Easter represents new beginnings, fresh starts, hope and the journeys we go on to reach the next chapter in our lives, which can often be difficult. The journeys our patients go on are each unique but share a common thread of the need for health care, which in the countries we serve, is mostly inaccessible and unaffordable.
The Africa Mercy is a reflection of Easter as it also represents hope and new beginnings. We wish we could introduce you to all of our patients in person and let them tell you about the journey they have been on but we cannot. Instead for the month of April we are going to show you through pictures one particular patient’s entire journey with Mercy Ships, from when he heard about a ship that was providing free health care to when he walked up the gangway with an appointment card, to the day he was a changed man and began his journey home, accompanied by six volunteers who made it their mission to get him back to his village and family safe and sound.
You may have heard of or remember Sambany. His 16.45 lb tumour weakened him to the point of death. After hearing about Mercy Ships and selling a rice field to pay for the journey, it took five people taking turns carrying him on their backs for two days and a painful six-hour taxi ride to reach the Africa Mercy.
It also took the blood of 12 volunteers onboard the ship to make sure he survived his surgery and could begin the next chapter of his life.
The mission was nicknamed “the fellowship of Sambany” all you Lord of the Rings buffs may clue in to the reference, but for those who have not read or seen the Lord of the Rings “the Fellowship of the Ring” a group of friends travelled far and overcame much to get a very important ring back to the place it came from.
This April, please follow along on our facebook page as we show you each day how Sambany’s journey home unfolded.