The Gateway Breakfast Club

As many of you know well, technology and KJ do not mix well so it literally has taken me three weeks to figure out how to get to the WordPress site to update my blog. Apologies for the radio silence, but not too worry, I’m back and will be back to posting at least once a week (maybe more) and fret not, I’ve a got a back up plan if the Mercy Ship computers don’t work… Don’s cool with me using his office 😉


I’ve been at the IOC (international operations center) almost three weeks now and yes, it is a little of a personal nightmare being so remote and far from a city. But I have fantastic people around me to keep me sane. And although we are quite a diverse group we have found we all have a love for breakfast, hence the nickname, “The Breakfast Club”. Its now a standing tradition that birthdays begin with a delicious breakfast.


Amy’s birthday breakfast at the Anchorage Cafe

Just who are these peopl crazy enough as me to give up their comfortable lives and come live on a ship in the middle of Africa for 1-2 years? Allow me to briefly introduce this breakfast club:


From right to left: Serenty Liu, Derek Weins, Maren Jesske, Mary Doll, Katie Stull, KJ (that’s me!), Ally Jones, Jordan Stull, Amy Jones, Lewanna Unger, Buc Eckhart and Carlos, who was busy watching Mr. Bean and unable to attend 🙂 This was at a lovely dessert hosted by the Chaplins Patrik and Diana Bergstom)

There’s an endearing joke around our house that Serenty is our hero. This young Chinese woman has given up much and traveled far to join Mercy Ships and continues to keep us all amazed as she learns English quickly, speaks with incredible insight and blesses us with her “after hours” piano playing in the International Lounge. She’ll be joining the sales team I just left.20131004-175246.jpg

Derek, an electrician back in Canada, is coming back to the ship as a Carpenter. He can admit that he may or may not be addicted to puzzles while here in Texas now that his unicycle has been packed on the container.

Serenty meeting Brother Yun

Maren, aka the voice of an angel, has come from Germany to be a Pediatric nurse on the ship. Her heart is so sweet and I think I speak for all of us when I say we love listening to her sing in the dorm at night.

Mary Doll, our California sun baby and future engineer store[wo]man has been such breath of fresh air for me so many times, from small groups to class discussions, she’s an honest optimist 🙂

Jordan and Katie have left Ohio to join after seeing the ship in Guinea last year. I am so excited to have them on the ship, not just to have an in with the carpenter and with hospitality, but also because these two are fantastic and have such servant’s hearts. I’m also excited to be working with Katie on field service with the little kiddo programing and with Jordan as intercessors.20130929-174250.jpg

Katie’s birthday breakfast

Ally and Amy, the awesome 😉 brits… Both full of life and ready for adventure, they have great insights and a great sense  of humor, which is always a good thing. And its nice to know that we’re all a bit confused by the Texan food at times. Ally’s joining IS department (another person to help me figure out my “simple” devices!) and Amy’s gonna be lovin on some patients as a ward nurse, currently she is one of my fellow Fringe addicts.

Lewanna, my Canadian roommate and fellow Northwesterner extraordinaire and soon to be outpatient nurse, has been another Fringe addict and sounding board when I’m feeling like the Bible Belt might be swallowing me whole. She’s also one of the smartest people I’ve met… she has a few degrees in you know, anthropology, archeology and she’s a nurse too boot.


Surviving the rain with Amy and Lewanna

Buc from Montana will be the Dental Supply Coordinator who is very motivated and friendly man who is passionate about learning more about God and growing in his faith.

Carlos, oh Carlos. He is the comedian of the house, always has a story or joke to tell us while bids his time before returning to the AFM in the deck department as second engineer.

Remember when I said diverse? I also forgot to say beautiful. I can’t imagine going through these two months with any other group of people.

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