Following a three-month interview and screening process, I learned yesterday that I will be joining the communications team in Senegal as a "Writer." Glory to God and yippee, yippee, yayyyyyy.
What an experience this has been from the first blank filled-in to the final Skype interview. I've been blessed to meet wonderful crew members already aboard the Africa Mercy and also staff in Lindale, Texas. I'm grateful and excited; nervous, yet thrilled. I'm full of emotion(s) and want to encourage those of you still in the process and/or in the talent pool: try to exude patience and know that your waiting isn't in vain.
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..." Isaiah 40:31
I am certainly emerging from the application process renewed and feeling Senegal STRONG!
Let's go Africa Mercy,
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"Yup. I am. It's really the best job on the ship." Was my easy reply.
And then ther was the follow up question. "What do you and the other chaplains actually DO?"
Ahhhh...I am so glad you asked!
According to official documents and job descriptions, "Mercy Ships Chaplaincy aims to promote Spiritual, Emotional, Relational, and Financial HEALTH for all crew. THE FOCUS of the Chaplaincy is to provide and facilitate pastoral care for all Mercy Ships personnel. OUR GOAL is to help create an environment for each individual to live in a biblically healthy manner in order to fulfill their purpose in Mercy Ships for as long as the Lord has designed. OUR BELIEF is that by being objective, safe and impartial we can influence, encourage, shepherd, teach, counsel and mediate in both proactive and responsive ways."
But what do we DO? Here's a list that I know is incomplete...but maybe it'll give a pretty good glimpse into what I think is THE BEST job on the ship.
As chaplains, we...
- Pray (with and for)
- Plan, coordinate and carry out weekly Worship Gatherings and Community Meetings
- Coordinate the AFM Youth (6th-12th grade students)
- Offer financial coaching, encouragement and counsel
- Debrief (traumatic events, tough situations, intense seasons)
- Mediate challenging situations and/or conversations
- Lead Community Groups
- Line up Community Group Leaders
- Resource Community Group Leaders
- Coordinate the Barnabas (prayer) Program
- Maintain the prayer room
- Respond to Chaplaincy Pager calls
- Manage the Crew Emergency Fund
- Walk with crew through crisis
- Share life and coffee
- Send encouraging notes
- Welcome crew
- Send birthday cards
- Organize retreats throughout the field service and the yearly Spiritual Life Conference
- Be a safe place for people to vent and process
- Present Offering Opportunities
- Lead departmental devotions
- Create and share Bible reading plans
- Offer resources (books, bible studies, etc.)
- Pre-marital counseling
- Encourage and embrace short and long term crew members
- Do what we can to build and encourage healthy community
- Distribute hugs and smiles (and chocolate when necessary)
- Be the hands, feet and love of Jesus in very real and tangible ways – Jesus with skin on to the best of our ability!
Yup. Best job on the ship.
Hi, My name is Trish and I am an OR nurse from Melbourne Australia. I am joining the crew from 3rd Feb till the 15th Feb 2019. Just wondering if anyone else is also going these dates? I'm super excited and can't wait. I have been involved in medical aid for many years but this is my first time on the Mercy Ship. Looking forward to it