Emelia Akyerefi, a native of Ghana, first heard about the Africa Mercy in 2008. “My brother was serving onboard, and he spoke highly of it,” she says.
Years later, he was still telling stories, still encouraging her to go. “But it wasn’t until late 2015 that I was sure the Lord was really telling me to come here,” she recalls. “It was quite challenging to leave my father, my brothers, and my job, but it was time to move forward into my calling.”
So in 2016, Emelia packed up everything and went to Madagascar to meet up with the ship. Now, after more than a year onboard, and after sailing back to West Africa, Emelia says it was all worth it. “I know that working on the ship is the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had,” she says.
“For me to be among so many gifted and talented people – from cooks to chaplains, surgeons to supply officers – for us to follow the 2000-year model of Jesus together – I am every day amazed.” Before, in Ghana, Emelia worked as a preschool teacher but here she’s a cook in the galley – the onboard kitchen where she and the rest of the team prepare roughly 1,200 meals a day for both crew and patients.
“I love the work,” she says. “I’m always chopping, chopping, chopping…” Her work may seem simple to the outside observer, but that doesn’t bother Emelia. “I have learned that there is no task beneath me, and no work that cannot bring God honor and bring me fulfillment when I learn to appreciate it and the way it serves others,” she says, nodding as if to confirm this. “I especially love washing dishes,” she adds, beaming.
Thanks for sharing Emelia!
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