Our plane was canceled and Carole and I were trying to get on another flight that evening, in order to make an important appointment the next morning. As so often happens when you pray the Lord’s prayer, God demonstrates his will and his Kingdom activity. Standing in line right behind us was a fellow traveler, trying to make the same connection. We were all rerouted to Washington Reagan, which was 35 miles from Baltimore where we needed to be. The plane would be arriving late (turned out to be 2:00 a.m.) and we discussed with this Baltimore resident what our transportation options were for getting from Washington to Baltimore. To make a longer story short, he offered to accompany us and get us to our destination.
As we sat and waited to board the plane, we shared our life stories. Eric is a regional development manager for Mercy Ships. Based out of Tyler, Texas, Mercy Ships is a global charity that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since 1978. 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. Carole and I had heard of their work, but knew little about the organization. Having invested a year of our life in a medical and theological ministry in Africa, we are appreciative of ministries that serve developing countries. A former owner of an advertising agency, Eric wanted to do something that was significant and meaningful in life. God brought him to Mercy Ships.
Eric has wonderful people skills and the gifts of hospitality and mercy. That evening, Eric was our mercy ship. We shared a cab ride to Baltimore airport, and because our hotel shuttle was no longer running, he took us to our hotel.
Your church or organization may be looking for ways to conduct medical missions. Perhaps you have doctors, nurses, dentists, and other health care professionals that would be interested in an international medical mission’s experience. Mercy Ships also has many opportunities for non-medical personnel service, computer support, administration, education, maritime trades, community development, cooks, hospitality, housekeeping, stewards, and communication positions. Some of the venues for service include West Africa, Sierra Leone, Central America, and the Dominican Republic. If you have ever planned an international mission’s trip, you know the administrative effort that requires. Mercy Ships also has a division that can do the entire trip planning for you. Please check out www.mercyships.org and hear remarkable stories of how God’s good news is proclaimed through this ministry.