Why Am I Here?
This is a question I ask myself often here. For some people this is an easy answer; they are here to heal the forgotten poor. This is what i often hear from those who are working down in the hospital. These people are with the patients for 8 hours a day and during their stay will often get to see a patient come sick and leave healthy. I assume it’s very rewarding to see someone’s life changed in this way.
This little boy is walking with straight legs for the first time in his life in this picture. That looks pretty rewarding to me.
But my position doesn’t take me to the hospital very often. I am grouped in with the people who keep the ship running. The cooks, housekeepers, maintenance people, and baristas are my peers. These people are all in a very unique situation – they are paying to be here on the ship yet often will not get to see many patients, thus resulting in a slight loss of morale as they ask themselves the question… Why Am I Here?
I’ve asked myself that question. I know the reason why I came here in the first place: God called me. However determining his purpose for me now that i’m here is a completely different conundrum, one that i probably won’t know fully until I’ve left here and am looking back. I have some ideas… but first a description of what exactly I do on the ship.
I am the Communications Administrator.
The question I get asked most on the ship (after “why are you so cool”) is what is the communication administrator? For the first two weeks I honestly didn’t really know that answer myself, but now that things are moving forward I’ve finally got a pretty good idea.
I work in Communications, which consists of my manager, myself, a media liaison, two photographers, two writers and an extremely talented videographer. The latter half of that list is the ‘creative team’ and they are responsible for some of the most moving and awesome videos I’ve ever seen. Check out their video “Love Is” for a taste of the amazingness that they create. I can’t link straight to the video as we don’t get Youtube on the ship. But luckily you at home can get to the site and check it out… you lucky dogs you!
The communications manager, myself and the media liaison are in charge of the many teams that visit the ship. There are two types of teams: media and vision. Media teams are those who come to film something. For example this month we have a huge Australian network coming to film a short documentary on the ship.
Vision trips consist of large donors (and i’m talking very large). They come basically to see where their money is going!
My job at this point in time is to organize their trip. My manager and I make up their schedule, arrange their accommodations, make sure they can get into the country etc. Then when they get here we basically stick with them 24/7 and make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
I’m pretty excited as I get to team up with the Media Liaison to show them the next team around (which is a fairly high profile vision trip). He is a fellow named Jay who is technically a Lord because he owns a small patch of grass in Scotland – he is below. This is great for me because the job essentially is running around the ship talking to people which is pretty much exactly what I like to do.
So that’s my job – what i’m doing here. But Why Am I Here?
I don’t know. Maybe it’s to help spread the word about Mercy Ships by facilitating the Media teams. Maybe it’s to encourage and motivate the other crew on board. Maybe it’s to connect with the day crew workers. Maybe it’s to have my life changed by the things that God is doing on board here. I’m not sure.
But I do know one thing. This is where i’m meant to be right now. It’s easy to forget that as you fall into the routine of working and life, but I’m trying daily to remind myself that God’s got a plan and all I can do up is show up for it. And even though I don’t get to go down to the hospitals too often whenever I see a patient happily smiling and singing I’m reminded that Mercy Ships is here for an amazing reason and I’m just happy to be along for the ride.