Africa Mercy Ship

I have been praying about this opportunity and my desire to serve overseas! I have been doing smaller trips to Haiti and the Philippines that have prepared me immensely (I hope!) to try a longer trip. And here it is!

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I am volunteering to serve as a nurse onboard the Africa Mercy this fall! I will be serving for 10 weeks as a ward nurse in Cotonou, Benin (west coast of Africa).

 

Short version: Mercy Ships is a Christian organization that has turned a big boat into a hospital. It ports for 10 months at a time in one spot on the coast of Africa. Not only do they provide life-changing surgeries to those in need for free, but also seek to integrate patients and families and others back into their own culture with training, jobs, facilities, and food in a way that is sustainable after the ship leaves.
Please see their website to get more information!
http://www.mercyships.org

My position is to care for patients when they are done with surgery and on the road to recovery. Patients, both adult and pediatric, are seeing healing in so many types of surgeries. Maxillofacial, orthopedic, plastic reconstruction, women's health, and eye care are just a few of the surgeries that are restoring people's lives, all in the name of Jesus. I am so excited to join this cause.

The above photos above are not my own. These are examples of what kind of patients I will be seeing on the Mercy Ship. 

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I am asking for partners, both in prayer and finances. As exciting as this opportunity is, it is terrifying think I can actually do this (will expand on that later)! Prayers for my anxiety and endurance are so appreciated. I am leaving my job in Portland to serve and will not have income for several months. I am fundraising the money for this service and would love to have anyone be a part of this with me.

Cost breakdown:

Initial Immunizations:                 $   400 one time                      $  400                                                         Airfare:                                       $2,500 one time                      $2,500
Crew Fees + living costs              $1,000 X 10 weeks service =    $2,500                                                     Home expenses while gone:          $300 X 2 months =                 $  750

Total Project costs                                                                      $6,150                                                    My personal commitment/savings                                                -$2,000
Total needed support for this funding gap                                      $4,150

***I am fronting the funds for this venture by using the site YouCaring. Please click on link to support!

Mercy Ships will reimburse me if you would like your donation to be tax deductible. You can use the link below to donate directly to Mercy Ships in my name (using designation code 4377 in the optional message box)! 100% of all funds raised are going towards this trip. 

http://mercyships-us.donorpages.com/crewmates/CaitlanMacMahon

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I really look forward to sharing all that God can do through me with all of you.

Peace,
Caitlan

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Although I will be serving with Mercy Ships, everything communicated here strictly reflects my personal opinions and is neither reviewed nor endorsed by Mercy Ships. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercy Ships.

Wait

"Wait."

It's the most clear message I can hear from God. 

"But God! I'll go anywhere and do anything You ask! Just tell me!"

"Just wait, daughter."

My feet are planted firmly in reality and my ears are the most open -- if I am being honest...waiting for anything but "wait." Haha. The emotions of the last trip have stabilized, events have been processed, and I'm "ready"...okay, God! I'm here for my next assignment! Where to next?!

"WAIT."

Sigh. Why is waiting so hard?! The longer it goes on, the more impatient I get for what is to come. But what I am learning in the waiting is that it is in the waiting that I learn the most.

I've been thinking about James 1: counting it joy in trials (i.e. when I have to wait). In the waiting, I have to be so intentional to seek Jesus out. In the Philippines, it feels like the Holy Spirit is present every other moment! In Portland, it's usually me on the couch, looking despondently out the window. God is in the small struggles as much as the big moments. I think that God uses all this waiting time to mature my faith so that I can handle the big moments without falling apart. He just wants me to spend time with Him. He wants this steadfast faith to be as effective as possible, perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:4)

So in light of that, " I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me." (Micah 7:7)

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be CONSTANT in prayer." (Romans 12:12)

In Acts 16:6-10, Paul senses the Spirit closing the door to traveling to Asia so he waits in Troas. He has a dream that a Macedonian man stands over him and says, "Come to Macedonia and help us." Paul wakes up and "concludes that God has called us to preach the gospel to the Macedonians" and so he goes. 

I hope one day to hear God's call so clearly and then obey. 

Respite

I just got back from five beautiful days on Kauai with my dearest friend. 

Kalalau trail on the Napali coast

Kalalau trail on the Napali coast

One of my oldest friends (we were pen-pals when we were 13!) and her husband and friends have a house on Kauai that they open up to host people in ministry to come vacation on the island. I brought Jessica with me for a little R&R in paradise. 

Rebecca and Lindsey, our incredibly generous hosts  

Rebecca and Lindsey, our incredibly generous hosts  

We had an amazing time, lots of hiking and swimming and talking. 

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Beautiful places and good friends are food for the soul. 

Chasing waterfalls.  

Chasing waterfalls.  

This photo is barely edited! Those colors are real!  

This photo is barely edited! Those colors are real!  

Jess graciously obliged all my requests for pictures. 

No place I'd rather be...except Navotas. ;) 

No place I'd rather be...except Navotas. ;) 

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Waimea Canyon State Park is fantastic. The views, the colors, that waterfall in the corner. 

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We met this homeless local on Glass Beach. He wanted to sell us some weed. He was so sweet. Reminded both Jess and I of being in the Philippines. 

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We stayed in the mountains. Gorgeous green views.  

We stayed in the mountains. Gorgeous green views.  

Beach destination along the Kalalau trail

Beach destination along the Kalalau trail

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Thank you so much, Lindsey, for showing us your island!

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My favorite part of the trip is hiking to these epic waterfalls. I made sure to try out the water at each one. 

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Til next time, Hawaii!

Napali coast view

Napali coast view

Squad Goals

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These girls are the kind of girls I want in my pack. They are loyal, joyful, faithful, present, encouraging, good listeners, willing, able, loads of fun, and very good at laughing. :)

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The last night in Navotas, I was showing them some of my pictures from Haiti. (Two of the girls are nurses waiting to take boards.) I showed them the picture of my big-headed baby and Krissa, very nonchalantly, says, "Oh yeah, that's hydrocephalus." They have a good grasp of a lot of medical needs that I am only just learning about.

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Sometimes I catch a whiff of the Navotas smell here in the States. Not very often at all, mind you. Its so bad! But when I do, I almost love it. It reminds me of a place that I want to be.

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When I go to Navotas, I feel like I have to sacrifice most of my comforts-- hot shower, nice bed, quiet rooms and conversations, driving my car, etc. It only took me one day or so to get used to bucket showers, sleeping on mats in the heat with the sound of traffic all night, and riding fuming motos.

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Good friends check each other for lice. :) And lots of other things.

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All these girls have amazing voices. I wish they could record an album so that I could hear their voices daily from home.

Victorious Tonsillectomy

Remember the little boy in Navotas who needed a tonsillectomy? His name is Jude Matthew. 

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At the end of our trip, the team pooled together every last peso we had for a grand total of 31,000 pesos ($670 US). Since the family has a Philippines medical card, this amount covered the exact amount needed for surgery, anesthesia, antibiotics, and ice cream during recovery!

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Mercy (pictured above far right) faithfully took Jude Matthew and his mom Jervie to the needed appointments in the last 2 weeks. 

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Little Jude Matthew got his surgery on March 16! It was a success and he was discharged the next day! (I could definitely be wrong about the timing---15 hr time difference...) 

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Sometimes God heals people miraculously. It didn't seem like it at first, but God used our team with William and Mercy to work a miracle in this little boy's life. ❤️