Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Does God Answer Prayer?

Dear Friends, Family, and Prayer Warriors,

Does God answer prayer?
Ever wonder if your prayers do anything?  The other day, a patient in ICU was declining rapidly and close to death.  Medically, it was hopeless. Death certificates were being prepared. But medical staff and others kept praying for a miracle.  There was nothing else that could be done and it didn't look good; but God answered and a medical miracle happened. Just 2 days later the patient was actually sitting up in a chair...Praise the Lord!!  It is so exciting to be allowed to see miracles such as this.  Thank you for your prayers and being a vital part of this ministry.  Below is another story of how God is answering your prayers and the prayers of those who suffer from major deformities.

Step by Step...
The plane’s shadow followed the trail of the Congo River to the wide Atlantic – to the ship, they said, that offered free surgery. Vivianne held tightly to the two government-purchased travel tickets as she prayed for her wide-eyed, beautiful daughter, Ravette, who sat beside her and stared out the window with fascination.
Maybe, just maybe, the ship would save Ravette. And, in the process, it would save Vivianne, too.

The two have traveled light. They left much behind – the disappointment over the lack of medical care; the brutal breaking of Ravette’s legs by the traditional medicine man; the lifelong ridicule; the helplessness; the hopelessness – all of this was too heavy to pack.

Ravette has lived her eleven years of life with a deformity known as genu recurvatum, which loosely translates as “backward-bending knee.” It is a congenital dislocation of the knee. Ravette struggled to walk, to sit in a car or chair, to climb a staircase, and even to attend school.

The most remarkable thing about Ravette is not her deformity. It is her beautiful, ever-constant smile. No matter what goes on, even if it’s painful or tedious, Ravette is always smiling.This glowing smile illuminated her face when she met Dr. Frank Haydon, a Mercy Ships volunteer orthopedic surgeon from the United States. Dr. Frank smiled back as he cast an expert eye over her legs and made his assessment: “At this age, the knees are now deformed and won’t bend normally, but we can make them straight.”

Ravette and Vivianne were shown before-and-after images of a boy named Abel, who came to the ship during the Togo field service. Abel had the same severe case of genu recurvatum. They watched a video of Abel walking down a hallway with straight legs. “It was then that I believed my daughter could really be saved,” said Vivianne.
Prior to surgery, Ravette’s legs were placed in the first of a series of specialty orthopedic casts that would gradually stretch her legs. This process would increase the bendability in her soon-to-be-straightened legs.

Surgery has since come and gone for Ravette. Hobbling around the wards with her crutches, she is always finding ways to have fun. Whether she’s playing with the Paint program on an old computer or mimicking her crew friends’ English in a singsong voice – “I’m fine, ow are yooouu?” – she creates smiles and laughter.
There are many more steps ahead on Ravette’s road to recovery. Gradually and progressively, casts and braces will be removed until the bones are strong enough for Ravette to walk with straight legs and no assistance.

 You may be wondering what’s next for Ravette and her mother as they board another plane to go home.  Ravette is clear about her plans for the future, as she states firmly, “I want to find a job in an office working on a computer. I will be a boss!”
And then she adds, “But, first, I will tell other people who suffer to come on the ship to be saved like me.”  Her mother smiles and replies, “Yes, and so they can be saved like me, too.”

Yes, step by step, cast by cast, Ravette is making her way to a brighter future

On a Personal Note:
We have not had a senior pharmacist for a few months; so Harry has been trying to do his job and cover for the senior pharmacist as well.   He has really enjoyed being in the pharmacy! This was what he had been wanting to do ever since we started looking at Mercy Ships back in 2004.  With such a tremendous need and as this was his passion from the beginning,  he made the decision to move to the Senior Pharmacist role beginning next Field Service. Many are excited with his up coming move too,  and feel that he has even more to offer, with his 35+ years of pharmacy experience. Please keep him in your prayers as he will continue to be multitasking with both responsibilities for the remainder of the Congo field service.  Also pray that the Lord brings the person he wants to serve in his current position as Ancillary Services Supervisor.

