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.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Possible Shipyard in South Africa

Along with the national director for Mercy Ships Southern Africa, our Advance Team visited one of the shipyards who submitted a contract to our organization for the generator replacement project scheduled for later this year - September - December. I will share more about Advance and the upcoming Shipyard phase in a future KRB Update.

El Olam Camp Visit Don's House

Currently I am serving on the Advance Team in South Africa. Part of our responsibilities include finding suitable accommodations ashore for the crew who will have to move off when the ship goes into drydock in South Africa. We were blessed with the tour of the facilities by the staff at El Olam - such hospitable people.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Water Guys - Boaki Andrew

We are so grateful for the local Liberians who served with us as dayvolunteers. We were searching for two of our former dayvolunteers who worked with our water well projects. They got the message and showed up at our evaluation in Cheesemanburg - Boaki & Andrew. They were real helpful as we went to visit some of the wells Mercy Ships put in the area.

Tenegar Clinic Observations

Cora Roberts is the officer in charge at the Tenegar Medical Clinic - she has her three year nursing degree and was previously one of our local Liberian dayvolunteers with the Africa Mercy. She is doing a good job caring for the people of the Tenegar region.

Tenegar Clinic Observation

Part of our official evaluation process was to observing a child from his/her arrival, the consultation, and receiving of the needed medications. Our team leader Mark had researched and obtained all the appropriate documents that we needed to use.

Ngenda James Kathleen

During the evaluation time in Liberia, I was able to visit some friends I first met in 2006 - James and Kathleen Ngenda - James was our Field Representative for Mercy Ships for a couple years. We had a good visit.

Rain in Monrovia Liberia

Anyone who has been to Liberia in the Rainy Season would recognize this scene out the front of our vehicle on one day during our visit to Monrovia.

Cookie Bisquit Time

Cookie Bisquit Time
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Prior to leaving during one of my visits to the orphanage, I was able to share with them some cookies/bisquits that I purchased locally so that they could have a treat.

Kennedy on the Phone w Brenda

My birthday gift to my friend Brenda was buying recharge/scratch cards enough so that Kennedy could talk with Brenda who was in South Africa. The children also gathered around to sing Happy Birthday to her.

Nico working on my settings on my mobile phone

During my visit to the orphanage in Monrovia, Nico (almost known as Moses) is pictured in the middle with my mobile phone - he was working on some settings for me and entering some numbers for me - he promised not to make any international calls.

George Inai - Karate

Inai and George show me some of their karate moves that they are learning from the other kids and from Kennedy himself. Inai on the left even has the special white robe and coloured belt.

Keiths First Visit Back 18Apr10 a

During my first visit to see the kids at the orphanage, they were eating and so I just got to sit down with them as they enjoyed their rice, cassava leaves and special sauce prepared by Bindu. They finish their food down to the last grain of rice and no Liberian has eaten, unless he has had rice.

Keiths First Visit Back 18Apr10

During my service with the Evaluation Team, I was able to revisit the Liberia Children Rescue Educational Foundation Orphanage. It was great to reconnect with the children, teens and staff there. I will post some various photos from my three visits.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

KRB Update 2154 Evaluation Liberia

KRB Update #2154
May 15, 2010
Keith R. Brinkman

Evaluation Team - Liberia

Evaluation is an important aspect to our programs that happens a year or so after the ship has left. We need to know what was good and what was bad with our projects – the lessons learned as we are committed to excellence in all that we do (one of our core values). In our project proposals, we write ‘the Mercy Ships Evaluation Team will conduct a follow-up evaluation to determine the success of the program.’ I just recently returned from the nation of Liberia, where Mercy Ships conducted four field services between 2005-2008. I was in Liberia briefly in ’06 and basically all of ’07 and ’08. I was excited to have the opportunity to return to Liberia. Our evaluation primarily focused on our community activities – water wells, sanitation, community health, agriculture; our construction projects; and our other training projects. We approached each group with an ear to hear from them. Some interviews were encouraging but others were not so encouraging. I had a good team leader and we worked well together.

