Ghana President Praises Mercy Ship as 'Vessel of God'

The president of the west African nation of Ghana praised a faith-based charity group on Thursday as a “vessel of God” for helping medically and economically thousands of Ghanaians over the course of nine months.

President John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana delivered a speech on Mercy Ship Anastasis in the Port of Tema to thank the crew of volunteers for their service to the people of Ghana.

“I am convinced you are a vessel of God,” said President Kufuor, according to Texas-based Mercy Ships, “and I’m praying that you will continue to do this work. Ghana is grateful for the work you have done.”

According to Dr. Gary Parker, Mercy Ships’ chief of medicine, the charity’s hospital ship provided thousands of free medical procedures, including: 639 general, reconstructive and gynecological surgeries; more than 19,000 eye consultations resulting in 1,364 eye surgeries; and 10,211 dental procedures for 5,435 patients over the course of nine months.

Parker also noted that the Mercy Ships crew added a 6,000 square foot maternity ward to a Tema clinic, built a 2,150 square foot youth health center in the region’s largest slum, and provided additional classroom space for a Tema school.

Mercy Ships’ Water and Sanitation team drilled 24 new water wells in remote villages and trained local technicians to maintain them.

Parker also reported that the crew trained Ghanaians to educate their peers on maternal health, teach others on basic health and hygiene and HIV/AIDS.

The ministry also helped 206 poor women to start small businesses and allowed another 23 women training on agricultural.

“You’ve come in a way to let us see the goodness that still resides in man,” said Ghana’s president. “We talk of moving into a global village. I believe that we will get there with the likes of you. This is how the village should be.”

Mercy Ship Anastasis will depart to Liberia in the next few days and offer its services to a nation still recovering from a decade-long civil war. The ship will serve in Liberia for nine months.

Mercy Ships was founded in 1978 as a global charity with the mission of bringing world-class medical and community services to developing nations. The crew is composed of doctors, dentists, nurses, community developers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and other volunteer professionals. Mercy Ships has performed more than 1.5 million free services with a value of $600 million for the poor in developing countries.