Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In one year from today....

One year from today I will be finished with my service on the Africa Mercy in Sierra Leone.  Because of this, I thought today would be fitting day to start my blog.  This blog was supposed to be up weeks ago, but I kept putting it off because all the information had to be up, formats had to be just right and the writing well done.  However, as you can see this is not the case, so I suppose this will have to be a work in progress.  I have resolved that I will add things throughout the year as I learn about them.  I have added different tabs up with the intention to put information about Mercy Ships, Sierra Leone etc.  As most of you have discover or are about to discover all of these tabs are blank, but by the end of the year I hope that this is not the case.  I am expecting to learn a lot on this trip and want to share it here with you.

For those of who may not know what I am talking about, I have committed to serving a year with a Christian organization called Mercy Ships as a receptionist.  The Mercy Ships motto is, “bringing hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor,” and I truly believe that is what they are doing.  Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to serve the poorest regions in the world.  They offer free of charge, life changing surgeries, dental and eye care, they train local health care workers, and offer water sanitation and agricultural programs to the countries that they serve.  They are currently in West Africa and during 2011 will be in Sierra Leone.  As indicated by the tab, I want to put up information about Sierra Leone, but here are a couple facts I found interesting; approximately 63% of Sierra Leone’s population is living below the poverty line (>$1.25/day; http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/SLE.html  - the scientist in me just had to put the resource :) ) and 2002 Sierra Leone finally came out of a 10 year civil war.  These factors and many more has left Sierra Leone with little to no access to health care (lots more on this later!).

Serving the poor has been a cry of my heart for many years and now God has answered my prayers.  I first heard of Mercy Ships when one of their ships the Caribbean Mercy came into port in Seward, Alaska around 2000; Mercy Ships has been in my heart ever since.  I have always imagined my self-serving Mercy Ships in a medical role (because medicine is my passion), so needless to say serving as a receptionist has been a bit of a disappointment for me.  Regardless, I still feel this path is what God is calling me to.  Not completely sure of what my role consists of, but I do know that it is important.  I will tell you more of my job as I find out.
I have been in Texas training for three weeks now and have two more weeks of training before I leave for Sierra Leone.  If you would like to pray for me please e-mail me at sassidycassidy@gmail.com.  I am sending out a simplified prayer request “newsletter” for those committed to praying for me.  I am looking forward to this next year and hope you come along with me.

Much Love,

Friday, January 21, 2011

A good overview of what Mercy Ships is and what we will be doing in Sierra Leone.