Mercy Ship’s current effort is the nation of Benin, where people suffer from benign tumors of a type that are easily cured by any dentist in more advanced nations. Benin, as previously mentioned in earlier articles has poor sanitation, very little healthcare, poor education, and diseases are caused by evil spirits, or so people believe. When the Mercy Ship arrives. however, they flock in their thousands to receive treatment.
The weekend drop off for donations remains the credenza outside the office, but for those of you who plan on giving, and don’t wish to leave your gifts in the hall, you may leave them in the office, which is open 8:30 am– 4:30 pm all weekdays.
A Remarkable Hospital Ship; a salvific enterprise
For all who are involved in this charity, this is a worthy action in the sight of God and man. Volunteers from over 45 nations have served onboard the Africa Mercy, which was acquired in 1999 and built specifically for the Mercy Ships mission. It is the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world, effectively more than doubling the annual medical capacity of her predecessors. The hospital includes five operating theatres, recovery, intensive care, and low dependency wards—totaling 80 patient beds. The onboard surgical capacity is over 7,000 interventions per year! In addition to the surgeries performed onboard, ship-based teams serve in local villages providing a wide array of services to increase health and well-being which includes: Dental clinics, Medical clinics, Community health education, Construction and agricultural training. Most importantly: Hope.
To give hope were there was none before, to have mercy on the needy, to heal the sick; aren’t we all called to do these very things? Isn’t that what we, as Christians are called to do? God bless you for your gifts.
- 7-8 oz. toothpaste
- adult toothbrushes
- sharpie markers
- BIC pens
- jumbo crayons
- construction paper
- water colors
- glue sticks
- craft supplies
- pipe cleaners
- kid’s scissors
- zip lock bags
- Connect Four
- Kid’s Traditional Card games: Old Maid, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Uno…
- Kid’s Board games
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:
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.