Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mercy Ships Update 0.2 - Still in pre-flight planning mode


Hello All!

Did you know how hard it is to live a normal, confusing life, working your regular job, and concurrently gearing up to move all your material possessions across the country and THEN jump on a plane for another amazing move to Africa? I didn’t, and let me tell you, it’s tough! I did not realize - as I made my initial plans even four months ago - quite how much I had bitten off. However, though exhausted, I am so excited! This is definitely a time of stretching, learning and constantly facing my own weaknesses and needing to turn to my Savior’s strength.
My sister and her family are going through a few things lately, too, so while we would both rather be in easier circumstances, we are thankful to be able to understand and support each other. We were just talking about how even when you are in difficult circumstances, we also know that God will bring us to His joy and provisions in the end. But, that does not mean that it will be easy in the middle…
Right after Katie and I had one such conversation, I was listening to my Bible as I got ready for bed, and I “just happened” to be reading in Genesis about Abram coming to the Promise land for the first time. At this point, he was not even Abraham, he and Sarai did have the promise of a home and family (but no child yet), Abram had to rescue Lot, had lied about Sarai being his wife to the king of Egypt, and Sarai had just given Abram Hagar to bear him a son in her place – talk about a lot of crazy stuff going on! On our end, we know the story and that God does in fact provide Isaac, the Promise land and offspring to rival the number of the stars, but there is still so much ahead of Abram and Sarai. Nevertheless, God is faithful and he has given us his word so we can see his love, work and faithfulness in the lives of so many of his children that have come before us. For that I am thankful!
Other than thinking on the faithfulness of God and being a bit overwhelmed, I have some good news! First, things are lining up in place for my move back home to Idaho! As I mentioned in an earlier post, my lovely parents found me not only a great storage unit, but also the use of their good friend’s trailer from Grand American Piano! In early October, Mom and Dad will drive down to San Diego, visit with grand babies, and then move me back to Moscow. They are the best parents!
Second, on learning that Guinea is quite conservative, I have been sewing appropriate clothing for my trip. I like sewing and it is surprisingly rare to find such clothes ready-made. That task is about complete, so I can now move on to the “joys” of ... packing, finishing work at the hospital well and working on raising the rest of my financial support.
So, if you have been considering donating to my work with Mercy Ships, now is the time to do so! My flight to Conakry leaves on October 27 out of Seattle.

OR day crew in Benin 

Prayer requests:
1.   That I would have a good attitude at work and continue strong in caring for my patients. The scrub hats that mom and I made have sold well to my co-workers. I love seeing all the beautiful fabrics/hats in the hallways.  I pray that the hats will remind them of the Lord's goodness to themselves and to the people of Guinea.
2.   That my health insurance would be gracious and cover my Malarone malaria medication.    I had a reaction to the cheaper doxycycline last time, so I need to take this one.
3.   That my mom and dad would remain in good health. They are instrumental in my move and I really don’t want them to miss out on playing with the grand babies (my niece and nephew)!
4.   That I would be able to figure out my post-Mercy Ships flights – I have (another) amazing opportunity to go visit my cousins and some friends in Europe on my way back to the US.
5.   That God would continue to provide financial support for my trip to Conakry.  Having worked since I was about 13, there is a bit of panic knowing that I will be not be making money for up to 6 months!

Thank you all so much for reading this second missive! I am so thankful for all of you – you, your prayers and financial support. I'll keep you updated!

Much love,

Friday, August 31, 2018

Mercy Ships Update 0.1


Just a quick update on my Mercy Ships trip preparations.

Two big things happened this week (otherwise known as Prayers Answered):

1. I am almost 50% funded! Thank you all so much!

2. My parents' friend is lending us his trailer! Now, I will be able to move my household goods from California to Idaho with both style and economical savvy (i.e.: just have to pay gas). Aren't parents the best? And their friends? I think so.

Unrelated but fun, here are a few photos from my last trip with Mercy Ships:

One of my first nights in Benin

A good place to read - and my feet

Good friends in the OR

Monday, August 27, 2018

Mercy Ships Update 0.0 (i.e., almost the very beginning)

Such exciting news! God willing, at the end of October, I am going to Cornakry, Guinea, West Africa. As many of you know, a couple of years ago, I volunteered in the operating room of the Africa Mercy – the current ship in the Mercy Ships fleet - in Benin, West Africa. This was my first glimpse into this world and it was challenging, but I loved my time! However, this time it is not for just three weeks but for four whole months. I am so thankful to be given another, such amazing opportunity!
As a floating hospital ship/city, the Africa Mercy travels around the coast of Africa, providing free medical care and needed surgeries to people who otherwise have limited access to medical aide. The organization has been around since 1978 and provided over 82,000 free surgeries!
They bring the Gospel through immensely practical ways. In just my time there, the Operating Room teams brought the beginning of healing to little girls and grown men, baby boys and women like me. These were people whose accidents, illnesses or deformities made normal life almost impossible and have often made them outcasts within their families and in their own villages. One thing that I especially love about Mercy Ships is that, in addition to the actual surgery, they provide pre-treatment and follow-up care so people can return to their lives better off. Isn’t that just amazing?!
It is really hard to describe in mere words on a page, but take a peek at the cool video Mercy Ships has at the end of the page. It will give you a glimpse of the hope and healing the Mercy Ships ministry brings in the name of Jesus. You can also read even more on their web page:
To top it all off, the Africa Mercy is fully staffed with a complete volunteer crew – butcher, baker, candlestick maker, captain, surgeon and barista! As a crew member, I am responsible for 100% of my expenses for this trip – flights back and forth, room and board, insurance, and general needs. Overall, my expenses will be close to $6,000. As crew members cover our own costs, Mercy Ships is able to direct all of the other donations it receives for the care of patients in the current field service.
Would you consider joining me on the Mercy Ships OR team? With your support – both financially and with prayer – you can help us care for the people of Guinea.

