Perhaps you have come across the concept of medical ships - they have the possibility to come into ports and offer health and hope to those in the community who are often isolated from essential services. We are excited to share some of our journey with you - as we reach out into the french speaking world.
It was in 2018, a Global YWAM gathering in Thailand that God began to stir our hearts concerning YWAM ships for the French speaking world. We already have 20+ boats operating as YWAM globally, bringing healthcare and the good news of the gospel to nations often difficult to reach, but none of these vessels currently function in French speaking nations or islands. There are thousands of unreached islands around the world, hundreds of which are French speaking so we need to plan together and with God how we might go about reaching them with the gospel.
YWAM Ships Switzerland exists to serve in the most isolated and disadvantaged french speaking islands
Indian Ocean Islands – Madagascar
It was only one month ago that we received news from The Vine Trust, they were looking to sell a small tug (SD Melton) which initially they had purchased to join with its sister boat (Jubilee Hope) and serve as a medical vessel on Lake Victoria in Tanzania.
Due to road infrastructure developments in Kenya in the last two years, it was no longer possible to transport the boat across land to Tanzania. The Vine Trust offered to sell the boat to YWAM for an amazing price – looking to cover only their investment on the boat since they themselves purchased her!
Without knowing where this could lead – we let our ministry partners know and within a few hours some senior leaders in Madagascar contacted us to confirm that they have been praying for a boat such as this for over 10 years. The idea began to develop that we could outfit the SD Melton in a way to serve this nation. Working with long term leaders who have already helped establish over 30 primary health care posts on the east coast of Madagascar and have recently started an agriculture project to reach local farmers. In partnership this boat would be an amazing tool reaching very isolated villages on the east coast of the island.
Things have moved very quickly and we have had some independent surveys done on the SD Melton which have come back with the news that she is in great shape. We are looking now to buy the boat and move her to a winter harbor for some transformations to take place before we sail her to Madagascar in the spring of 2022.
Right now, we need partnership. We need your prayers, we need your expertise and we need finances for the purchase and the outfitting of the boat to make her into a vessel which could serve medically. Current thoughts around installing a dental surgery, an ophthalmologist’s clinic, and a dispensary in her two cargo holds, plus possibly a small operating theater for day surgeries.
Would you consider being a part of this amazing opportunity to impact one of the poorest nations in the world?
The purchase and registration requirements for the SD Melton have us looking at raising £100,000 before we can transfer her to Conwy, Wales for the winter on 30thOctober!
In Conwy our marine volunteers will prepare her for the long voyage (8,500 miles) and preparations for her transformation into a medical relief vessel. These costs with delivery costs to Madagascar will also require an investment of £100,000 by the beginning of March 2022.
Finally, the installation of medical units, and equipment, many of which we hope will be donated, will need a further estimated investment of £50,000. A bargain for what she will be able to do for the next two decades.
The total estimated cost for the purchase, transformation and refurbishment comes to £250,000.
Please get in touch if you would like further information about our plans or about the ship, we are more than happy to share in this voyage with you as we seek God and partner together for His solutions!