No Vacation, but a Different View of Marriage and Life.


Not many people will give up their vacation time to help others. Helping needy people is not every couple’s idea of the ideal way to spend three weeks. But it was for Carmen and Glen Ryan couple who spent three weeks aboard Africa Mercy, the world’s largest hospital ship.,

Carmen has a nursing background while Glen is involved in with computers and information technology. Both of them wanted to use their skills to help others less fortunate, so they ended up on the Africa Mercy ship in Liberia. The Ryans say that working aboard such a ship providing medical aid was ‘a privilege’

This is not the first time Carmen and Glen have been overseas and involved in projects to help others. They have previously been involved in helping people who exist in desperate conditions in Jamaica and Papua/New Guinea. They believe those of us in Australia and other Western countries can end to take the lifestyle we have very much for granted. Visiting third world countries really puts things in perspective, making Carmen and Glen realize how much we have.

Our daughter and her husband, found the same. They, along with one other married couple and a number of young single people, have recently come back after four weeks in Africa. During their time they visited men and women in prison and in hospital, they visited orphanages and helped out there with manual work, as well as sharing the gospel message with the people.

These married couples and their single friends used what should have been their vacation time to help others. For them it meant giving up vacation, the traditional family Christmas along with other celebrations, so that they could help others.

Yes, they came back very tired physically but they felt renewed in their spirits. They also had gained a better understanding of problems what marriage is like for those in third world countries where they are often lucky to get one meal a day, and are up at sunrise and go to bed at sundown because they have no electricity. They have no refrigeration either. It sure gives those of us in Western countries, who are complaining about the economic situation on our own lives, plenty to think about. Perhaps we should concentrate on being thankful for what we have and then maybe we’d feel more inclined to want to help others in practical ways.

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