Volunteers Helping Volunteers in Some of the Poorest Countries of the World

Mercy Ships presently runs the biggest non-governmental medical facility ship on the planet, staffed “mainly by volunteers,” stated David Warner, 67, a two-decade, full-time volunteer with the company that began in 1978.

Warner, a U.S. Navy veteran, discovered a natural house in the maritime objective after his military service and 12- year stint as an Amazon river boat captain, offering in the remote Brazilian jungles.

He likes that Mercy Ships provide totally free medical services ” to the world’s forgotten bad, on a much larger scale.”

In June, he will observe his 25 th anniversary with the medical ministry.

Epoch Times Photo
The Africa Mercy, docked in Senegal, Africa, is a 499- foot previous railway ferryboat transformed into the world’s biggest civilian medical facility ship. (Courtesy of David Warner)

” You understand, it’s simple simply to inform somebody God likes them,” he stated at his East Texas house on Jan. 4, “however it’s more difficult for them to hear it if they are ostracized in their towns due to the fact that of some medical problem such as a growth, or can’t stroll since of bone problems.

” Once they have surgical treatments the ship supplies, and makes them appear more regular, they have a much better opportunity at a future.

” I like the concept of showing God’s love to individuals through physical, psychological and spiritual recovery that brings hope.

” It’s a method to state ‘I enjoy you’ that does not utilize words. That’s why I offer. That’s something I can do.”

Epoch Times Photo
Volunteer David Warner assists residents repair a canoe motor on the Amazon river. A few of his mechanical abilities were discovered in the U.S. Navy as a minor officer aboard the U.S.S. Independence extremely provider (CV-62), in the 1970 s. (Courtesy of David Warner)

The Africa Mercy is a 499- foot vessel, transformed from a previous railway ferryboat from northern Europe, with multi-decks and a team enhance of “about 400” stated Warner.

The ship serves individuals in African countries that clear the method for it to dock for “a regard to service,” normally as much as 10 months, and do what it does finest– administer brand-new life through complimentary medical treatments not available to the bad of those nations.

Even though the 501( C)( 3) non-profit is headquartered in Garden Valley in East Texas, Warner stated volunteers from “30 to 40 countries” personnel the healthcare facility ship in a wide array of capabilities. He was aboard the Africa Mercy when it was serving in Senegal in early 2020.

” It’s like a little city,” he stated. “It’s a terrific health center totally geared up with the current equipment, surgical treatment theaters and healing beds, however it’s more than a healthcare facility. Normally, when you think about medical outreaches, it evokes physicians, nurses, cosmetic surgeons and so forth.

Epoch Times Photo
Life on the Nova Esperanza had to do with assisting individuals residing on the Amazon River. The Warners opened health centers and began schools and churches. (Courtesy of David Warner)

” The Africa Mercy has volunteer instructors, navigators, mechanics, cooks, maritime experts, and more. There’s a big dining location and even a coffeehouse.

” When all the volunteers, training workers and personnel are on board, there can be 600- plus on the ship, entirely, all there for one function– to assist the injuring who are so grateful somebody concerned assist them.

” It’s volunteerism on a huge scale.”

He reviewed the distinction in between his operate in the Amazon and now.

” When we were up-river, residing in the jungles opening health centers, beginning schools and churches, it was me, Elizabeth, our 2 kids, and 4 loyal regional volunteers doing the majority of the work, the majority of the time.”

Epoch Times Photo
Elizabeth Warner talks with kids who reside on the Amazon River. (Courtesy of David Warner)

But when he’s on the ship, he’s surrounded by volunteers and the volunteer spirit, throughout the day, every day.

” The bulk of individuals on the Africa Mercy are unsettled, as I am. A couple of in crucial positions are not. Even the captain is typically overdue. It’s the spirit of offering, of offering from all those countries, that you can in fact feel. That’s rather something to see and belong to. It’s truly a fantastic life.”

Warner’s task is to assist train the consistent circulation of volunteers at the ship’s International Support Center in Texas. Some situations determine that training is held close by where the ship is docked.

” Sometimes it’s difficult for our African team to get visas to come to us,” he stated, “so I accompanied our training personnel to Senegal so they might get the very same exceptional training everybody else gets, not some thinned down variation that concerned them used.

” We’re here to assist everybody have the very best experience they can.”

Epoch Times Photo
A shot center in a town on the Amazon River. (Courtesy of David Warner)

Patrick Butler


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