22 September, 2011

Changes

One of the major changes that has taken place since we moved back to Norway is the addition of Macintosh Morris into our family. Mac became part of our household in July, and we have grown to love him. He is a 'street mix' of a dog, and a very cute one! Jorid

Here he is with Fride, out for a walk in our neighbourhood.

16 June, 2011

A New Season

Time has come for us to leave the Africa Mercy.

What can I say? It is truly a bittersweet thing... We are very excited about going back to Norway, but at the same time it is almost too difficult to leave behind everything here on the ship and in Africa. We have made so many good friendships here, had so many amazing experiences, and have so much love for this work.

This experience has changed us. You cannot live in a community like this and not be changed. You cannot see all the joy, strength and suffering of Africa and not be affected somehow.

Photo by Dag

And yet our 'adventure' with Mercy Ships not completely over.
Dag will continue to work as a Dental consultant for Mercy Ships, and it will be impossible to keep him away from Africa! In the mean time he will go back to five years of school to become an oral surgeon - I wonder if that may turn out have something to do with Africa....

I will work for Mercy Ships Norway - a leap of faith, I must admit, as I will still need to depend on financial support. Somehow it seems more challenging to work as a volunteer in Norway than in Africa.
But, as our friend Lawrence says: "God is good - all the time! And all the time God is good!"
We know that He will continue to provide for everything we need.

We'll keep you posted.... Jorid

02 June, 2011

Osteomyelitis of the jaws

Yesterday Dag spoke at the Hospital's in-service. He spoke about osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection. Here in West Africa he treats several patients with this condition, as well as a similar condition called osteonecrosis, which is dead jawbone. The patients come with much pain, huge swellings and often puss-draining fistulas/openings in the face, neck or inside of the mouth. The treatment is to surgically remove and clean out the dead tissue and give antibiotics. There seem to be a much higher number of cases of these conditions here in West Africa than what has been documented anywhere else in the world.
Together with some colleagues Dag is doing a study on this, looking into what could be the cause of osteonecrosis of the jaw here in West Africa. At the in-service he presented an overview of what this condition is, how it can be treated, and what the study is about.

The knowledge he is gaining on this, benefits a lot of people in this area, and hopefully even more in the years to come, as their research hopefully will give greater understanding on this issue.

And in the meantime, patients keep coming with their pain and swellings to the dental clinic, where they get much needed help. Jorid - proud wife:-)

23 May, 2011

Karate!

Several of the boys on board have been members of the Africa Mercy Karate Club for a long time. Bendik has been part of it from the start, and he just loves it!
On Sunday they had their first performance and all received new belts. None of the boys knew exactly what belt they would get. The sensei (coach) looked at developement, tecnique, effort, dicipline and performance.

Bendik was one big, happy smile when he received a brown belt! All his efforts and hard work these last couple of years have paid off. Jorid (proud mom!)

Bendik doing his kata.


Wesley and Bendik sparring.


The student and sensei Montez.

22 May, 2011

Smile:-)

How much fun can you have with a bowl of fruit balancing on your head? The kids in this country seem to love to be in the focus of a camera lens; like these beautiful ones that Dag had an encounter with last week. Jorid

18 May, 2011

Annual Academy Photos

Every year one of the ship's eminent photographers take school photos of the Academy, and every year they have a slightly different approach. Check out this year's photos (from the top): Mercy Ships Academy; Fride, grade 4; Bendik and grade 7&8; Linde and grade 9&10 (also known as 'Mr Calvert and the girls'). Jorid

22 April, 2011

Friendly surgeon

My good friend, Ole, has just left after 2 weeks on board. He is an orthopedic surgeon that for years has talked about serving with us. Finally it happened :-) Good friends are important anywhere but there is something special about sharing an experience like this. Thank you, Ole! Dag
Operating on a young man with double club feet (Together with Dr Frank)
Visiting Mercy Ships agriculture program north of Freetown
Kids living on the hillside of "Sierra Leone" (= the lion mountain)
The Africa Mercy barely visible in the background...

15 April, 2011

Patient patients

It is Friday afternoon and I have just come back from the dental clinic. Outside the clinic there are already about 20 people sitting in line for Monday morning screening. Unbelievable. Can you imagine camping out for 72 hours in hope to see a dentist? And when I asked them how they are doing, they all smiled and wished me a good weekend.
The only comment was that they think we should start treating them for Malaria as well as dental since they get all eating up by mosquitoes while waiting... Dag Part of the group that is waiting outside the dental clinic for our next screening - in 3 days!

10 April, 2011

Heroes, part 4

Joseph Sesay is a dayvolunteer with the dental team, which means that he works full time as a translator and assistant. What I recently discovered is that his "real" job is to pastor 3 churches, run 2 schools and an orphanage. It is just incredible! The man has a servant's heart beyond measure. Today the Tvedts were blessed to visit "church number 3" - God's Grace Bible Church. Normally I find local churches loud, long and exhausting. Today was different. Pastor Joseph and his small congregation (of about 50) showed just as much love to their visitors as to the 80 orphans they share responsibility for. Dag
Pastor Joseph and his family in front of God's Grace Bible Church. Their motto: "No Jesus, No life".
They have a fairly big property where they hope to build a combined church and school building in the near future.

