Keith R. Brinkman serving with Mercy Ships. This is another way for me to communicate with you all what is happening. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos and entries.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Song Time with the children

Song Time
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
Song time with the children at the orphanage - though it is not just singing the song but singing and all the actions that go along with the song - just think back on Sunday School or Vacation Bible School - at times in the heat it feels like aerobics.

Team #4 Games Centre for Orphaned

We are cheering on team #4 at the orphanage we visit on Saturdays. The crew visit this orphanage and others, plus the pediatric hospital, home for the disabled, prison and rehabilition centres.

Relay Games @ Centre for Orphaned

Garrit and I are encouraging our team - the game consists of passing the ball over your head and then the next person under the legs and you try to do it as quickly as possible.

Team Games @ Centre for Orphaned

Most Saturdays, 18 of us head off for the Centre for the Aged, Orphaned and Abandoned. There are actually no 'aged' people there but the director's mom. We focus on the younger children and teens. We have times of team games as seen in the photo, song time, Bible story, craft time and more games.

Sunset from Aft Deck

Sunset from the m/v Anastasis at Freeport, Monrovia, Liberia. The man in the middle is Udo Kronester, my friend and my boss as our Programs Officer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Burned vehicle in front of the ship

We brought the vehicle back to the ship and it is on the trailer on the pier in front of the ship. Thankfully no one was hurt nor was any other property damaged, though we are down a vehicle here. On my KRB Updates that I send out, I ask for prayers for Security, Health and Safety - thank you for praying.

Vehicle Fire

Vehicle 326 Fire
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
I was driving this Land Rover from the airport with a friend from the ship and two people who we just picked up, including a friend of over 10 years when flames came inside the vehicle on the passenger side and as quickly as I stopped and we got out, we looked for a fire extinguisher, but the flames were getting higher and out of control and the vehicle burned. We were all safe but the vehicle was destroyed. This is a picture of me and the transportation manager about 1 1/2 hours after the fire started.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bay Town Boys

Bay Town Boys
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
During a follow up visit to the community of Bay Town where they now have clean and adequate water from a new well, we took this picture, with the boys I call 'Bay Town Boys'.

Sharing Lunch with children of Momo Baah Town

With some of the children of Momo Baah as we enjoyed together Plantain Chips from Ghana - a donation from the wife of the Minister of Health.

Well in Momo Baah Town, Cheesemanburg

We are checking out the status on the hand dug well in Momo Baah Town in Cheesemanburg. They were down around 30' and still digging to ensure that even in the dry season they would be able to have water. Currently they are obtaining their water in a nearby polluted creek.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Health Education student Joseph Roberts

Strategic Health Initiatives trainers are teaching in Cheesemanburg twice a week. They are training individuals who will train others in community health issues. On the day I visited, they were teaching on River Blindness from the black fly and Schistosomiasis. I met one of the students Joseph Roberts and I just started to ask him questions on what he just learned – practise on me. I had studied this years ago, but it was good to hear him share what he has learned.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pastors Reception Monrovia

Pastors Reception Monrovia
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
One of our first events in a new port is to host the pastors and church leaders on board. In the photo I am visiting with Pastor George and Pastor Bearh. They are friends and serve in the same community within Paynesville here in Monrovia. One is from the Pentecostal church and the other Baptist. They are also the ones who shared that I could keep using my African name Kofi as it is in the Kru language of Liberia.

Mobile Eye Team Duport Road

Mobile Eye Team Duport Rd
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
The Mobile Eye Team concept was something that we tried in Ghana instead of the large mass screening for eye patients. The Minister of Health was very encouraged to know that this was what we were going to do here. The team goes to 4 advertised sites during the week and do screening for surgeries for the ship, eye health education and diagnosis for other eye diseases. At this site at the Duport Road Clinic, we normally see around 400 patients a day - in the picture I am watching Bob Hicks doing an exam.

Agriculture Training

Ag Ben Cheesemanburg
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
Agriculture Training is happening in Cheesemanburg, a rural community. Ben is taking them through a lecture phase of two hours 12:00-2:00pm and he started with the book of Genesis from the Bible, God’s creation and the land. From 2:00-4:00pm they are working in the community garden. The participants are two from each of the surrounding the villages. A local man who has his own farm, Samuel, is helping the group also. The goal is for them to be able to take what they have learned back their own villages and share with others – both the spiritual and practical.

Well Upper Cheesemanburg

Well Upper Cheesemanburg
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
We are working in a second community near Bay Town, Upper Cheesemanburg is working on their well, digging deep enough to get water about 30 feet and enough water to last during the dry season, the season we are currently in. They have around 300 residents and the well is located right next to the clay house of Emmanuel and his wife. He is one of the men helping to dig the hole to 30 feet.

Congo Town School

Congo Town School
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
Congo Town School – This is one of our Community Development Services construction sites. I visited the property back in August. The church is running the school in a large rented house but it is literally overflowing with children and adults – not enough room on the benches or in the classrooms. As they have had some money they have started the construction of the school and we are partnering with them to complete the first level of the L shaped building. They have 760 students.

Bay Town Well Outstretched arms width

Fresh potable water – we had our struggles in Ghana with the well drilling, though here we just arrived and already have the hand pump on a well in Bay Town, a community of 200 + residents who previously obtained their water for a swampy water hole. The community was very responsive to the team on this one and they completely hand dug the hole themselves. The water has been tested and is of good quality. The day I visited, Dexter shared the community story and how they were rejoicing in the provision of water.

Gaye Town Medical Clinic

Gaye Town Medical Clinic has been on the heart of the people of the Gracie Reeves Memorial Baptist Church. They have been holding a medical clinic once a week in their church building, but there has been the great desire for a full time clinic. This is one of our construction sites and we should have the building done prior to the heavy rains.