Sunday, March 13, 2011

After the surge in Kona, HI.

This is within walking distance of the YWAM University of the Nations Campus. Thankfully they are on higher ground.

Friday, March 11, 2011

When I turned on the news this morning...

My heart aches for the people of Japan. And it skipped a beat this morning when I saw on the news that tsunami waves would hit Hawaii within the hour. My brother's family and many friends with YWAM live on the Big Island. How awesome that God hears our prayers. I'm so relieved that they are all fine.

Tsunami swamps Hawaii beaches, brushes West Coast
HONOLULU (AP) — Tsunami waves swamped Hawaii beaches and brushed the U.S. western coast Friday but didn’t immediately cause major damage after devastating Japan and sparking evacuations throughout the Pacific.
Kauai was the first of the Hawaiian islands struck by the tsunami, which was caused by an earthquake in Japan. Water rushed ashore at least 11 feet high near Kealakekua Bay, on the west side of the Big Island, and reached the lobby of a hotel. Flooding was reported on Maui, and water washed up on roadways on the Big Island.

Scientists and officials warned that the first tsunami waves are not always the strongest and said residents along the coast should watch for strong currents and heed calls for evacuation.

“The tsunami warning is not over,” said Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “We are seeing significant adverse activity, particularly on Maui and the Big Island. By no means are we clear in the rest of the state as well.”

High waters reached the U.S. western coast by 11:30 a.m. EST Friday, after evacuations were ordered and beaches closed all along the coast.

Sirens sounded for hours before dawn up and down the coast, and in Hawaii, roadways and beaches were empty as the tsunami struck. As sirens sounded throughout the night, most residents cleared out from the coasts and low-lying areas.

“I’m waiting to see if I’ll be working and if I can get to work,” said Sabrina Skiles, who spent the night at her husband’s office in downtown Kahului in Maui. Their home, across the street from the beach, was in a mandatory evacuation zone. “They’re saying the worst is over right now but we keep hearing reports saying ’don’t go anywhere. You don’t want to go too soon.’”

The tsunami, spawned by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan, slammed the eastern coast of Japan, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control. It raced across the Pacific at 500 mph — as fast as a jetliner — although tsunami waves roll into shore at normal speeds.

President Barack Obama said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is ready to come to the aid of Hawaii and West Coast states as needed. Coast Guard cutter and aircraft crews were positioning themselves to be ready to conduct response and survey missions as soon as conditions allow.

It is the second time in a little over a year that Hawaii and the U.S. West coast faced the threat of a massive tsunami. A magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile spawned warnings on Feb. 27, 2010, but the waves were much smaller than predicted and almost no damage was reported.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Sad Event at Monday's Screening Day

Report from the Field
Posted by Mercy Ships staff on Mar 07, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Mercy Ships is deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred today during medical screening at the Freetown National Stadium when a crowd stormed the gate resulting in several injuries and one life lost.

Mercy Ships personnel working at the site attended the injured and accompanied them to local hospitals.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the individuals and families of those affected by today's events. The occurrence of this incident in the course of activities intended to restore lives is tragic. We move forward with tremendous sadness, but great determination, to assist as many people as possible in the next ten months," stated Mercy Ships Founder, Don Stephens.

Mercy Ships exists to serve the forgotten poor and has served Sierra Leone five times over the past two decades, also helping establish two land-based health care facilities. For the next ten months, Mercy Ships will be providing surgeries for qualified patients while working alongside the Sierra Leonean Government to support its five-year healthcare plan and strengthen the functions of the national health system.

Please keep the people of Sierra Leone and the Mercy Ships crew in your prayers, not just today but in the months to come.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Surprise in the Woods

Yesterday after work, I went for a walk around the ponds. When I entered the woods, I heard a big rustling in the brush and stopped, thinking I might see a deer. Instead, 14 wild pigs trotted through the trees beside me! Fourteen! I counted them - 8 good size piglets and 6 LARGE adults! I didn't move. It was amazing. I knew there were wild pigs in the area, but I didn't expect to run into a whole herd before dinner! The woods hold such surprises.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Learning new technology!!

A friend is trying to teach me how to link my facebook and blog together.

Mercy Ships Monthly video update

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sierra Leoneans Welcome Mercy Ship into Port of Freetown

Freetown, Sierra Leone, February 28, 2011- This week marks the fifth time in 18
years that Freetown has welcomed a Mercy Ship; this time it is the Africa Mercy – the
world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship. For the next ten months, Mercy Ships is
offering its state-of-the-art hospital ship – with six operating theaters, lab, pharmacy, 78
beds, and an outpatient clinic – to partner alongside the Sierra Leonean government. The
ship will provide free health care to the people of Sierra Leone and training for health
care workers until November 2011.
In response to an invitation from the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma,
Mercy Ships program strategy has been carefully aligned with the country’s current fiveyear
health care plan.
Life-changing surgeries such as tumor removal, cleft lip and palate correction, cataract
removal, orthopedics and plastics will be offered onboard the ship for individuals that
qualify with these conditions. Potential patients have been encouraged to attend specific
screening days to receive appointments for their specific medical needs. Advance teams
have already conducted screenings in six locations upcountry, seeing more than 5,000
patients prior to the ship’s arrival.
Sierra Leone has made a significant effort to address health care concerns in their
country, but still faces challenges. Last year, the nation implemented a free health care
policy for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under the age of five. This
initiative is very positive, but the nation still ranks at the bottom of the 2010 United
Nations Human Development Index (at 158 out of 169). The infant mortality rate in
Sierra Leone is 123 per 1,000 births. And with only one dentist for every one million
people in Sierra Leone, as compared to 6,000 dentists per million people in the U.S.,
Mercy Ships investment in the health sector is welcome.
The Mercy Ships Eye Team will partner with the Kissy Eye Clinic to screen and schedule
qualified individuals for surgeries. Cataract surgeries are performed in a simple 15-
minute procedure, restoring sight for hundreds of vision-impaired individuals. Last year,
the Mercy Ships Eye Team performed 2,512 eye surgeries on 2,331 patients. In 2009,
Mercy Ships trained six ophthalmologists from Benin, West Africa, in the cataract
correction technique. After training, the surgeons increased the number of procedures in
their local clinics from 320 surgeries per year to 2000 surgeries per year (combined).
In partnership with other international organizations the Mercy Ship has been invited to
provide training for local medical personnel who will add capacity long after the ship
leaves. The training/mentoring programs will include, but are not limited to, surgeons,
nurses, biomedical technicians, hospital leadership, and lab technicians. In addition,
agriculture specialists onboard ship will be involved with training of local partners who
will in turn train farmers in aspects of sustainable, organic farming techniques to increase
Since 1978, Mercy Ships has mobilized people and resources worldwide to provide free
health care and sustainable development in the developing world. Each year volunteers
from over 40 nations bring their own unique skill sets onboard the Africa Mercy.
Positions include physicians, medical personnel, engineers, maritime crew, galley cooks,
hospitality workers and teachers. All professional volunteers pay their own airfare as well
room and board for the privilege of serving in Sierra Leone, helping to keep the provision
of services free to the recipients.
Please click here to view a video of Medical Screening at the 2010 Togo Field Service,
the Mercy Ship’s previous port of service.