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  • Jordan Avery

It's Official!

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

It's official! Today I got the email saying that I am accepted to serve in June aboard the Africa Mercy Ship!

This week I haven't posted any updates (such a great start to my schedule, I know) but that has been because this week has been very active with correspondences with Mercy Ships. Monday I received an email regarding my health and my medical evaluation that I sent in, Wednesday I signed a contract, and today I'm accepted!

After Monday's email I got super nervous about rejection because they were concerned about my allergies, depression, and my headaches. Not to mention my weight, on top of all that, is an on going issue with them. I kept thinking to myself, "what if they reject me? What if I have too many minor health concerns? What if they don't see the effort I am putting in to change my weight and to stay on top of my depression meds?"

Needless to say, I worried. I was trying to keep from going off the rails by distracting myself. I played games with my parents (I LOVE games). Then, when that didn't work, I watched my favorite shows while painting. When that didn't work either I tried to sleep off the worry only to dream about it.

And then God stepped in.

The next morning my Dad and I were going for a walk and the idea of going ice fishing popped into his mind. I honestly wasn't super stoked to go fishing but I figured the afternoon with my Dad would be a welcomed distraction.

And man-o-man, was God pulling some strings. Not only was it a beautiful day, the fish were biting like crazy! Within a few minutes of the first hole being augured out we had our first bite. And then we had another....and another.... and then within half an hour of starting we had our first almost catch of the day (the little guy got away right before we pulled him out of the hole! So close, and yet, so far!).

By the end of a very active four hours on the ice I had forgotten all about my worry. I guess having 20+ bites and catching two fish will do that. It was one of the best days I've had in a while and I am so glad God placed that little seed in my Dad's head.

I really shouldn't have worried at all. On our way back after having such an amazing day, I got an email from Mercy Ships. They sent me my medical contract to agree that my pre-existing conditions will allow me to serve unless they deteriorate. I was so relieved that I was able to serve even though I have a few minor things going on.

Wednesday I signed and sent the contract back and today, Friday March 19, 2021, I was accepted to serve aboard the Africa Mercy Ship in June 2021.

Not Out of the Woods Yet

Yes, I was accepted. But that doesn't mean everything is said and done. I still have things to get done before I leave in June. I still have to:

  • Get vaccinated

  • Fill out more forms (Got to love paperwork!)

  • Find health insurance for while I'm gone

  • Begin to assemble a wardrobe since I will have to dress differently there to follow cultural guidelines (Good-bye beloved leggings!)

  • Book flights

  • And start to prepare myself for life on the ship! (Goodbye queen-sized bed. Hello tiny bunk-bed!)

There is still a lot of work to be done before I actually get to board a flight, but I am excited which is the biggest thing to focus on right now. Everything from here on is easy to take care of.

Everything but the weight loss. Yes, this is an actual requirement I have to meet. Remember the contract I mentioned? Well one of the things mentioned on there was my weight. I have to lose at least 1 kg per month till the end of my serve, or I hit a specific BMI, which ever comes first. If I gain weight then I will be sent home prematurely.

How I'm Going to Lose This Weight

This is incredibly difficult for me to share publicly like this, but, in order to stay accountable, I have to be honest. I have never really known how to workout just to workout. I was a very active kid but all my activities were outside of a gym or weight room. I did gymnastics, track, cross country, and many more. But none of these activities taught me how to maintain my fitness level even after I stopped doing them. I never knew what to do in a weight room nor did I feel comfortable in them. So when I went off to university, and I stopped my activities, I slowly gained weight because I didn't know the importance of a healthy diet and I didn't feel comfortable in the weight room.

I started to see the gain and didn't know how to cope with it. So I just didn't deal with it. I do NOT recommend this (kind of obvious I know, but still). I made everything worse by neglecting to cope with the weight gain. I just gained more weight and my mental health deteriorated even faster.

Regardless of how I got here, it has to change now. So, for the sake of staying accountable to this goal, I have to actually be open about everything....including my stats.....

Here is goes. I am 97kg and my current BMI is 33.2 and, according to my contract, I have to get that down to below 30.

Now all that's left to do is to hit the ground running.

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