The chaplain on the USNS Mercy, a United States Navy hospital ship, emailed and asked our mission president if some of the senior missionaries would like a tour of the ship while in port. The Mercy spent a few days in Hawaii on her way home from the annual Pacific Partnership operation.
We were delighted to spend the morning with Chaplain Luckesen and receive a special tour from him. He was gracious enough to answer all our questions and share with us some of his experiences during the six-month mission. I found it interesting that Chaplain Luckesen referred to the Mercy as ‘she’ and ‘her’ when he described the ship. He spoke of the ship and those who serve on it with respect and enthusiasm. We could feel his passion for his work and for the humanitarian work everyone involved performed.
We were amazed by the rows and rows of stretchers (over a thousand) lined up and secured on the walls, the medical equipment and friendly personnel onboard, and all the different kinds of surgeries that could be performed on the ship. The entire tour was fascinating! Of course this post doesn’t do our experience justice.
The Mercy is definitely not a cruise ship, but just being on this special ship made Sterling and I proud to be Americans. We also couldn't help but look forward to our next cruise with family and friends.