Part 2: Mercy Ships Orientation—Garden Valley, TX—April 25-30, 2004
Monday through Friday we had classes from 8am to 12pm, lunch from 12 to 1, and then classes again from 1 to 5. Dinner was from 5 to 6. After that we were free to do what we wanted. We could come and go on and off campus wherever we wanted. I was really surprised that there weren’t many rules and no searches. Most of the other buildings were open for us. And we could explore all the walking trails around the lakes that lead to the barn and garden and up the pasture road back to the campus.
Every morning we started off with a short time of group devotions, which included bible readings, music, singing, and prayer.
Monday our classes were Introduction to Mercy Ships, Human Resource Process, The Overview of Programs, The 4 M’s of Mercy Ships, Shipmates Program, and Expectations and Values. During that time each person had an interview with HR to tell them the areas they would be interested in serving. I told Angie several areas I would be interested in serving in and she told me I needed to narrow it down and that we
could meet again later in the week. After dinner we had a movie night in the family dorm. They showed the British documentary “African ER” which is about a young English woman with an attitude who is not a Christian that they get to go serve on the ship the Annastasis for two weeks in Sierra Leon, Africa. It is funny and moving when you see her change of heart after she gets there and realizes what the people of Mercy Ships actually do to treat those who need medical help.
Tuesday our classes included Introduction to Gateway, and Transitions taught by Dr. Wells. Dr Clark then lectured on Ship Life. Before dinner we had a community meeting, and worship service. I met Ruth at the Worship service. After dinner Alberta, my roommate and I went for a walk all the way around the lake to the barn and garden and up the pasture road back to the campus. Then I made some calls and went to bed.
Wednesday through Friday at noon our classes were on fund raising for missions taught by Wade Cox. That part was very helpful for me since I didn’t know anything about it.
Wednesday evening the women in our dorm gathered in the lounge and watched “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” It was very funny.
Thursday afternoon we had a career fair where I talked to Ken in Agriculture and he told me he would be happy to have me in his dept. I also talk to David Cherry earlier that day and he set up an appt for me to talk to Gene Tate (also in the Ag dept) for Friday. That evening Melissa had arranged a prayer meeting in our lounge for all who wished to attend. Several people came and we had a power time of prayer. When we had finished praying, the store was open and several of us went over there to look around and use the computers.
Friday we had classes until noon. I met with Angie again and told her I wanted to do Ag. She said that would be OK. I went to my meeting with Mr. Tate and he gave me some more info on their Ag programs and a suggested reading list. At 3pm we had a farewell desert of cheesecake and other fine deserts. Then we were free to go home or we could stay until Saturday morning.
I stayed because it is at least 7 hours to my friends’ house in OKC and didn’t feel like driving all that way starting out so late in the day. That night I was the only one left in my room and it felt strange after having so many people in such a small space.
Saturday morning I slept in until 8 and then got ready to leave. I left a little after 9 and went and got an oil change at the place they showed us and then headed for OKC.
It was an awesome week.
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