Some of the Eye Team members that live nearby, took us on a sightseeing tour. We enjoyed getting off ship, to see some of the Lord's beautiful creation!

Floating on Mercy,  

Harry and Pam
1-954-538-6110 ext 4319 (stateside number)

mailing address letter/cards 1oz or less
Harry Porter - Mercy Ships/AFM
15872 State Hwy. 110 N.
Lindale, TX 75771

Packages and mail > 1 oz can be sent via container
Harry Porter - Mercy Ships/AFM
15872 State Hwy. 110 N.
Lindale, TX 75771

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" 
Micah 6:8 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Congo and More

News from Harry and Pam Porter
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Water Walking With Jesus
Click here to learn more about Mercy Ships
We hope that you will walk with us on this journey. Support us with your thoughts, prayers, emails…and if you want to give financially then that will be amazing too. Click on the link:

or mail your gift to PO Box 1930, Garden Valley, Texas 75771 and reference our account number: 3345.

Be sure to check out more stories on our blog:
FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD: "SHIPS OF MERCY" by Don Stephens (founder of Mercy Ships) @ http://www.mercyships.org.nz/ (Mercy Ships-New Zealand) scroll down to the bottom of the page, on the left hand side, click on the pink box...hope you enjoy!

  • Eye Surgeries began this week!
  • Set-up to begin went best ever!
  • Containers with supplies arrived in time, no surgeries had to be cancelled!
  • Container arrival time has been cut in half!
  • Progress has been made in the pharmacy software project!
  • Healing for surgery patients; especially Plastics (burn victims)
  • Orthopedic surgeries are starting
  • Upcoming Screenings, in the interior
  • Palliative Care Team (Hospice)
Bringing Hope and Healing to the World's Forgotten Poor...

so the blind can see, the lame can walk, and the sick can be healed in the name of Jesus 

Dear Friends, Family, and Prayer Warriors,

Hard to believe, so much time has passed since our last newsletter; it has been a whirlwind after arriving in Congo, celebrating the wedding, then returning - you may need to fasten your seat beat; as we try to recap only some of what has happened...over 350 life transforming surgeries in 6 weeks!  

Royal Diamond Shellbacks
Let it be known to all sailors and land-lovers alike, that we did what few have done - crossed the equator and prime meridian at the same time; thus we became Royal Diamond Shellbacks in August. It did however come with a price... All "Polliwogs" had to kiss a raw fish. Luckily we didn't have to go through the standard crossing-the-line initiation.

For more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line-crossing_ceremony  Pam's dad crossed the line 69 years earlier and she saw his framed certificate when we were last month. He sure would have been proud of his little girl. When crossing the equator things go the opposite direction...does that mean we start to get younger...

Ground Breaking First for Mercy Ships
On August 9, 2013 history was made as the Africa Mercy sailed into the port of Pointe Noire, Congo.  This is the first field service in Central West Africa for Mercy Ships and we were greeted by the Don Stevens, President of Mercy Ships, and an entourage of government officials from the Congo. The fanfare was a sight to behold and a very exciting moment for all of us.

Set-Up Begins
Arrived in Congo mid-August, with welcoming festivities; then two weeks of intense set-up; on ship, dock-side hospital facilities, as well as our dental, eye clinics, and HOPE Center sites, located in town. But not too busy to take a break and celebrate Harry's 59th birthday.

Wedding and State-side visit with family and friends
After all the flurry of activity to get everything ready for the 1st day of Surgery on 2 September, we boarded the plane for Lydia's wedding, the highlight of our trip. Harry and Lydia were beaming as they danced to "Butterfly Kisses."  Jimi and Lydia (Porter) Hall will continue to live in Bristol where she works as a nurse at Bristol Memorial Hospital.

