My service with Mercy Ships on the m/v Africa Mercy

#1 von carlos , 02.02.2011 22:44

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Phone the ship: 1-954-538-6110 - ext 1610

Proverbs 31:8-9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Who Is Mercy Ships?
Mercy Ships, a global charity that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since 1978, is the leader in using ships to deliver free world-class health care and community development services to the world's forgotten poor. Mercy Ships has chosen to follow the 2,000 year-old model of Jesus: the blind see, the lame walk, the mute speak. Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to the forgotten poor by mobilizing people and resources worldwide, and serving all people without regard for race, gender, or religion. The newest vessel the m/v Africa Mercy is the world's largest charity hospital ship, with six operating theatres, 78 hospital beds and crew of 450 + volunteers. Ship specs: length-152m, breadth-23.7m
(for more info go to my Jan 2011 archive: MERCY SHIPS and the m/v AFRICA MERCY HISTORY: 1/14/2011 update)

PARTNERSHIP WITH DEBRA: Please prayerfully consider partnering with me as I serve the ministry of Mercy Ships and the forgotten poor of the nations of West Africa. I am the ship's photographer, capturing impacting visuals that enable Mercy Ships to share with the world the hope and healing of a better life for the people of West Africa. We as volunteers are required to raise funds for participation in Mercy Ships project expenses such as crew fees and living expenses. Your donations, prayers and encouragement will make a great difference in the lives of the people we serve. It will allow me the honor to partner with you and enable me to continue serving long term with Mercy Ships. Thank you to those who have blessed me with friendships, partnerships & prayer support. Many lives have been changed including my own. For this I am eternally grateful.

1) Donate Directly On Line
2) Send tax-deductible checks payable to Mercy Ships, indicate on a separate note donation for Mercy Ships Project #2077

CANADIAN Donations mail checks to:
Donor Services, Mercy Ships Canada, #5-3318 Oak St, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8X 1R1, Toll Free ph: 1-866-900-7447 /
To set up credit card or debit donations: Ph: 250-381-2160
web: / email:
(Identify donations with Project #2077)

CANADIAN Direct ON LINE Donations click here: (Identify donation by Project #2077)

USA & other Country Donations mail checks to:
Donor Services, Mercy Ships Shipmates, Box 2020, Lindale, TX, USA, 75771, Ph: +1-903-939-7190
(Identify donations with Project #USMS2077
USA Toll Free ph: 1-800-772-7447 /

USA & other Country Direct ON LINE Donations click here:

Mercy Ships Crew Mates -Debra's Bio Donate-Contribute Now. (Identify donation by Project #2077)
Thursday, 25 November, 2010

Rovers on the winding roads to Bambanani to set up a one day clinic
( Me bottom left) Dental Team overlooking vast rolling hills of Bambanani
Arms were raised in jubilation and shouts of joy filled the air in the little Zulu settlement of Bambanini, when the Mercy Ships Dental Team passed through their gates for a day-long clinic. More than 125 people from the surrounding area had assembled, hoping for the opportunity to have a dentist examine their teeth and relieve the nagging pain they had been living with.
Bambanani mountain top
4) Local store on the mountain tops
Although the Africa Mercy is in dry dock in Durban, the off-ship Dental Program continues around the rural areas of Kwa Zulu Natal, working in cooperation with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Health. The team is bringing dental care and hygiene instruction to local hospitals and many remote Zulu villages that have no access to such care.
(top right) Me taking photos of the dental hygiene being taught to the crowds clip_image012
Crowds waiting to be seen at the dental clinic in Bambanani

For the duration of the Mercy Ships Dental program in the area, the hospitals have agreed to suspend charge. Hospitals in Appelsbosch, Montebello, Imbahlenhle, and Bethesda are the four area hospitals involved. Nine area clinics will be held before the program is completed.
Ms. NgcoboThokozani, Operational Manager of the Bambanini Clinic, said personal funds were used to buy time to ‘get the word out’ that the dental team was coming. Word of mouth passed quickly throughout the villages in the hills and valleys of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Gwala Zama said she was told of the clinic by a neighbor. “I live a long way away, but I came by the shortcut,” meaning she walked cross country, up and down the deep canyons, instead of by the long roads around them.
(Cntr) Ms. NgcoboThokozani, Operational Manager of the Bambanini Clinicclip_image016
The Dental Team extracting teeth from patients in Bambanani
“They came at 5 a.m. with the trucks,” said Ms. Thokozani. “Most of them are unemployed and they got here by asking the truck drivers for a lift. It will take time to go back.”
Dr Dag Tvedt-Mercy Ships Chief Dental Officer injects freezing into a patient’s mouth before tooth extractionclip_image020
Many had teeth that were decayed and rotted, causing constant pain. The Mercy Ships dentists extracted the decayed teeth and gave the grateful patients medication for the pain.
Very often, people aren’t aware that they can have fillings to save teeth. They just wait for them to decay and have them pulled.
(L-R) Dr. Natasha Rampershad and Dr Dag Tvedt-MS Chief Dental Officer, offers support & both exchange different procedures at Appelsbosch Clinic clip_image024
Dr. Natasha Rampershad, a young dentist from Durban, is volunteering her dental skills for a year with the Department of Health, working at hospitals and clinics to improve dental health in areas where there is little access to dental care. At Appelsbosch Hospital, Dr. Tvedt worked with her, offering support and exchanging different procedures. “We can all learn from each other,” Dr. Rampershad noted.

In a local elementary school built on the edge of a canyon, over 120 students were packed into a classroom to hear Patient Life Coach Comfort Yeboah give dental hygiene instruction. clip_image028
Many of the children had never even seen a toothbrush. She explained the importance of having healthy teeth, how bacteria can decay them, and how good tooth care can improve overall health. She gave explicit directions for proper tooth brushing, using a model of the human mouth and a giant tooth brush. clip_image032
When she introduced ‘Lucy’, an animal hand puppet with human teeth, the children broke into gales of laughter. But Lucy helped to drive home the message that teeth must be cared for correctly at least twice a day.

Mercy Ships Dental Team at the top of rural village enroute to Bambanani. (Me 2nd from left)

“Working with Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Health has been a privilege,” Dr. Tvedt said. “The province has great challenges, but it seems they do their very best to provide everybody with health services. The officials we worked with made it easy for our dental team to reach out to those in need. I thank them.”
Sieh Moore-MS dental team, comforts a patient before extraction.
Posted by Debra Bell at Thursday, November 25, 2010

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Als ZFA im Hilfseinsatz
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