05 March 2012

one year

Why is Sibi Julie so excited?

 (Besides the fact that she had her cleft lip repaired a few weeks ago?)

Because today is marks one year that I arrived to the Africa Mercy!

I started here, in Freetown, Sierra Leone:

And after one year (filled with hard work, prayer, laughter, good food, bad food, new friends, old friends, loneliness, companionship, homesickness, surprises, several plane rides, lots of movies, encouraging words, learning experiences, a few tears, sunburns, chimpanzees, starry nights, surreal sunsets, and too many cute kids to count)...

...I've ended up here in Lomé, Togo!  (Nestled quietly next to the two small gray ships that comprise the Togolese Navy, no less!)

And needless to say, I couldn't have gotten here without YOU!  Yes, YOU!

YOU, Taylor, with your prayers solely for my luggage.

YOU, Kari Ann, with your overwhelming hospitality and encouragement.

YOU, Moma (and Popa too!), with your faithful blog comments.  (Even if you didn't recognize your only grandson when I surprised you with my early homecoming!)

YOU, Kelly and Mary Elaine, with your ability to pretty much always make me laugh.

YOU, all ye Funterns, with the sheer joy you bring to my life.

YOU, family (and Alyssa!), with your unique ability to both drive me crazy and keep me sane at the same time, all through love.

I so wish that I could thank each and every one of you by name, but unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day.  If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you somehow played a role in my being here right at this moment.  Maybe you said a prayer, maybe you wrote a check, maybe you sent me an awesome CD, maybe you shared an encouraging word when I was feeling down, maybe you just said something to make me laugh.  Regardless of your involvement, you have all been so instrumental and I can't thank you enough. 

Here's to a crazy, wild, wonderful, life-changing, awe-inspiring year!


  1. It is crazy how proud I am to be in your blog. I'm so excited for everything the Lord has done through you and to you this past year, and I cannot WAIT until May!!!

  2. And here's to YOU! A year ago you answered willingly to God's call of service on the Africa Mercy! You have taken us along your journey through your blog. We have felt your joys and heart aches, your sense of peace as well has your frustrations. And yet as I read these posts, I see and feel your spiritual growth and praise God for the work that is done and that is yet to come. Love and prayers to YOU!

  3. I never thought I would ever appear on a blog!!! Papa and I are so glad that you are in our lives. This has been a wonderful experience for you and, as the pastor said, you left a boy but you are coming home a man. All of the joys and frustrations that you have experienced this past year are helping to mold you into someone who likes to help those less fortunate. Whatever the future holds for you,Seth, it will be something wonderful that the Lord has in store for you. I hope I live long enough to help you experience whatever that may be. We love you and look forward to you being home for our 57th wedding anniversary!

  4. You were right about grabbing some tissues while reading the story about Chantai. We are all so proud of you Seth. I can't imagine doing all that you do. You are an inspiration. The pictures are wonderful. (Little Sibi is adorable!!). Pam W.