While home we had a little time to visit with friends and family. Thankfully, Harry's mother, Jean, who had just gotten out of the hospital, was able to make the long trip to TN. Many of you had been praying for her recovery from a long hospital stay after breaking her hip last year. Thanks so much! She looked like the queen mother getting to ride in a BMW convertible that one of our friends let us use while in the States...how fun was that...for all of us! I kidded Harry, traded one mission for another...Mercy Ships, to a 007 car! We hesitated pushing any buttons, not knowing if "Q" had installed an ejection seat or any other surprises!

It was wonderful to be able to give our thanks in person to many of our donors in Tennessee. Hopefully this summer we will be able to do the same with everyone in Texas.

Return to the Africa Mercy - going full speed ahead
Everything is so fast paced on a field service.  Missing 2 weeks, is more like missing a month or more. Upon arriving back in Congo we had to hit the "deck running," so to speak.  The following statistic are just some of what the Lord has allowed our team to accomplish so far in the field service:
  • 350 life-changing surgeries 
  • 2700 Dental procedures
  • 270 Health Education Participants
  • Not to mention other Acts of Mercy in the community and Spiritual encounters  that are too numerous to report.

It was time to see the results of the first eye surgeries in Congo and the air was charged with anticipation and excitement! The Day Crew, who had worked for 2 months training; screening many patients; and scheduling surgeries, were not sure what would happen. The patients waited and prayed; hoped and waited; and waited for healing,...and now the moment had arrived to “see” the results.

As the first local day workers slowly and gently pulled off the first eye bandage, each second seemed to last forever. I was holding my breath, then all of a sudden, papa sprang up, like a “Jack in the Box,” with his hands in the air, shouting “Hallelujah!” “Hallelujah!” Nancy, one of our local workers, quickly held up 5 fingers and asked papa how many fingers she was holding and he correctly said, “cinq” (five). She continued to hold up different amounts of fingers and papa answered correctly. With each answer, everyone in the tent area would celebrate - cheering, clapping, and some with dancing. Then papa broke out in a song of many “Hallelujah’s!” He didn't want to stop or sit down.  His face was beaming.

Then the next mama, actually our first eye surgery patient here in Congo, jumped up in response to being able to see and also gave correct counts of fingers! Another mama, in response to being able to see, was requesting her Bible! The air was filled with excitement, clapping, and praising, and as I glanced around, I noticed some of the crew (both local and missionaries) were wiping tears from their faces, totally speechless.

A little later, as the patients were walking to get their eye exams, one mama looked up at the big white hospital ship and gasped in amazement, voicing an equivalent to “Ai yai yai, I didn't know the ship was so big." The day before, she was unable to see the ship at all.

Finally, upon entering the eye room, several mamas broke out in song and dance, celebrating their sight. It was an awesome, inspiring, spontaneous Celebration of Sight, orchestrated by the patients themselves in delight and joy at their new-found sight.

Our ophthalmic tech said that in the 30 years she has worked in the field, including many places in U.S. and around the world, she had never seen such miraculous results; both in ability of patients to see overnight, and the uninhibited response of joy with the patients! What a day of rejoicing it was...but surely it is just the tip of the iceberg, of what we will get to experience in heaven; when we get our glorified bodies, for eternity. I can only imagine the praising, singing, clapping, and dancing...what a day of rejoicing that will be!!!

Thanks for helping make it possible to give sight to the blind!  "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see!"

Floating on Mercy,  

Harry and Pam
1-954-538-6110 ext 4319 (stateside number)

mailing address letter/cards 1oz or less
Harry Porter - Mercy Ships/AFM 

15872 State Hwy. 110 N.
Lindale, TX 75771 

Packages and mail > 1 oz can be sent via container
Harry Porter - Mercy Ships/AFM 
15872 State Hwy. 110 N.
Lindale, TX 75771 

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" 
Micah 6:8 






Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

10 Minutes to transformation

Incredible that 10 minutes can totally transform one OR more lives...Cataract Surgery, a 10 min. procedure not only gives sight back but also allow the child "sitter" to be able to go back to school, PTL! 

