Lisa Benner grew up in Castlegar, BC. Her father was a pastor who also did missionary work around the world in Taiwan and the Philippines. Lisa grew up listening to his stories of traveling and making a difference, dreaming of one day having adventures of her own.
After attending the University of Lethbridge and becoming a teacher, Lisa was ready to put her skills to work and help transform lives overseas. She spent three months traveling in Africa in Burkina Faso, and worked as an English teacher for Bridges of Hope International Network of Developing Agencies. She went on to work in Haiti with GAiN (Global Aid Network), and realized her dream of visiting all the French speaking countries in the world.
“Both experiences taught me that time connecting with people and listening to their stories is the best way to gain perspective and see life through their eyes.”
After retuning from traveling and taking a job as a Grade 3 French Immersion teacher in Okotoks, Alberta, it wasn’t long before Lisa felt called back to pursue her dreams in other parts of the world. After hearing about Mercy Ships, she started inquiring about the possibility of serving. After learning more, she decided she had to get involved. Her prayers were answered when a volunteer position for a French teacher opened on board the Africa Mercy, and on June 1, 2018 Lisa was off to Guinea!
“I cannot wait for the people I am going to meet. It excites me to think that the ship will be filled with people from over 50 different countries. I’m excited about the opportunity to work in an international setting with students of who come from a variety of different backgrounds and I can’t wait to learn and grow from exposure to different cultures and lifestyles.”
During her time with Mercy Ships, Lisa has worked in the onboard school, teaching around 50 kids ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 12. After a year onboard the hospital ship, she will be returning home from her service in June 2019, filled with passion and hope for the lives she has supported throughout her service in Guinea.
Stay tuned for updates this summer when Lisa returns to Canada – we can’t wait to hear more about her adventures and experiences helping transform lives onboard the Africa Mercy!