07 April, 2011

Running Club

The kids' physical activity is quite limited on board and for the last few years the Academy has organized a running club. It started up again this afternoon. The point is to run up and down the dock as many times as possible in about 45 minutes. Some can only do a few, others great many. The cool thing is that most all of the kids participate and they love it... Dag
A group of beautifully branded parents watching the kids :-)

Donation of books

A few weeks ago the school library flooded and many books got destroyed. Schools in the Tyler area (Texas, USA) were asked to help in an effort to replace the books. John Tyler High School is one of the schools that responded and yesterday our kids could enjoy the new books :-) Dag
(The link takes you to an aricle written in Tyler Paper about it: http://www.tylerpaper.com/article/20110317/NEWS08/110319806)

04 April, 2011

Why is Mercy Ships in Sierra Leone?

As I walked to the market this morning, I was approached by so many people desperate for help. Take a look at this short video; it really shows how great the need is in this country. We know we cannot help everyone, but we can make a huge difference for many; one person at the time! Jorid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf17tN9LD0g

31 March, 2011

Heroes, part 3

I have a Liberian sister - a beautiful, young woman that just never ceases to amaze me. Chris is a fellow crew member on the Africa Mercy, and she a walking testimony of God's grace and faithfulness.

She experienced horrible things during the civil war in Liberia; things you would think would completely destroy the joy of life.

And yet she smiles. Not all the time, of course.

But she seems to have a deep, deep sense of God's love for her, and that brings out her smile, even if she has seen enough to keep the smile off her face for a lifetime.
I just love her smile! She is a constant reminder to me of the fact that there really is a God who is able to keep us even through the roughest times, and that we must never give up!
Chris, you are my hero, and I am honored to be your friend:-) Jorid

28 March, 2011

Teachers needed!

We need new teachers on board for the 2011-2012 school year. Please contact the academy principal, Nikki Aldum, if you are interested (academy@mercyships.org). Dag

27 March, 2011

Tom at the clinic

Last week one of the ship photographers, Tom Bradley, visited the dental clinic. With his own unique journalistic style he captured our activities. Please click on his name below to get a link to his personal blogpost with a series of great photos. Thanks, Tom. Dag

26 March, 2011

Heroes II

Screening day is over, and once again I'm left with so many impressions and emotions. Seeing what the people of West Africa have to live with and deal with healthwise makes me once again think that this world is not a fair place!
It breaks my heart to see children with weak limbs as a result of an infection or malnourishment - conditions that could be easily prevented in the western world.

And then, in the middle of it all, I am so touched by a love so evident; a woman smiles at her little girl and tells me: "I love her SO much!". She had adopted this little girl even though the girl lacked one foot after birth trauma that most likely killed her biological mother. She is one of the lucky, who has found a new mama, who will love her and fight for her. I have no photo for you today, but just close your eyes and try to picture this lovely woman with her baby girl in her arms.... Be encouraged; as long as we have heroes like this woman in the world, there is hope! Jorid

24 March, 2011

Heroes

Lately I've been thinking about heroes. Not world leaders, or people who are known in the media, but those everyday heroes, who dare to reach out and love others. Those who step out of the comfort zone to make a difference. But the funny thing is that they don't think of themselves as heroes.
I know people like that. They are my heroes. Like my friend Monika. We have been friends since high school, and she is one of the funniest persons I know! And she has a big, big heart.
A few years ago she moved to Durban, South Africa. She has become a mom for 4 teenagers who don't have any others to care for them (there they are, in the photo below). Like with all kids, it takes a lot of time and work, and sometimes frustrations. Still, she does it. Not because she is asked to. But because she dares to care, even though it may be challenging. That's why she is one of my heroes. Jorid

20 March, 2011

Start up Sierra Leone II

The dental clinic is not dependent on the medical mass screening as we have biweekly screenings at the dental site. Lots of people have showed up but with the help from the ship's security people we have not had any bad incidents related to our screenings.
The first full week of clinic is over. It was busy and productive - 4 dentists, 450 patients, 1100 extracted teeth. That means a lot of pain relief :-) Dag

Start up Sierra Leone I

Our medical mass screening on March 7th at the National Stadium collapsed. Too many people were desperate to get an appointment for surgery and the crowd stormed the gate. 13 people were seriously injured, including one man who died. The screening had to be stopped and we were not able to connect with people.
The Ministry of Health is not blaming us for what happened and they are eager for us to have another screening as soon as possible.
It has recently been decided that a second screening will take place on Saturday, March 26th, at one the ministries own compounds.
We know that there are lots and lots of people in Freetown with a desperate need for our surgical services and we want to connect with them.
Please pray for a safe and productive screening. Dag

16 March, 2011

Mercy Ships in Times Square, New York City

Mercy Ships will have 30 seconds of airtime each hour on the CBS super screen in Times Square from March 14 to April 30. What a great opportunity to spread the word about this ministry that I am so grateful to be a part of! Jorid