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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

KRB Update 2142 Emergency Drills

KRB Update #2142 August 18, 2009 Emergency Drills
EMERGENCY SIGNALS: (from the Africa Mercy Crew Handbook)
Crew Alert: One long continuous sounding of the ship's general alarm for not less than 10 seconds. At sea, this may be accompanied by one long continuous blast of not less than 10 seconds on the ships whistle. General Emergency: At least 7 short alerts on the overhead paging system followed by one long alert. At sea, this may be accompanied by at least 7 short blast followed by one long blast on the ship's whistle. Man Overboard: Three long alerts on the overhead paging system followed by three long blasts on the ship's whistle. When the general emergency alarm is sounded - go to your appropriate muster station. At sea, unless you have been instructed otherwise, the muster stations are on Deck 7 by letters: A,B,C,D (portside) and E,F,G,H (starboard side). Prior to sailing, your muster station will be posted on the Muster List at various locations around the ship, including outside the Purser's Office. In Port, unless instructed otherwise, proceed directly to the dock and find the muster taker holding the sign that contains the first letter of your last name. Drills will be conducted on a regular basis.
During most of my years living on the ships, I served on an emergency team. When the Crew Alert alarm is sounded, I know where I am going and how to respond as we drill regularly and with different scenarios. I serve as a stretcher bearer here, which also includes various duties in addition to safely moving someone to a safe place. We have also responded to true emergencies when something has happened to a fellow crew member. While on the Anastasis, I was also on lifeboat crew, but not here on the Africa Mercy as we have four large lifeboats (plus many life rafts – sufficient for our entire crew and more) and they are staffed by the deck and engineering departments.
My regular prayer requests include health, safety and protection. I appreciate your partnership with me in prayer as I serve here in West Africa.

Emergency Drill EMT

This is our response to an emergency drill set up by the safety officer, Michael from Australia. You can see the firemen in full gear and our Emergency Medical Team (EMT) which I am a part of as a stretcher bearer - I'm in the yellow vest on the far left of this photo.

Emergency Drill 06Aug09

This is a drill, this is a drill!!! In order for good practise and to be ready in the case of a real emergency, the safety officer had a scenario set up for the Fire Team and the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) - as you see in this photo up on deck 7 of the ship.

Young friend at a local church

This was a young friend who kept walking by our seat while at a Sunday service at a local Foursquare Church here in Cotonou - which is the home church of a fellow long term crew member and friend. Another friend gave him a balloon and since it was her last Sunday, she had her camera and took this photo.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Off Ship Site Visit 07Aug with Jean Claude

Our second stop on our Off Ship Ministry Site Visit was with Jean Claude who is our agriculture trainer. He is training five men from Bethesda in agriculture who will be the trainers in their training program. In addition, they have 5 other men from the local community going through the training. Soon they will start with 30 new participants. You will see below the building they will use as the dormitory for participants and staff.

Off Ship Site Visit 07Aug - Hevie Training Facility

One of my privileges and responsibilities as the Programs Administrator is to plan and host the Off Ship Ministry Site visits for the general crew on a sign-up basis. Our very capable Public Relations department does this for visiting guests, donors, staff from our offices, etc. Though, I am able to offer this for the general crew. On Friday, we drove for about an hour to Hevie where we are partnering with Bethesda, a local Christian non governmental organization in building a training facility / dormitory for agriculture training. The building is near completion and will be occupied as soon as it is finished.

Jardin d'Eden Basketball

Following our time of singing and sharing a Bible story / lesson and craft time, we usually have free play time - this week we brought a basketball. Basketball is not too popular here, as football (soccer is king) though the boy with the ball now has a shirt with 'Jordan' printed on it.

Jardin d'Eden with Dorreal 01Aug

In this photo, Dorreal is one of the older boys at the Jarden d'Eden (Garden of Eden) Children's home here in Cotonou - he is holding on his shoulder 'Baby girl' who has just started to walk.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Jardin d'Eden Craft Time 01Aug

At this children's home - Jardin d'Eden, after sharing the story of Jesus' first miracle - at the wedding feast - our craft was making our own invitations - I am watching Joel as he glued on cut outs and used stickers to decorate his special invitation. Through a translator, I learned that he remarked that he stacked the cut outs and stickers on his invitation because at his party there would be lots of food.

Jardin d'Eden 01Aug Snack Time

At a local children's home this past Saturday, we shared the Bible story of the wedding party where Jesus turned the water into wine. It was the same day as Benin Independence Day from France. We followed up the craft time with some cookies (some the ladies in our group made cookies and others we purchased). This little guy is giving you this 'cookie crumb' smile.