Many of these people are hopeless until they hear about Mercy Ships. One man expressed from the group -  Yesterday we could not see but today we see, today we can walk without help; we were in darkness but now we see. There are not words in our hearts to express what we feel nor do we have anything to pay you with but to ask God's blessing on each of us. 
The smiles, that are sometimes beaming, and the thankfulness that overflows on their lips and with handshakes is priceless. I wish many of you could experience with us...

Bandages Off - What happens?
When the bandages come off the day after their eye surgery one never knows what might happen...it may be a stoic face (culturally appropriate), tears may slowly ease down their face, they may calmly say I can see, someone in blue...then the realization of what they said, penetrates...Then a smile may spread OR they may immediately jump up and down with joy and through tears of joy - say I didn't think I would ever see a smile again, a person, a child jumping in a mud puddle! Thank you, thank you, thank you...

On this particular day, after a lady's bandages came off she kept pulling on my arm and wanting to talk. As soon as I could, I got a translator. The lady eye patient was in shock, she had been with me most of the day helping lead her safely on the ship, preparing her for surgery, then with post-op. She was so amazed that she did not realize I was white, so she just wanted to hold hands and thank me, but then she continued flipping our hands over and back again, just looking and letting her eyes absorb all she could.
Interestingly, that is the most common statement after eye surgery...I didn't know you were white.
One of the little kids who received sight and a back pack of goodies (donated by folks in Holland to all the little ones). What a joyous time for everyone!

Sadly, no one in Guinea could do kid’s cataracts, a different procedure than for adults. God provided a doctor that was able to do some. Below are a few highlights (for children surgeries, they are checked into the ward and stay overnight)-
Abdulah-grumpiest 4 yrs. old child, no one could touch him, he moaned and was miserable. He fought when nurses came to take off patch..then his life transformed. He saw people, a huge smile...Abdulah had not seen anyone, yet alone a smile. He then stood up on his bed dancing. The nurses were stunned with such a dramatic change; they said his smile never left his face while on ship.
Two small boys (approx. 3 years old) were beside each other in the ward. Before surgery they had nothing to do with each other; no interaction of any kind, at all. After surgery, when they saw each other, they instantly became best buddies. The two were inseparable, laughing, talking, playing together all the time. They even left the ship together, hand-in-hand with smiles that lit up the whole place.

This little 3-year old wouldn’t open eyes after surgery, no matter what they tried. He was happy in his dark, familiar world until the praise & worship team came in the ward. While they were praising God he opened his eyes and watched for a while, then went back to his dark, familiar world. But week later he was playing with kids at Celebration of Sight! After a while he climbed up in Pam's lap and hid his eyes and snuggled, his life is forever changed! 

Thierno-13 yr. old that had an enlarged eye and blind in both eyes. Sad that the only help the docs could give was to take out the enlarged eye. But he and his family were so thankful because he had been in constant, sometimes such excruciating pain that he cried out. Thank you, Jesus for guiding the hands of the surgeons to take his pain away. 

Harmonie (25 yr. old) and her name fit her; having a beautiful voice and is a worship leader in her church. She also had dreams of going professional but something was holding her back...her eyes. She was the only one of seven born with strabismus (crossed eyes).                                                                                                      

One morning, at church she was hardly listening to the announcements, thinking there would not be anything that pertained to her. Then the pastor announced that a hospital ship was coming and it could treat many different things, including eye problems. 
Harmonie secretly went to the screening for surgery by herself; not wanting to get anyone hopes up. She was SO excited that MS could help but still didn't want others to know, in case the surgery didn't work. She secretly brought her sister as her caregiver.
The day after surgery, when they took the bandages off, they helped Harmonie open her eyes and gave her a mirror to look. She was sitting side by side with her sister and when they both saw the miracle they turned, grabbed each other and wept with joy! Everyone around wept with them and they thank Jesus for this gift.
Upon returning home, her father took one look at Harmonie and collapsed, weeping with joy over his daughter's transformation! When her mother heard the news, she screamed with delight as only a mother can...what joy has entered this home!

