Mercy Ships - A Global Charity Organization

Charities and Donations

Ian C. Langtree - Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2010/02/05 - Updated: 2015/01/23
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Mercy Ships is a global charity organization that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since 1978.


Imagine a ship crewed by highly skilled doctors, nurses, water engineers and agriculturalists visiting some of the world's poorest countries. Now imagine all their life-changing services offered free of charge.

Main Digest

What are Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships is a global charity organization that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since 1978 bringing healing to the poorer people of the world by mobilizing people and resources worldwide, and serving all persons without regard for race, gender, or religion.

While the Western world has plenty of surgeons who can deal with most medical conditions, the developing world has few. Which is why on July 7, 1982, the Anastasis, a rehabbed 1953 Italian cruise liner, set sail for major ports throughout the majority world. It was the beginning of Mercy Ships.

Mercy Ships follow the model of Jesus: the blind see, the lame walk, the mute speak, and the Good News is proclaimed and demonstrated among the poor.

On Mercy ships and land bases, dedicated volunteers bring their wide-ranging skills to promote health and well-being by serving urgent surgical needs.

Continued below image.
Picture of the Mercy Ship Anastasis
Picture of the Mercy Ship Anastasis

History of Mercy Ships

In 1978 two people Don and Deyon Stephens began a search to find a suitable vessel to fulfill their dream of a hospital ship that would reach out to some of the world's poorest people. The first Mercy Ship, called Victoria, was purchased for 600,000 in July 1978 and work began to transform the previous passenger vessel into a hospital ship. In 1982, the vessel sailed as the newly christened Anastasis, the first Mercy Ship.

Don Stephens has continually served as Founder and CEO of Mercy Ships, and Deyon, a registered nurse, serves as the Director of Training and oversees the Ships Watchmen program. Don is also the man behind the voice of the Mercy Minute, a daily radio broadcast aired worldwide on over 720 radio stations. Don and Deyon often speak at seminars and conferences worldwide and appear as radio and television guests.

About the Current Mercy Ship Africa Mercy

The M/V Africa Mercy is the largest charity hospital ship in the world measuring 152m long and weighing 16,572 tons. The Africa Mercy was transformed from a Danish ferry boat into a floating hospital ship with the ability of carrying out 7000 surgical operations per year.

The hospital ship features 6 operating rooms, 78 hospital beds, and approximately 400 crew members including 31 kids under the age of 18.

Various ships in the Mercy Ships fleet have served in more than 150 ports worldwide, bringing lasting change to hundred of thousands of lives.

The Caribbean Mercy

The Caribbean Mercy was acquired by Mercy Ships in 1994.

In her 12 year history as a Mercy Ship, the Caribbean Mercy visited 137 total ports, conducting field service assignments in 56 port visits to 13 different developing nations, primarily in Central America and the Caribbean basin. An average crew of 120 volunteers from more than 20 nations served onboard. Caribbean Mercy was retired in 2006.

Achievements of Mercy Ships

Since 1978 Mercy Ships have provided services valued over 355 million, including:

Support and Volunteers

Mercy Ships welcomes individuals that seek to engage in their mission of hope either by volunteering as Crew or in the sharing of personal relationships and resources. Short-term volunteers can participate from two weeks to a year with Mercy Ships, while others may choose to serve in a longer capacity.

There are many ways you can support the work of Mercy Ships including financial donations, fundraising, and volunteering. Your support will help Mercy Ships save lives and improve the quality of life for poor people in developing nations.

Cost of surgery is currently averaging between US$300 and $400 each. A US$25 monthly contribution will transform at least one more life every 12-16 months.

Mercy Ships has national offices in 17 nations worldwide including the USA, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, South Africa and Australia. The International Operations Center is located in Garden Valley, Texas.

For more information regarding the fantastic work Mercy Ships perform, or to make a much needed donation please visit

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2010, February 5 - Last revised: 2015, January 23). Mercy Ships - A Global Charity Organization. Disabled World. Retrieved July 23, 2024 from

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