Nursing Abroad

Category

The Gift I Didn’t Deserve

Last Year… It was about 8 PM, and the plastic surgery patients were suffering from cabin fever after a month on board with no windows. We often took them to the outer decks after hours to get some energy out. Dylan’s grandma was holding the mobile phone to her ear and holding me tight with her free arm, while nodding toward the light blinking in the distance. That was where they had family. It was right on the beach road...

Our Favorite Moments of 2015

2015 It’s over! The year has finished and if you’re reading this, you made it on to the next one. This next year is one more example of God’s grace in our lives. Even with our mess-ups and regrets, we get another chance to live the life we dream of, the abundant life God promises us. New Year’s is a great reason to celebrate. I love doing that with tight hugs, kisses and whoops for joy. The world hasn’t ended...

When Routine Takes Over

Breathe. It’s supposed to happen involuntarily. We don’t need to tell our body to do it every few seconds. Each breath gives us oxygen and yet we carry on without thinking about it. Breathe. It’s the name of our monthly hospital gathering. It’s set apart because at this gathering we tell stories seen through our own eyes of inspiration and encouragement. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve been gasping for breath lately. I don’t see the amazing things that happen in...

Deep Wounds

It’s been the focus of every work day for the past 4 weeks. I’m staring at them, analyzing them, writing about them in patient charts, talking about them, and praying for them. These wounds are, for now, the reason I get up in the morning. I’m there to cleanse them, dress them, pray for them and hope for progress. Four other nurses and I are spending this season as the Dressings Team, or the Wound Care Team. We work together...

Fearless

Already an eternity ago, our time in Texas was a time of delving into the foundations of this organization. We immersed ourselves into the Word of God, into who God is, what he wants with us, and how much he loves the poor. This is a very simple concept, but also deep and complex. The complexity comes from our own humanity, our own perceptions of God. There is the God he describes himself to be, but there is the “God”...

The Checklist Team

The hospital opened, ward shifts have started, patients are trickling in and out as we fill a growing number of hospital beds. This is all so exciting, but there’s something else that deserves attention. A small team was sent out today to Fenerive Est, a town just north of the port city of Tamatave. Their sole task will be initiating a life-saving training for surgical teams across the country that, if understood and accepted, will literally save lives. Mercy Ships...

Packing: Three of My Favorite Things

How do you pack for a 5 week trip to Tyler, Texas, a 2 week trip to Winterton, S. Africa, and then arrive to a ship that will sail for ~7 days and arrive in tropical Tamatave, Madagascar? There are lots of travel websites out there with tips on packing lightly, capsule wardrobes and how to pack for year-long round-the-world trips. But my itinerary is a little out of the norm. The assumption for overseas work is that you’ll be...

Little Women: A Heart-Breaking Reality

When the patients file in on the first day of Women’s Health admits, I can smell the ones that are leaking the worst. Soon, I would look into the eyes of a young wife that reflect back to me a heart-breaking reality. This week has reminded me of how lucky I am to work on the Africa Mercy, on B Ward, with these precious little women. They often don’t even come up to my chest. A few of them are...

In the Midst of Transformation

Hello everyone this is Ruben!  This is my first of what I hope will be many posts as time goes on.  I’d like to start by sharing an experience that greatly impacted me several weeks ago. As the Ship Security Officer I typically don’t walk around the Africa Mercy in scrubs,  but I found myself in a pair early one morning as I prepared to observe two surgeries on board the ship.  At security screenings and around the ship I...

Survivors

Herynlyn on the dock Her name is Herynlyn. Her mom looks younger than my youngest sister, and she herself is a toddler. She wandered into a cooking fire and her bottom lip is crookedly stretched tightly to her chin. She doesn’t know the difference between herself and other little girls yet, but she will in a few years if something isn’t fixed. Otiniela with Tanya, one of our crew members Her name is Otiniela. She’s independent, headstrong, and practices her...