efforts.

The latest supply list is available here.

Additional information is available at the following links:

Mercy Ships Overview
Africa Mercy Facts
Sierra Leone Facts

Please contact Vibert LaMaison if you have any questions.

Mercy Ships History

In 1978, Don and Deyon Stephens began the process of finding a suitable vessel to fulfill the dream in their hearts of a hospital ship serving the world’s poor.

After surveying many ships, the Anastasis (ex Victoria) was selected as the most suitable in relating to fulfilling the objectives laid out in the feasibility study. The purchase for $1 million was completed on October 5, 1978 through loans, primarily through a Swiss bank.

Don and Deyon began recruiting crew to staff the ship and raising the funding to bring the Mercy Ship into compliance with international standards, which had recently expired. Four years were required – one year in Venice, Italy and three years in Elefsina, Greece to lay the foundation for future service and to pass sea trials with Lloyds Registry as a “100″.

Ongoing efforts resulted in the transformation of the passenger ship into a hospital ship that served for almost 30 years. The Africa Mercy replaced the retired Anastasis in June of 2007, and is the largest charity hospital ship in the world. Following the model of Jesus, Mercy Ships believes the nature and character of a loving God must be demonstrated both visibly and verbally. The volunteer crew is dedicated to bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor.

From the beginning, Don Stephens has served as Founder/President of Mercy Ships. Don holds a bachelors degree in religious studies from Bethany College, Santa Cruz, California. Deyon, a registered nurse, serves as the Director of Training and oversees the Ships Watchmen program. Married in 1966, Don and Deyon have four grown children and became grandparents in 2002.

In 2009 the Variety Club International Humanitarian Award, whose previous winners include Sir Winston Churchill and Audrey Hepburn, was awarded to Don and Deyon Stephens in London. Don Stephens has received the Two Hungers Award and the Religious Heritage Award. Don is also a Paul Harris Fellow through Rotary. Conversant in German and French, Don lectures internationally and is the author of three books, Trial by Trial, Mandate for Mercy and Ships of Mercy.

Don is the voice behind the Mercy Minute, a daily radio broadcast aired internationally on over 720 radio stations. Don and Deyon often speak at seminars and conferences worldwide and appear as radio and television guests.