The Bible states, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." -1 Peter 4:10.
Growing up as the daughter of a Children's Minister, I watched my parents serve others continuously, both of them having a true heart of a servant. They helped plant in me that same heart & the desire to serve others, just as Jesus did for so many. My desire is to take all the gifts that God has blessed me with & give all that I am to serving others, those in need of help, hope, prayer, & love!
I began serving as Senior Radiologic Technologist with Mercy Ships in August 2016 & will continue to serve through May 2017. But during this time, God has shown me that my time serving those in Africa is far from over. Therefore, I've decided to extend my time with Mercy Ships during our next field service in Cameroon & I'm so excited to have the opportunity to continue serving with such an amazing, Christ centered organization.
Mercy Ships is a non-governmental medical organization that provides life-changing medical care to some of the poorest, most underprivileged people in need, completely FREE of charge. Aboard a retired ocean liner turned hospital, they provide life-changing medical care including but not limited to: numerous surgical procedures, orthopedic care, dental care, physical therapies, eye care, exc. Also, while some patients are in need of inpatient care aboard the Africa Mercy, other medical crew members hold dental clinics & medical clinics for those in need of lesser, minor care. In addition, the Mercy Africa provides a classroom setting to teach community healthcare education, as well as, construction & agricultural training. So when the Africa Mercy departs, they, the community, will have a better knowledge of certain diseases & conditions & how to properly care & treat them, as well as how to better provide for their family using what they have.
The values of Mercy Ships are as follows:
"Desiring to follow the model of Jesus, we seek to; Love God. Love & serve others. Be people of integrity. Be people of excellence in all we say & do."
And I'm so very honored they have asked me to be apart of this mission! Everyone serving aboard the Africa Mercy is serving as a volunteer (we pay monthly fees to serve). Some serve for weeks, some for months & some serve for years. But they (we) all have the same common goal:
To love & serve others as our Savior has done & as He has taught us to do. To take our individual gifts that He instilled in us & use them to help restore health & wellbeing, both physical & spiritual, among those in need, & more importantly share His message to everyone we meet in the process.
My main profile picture is one of first patients of this field service, Mabouba.
The first time I met Mabouba, the Africa Mercy had just become my home. I had arrived in Benin 16 or so days earlier & was trying to get accustomed to the amazingly unique environment that is the Africa Mercy.
Screening began & Mabouba was one of the first patients I met. She immediately took my breath away. Not because of the large facial tumor that was slowly taking her life (slowly suffocating her & making eating nearly impossible), but because of what was present in her eyes.
In her eyes I saw so much...At first, it was shame, embarrassment, pain; both emotional & physical, hesitation, uncertainty, nervousness. But then, as I smiled at her & took her hand to lead her into CT, I saw something else.
As she sat down on the table, she returned my smile with the best smile she could muster, which was not an easy task with her abnormality. But when she smiled her best smile, her eyes developed the sweetest twinkles & within those twinkles I saw hope, trust, appreciation, & faith that we would indeed be able to help her.
What incredible things to see in the eyes of someone you've just met! Someone who has been ridiculed & mocked, judged & deemed cursed by so many throughout her life. Yet she came to us at Mercy Ships full of faith & trust...not only in God who provided her the opportunity to be healed, but in all of us as she knew that God was using us as an extension of Himself to provide her healing.
What a astonishing trust to see in the eyes of a stranger. What an incredible, emotion filled hug to receive from them after their exam is completed. What a beautiful "Merci" (thank you) to hear, multiple times, filled with so much sincerity & gratitude.
It's amazing how quickly your vision adjusts to no longer see your patient's abnormalities, but THEM as a person, as a child of God.
There are so many indescribable emotions, moments & experiences that come along with serving with Mercy Ships, but I think one of my favorites is this...
That God allows us a glimpse into the way HE sees His children, NOT as the WORLD sees them. HE sees them as precious jewels, absolutely PERFECT in His sight. Their medical abnormality holds no weight in how He looks at them as His children. Nor do they hold any weight when we look at them as our patients. He loves them & we love them.
"I remember when I woke up - I was transformed. I was a new person." -Mabouba recalls, wiping tears from her eyes. "You have saved my life, and I don't know how to thank you."
That's my why...
#MercyShips #LookThroughHisEyes #LoveLikeHeLoves #GiveLoveServe ❤⚓️✟
If you would like to read more about our current field service in Benin, please visit my blog:A Path to Mercy
If each one of you reading this would be willing to donate a simple $10, you will be helping provide free, life-changing & life-saving medical care to so many in Africa. People who walk for days & days, miles & miles from their homes just to be screened & seen by our medical staff.
So please, open your hearts & help support this amazing cause! Thank you all for your love & may God bless you all!
-Holly E. Franklin*All funds raised will be used for Mercy Ships related expenses ONLY (travel, room & board, vaccinations, exc.).*