1978 to 2018 and onward
Do you know that 40 years ago today the first Mercy Ship the ‘Anastasis’ was purchased. A beautiful ocean liner built in 1953. Don Stephens our founder had the dream of using hospital ships to serve the poor and forgotten. He dared to ask if he could buy the ship for scrap value. 1 million US dollars was the price. The owners said yes, generous donations were given and the rest they say is history.
Only it isn’t. It wasn’t that easy. There were trials, there were gruelling days turning this ship into a floating hospital, there was hardship. Those people who were called before I was even born. They prayed and worked so hard for four years, however they saw Gods purposes unfold. This wonderful ship became our flagship vessel for almost 30 years, treating thousands of patients, before being replaced by my current home, the Africa Mercy. So as work is underway on a new ship, we take this time to remember all that has happened since 1978, and begin 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting.
To quote our CEO Donovan “God, will you help us to look back so that we can go forward so that we may see your faithfulness? Will you continue to challenge us and teach us how to serve You in this new season of two ships? Will you Bless us and fill these two ships with your timeless purposes?”
“Looking back is a relevant exercise. It helps us reflect on where we have been, and it gives us perspective as we look forward to follow Jesus. What could be more of a reason to take time to think about all God has done”
Over the next 40 days, there will be a daily devotional for all of us to read written by one of the leaders in the organisation. Don started today by sharing a story from the early days of the Anastasis. We can reflect on this and areas to pray for in our future. This is so significant for me. Look. See. Remember what God has done. What He has taken you through. Look where you are. Seek Him for where He is leading.