From the Hearts of Our Teachers & Families

The Mercy Ships Academy not only impacts our students, both our teachers and families are forever changed by their time with Mercy Ships and our school.  Living and working together on a ship and serving the people of Africa will definitely change your perspective on life.  Listen to what some of our teachers and families have to say about their experiences with the Mercy Ships Academy.

Teacher Testimonials

“Having only four students helps me to really focus.”

“Teaching in the Academy is a truly unique experience. I love having a classroom of four students from four different continents. Having only four students helps me to really focus on the gifts and needs of each of my kids, and having students from all over the world allows us to learn so much from each other and grow in incredible ways together.” 

– Beth Kirchner (U.S.A.), Kindergarten & Grade 1 Teacher

“The best thing was watching students engage with different cultures.”

“The best thing about teaching onboard was watching the students engage with not only the culture of the ship but also the culture of the places we were. They showed a grit and compassion for others that I haven’t seen replicated anywhere else. The tightness of the school community was also beneficial to my growth as a teacher.

It’s important to have school on a ship because it allows families to pursue ministry according to their call, in a safe and loving environment. The students also brought a deep joy in the ways that they explored and engaged with their world. Their adaptability was inspiring and their worldviews, as well as mine, were challenged.

My favorite memory, among so many, was preparing for the plays and events on the ship. Also, partnering with some of the local schools.” 

– Rebekah Ekekwe (U.S.A.), Grade 3 Teacher, 2011 to 2013

“One of the best things is the COMMUNITY!”

“Teaching on a ship was an experience I will never forget and will have an everlasting impact! I love the small class sizes for one.

One of the best things about teaching onboard that’s completely unique to Mercy Ships is the COMMUNITY! I think it would be very hard to become a part of a community as tight knit as you would on Mercy Ships. Building friendships with people all over the world is one of the best things. You do all of life together. The teachers do so much together you get to know each other super fast and become very close.

Another thing that is totally unique to Mercy Ships is the mission. It is AMAZING to see your students have such love and compassion for the people we serve. Hearing them pray for the patients (in general and specific), visits to the HOPE Center (Hospital Outpatient Extension Center) and any other interactions are so sweet. These kids get such a well-rounded education. They get to learn about different cultures firsthand from the host country, classmates, teachers, and other people in the community.

It’s important to have a school on a ship so that more and more people are able come and volunteer their talents. Having children on the ship also brings joy to so many! It’s so cool to see them build relationships with older couples, young couples, singles, and other kids.

One of my favourite memories on the ship was taking the kids to the HOPE Center to sing songs, play, and make crafts with the patients.” 

– Alyssa Kln (Canada), Grade 1 Teacher, 2017 to 2018

“Bringing hope and healing while doing what I love most.”

“The best thing about teaching onboard was being part of the mission of Mercy Ships — to bring hope and healing — while doing what I love most: caring for and educating the littlest crew members.

Without a school we wouldn’t have families onboard. And without the families, we wouldn’t have the life, the fun, the joy, and the noise that children bring! The ship would be a different place without a school, the children, and the families.

My favourite memories are Jabulani Days, Mrs. Robinson, and time spent in my classroom spaces creating and planning.” 

– Leah Koroma (Australia), Kindergarten, PE & Technology Teacher, 2011 to 2014

Family Testimonials

“It is important that our children will be challenged academically.”

“We started with Mercy Ships almost 4 years ago with our three sons, Hugo, Micha, and Abel. Our boys went to the Academy where Hugo graduated after two years in 2019. Hugo is studying now Aeronautical Engineering. Micha is currently a senior, and Abel is in Grade 8. We are very happy with the Academy. We see that our children are thriving and that the teachers are loving the children. 

For us, it is important that our children will be challenged academically and that they will be prepared for university in the Netherlands. Although the curriculum of the Academy is not completely matching what our children need for school or university in Holland, the Academy is very much helping to adapt and add to the curriculum so that our boys will be prepared. It is great to see the Academy going the extra mile.

After having our children for many years in a not-Christian international school, we see our children growing in their faith and we are grateful for the role that the Mercy Ships Academy has played in that.”  

– The Van den Bosch family (The Netherlands)

“The teachers incorporate ship life into school lessons in countless ways.”

“We already knew that living in a foreign country on a ship with people from all over the world would be enough world education! But considering our girls were about to enter high school, academic education was important to us. So, education became one of our concerns in moving our family to the ship. 

Our experience with the Mercy Ships Academy was excellent. The teachers were very well equipped and professional. Having teachers from New Zealand, The Netherlands, and the U.S. was a great experience for our children and it was fun to be taught in a different style than they were used to. The teachers understand that life on the ship is unique and they took full advantage of that by incorporating ship life into school lessons. Playing with patients during a class period, doing homework in the hospital, counting pills in the pharmacy, cooking in the crew galley, field trips and retreats off ship… the list goes on and on of unique ways the teachers made school on the ship fun, interactive, and educational in ways the children will never forget. I was often envious of my children and wanted to be a part of the Academy myself!

I also appreciated the Academy’s administration and their efforts to make sure my children were getting all of the credits and necessary classes to make the transition back to our home country smooth. The Mercy Ships Academy is wonderful and provides an excellent education for children onboard not only academically, but culturally, spiritually, and relationally.”  

– The Newquist family (U.S.A)

“Our children have a better world view than could have been taught from a book.”

“The best thing about the Academy was how accommodating they were to integrating our 15, 14, and 12 year old children that were homeschooled. It is so important to have school on the ship to not only enable the parents to focus on their positions, but for the children to witness the work that each person contributes in offering hope and healing. And in doing so, they worked together with us to be God’s hand and feet. Our children have a better world view than could have been taught from a book or even on short-term missions. They understand transformation on a much deeper level and appreciate all they have and all that they have seen and heard and done.” 

– The Palmer family (Canada)

“Our children left the ship well-rounded and confident.”

“The best thing was how valued each member of the Academy was. As parents, we knew our children were getting an excellent education from amazing role models who really cared about each and every one of them, which allowed us to fulfil our roles. The teachers were truly interested in each child and investing in their mental, spiritual, and educational wellbeing. Our children left the ship well-rounded and confident, capable of interacting well with anyone. The experiences provided by the Academy have served them very well. We cannot sing the praises of the Academy any more!”  

– The Peet family (United Kingdom)