Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cyclones, Field Trips, Blood Banks and Finishing Well!

A powerful tropical cyclone was zig-zagging back and forth just north of Madagascar with winds of 175 mph. Cyclone Fantala was the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane and the only tropical cyclone on Earth at the time.
Fantala formed April 11th as a weak tropical storm and intensified into a formidable cyclone within a matter of days. It passed close to Madagascar, whipping strong winds along the northern shores.
We secured everything except the hospital for sail and waited to see if we were going to have to also close the hospital and sail out to calm seas in order to avoid damaging the ship. It was 2 weeks of a waiting game. Thankfully after much prayer the cyclone dissipated and did now come near Tamatave where we are docked. We are so thankful we did not have to close the hospital and cancel any surgeries. Our schedule is already completely full. If we had to cancel any surgeries because of the cyclone there would have been no time to reschedule them before we leave for shipyard in June. God is good!
Once we receive word that the cyclone was no longer a threat the Elementary was cleared to go on a field trip to a local paper makers house. It was really neat for the kids to see the whole process of how the paper was made. They even got to help make and decorate their own paper at the end. 

After cooking the wood for 8 hours it is beaten with heavy mallets and then put onto a large screen in water.
Each student decorated their paper with fresh flowers. 

On the way back to the ship we stopped for ice cream. What a treat! 

As some of you may know the crew of the Africa Mercy is the blood bank for the hospital. I had my first chance to donate to a patients surgery last week. What an honor it was. 
A few more fun pictures:
Maya is getting to be quite the baker! I love having a class small enough to bake frequently with. 
Maya got to read to PreSchool a few weeks ago. They loved her! 

We are nearing the end of our field service here in Madagascar. Our last day of school is May 26th and the last day of surgeries is May 27th. This is the time of year that can be difficult. Most of us are pretty tired and ready of a break and to see our families. Please pray for us that we can finish strong. 

Thanks so much to those of you who make it possible for me to serve here! 

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