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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cross from the ANA and Deyon

At the beginning the Passing the Torch ceremony from the gangway of the m/v Anastasis, Dr Gary Parker raised the cross from the Anastasis bow high above his head. Forever going before us, the cross is passed from one hand to the next; it too will lead us at the front of the Africa Mercy. The photo shows Deyon Stephens, one of our co-founders, receiving the cross on the m/v Africa Mercy.

Passing the Torch from the ANA

The torch started on the m/v Anastasis with our longest serving crew member on the m/v Anastasis, Dr. Gary Parker. I am about 5 people back on the gangway between my friends Joyce Samuels and Oliver as we pass the torch from one ship to the next. Special time.

Passing of the Torch

Passing of the Torch
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
We just had the special Passing of the Torch ceremony between the m/v Anastasis and the m/v Africa Mercy here in Monrovia, Liberia. The torch was beautifully crafted and burning brightly in the morning sun it is a symbol of past and future; teak from the Caribbean Mercy, Oil separator sleeve from the Anastasis and a small wooden cross from the bearing on the Good Samaritan.

Fredene's Party

Fredene's Party
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Photo of Fredene and her 'boys' as we celebrated together with her as she prepared to leave and return home to marry. The guys are from Ghana, Togo, Benin, Kenya, Sierra Leone and maybe I have missed a nation. This was taken at the end of her party which we had in the 'family room' on the m/v Anastasis.

Fredene's Party

Fredene's Party
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
In Mercy Ships, you have many welcomes and also good-byes. Yvonne and I hosted a party for our dear friend Fredene as she left the m/v Anastasis to return home to get married. She is in the bright blue on the far right. The special part was the opportunity to share an experience and/or what she has meant to us and so everyone shared and it was a great evening together.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

President of Liberia waves Goodbye

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf waving goodbye after her visit and tour on the m/v Africa Mercy. The visit occured on Tuesday, May 29th. She was elected and installed as the first female elected president on the continent of Africa. Her election happened during the second visit of Mercy Ships to the nation of Liberia. She has visited the m/v Anastasis in the past and shared with the crew just prior to our departure from Liberia last year in May.

President of Liberia in the International Lounge

We hosted the President of Liberia in the International Lounge of the m/v Africa Mercy. She is seated between our co-founders, Don and Deyon Stephens. We have many of our International Board with us also for the welcoming of the Africa Mercy and the visit of the President.

Visit of the President to the Recovery Room

We were blessed to have the President of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf visit yesterday to welcome us to Liberia and in particular to welcome the Africa Mercy. She toured the Hospital on board and this photo is when Dr. Gary Parker was showing her the recovery room on board - deck #3.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Final Community Meeting on the m/v Anastasis

Don sharing on Aft Deck
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Final Community Meeting on the m/v Anastasis – held on the aft deck outside – with both the crew of the Anastasis and the Africa Mercy. Don and Deyon Stephens, our founders, shared from their hearts with many memories from ’78 when Mercy Ships purchased the m/v Victoria, now the m/v Anastasis. He shared the below scripture also:
I Chronicles 29:10 “David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saving, ‘Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours, Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.”

Friday, May 25, 2007

AFM and ANA at the same pier

Photo from above showing the two ships at the same pier. The Anastasis is on the right hand side and the Africa Mercy is on the left, the ocean is behind and land is ahead.

Africa Mercy's Arrival with flags

AFM Arrival with flags
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
We are waiting and watching for the arrival of the m/v Africa Mercy. We brought the flags from the International Lounge to the dock to wave. I am in the middle of this photo as we excitedly await her arrival.

View my cabin on the m/v Anastasis #142 B Deck Aft Port

AFM from my cabin
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
This is the view from my bed (which is elevated) in my cabin on the m/v Anastasis out my one port hole – I see straight on the other side of the dock where the m/v Africa Mercy is berthed and in particular the large blue letters ‘AFRICA MERCY’ from my port hole.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

AFM Arrives KRB US Flag

AFM Arrives KRB US Flag
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
Standing on the pier in front of the m/v Africa Mercy as she arrives into Africa. We had the flags of the nations on the dock and I borrowed the US flag to take this picture. Exciting day all around!!!

AFM arrives in Liberia 23 May 07

m/v Africa Mercy has arrived in Africa for the 1st time - this morning Wednesday, May 23rd into Freeport, Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa

Monday, May 21, 2007

My nephew Jeremy & baseball

misc 478
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
Photo of my nephew Jeremy and my brother Jay for their parade as they start baseball season in Mooresville, Indiana.

Abigail has arrived!!

Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
My friends Eric and Aresa Erb announce the arrival of their daughter Abigail May on May 14th at 04:12, weighing 7lbs 2 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. Mother and baby are healthy. They met each other on the Caribbean Mercy and married last year and are living now in North Carolina.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Africa Mercy Sailing

Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
This was the Africa Mercy battling the forces on the Bay of Biscay - it was rough - we are praying for the rest of the sail to be smooth. We are expecting her in Africa on the 23rd of this month!!!!

'Yard' Sale on the ANA

'Yard' Sale
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
In preparation for the crew to pack and move to the new ship, the Anastasis had their 'Yard' sale in our main dining room as we have no yard. Some people are leaving and so they had many things from their cabin to sell or give away. In the photo is Ines Kronester at her table.

Joseph & Jerome on the Ward

Joseph Jerome on the Ward
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
Another ward photo - Jerome is on my right and Joseph on my life. Through our Adopt-A-Patient program, I have 'adopted' Joseph and would visit him regularly and Jerome was in the bed next to him and we would also regularly talk. Both of them have returned home and I was able to pray for them before their departures.

Boys on the ward playing the drum

Here are some of the younger boys who were on the hospital ward recovering from their surgeries. Rueben is the one you had face surgery and the other two with surgeries on their hands from burns. It was great to see the difference from their initial days on board and here to this photo as all three were ready to go home. They were playing the african drum for the staff photographer.

Patients on Aft Deck

Over the last month through my visits to the hospital ward, I have gotten to know Elijah (who had cleft lip repair surgery done) and Joseph (sitted; who had plastic surgery on his chest and stomach due to keloids). The photo is taken on Sunday when we came outside for some fresh air on aft deck. Both boys have left and gone home now.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Last Eye Patient on the Anastasis

Our last eye surgical patient walks off the m/v Anastasis - more Liberians will receive their life changing surgeries on the m/v Africa Mercy once the transition is completed.

Dr. Glenn & Last Eye Patient on ANA

An era has come to an end - on Wednesday, they conducted their last eye surgery on board the m/v Anastasis. In the photo is Dr. Glenn Strauss our eye surgeon and our VP of International Programs and his team in the operating room. All surgeries will be started up once again after the Africa Mercy arrives and is set up for patients.

Surgical Screening

Surgical Screening
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman.
Thank you for those who prayed for our surgical screening days. The night before and the entire day was peaceful. Since we are doing the eye surgical patient screening separately at four locations weekly, we did not have the large crowd. We were able to focus on the surgical patients for maxillofacial, plastics and orthopaedics. Our schedule is almost full through our time here, though there are some slots still available for those referred to us by others and/or for those located later on. My role was escorting patients from outside the stadium (see the photo) inside to the correct station – so I had a bit of time to greet and talk with them.