Much love, 

This is my first-ish blog post about this and I would love to keep you all in the loop with periodic updates over the coming months. I would love to hear your comments! I also will be posting on Instagram @amk_goes_to_africa (I'll figure out how to link that soon...)

Recent updates (written August 19, 2018), accomplishments and answers to prayer - i.e., exciting stuff!
1. Last week I bought my ticket from Seattle to Conakry.
2. Mom and Dad found me a great storage unit in Lewiston - it will even hold my car!
3. I'm selling OR scrub hats to my co-workers - Mom generously made them for me - as a fundraiser. So far, they have sold like hot-cakes and I get to see my friends wearing such lovely fabrics - win-win for me!
4. Y'all have donated $1,450! Just under a quarter of the way there! 
5. More to come...
Here are a few prayer requests for the next few weeks.
1. That I would finish well here at work in San Diego - it has been a bit stressful here.
2. That I be able to finish up my extensive sewing projects for my trip.
3. That I would be able to be fully funded for my trip.
4. That I would be able to prioritize my tasks for all the things I am doing - so much to think about and now I actually have to do...

If you would like to donate under my name, there are several ways to do so.
1. Via my donor page online:

2. Via phone or check to Mercy Ships using my Designation Code #5038 and my name (Amaanda Keyes)
Mercy Ships
PO Box 2020
Garden Valley, Texas 75771
Tel: 903-939-7000
Tel: 1-800-772-7447 
3. Via check, Venmo, cash, etc. to me directly (alas, this is not tax deductible - but the other ways are - but still a pleasant surprise!) - just let me know if you would like to take this route.

Again, much love to you all! Thank you for reading this missive and praying for me!
Love, A

Friday, August 24, 2018

And then 6+ years later...

Hello Again!

This is a very sparse blog and even so, it has been a while since I posted here...
Over 6 years.
A lot has changed - I have a new couch and I think I might have one plant left...
But a lot has not - still love my IKEA bookshelves, my books, fabric and color.
So, it's still me.
In another city.
About to move - again.
To Africa. Specifically, West Africa, Guinea, Conakry, in a port on the Africa Mercy.
More on that to come...

Much love,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

So, it has been a while... And I have moved!

Here are a few pictures of my new apartment.  I live in Portland, OR now and, so far, I am loving it!  I couldn't wait for it to be completely neat.

My balcony and a fun iron table & chair from a friend.

 My living room
 I love my IKEA bookshelves!
 Just put up my fabric art last night - it still needs a few additions...
 The marvelous bed my dad made for me - it gives so much more room!
 The kitchen - look at half of my french doors to the balcony!
 It's Portland, I need an umbrella.
 My bathroom - the curtains are hiding a claw-foot tub.
 The cabinet my dad put together for me - another great IKEA purchase.

 I love my stuff!  So many books!

 The side of my apartment building - I am on the 3rd floor. 

Well, that is it!  I have many opportunities to take more house pictures in my new neighborhood, so maybe I will post more often!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Post with A Picture (A Thesis of Sorts)

As has been stated previously, this blog will be about houses.  Well, mostly houses...  It may veer off into other subjects, but is that not the way of things?  This may turn out to be some metaphysical journal, but I shall hope for the best.  I do like big words and sounding a tad bit British... 

Anyway, what I would like to do is take pictures of houses I do like and then explain to you (dear reader) what it is I like about them.  The plan is also to take pictures of houses I don't like and criticize them (this will be the fun part, I think, anyway).  If I can, I will try to go into the architectural style and such of the house in question, but we shall see.  I hope this clears things up for all, even if it does sound like the start of some kind of thesis and term paper.

The other day, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood (camera in hand) to find some worthy subjects for discussion.  It was cool and getting late, so here is one house to start us off. 

This is on the street approaching the house.  It is on the corner, which I love.  And how can you not be dazzled by the fall colors?  I ask you!
  Closer still!  Can you see the railroad sign yet? 
There it is!  Red and white - it reminds me of a barn.  I like barns...

Just the fall street. 

And a closer side view. 

This is enough for now.  You thought I would get all windy and rabbit-trail chattering on you, but I didn't.  That, I will save for next time!