Every morning afterwards, when Harmonie awakens, she lived for so long with her eyes crossed, that she thinks it has only been a dream. Then she feels a mirror, under her pillow (that she looked in after surgery) and she looks; tears well up and sees that it is not a dream; that it has really happened! 
After her debut singing solo at her church, Harmonie shared what was on her heart about her journey to healing with Mercy Ships. “While having crossed-eyes didn’t keep me down, the discrimination and fear around me would have. Thanks to Mercy Ships, people will now see me and what I can do. And thanks to God’s blessing on me, the horrible shame that filled my heart is completely washed away.”

Another lady, 50 years old, started losing sight 5 years ago. She went to doctor and would cost 500,000 GSH for surgery. She did not have the money so she asked for her brothers and sisters at church to begin praying for her; not knowing how God would answer. 
When Mercy Ships came to Guinea, her son, a plumber, got a job with the ship and told her that they were offering free surgeries. She lived several hours from port but would be able to travel to the ship. She was so grateful that her prayers were heard and answered. After surgery, she could hardly wait to go back to church to tell them how God answered her praise and give Him praise! 

Bomtrobi-came for chin surgery (tumor) but also had a non-functional eye. She was told they could try and fit her with a prosthetic eye and she eagerly agreed. The first one was too large but the next one...Bomtrobi saw smiles…could it be a miracle? Bomtrobi asked translator for mirror, so she could see and the tears flowed. She could hardly talk, just nod, but every time she would look at the mirror, her tears of joy would begin again... 

Everyday during her recovering time from her surgery she walked by the eye room, with her mirror and would come and give me a hug and a huge smile and I would tell her she was beautiful. She probably did not recognize herself without her unsightly tumor and with a prosthetic eye. It was a miracle and now she could have a life, without shame; no longer to be rejected by family, friends, & community, PTL!  

Bringing Hope and Healing to the World's Forgotten Poor...

so the blind can see, the lame can walk, and the sick can be healed in the name of Jesus 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pack-Up & Countdown is in full swing as our time in Guinea is drawing to a close!  "Batten down the hatches" is literally the order of business as operating rooms, recovery, lab, pharmacy, galley...everywhere shelves are being emptied and every nook and cranny on the ship is being shrink-wrapped, packed and tied down. It takes moving to a whole new level!   
Happy or Sad? Can I be both, at the same time?  Surgeries just ended, many healed, happy faces, thank's you's...but...wards have begun to  empty, volunteers flying home, saying goodbye to locals we've worked closely with...so many feelings; in such a short amount of time. A ward that is normally full of activity - patients, medical workers, translators, and kids playing...but now it was empty, except for a few dismantled beds...But happy for all the lives God allowed us to touch: to bring hope & healing by being "the hands and feet of Jesus"! And happy that we get to fill these beds again, in Congo!
Harry's job also includes overseeing hospital pack-up; both on & off ship. Pictured below of some of the very large tents that are used by our teams that work off the ship, such as dental, eye, rehab, admissions, & outpatient. This means the typical moving-van isn't going to do the job...call in the big guys...2 of several 20' containers that have held hospital supplies during our field service will not be lifted out of the ship's hold and will store our eye & dental equipment.  The dockside tents and equipment are being loaded into a 40' container that will be shipped to the Congo to be set up right before our arrival by Mercy Teams (Mercy Teams are volunteers who come at the beginning and end of each field service to set-up, take down, and pack-up.  These are short-term opportunities for individuals and groups who can come only for a short amount of time.  They are invaluable in helping begin and leave each field service.  


Recycle to the max... After scanning 1000's and 1000's of pages of charts, they are shredded, and making good packing material around our expensive hospital equipment! 


The story that follows was one of my most memorable times working with eye team.

The air was full of excitement and energy was abounding in this group of 2-12 yrs. and for a very good reason. Just a few days before, they had little or no sight, for their whole life...and now, after a 10 minute procedure their whole lives have been transformed! There is sooooo much to take in, experience, grasp, see, colors, people, beauty, balloons, food, smiles; that they had never seen before.


