During the first two weeks of March 2023, I had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful nation of Madagascar and meet the team there as we continue our detailed planning for Island Reach`s arrival.
The photo above is the Mercy Ministries facility in Toamasina, from where the primary health clinics are coordinated on the east coast of Madagascar.
Our YWAM Ships team will be based in the capital city of Antananarivo where the administration and coordination for the ministry will take place. Led by Francis Adja, this team will be responsible for the operating of Island Reach and the coordination of the medical work which will take place from the ship. Having trusted the Lord for more than 10yrs for a ship to further enable them to provide medical care to those who have little or no access to such services - the team are excited and awaiting eagerly the arrival of the vessel.
Please pray for them as they are on a wonderful learning curve to understand all that is necessary to run this type of ministry. Francis and his wife Marielle, Marina, Stephan and Nomena make up the team on the island.
In and around the port city of Toamasina, Mercy Ministries can operate up to 51 primary health care clinics with doctor supervised primary care workers in place. Currently not all of those are open - there have been closures because of the pandemic, but new training has begun again to get staff in each of the locations.
We were able to travel with the supervising doctor to one of the rural locations in order to meet the staff there and support them in the work that they do - this week dispensing worm treatment for adults and children.
This clinic serves a population of over 2000, many who walk kilometers for treatment because it is the only option they have.
ONGOING RENOVATION UPDATE OF ISLAND REACH
In January and February a very courageous team led by Jeremy were severely restricted in the work which could continue because of horizontal rain and freezing conditions (not the best for spray painting).
For those who are interested in an update as to the renovations of Island Reach, here follows a brief summary.
all internal ply paneling has been installed and painted in the hold and new accommodation units
bunks have been constructed for the cabines and taken ashore for epoxy painting before installation
deck benches for the waiting deck area have been sanded, painted and fitted on deck
new rubber seals have been fitted to the accommodation port holes where they were leaking
all new exterior steel work has received a second coat of paint
contractors have started work on the electrical installation throughout
We continue to be grateful for the team there who have for the past 14 months invested time, skills and patience into this project. Please pray for them as they continue over these last few months before the ship sails to Madagascar.