11:5 – The Faces of Restoration and Hope

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about watching as the VVF ladies arrived

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Madagascar has a wait list of 50,000 women in need of a fistula surgery. We’ve done seven weeks of surgery and barely even made a mark on that number … but we have changed the world for a handful of women who were treated in our floating hospital.

Photo Credit Justine Forrest, VVF Dress Ceremony, MGB16341 Georgina Photo Credit Justine Forrest, VVF Dress Ceremony, MGB16335 Celine Photo Credit Justine Forrest, VVF Dress Ceremony, MGB16329 Zabitika Photo Credit Justine Forrest, VVF Dress Ceremony, MGB16340 Baondalana

Photo Credit Justine Forrest, VVF Dress Ceremony, MGB16328 Vavo

And next year when we open our gangway for patients again we will begin 36 weeks of VVF surgeries on board and open a VVF clinic in a local hospital that will last long after June 2016 when our ship finally sails away. In those 36 weeks countless women’s lives will be forever changed, surgeons will be trained to continue to the restoration and redemption of these women’s lives.

Each woman has a beautiful face with eyes that tell a story of suffering and loss but when they leave those eyes now tell a story of hope.

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Want to know more? Check out Gisele’s story from last year’s field service in Congo

Imagine having lost your baby in prolonged labour. Imagine having a hole in your bladder that means you leak urine – the whole time. Imagine being rejected by your family because, basically, you don’t smell very nice. Imagine living with the stench of stale urine that never ever goes away. Not ever. Imagine the hopelessness. Imagine thinking that this is forever. How would you feel? How would you heave yourself up from your sleeping mat on the dusty floor every day? Imagine thinking that you’re the only one – that there’s no one else who understands. It’s a story that we’ve heard told again and again during these last 7 weeks of Obstetric Fistula surgery on board. But the stories didn’t end there. Imagine finding out that there is a place where hope is born every day. Imagine hearing that there are people who can help… imagine stepping foot on our big white ship for the very first time.

-Kirstie Randall, Hospital Director

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