My first week was a whirlwind of tours around the ship.

Everyone gets a familiarisation tour to learn where the important places are. … dining room, bank, crew doctor, Starbucks, café and laundry to name a few. Then there was a safety tour and an engineering tour that lasted over two days. It takes that long to see all the fuse boxes and circuit breakers, air conditioning rooms, galley equipment, battery room and bridge. As part of  engineering, I have access to every part of the ship, including the hospital.

I am in a six berth cabin divided into two berth sections. I started in the top bunk and have now moved to the bottom. Space is limited and each cabin has just the one shower and toilet. Mornings are busy!

Monday is breakfast. Then everyone gets together for notices, worship and prayer. The other four weekdays begin with prayer in individual departments. Then it is time to work. The jobs are divided up and we set off in pairs. We tackle pretty much everything connected with wire apart from the computer or medical equipment.

So far I have sorted the fire doors, the satellite equipment , the hospital alarm panel and the emergency generator – among other things.

The first patients arrive this weekend for assessments. Surgical procedures begin a week on Monday.

Everyone is caring and friendly. It is a bit like going to church every day with some work added into the mix.

Not everyone is a Christian. Some people volunteer because they want to help those in need. One of the biggest surprises was to find out how many people are on board the ship for a year or more.“

We will be showing videos in church of Bill’s time on board the Africa Mercy as he sends them over to us.