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Why I Love OnBoarding

Hi Friends. I'm Erin, the assistant OnBoarding Coordinator at the IOC. If you are headed to one of thrice-yearly OB schools in Texas, that's where we'll meet.

What I love most about OnBoarding is watching God change people's lives - watching Him guide you up new summits to show you things maybe you've never seen - and because sometimes I'm holding your rope, I get to go too. This is a most amazing thing.

I believe our time in OnBoarding is set apart and holy. When is the last time you took seven weeks out to consider who God is, who you are, and what you're doing with that? You can be so intentional with this time, climbing as high as you want with God. I'll be right behind you, holding your rope, praying.

See you soon June school!


  • You guys do a great job!
  • Erin,  Onboarding was a life changing journey. As you said "when was the last time you took seven weeks to consider who God is, who you are and what you're doing with that?".  Never before have I lived through this process so thoroughly and emerged with such a deep sense of God's presence and work in my life. And all the while, You and the very special onboarding team, the MS leadership team, chaplaincy, staff, and onboarding classmates walked through it with us, holding us up as the process unfolded within us, preparing our hearts for His plans. Forever grateful for this beautiful gift. 
  • Erin - 

    On Boarding was awesome. 
  • RuthySiemensRuthySiemens Posts: 4

    I was wondering if someone could give me a descripion of what is learned during each week of onboarding? Are the last two weeks spent on the ship or still in Texas?


  • porjo38porjo38 Posts: 1

    Ruthy Siemens:


    I was wondering if someone could give me a descripion of what is learned during each week of onboarding? Are the last two weeks spent on the ship or still in Texas?



    I'm also wondering what onboarding actually entails? I looked up Lindale, Texas on Google maps and it looks quite rural/remote - what do people do in their free time? :)

    I found this blog post which helped fill in some of the blanks:



  • Jeremy BrewerJeremy Brewer Posts: 82
    Ian and Ruthy Siemens‍ ,

    Hello, I'm Jeremy, one of the Recruiters for Mercy Ships, and I'm happy to help you with your questions regarding onboarding.  

    Onboarding does take place at our International Support Center in Lindale, Texas for the first 4 weeks.  The remaining two weeks are field service in Africa.  Your weeks of Onboarding would look something like this (please note the exact format and topics discussed is open to change):

    Week 1- Preparing for Service with Mercy Ships: Foundations of Mercy Ships (FMS) and Support Raising Seminar
    • Learning about Mercy Ships' history, mission, core values, discussions of living on the ship and in community with others, and Fundraising principles
    Week 2- Faith Foundations
    • Exploration of the following themes/topics: The God we serve, Communicating with God, Silent Retreater, Prayer, Kingdom Principles, discussed amidst times of corporate worship
    Week 3- Personal/Interpersonal Development
    • Exploring our personal purpose and passion, reviewing DISC Profile (Personality assessment), Conflict Resolution, and Living and Working in Harmony in a cross-cultural context
    Week 4- Working with Those We Serve
    • Topics of World Views, the Potential of the Poor, Transformation Development, Cross-Cultural Dynamics and Communication, Tensions in working with those we serve
    Week 5 & 6- Field Practice
    • Field practice in Africa gives the opportunity to adapt and adjust to internal and external challenges of working with the poor prior to taking your place on the ship
    At the end of week 6 field service, volunteers join the ship.

    During those weeks of Onboarding in which you are in Texas, your days will be filled with training, worship, community meals, and our weekly community gathering of the staff at the International Support Center.  There is a Coffee Shop on campus, wifi, a swimming pool (open during the summer season), walking trails, frisbee golf, and a gym with basketball, weights, and a racquetball court.  During the week, a shuttle goes into town to make trips to the store and there are often opportunities for dinners/meals together hosted by the ISC staff.

    If you have further questions about what all is covered in Onboarding or what is needed for Onboarding, you may feel free to contact Karen Ransone in Staff Development, and she can help you further.

    Thank you so much for your support and desire to serve with Mercy Ships.  Together we are bringing hope and healing!

    Grace and peace,

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