In early December I said goodbye to the Africa Mercy Academy, my home of over 2 years to embark on a new journey to the Global Mercy Academy. I had seen many images of the new academy, the classrooms, and workspaces but I was extremely excited to see it in person! It did not disappoint when I arrived!

Walking around the halls and rooms that make up the academy you see the thought, the attention to detail and the love that has gone into creating this school. It has been many years in the making and everything has been thought of to make it a wonderful place to learn and develop for all the students that will walk through the doors for many years to come! I feel very fortunate and blessed to be the first teacher to walk through the doors of the academy here on board, what a privilege to be a part of this exciting season in Mercy Ships history!

The classrooms have been thought through carefully, the elementary classrooms are bright and welcoming for children, they include wonderful curriculum and resources that will make learning fun and engaging for the students! The Junior High and High School classrooms have been designed in a similar way to allow for the students to study and learn in new and exciting ways. This is especially apparent in the science lab that includes spaces to perform experiments in a safe and control way onboard a ship, not an easy thing to plan for! The Academy Superintendent and many others over the years of planning have really thought of so many small details to make this a wonderful place for our youngest crew members to learn, grow and learn more about God.

Other areas in the school are also being set up ready for the start of the new school year.  The new   Principal has transferred from the Africa Mercy and is settling into his new office onboard. Our Administrative Assistant is also on board in the Academy Office. She has been here from the beginning of the equipping phase in Antwerp and has done an amazing job setting up the academy and coordinating volunteers who have unpacked hundreds of boxes and labelled hundreds possibly thousands of pieces of equipment. I have been helping to unpack some of the final items since arriving, including unpacking many cushions for each classroom and preparing curriculum for the teachers when they arrive in a few short weeks.

I have been overwhelmed since I arrived with the goodness of God here onboard the Global Mercy and especially the Academy spaces. To have a purpose-built ship to provide world class medical care for patients in West Africa and the ability to provide an exceptional biblically based education for our youngest crew members really is a gift from God. I pray that the academy would be a place that will love and serve God in all we do within this community.

All that is missing from the Academy now are students!

We look forward to welcoming of our families and teachers into the GLM Mercy Ships Academy soon.

By Kathryn Dungworth