The joy & excitement in this "new", and the life changing transformation is contagious to everyone who is near...from the little 2 yr. old that wasn't walking before surgery, as he made his way around the room. All the older kids that seemed to have been using their years of pent up energy; as they tried to keep all the beautiful colored balloons in the air, play patti-cake, follow the leader, and other games! I cannot even express the joy that was in the room - filled with laughing, thank you's, hugs, incredible stories, and
beaming faces!
Thank you, Lord for sending a doctor to do cataract surgery on children as it is a different procedure than for adults and no one in Guinea can do this procedure!

Floating on Mercy, 

Harry and Pam
1-954-538-6110 ext 4319 (stateside number)

mailing address letter/cards 1oz or less
Harry Porter - Mercy Ships/AFM
15872 State Hwy. 110 N.
Lindale, TX 75771

Packages and mail > 1 oz can be sent via container
Harry Porter - Mercy Ships/AFM
15872 State Hwy. 110 N.
Lindale, TX 75771

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" 
Micah 6:8 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rescued From Death

Warning…The Story that follows includes graphic pictures of conditions most would never see because the disfigured, are hidden away. Even though at Mercy Ships we often see children and adults with scarves over their necks and facial areas which are covering tumors - forgive me Lord, I have not realized the extent of the suffering of so many...

Sory, a frightened, cowering seventeen-year-old boy with a large benign facial tumor, waited for what no one had ever thought was possible...a surgery that would remove the growth. Sory shrouded himself completely, leaving only a small gap for one eye to continually survey his surroundings. Sory, is one of a number of children in W. Africa who suffer from horribly large & life-threatening facial tumors. There are no surgeons in the area with training/experience to remove these; that is why Mercy Ships is so important to so many.

Before Sory’s tumor started growing from his cheekbone, he and his farming family lived a happy, simple life. Sory’s worked on his family’s farm and began caring for the oxen when he was nine years old. Sory had a special gift with the oxen and his mom, Saran was proud of her son; thinking he was becoming a fine young man.

When Sory complained about a lump that was growing, Saran was immediately worried. “Sory was always such a happy and healthy boy. I knew that something must be very wrong for him to say something.” Over the next two years, Sory experienced regular dizzy spells, but no pain, as the tumor continued to push its way forward. He could no longer hide the now gaping distortion in his face. Saran’s eyes fill with deep sorrow as she recounts how her son’s once promising life crumbled. “I learned quickly how cruel people can be. No one in our small village ever had a condition like this before, so they believed that Sory was cursed. People were so frightened of Sory that they would yell and throw sticks at him. Saran and her husband Balla made a painful decision to keep Sory hidden at home or on the farm field. Saran recalls how her heart shattered as she saw the deep confusion and agony in her son’s eyes. “The more he was consumed by pain and fear, the more love I needed to pour into him,” she explained. As Sory’s tumor had grown and ballooned its way out of his mouth, his mother had drawn closer to her son.
If he was to live a nightmare, then she would live that nightmare too.
While Saran prayed continually for her son, she started to feel her own crushing despair. Sory’s struggles with eating and his difficulty breathing were all signs that more growth in his tumor would surely bring an end to his life. Saran never let Sory see her sorrow or fear. Instead, as Sory recalls, “My mother gave me hope. I cried so many times because I could not attend celebrations or play outside, and she would always comfort me. We would pray together, and she would tell me over and over how there would be healing for me.”

Sory believes his mother’s steadfast love, support and encouragement bought him the precious time he needed until the healing they prayed for arrived. Saran recalls that day with great emotion. “The tumor had taken over Sory’s entire life. He could only swallow a little meat broth, and he was desperately weak. He lost all consciousness of the world around him. Then, when I felt he was close to his last breath, my husband’s brother called and said, ‘bring Sory to Conakry right away. There is a ship here that does operations.’ Within two weeks Sory was admitted into the Mercy Ships hospital.”

During the hours that Sory was in surgery, Saran found herself seized by a flood of memories. She explains, “I recalled every moment of pain Sory had suffered – especially the rejection, the insults and the whispers that it would be better if he died. And now, my boy was being healed. God heard our prayers, and He gave Sory his life back.” According to Sory, God heard the infinite faithfulness of his mother. “God knows my mother never gave up on me, when no one else would eat with me, she ate with me.