Photo: Meeting with the Community Leader (Papa Blama) to set up a time for the Communities/Villages Evaluation.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Gracie Reeves Baptist Medical Center Outside

Outside the medical clinic in Gaye Town that Mercy Ships built in cooperation with the Gracie Reeves Memorial Baptist Church.

Gracie Reeves Baptist Medical Center

Inside the Gracies Reeves Baptist Medical Center which Mercy Ships constructed in 2007. They were full with people as a medical team from the US military were there offering services for the people.

Trinity Dental Clinic ELWA

Inside one of the treatment rooms in the Trinity Dental Clinic at ELWA in Monrovia, Liberia.

Trinity Dental Clinic ELWA

A photo of the Trinity Dental Clinic at the ELWA Hospital in Liberia. This was built in cooperation with SIM, Dr. Keith Chapman and Mercy Ships. Dr. Keith and his family who were crew membesr on board live in Liberia and continue to provide for the Liberian people. Some of their workers are former dayvolunteers with the Africa Mercy.

Royesville School Plan done by Karen

While meeting with the Vice Principal of the school, he showed us the plans that a short term crew member made for the Central Royesville School.

Royesville School

Royesville School
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Central Royesville School was destroyed during the Civil War - Mercy Ships came in during '05 and '06 and was able to help reconstruct and get the school re-opened for the children - grades 1- 6.

Losanni Tenegar

Losanni Tenegar
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
The development chairman for the Tenegar area is Losanni and so early on in our evaluation we went out to meet him to discuss when it would be possible to do the clinic evaluation and also the villages/communities evaluation related to the projects we worked on in the area - including agriculture, community health, water and sanitation.

Gebelah at Rick's

Gebelah at Rick's
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
One of the families on board is helping sponsor this young man Gebelah to attend Rick's Institute - just outside of Monrovia, Liberia. So while I was in Liberia, I was able to visit him at school - he is doing well with his studies and we are all proud of him.

Evaluation Work Phone Calls

Serving on the evaluation team requires many phone calls trying to make appointments with the people and partners we need to meet. This is from the guest room I stayed in at the Africa Bible College Guest House at ELWA in Liberia. Thankful to have 24 hours of power and running water.

Open Bible Standard School Congo Town

One of our construction projects in 2007 in Liberia was for the Open Bible Standard School in Congo Town - we were encouraged to see many junior and senior high students attending the school. This is the well we installed that continues to provide safe, clean drinking water for them and the community.

Royesville Bridge

Royesville Bridge
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
This is the new bridge connecting the communities of Royesville - it had been destroyed by a United Nations tank and the people only had a bamboo bridge and trust me it was scary to walk across - now they have a nice new bridge.

Royesville Visit with Joseph

Two fellow crew members helped the little boy in the photo in his papa's arms - as he was severely malnourished - they asked if I would go by and visit him - he cried when he saw me, but later settled down - his mom is in the photo and the little girl in the distance is their newest daughter who was still in the womb when we left in 2008.

Royesville Visit with Blama

Some of the people I met on Evaluation are the same people I met when I did Assessment in Liberia. Blama is providing me with some additional names and cell phone numbers - though there is next to no phone coverage in their communities.

Royesville Visit

Royesville Visit
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Mercy Ships was involved in many ways in the communities of Royesville. In the photo, I am meeting with the chairman of God's Gift Project - Papa Blama and we are talking about their agriculture businesses.

BayTown Cheesemanburg

One of our earlier stops on the evaluation trip was to the community of Bay Town in Cheesemanburg - Mercy Ships was involved with a water well, health teaching and sanitation there. In the photo, I am asking the residents for their permission to return to ask them questions.

Victorious Faith Ministries Refuge Home

During my participation with our Evaluation Team, I visited the Victorious Faith Ministries Refuge Home - a place I visited often in 2008 - 4 of the children actually had surgeries on board the ship.