Mercy Ships - bringing hope and healing to the world’s poor for over 40 years
We follow the 2000-year-old model of Jesus, bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor.
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to transform lives and serve nations, one at a time.
Our Core Values
Desiring to follow the model of Jesus, we seek to:
love and serve others.
be people of integrity.
strive for excellence in all we say and do.
Don Stephens founded Mercy Ships in 1978 with the purchase of the Anastasis, where he and his family lived for ten years. During his time as President, Don directed and led thousands of professional volunteers from over 40 nations with offices in 16 countries.
A ship is the most efficient platform to deliver a state-of-the-art hospital to regions where clean water, electricity, medical facilities and personnel is limited or nonexistent. And, because more than 50% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of the coast, we can reach more people who need care.
Mercy Ships began sailing on our mission to provide hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor in 1978. Each year, we’ve been able to reach more people to provide life-changing surgeries.
Globally, five billion people have no access to safe surgery. In low-income and lower-middle-income countries, nine out of ten people have no access to basic surgical care. But don’t let the statistics numb you, because behind every number there is a name, a face, and a story. They will break your heart, but they will inspire you to take action—as Mercy Ships volunteers have for more than 40 years.
Over 50% of the population lives within 100 miles of the coast. Many nations lack clean water, reliable electricity, medical facilities, and personnel. Our ships deliver a state-of-the-art hospital to port cities, providing a controlled, safe and clean environment for patients—and volunteers.
In 2018, 2,522 life-changing surgeries were performed, as well 32,017 dental procedures. Over 22,146 potential patients were screened for surgery, and over 1,369 local African healthcare professional were trained. Every port brings new challenges, new successes—and new lives transformed forever.
Morgan and Nana - 2019
Morgan Kisuma is 32 and lives in Kinshasa, capital of the DRC. His jaw tumour began in 2005 when he had just started at college. In 2008 he gained his diploma in general mechanics and became a driver but soon no one wanted to employ him because of his increasing facial disfugurement. He now stays mostly at home, feeling alone and isolated although he occasionally ventures onto the street to eke out a meagre living by selling phone cards.
Nana Ntumba is a 38 year old mother of 5 who also lives in Kinshasa. Her husband abandoned her when her jaw tumour began developing 10 years ago. She says 'life is much harder when people will not look you in the face - you feel so dejected. I am very grateful for this God given opportunity to have a new life.'
They both have been accepted for surgery ( Excision of tumour and reconstruction with a fibula free flap) by Dr George Galiwango and his team at CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital just outside Kampala in Uganda. They have both been been scheduled for an outpatient appointment with Dr George on the 28th October followed by CT scans in the local centre. Then surgery on the 7th November for Nana and on the 14th for Morgan. They will both be staying with ex- pat Congolese Pastor Kalimbire in Kampala who will also help with finding a French speaking 'attendant' for each of them, an essential requirement for any patient undergoing major surgery.
The overall costs of the project will be in the order of £10,000 which will include surgery (plus two weeks at least in hospital), the cost of the attendants, return flights from Kinshasa via Addis Ababa to Entebbe, two plus months of accommodation and full board with Pastor Kalimbire and his family.
The treatment is being organised by Dr Keith Thomson as the Mercy Ship is not going to their country. Dr Keith has been involved with Mercy Ships since 1990, is a trustee on both UK and International boards, and has spent 2-3 weeks on a Mercy Ship as an anaesthetist on 24 occasions from 1991-2011. He is a regular visitor to IECA, along with his wife Fiona.
If you would like to contribute towards the costs of surgery for Morgan and Nana please donate here