Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mercy Ship Expedition - In Benin: One Nurse's Story

(Sorry, 1st post was out of sequence....start here)

My friend Marilyn is off on another 
Mercy Ship adventure in Africa. Those 
who followed her story before on the 
Africa Mercy know that Marilyn is a 
volunteer nurse on a hospital ship that 
sails the African coast in search of patients. 
She emails me and I share her post with you. 
I hope you enjoy!

3/13/2017 10:22 PM
Mercy Ships, in Benin

If you get this email, it's because I thought you'd like to hear from me while I'm in Benin with Mercy Ships, and group email is the only practical way to accomplish that. So, please bear with me, or let me know if you want to opt out.

At long last, I have returned to Mercy Ships, almost two years since I left last time. It feels like home, and feels like I've been gone only for a long weekend, not two years. I am surprised and pleased to discover how many friends I have still on the ship. It has been a grand time of reunion. I am only scheduled to be working with the ophthalmic team for four weeks this time. That is going to pass so quickly. It's a good thing that I plan to return to the ship again next summer for a seven-month stay, working as a hostess. Without that, it would be painful to reawaken my love for this place only to have to leave again after four weeks.

But, I am here now. Yesterday was my first day of work in the peri-op room, caring for patients immediately before and after their cataract surgeries. This is the same job I had before, and that was a good thing, since I needed to hit the ground running. We had 20 surgical patients yesterday, plus one woman who returned with an eye infection after surgery and needed to be seen by the doctor. The doctor was training an intern, so surgeries were much slower than sometimes. We weren't done until 7:00 PM, a long day for us all, including the patients who were sitting and waiting from morning until evening for their surgeries. I think we have 22 surgeries scheduled for today, so it will probably be another long day.

Yes, I was exhausted, with sore back, legs, and feet. Yes, I was thrilled to be here doing this job. Yes, I saw God at work in the chaos, protecting our patients from the worst of our mistakes or near-mistakes. Yes, it is good to be living with a sense of purpose, partnering with God to care for a few of the world's poor in such a dramatic way. I feel truly alive when I'm here, and I'm practically
intoxicated with the joy of it all.

I'm still off schedule, waking up at 4:00 AM. But it is now nearly 6:30, and time to go to work. More another day.


Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.