How did I end up shipping out to the Mercy Ship? Well sit down in a comfy chair by a delightful fire, pour yourself a steaming mug of chamomile tea and prepare yourself for the riveting tale that exactly answers that question you just asked.
It all began back in the naive months of last summer time. I was happily working in Medicine Hat, slowly trying to pay off my last bout of backpacking and completely clueless about my future. It was great.
But then God decided to ease his way into the picture. I started getting feelings like I was supposed to move on, that it was time for something bigger. My friends started to back up these feelings and together we began to dream of where we could be in the next few years. Then came the day when I decided to stop worrying about where I was going and put the whole thing into God’s hand, let him decided what I would do. So I bowed my head and told God that if he told me what to do I would obey him.
He takes these sort of things seriously.
A short while later I wake up to my cell phone eagerly buzzing on my bedside table. I groggily flip it up and read a message that excitedly exclaims “Kyle! Mercy Ships needs a writer URGENTLY! This is perfect for you! – Mom”. Hmm… Mercy Ships eh? Since I had no idea what that was I silenced my phone and went back to sleep.
Three hours later I was looking over all the webpages that my mom had eagerly been bookmarking all morning. It all sounded pretty good. Hospital ship… the Republic of Congo… crazy miracles… they need a writer… Well I’m a writer so that works out nicely. My mom tells me that she woke up from a dream about the ship and that is why she looked it up in the morning. When she saw that writer was the top urgently need volunteer she knew that it was no coincidence. My pledge to listen to God rang in my head and I suddenly realized what I had unwittingly signed up for. I sighed and clicked the ‘get application’ button.
The next month was full of filling out waivers, receiving every vaccination on the planet, scouring my network for references, and editing and re-editing my writing submissions for the position. Finally I had everything completed and I submitted the whole package, waiting with held breath for the Mercy Ships response.
The reply was hesitantly optimistic. They gave me more information on the position, told me that the current girl would be leaving soon and that they were in the process of looking over new applicants. I was fairly confident, especially since a few people from church had received prophetic words involving me being on a boat. In my mind I couldn’t lose – after all God had my back!
Until they emailed me and told me that the current writer would be extending her time on board and that I would be put on the waiting list for next year. Sorry Kyle, no Mercy Ship for you.
I was understandably bummed out. I was disappointed in God; for the first time in my life I had pledged myself to him and he had copped out on me at the last minute. So instead of the Mercy Ship I took my friend Sarah’s offer and moved into her extra room in Kelowna BC.
During this time I questioned a lot of who God was. Why had he given me this false hope? What was I doing wrong? What could I do right? Could I do anything right, would it even matter?
I figured out these answers while I was in Kelowna. Because I was full of all these new questions I was also full of a desire to obtain answers for them. And so I went seeking. Eventually I found people who could help in a church called “New Life”, a charismatic church in the heart of Kelowna. Once I could look past all the people dancing and waving flags I realized that here was a group of people who actually knew who God was… and they weren’t afraid to show it. It was super exciting – God was real to these people! I wanted some of whatever they had and so I began to immerse myself in their world.
I’m happy to report that God delivered. I learned so much during my time at New Life – one main thing being that I wasn’t ready back in the summer for the position on Mercy Ship. I’ve seen healings, visions, signs, wonders and I know that more are in the future.
But what about Mercy Ships you ask? I thought you didn’t get the position? Be patient, I’m bringing the story full circle right now.
During my time in Kelowna we only had our apartment leased out until the end of December. I had clue what I was going to do afterwords and no plans for when that time came. However I knew that God had my back for whatever was ahead. And so december rolls around and ‘bing’ a message appears in my inbox.
They want to inform me that a position has opened up on the ship. They saw I have a business degree and that the position would be perfect. Would I be interested? I would have to be able to come the beginning of January.
Hmm… luckily I don’t have an apartment or any other plans come January… it almost seems too perfect and coincidental to be true… oh wait that’s exactly how God works. Wowzers.
Of course I emailed back saying I’d love to do it. A short telephone interview followed and boom I got the position. The last few weeks have been a blur of filling out paper work, getting my last few vaccinations and (the hardest of all) raising funds for this endeavour. However all of it has been very exciting and even though I still don’t really know what I’m doing there I know that God has my back on whatever may come.
And so now you know the story of how I ended up where I am now. Though it was 6 months for me it was a mere 1000 words for you. What now? Well I want to invite you to join me on wherever my journey may take me next. Readers like you will motivate me to record my travels and hopefully I’ll inspire some of you out there wherever you may be in the world. After all the more people on an adventure the better!