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  • Jordan Avery

Mercy Ships! Why am I going?

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

I first heard about the Mercy Ships as a teen when my Grandma presented about her time serving in 1989. I was only there because I was told to, but her experiences spoke to me. I was drawn to the idea of missions work and serving people in need around the world. I always have had a passion for helping. In elementary school I was always the one who shot up my hand to volunteer to do whatever was needed. In junior high school I always was one of the youth the pastor would go to if there was a volunteer project. I loved to help around my community and mid-way through my university degree I felt the pull to go and do something like my grandma did. Serve in a way that would change the lives of people in need, but also to serve in a way that would change my own life.

The epiphany made it so helping wasn't enough. I wanted to do more. I wanted to help in a way that would change lives. I wanted to be in the thick of it and actually experience everything. So I started to search for mission that would satisfy my longing. There were several times where I tried to go on a missions trip where I would be making a difference but they always seemed to fall through. I tried to go with my university twice to Honduras but both were disrupted. Then I briefly thought about going with the church I was attending at the time but then I needed surgery. And then I needed another surgery. And then one more... Then I finally was all fixed up and finished school so I decided this was the perfect time to try again. I started to search for an opportunity that would work. There are so many different ways to serve but none of them were speaking to me. But one night I was relaxing before bed when the words "Mercy Ships" popped into my head. After those two little words found their way into my head they never found their way out again. I was all consumed with the idea of going aboard the Africa Mercy Ship. Day after day, the thought gnawed at me so I started to research the opportunity.

At first I was scared about this because of the expense. I definitely did NOT have the money to do this alone. I thought this was the end of that idea but I still could not get it out of my head. Finally I brought it up with my family and they told me that I wouldn't be doing this alone. If I were to do this then I could get people to sponsor me. Still, I was not totally sold on the idea of asking people to pay for me to do this. I don't even like asking my parents for financial help when I've needed it in the past. How could I possibly ask strangers to do this for me? Several more days went by but I still couldn't get all of this out of my head. Was I really going to ask people to give me money so I could go to Africa and live on a ship to volunteer 40 hours a week? Finally I asked myself, "if I had the money, would I do this for someone else?" The answer was simple. Yes. I wouldn't have even given it a second thought if it were someone else. Okay, so am I going to do this? Again, the answer was simple. Yes. I wanted this so badly and I couldn't get over it. If it is meant to be then the financial support will come. I finished my degree December 17th and applied for the Mercy Ships December 31st, 2020. So far so good is all I can really say! I have been semi-accepted but, due to COVID-19, everything is sort of stalled out. The ship is in maintenance in the Canary Islands which is Spanish domain. Meaning that, because I live in Canada, I can't fly there yet. Spanish COVID regulations prevent anyone from Europe entering their borders. Once the ship returns to Senegal in June 2021 I can start serving. So now I wait.

Side Note: Honestly, the wait is killing me. I want to just go. I have three months till I may get to go but it's still not a for-sure thing. Maybe I am supposed to learn patience? Maybe God is telling me something? It is just hard to be on pause for so long. I tried to get a job but after 3 months of trying I am almost ready to give up. I say almost because I know that God has a plan for me. I know that this is worth the wait. I do know that once I arrive at the airport in Dakar, Senegal I will be more excited than if I were to go now. I think that patience now will just make helping the kids and families that much more exciting.

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