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November/December 2006 Issue

Family's Story Tied to Mercy Ships

By Martine Frigon

For the past quarter-century, hospital ships have been providing free medical care worldwide for those most in need. Dedicated Canadian volunteers, donors and fundraisers have played important roles.

Witness the experience of Lorraine McDonald. This woman from Alberta, her spouse and eldest son came on board the Anastasias in 1988 and did not leave the ship until July 2003.

“We became involved because we wanted to help those who needed help most. We also share the same Christian values as those promoted by the organization. On the ship, I was assigned to communications since I had studied journalism. My husband taught the 45 children on board, from kindergarten to completion of high school,” she explains.

The couple’s two sons, now 21 and 14, have actually lived more on sea than on land, she says. Her younger son was born on the ship, and her elder son now “belongs to the Canadian Navy.”

McDonald became director of the Canadian branch of Mercy Ships in 2003, one of 16 branches besides the head office in Texas. To date, Mercy Ships has performed more than 18,000 operations, including eye surgery and orthopedic and facial reconstruction, and 110,000 dental procedures using medical supplies and equipment worth more than $21 million. Three ships – the Anastasis, the Africa Mercy and the Caribbean Mercy – are used to carry out the missions.

Mercy Ships began in 1978 with the initiative of Don and Deyon Stephens, an American couple. The Victoria, B.C., branch opened in 1998 to raise funds, gather equipment and recruit volunteers. More than 550 former volunteers live in Canada, particularly in southern Ontario.

Other articles
Nov/Dec 2006 Issue

Cover Story
Called Into The House

Featured Articles
Native Suicide: A Challenge to the Church

One Youth's Life or Death Struggle

From the Editor
Called to Respond

Kingdom Matters
Affair Ministry Emerged from Brokenness

Family's Story Tied to Mercy Ships

Phone Ministry 24/7 

Splat! Paintball with Christian Love

The Gathering Place
Responding to Distortions

God at Work in Denominations
God Uses Willingness to Serve

A Church You Should Know
Eglise Nouvelle Vie

Ask a Theologian:
What DNA Matter Did the Baby Jesus Have?

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