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  • Jordan Avery

Getting Reacquainted With Mercy Ships

Welcome back! After a long leave of absence, I am back on track to volunteering with Mercy Ships. Before I head back to the Global Mercy (GLM) I need to complete On-Boarding; it's a month long program to learn about the company and the mission. The course aims to welcome new long term volunteers and full time employees by sharing the organizations values, beliefs and goals with them. The course usually takes place all together at the International Support Center (ISC) in Lindale, Texas but, due to the pandemic, a new hybrid model was introduced. Now people can chose to do the course online or in person; I, obviously, chose the later!

What is On-Boarding

I thought I might explain some of what I’m doing while I’m here in Texas. I'll also go over a bit about what On-Boarding is and why it is so important to future long-term crew.

On-Boarding is training program designed to provide insight and understanding of Mercy Ships culture and core values. During the program I will learn how to uphold, support, and promote our organizational culture. Mercy Ships believes that how and why is just as important as what we do.

The course is comprised of 4 weeks of trainings with each week touching on a specific part of the culture we are going to become ambassadors for. This week was all about the foundations for Mercy Ships. We, my fellow participants and I, covered everything from the history of Mercy Ships to the Code of Conduct for the organization.

Next week the course moves over to the faith foundations of the organization. We will begin to cover the “Why” behind what we do. Why do we, as an organization, follow the example that Jesus set out 2000 years ago. I’m sure there’s more to it but I’ve yet to learn it all!

Following that we will be covering personal and interpersonal development. The goal for the week will be learning how to better love and serve others. "Love and Serve Others" is the second core value for Mercy Ships and it's arguably the most important. Not only do we serve the patients that the ships serve but also our fellow crew and staff.

To finish the month off we will cover world view and how to expand our horizons. It'll both be learning how Jesus viewed the world but also how to interact within the intercultural environment that Mercy Ships embraces. I think this is one of the weeks I’m most looking forward to! I love learning new things and I want to learn how to be a better steward when I work internationally and interculturally.

What Happens After?

Once the course is finished then we, the volunteers of the group, go back to our respective ships and do a short field practice to begin using all that we learned over the month.

For me that means that I’ll be going back to the Global Mercy to continue the work I was doing prior to my leave. I’ll be jumping back into work with the team getting the ship ready for it’s first full programmatic field service in Dakar, Senegal. There will be lots of work and lots of catching up but I am so ready for it! The last several months have been hard to say the least so I'm ready for a change.

Week one is now done but the next 3 weeks will be an adventure.


Check out this video!

Want to support me? Check out the Get Involved page to find out how you can support my journey!

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