Following two months of recovery, there are only a minders of the voracious tumor that threatened to consume Sory’s young life. While his nose is a bit askew, every day his facial features take on more of their original contours. Sory’s most important thoughts these days center on  returning to the farm and the future he wants to fill with friends, a wife and some grandchildren for his mother. Saran hugged Sory, murmuring softly, “Thank you, God, for the miracle of my son’s continuing life!”
Floating on Mercy, 

Harry and Pam

1-954-538-6110 ext 4319

mailing address (letter/cards only)
Harry Porter - AFM - Anc. Serv

15872 State Hwy. 110 N.
Lindale, TX 75771 

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" 
Micah 6:8 

Friday, June 15, 2012

A New Chapter Begins with Mercy Ships

Some of you remember the dream I had while reading John Ortberg's book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat.  That dream is as clear to me today as it was in 2007.  Pam and I were in a large boat and we saw Jesus walking on the water, calling us to get out of the boat and become "Water Walkers."  As I started walking on the water toward Jesus,  I saw thousands of sick and hurting people drowning all around me, and Jesus said "Get them on the boat so they can find Hope and Healing and hear about me." So one by one, I started lifting them to safety where the blind were given their sight, the lame were helped to walk, and those suffering from disfiguring tumors were healed in the name of Jesus.  Then they got out of the boat and started rescuing thousands of others.

At the time, I felt this was a prophetic message from the Lord to use my pharmacy skills and passion for the "least of these" in a holistic ministry to the poor and "least of these."  I still believe that it was; but I now believe there was even more significance to the "boat" in my dream. The boat wasn't just an ordinary boat. It really was a big ship...a hospital ship.  A ship where the Mercy of Jesus was shown to the world's forgotten poor.

I believe with all my heart, that since then, God has been preparing and drawing us to serve on this ship and its organization, Mercy Ships.  

Please look at the following video to learn more about how God is using Mercy Ships to Bring Hope and Healing to the World's Forgotten Poor.

We first heard of Mercy Ships from one of our supporters, David and Jean Dean, back in 2003, who suggested we check out the amazing work this mission agency was doing. Ever since then, we have followed their ministry seeking a pharmacy position on board, but each time, none was available.  Obviously God had other plans and we feel that He wanted us to learn more and wait on His timing.

When we checked with them in May, there was a need for a pharmacist, so we applied.  To our amazement, Mercy Ships asked Harry if he would be interested, not in the pharmacist position, but rather a supervisory position over pharmacy and nine other departments.  Wow! God’s timing could not have been more perfect to use his skills and experience.  While Harry serves as Hospital Ancillary Services Supervisor, Pam will be using her experiences with Mission Waco by first serving the crew as a steward.  With her cheerful personality and wonderful gift of hospitality and encouragement she will be a joy to everyone.

Mercy Ships relies on a team of volunteer crew members who pay their own room and board, travel and personal expenses while serving.  This allows general Mercy Ships donations to be used for direct patient care, community development programs and other costs associated with its Field Service initiatives. From doctors to nurses, engineers to deck hands, housekeepers and teachers, everyone serves as a volunteer.         

Since Mercy Ships requires that we raise 100% of our support, we will need to raise $1850 per month to fully meet our needs and their budgetary requirement for our service.  We want to invite you to join us on this journey by supporting us with prayer and a commitment toward our monthly expenses.

You can make a single gift or a recurring pledge to:
                          Mercy Ships
                          P.O. Box 2020
                          Garden Valley, TX 75771

Please put on the memo line: Harry and Pam Porter #3345

Or if you prefer, you can even make a gift online by clicking on the donate button.
To donate now
We would love to keep you updated on all that God is doing through Mercy Ships would also love to send you our monthly newsletter.  Please click here if you want to be added to our list of crewmates and join us "Water Walking with Jesus."

Your Missionaries,
Harry and Pam Porter