Watching the HOPE Center come alive these past few weeks has been amazing! Snuggled in beside the Nylon Hospital and a bustling market, our new HOPE Center, freshly painted and ready to go has been going full speed preparing rooms ready for patients.
This past week the buses arrived with patients: Orthopedic, Women’s Health, Maxillo-facial and care givers for pediatric patients. Today if you visit you will find over 100 Cameroonians, many from the far north west making the HOPE Center ‘home’. Meals are flowing from the kitchen, washed clothes are draped all over the clothes lines, children are growing in confidence and playing enthusiastically, their eyes wide in wonder. The adults are gathering in smaller groups getting to know one another. Many of them have said how happy they are to be finally here. One mumma tells me, God has had a plan for this time for over 30 years ever since her facial tumor grew.
Our 41 day crew (local workers) are very busy now, learning the routines. They are already a BIG blessing! Their smiles are beaming! They were humbled and amazed at the severity of disability of these first patients, especially among the orthopedic cases. They expressed their surprise to us and their desire to serve and love these patients. One day crew wanted to change her heart and increase in compassion, another wanted to use their gifts to serve another was humbled by what he saw and wanted to grow in character. Another was grateful to be a part of the Mercy Ships work.
Already we’ve seen the first few days of dockside screening! What a privilege to escort the first screening patients to the ship. Our van carried ten silent passengers. Once in the port the Africa Mercy came into view. Eyes widened and everyone was staring at the ship. No-one said a word. For most it was the first ship they have ever seen. Imagine their surprise at entering inside and going down to the Hospital deck. I asked them later about their first impressions;
‘The ship is wonderful!’
‘The people inside were smiling and kind’
‘It’s like a big house inside, rooms and stairs…no… more like a large village, a city!’
Written by HOPE Center Facilitator – Susie Drysdale
Thanks to the generosity of YOU our Canadian donors, renovations of the Cameroon HOPE Centre were made possible. We can’t thank you enough, this life-changing work could not be done without you.