Answering the question "how did you find out about Mercy Ships?" has caused me to look back and see how God has worked in my life and on my heart from a very early age.
I don't really remember ever NOT knowing about Mercy Ships. My mom had the opportunity to tour one of the ships, with me in tow, when it was at the port in Houston when I was very small, and she told me about the ministry as I was growing up. Then when I was eleven, I started attending a Christian summer camp every year in the Texas hill country. The first year (or maybe the 2nd, I'm not quite sure) that I went to Camp Buckner I remember meeting a girl in my cabin named Annie Fadely whose parents worked with Mercy Ships. I don't remember talking to her much about it, but it stuck in the back of my mind even though I haven't seen or heard from her any in the past 15 years. I didn't really learn anything more about Mercy Ships until 8 or 9 months ago, when I started thinking about looking for some short-term medical mission work to do and Mercy Ships immediately popped into my mind. Reflecting back on all this just reminds me to not take anything for granted. Who would have thought that it mattered what other little girls I met during a week at summer camp when I was eleven years old? But God knew I would be embarking on this adventure one day, and He put me in a camp cabin with someone who would be instrumental in planting seeds of thought in my mind about it. The neat part is, Annie's mom Angie Fadely still works for Mercy Ships in the Human Resources department here at the IOC, and I got to meet her on Monday, talk with her and tell her my story. I also found out that before the Fadelys joined Mercy Ships, they had toured the ship Anastasis at the port in Houston in 1989. I have a hunch that was probably around the same time my mother got to tour the ship. Coincidence? I think not.