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10 Questions with Mercy Ships physical therapist Suzette Griffioen

It’s time for 10 Questions with Mercy Ships physical therapist Suzette Griffioen! This is how Suzette brings hope and healing to the people of Senegal.

1. How long have you been serving with Mercy Ships? This field service in Senegal is my first field service on board the Africa Mercy. I started my journey on 1 September 2019, so I have been serving for nearly 4 months. I am volunteering for the whole field service so will be on the ship till May 2020.

2. When you’re not serving with Mercy Ships, what do you do back in Australia? I work as a physiotherapist in a public hospital setting.

3. Why do you love serving with Mercy Ships? I have a heart for Africa and have a passion to encourage, help and empower the poor and forgotten nations of the world and their people groups. Serving on board and freely sharing God’s love, faith and hope with the patients and locals, brings be extreme joy and fulfilment.

4. What do the people of Senegal mean to you? The people of Senegal are beautiful; they value relationships, community and each other so much. They are relational warm people, loving and true to themselves and love with full hearts.

5. What’s your favourite thing about waking up each day on board the ship? Being able to make an impact, love freely and care for those in need in such an explicit and radical way.

6. What one thing has surprised you the most about serving with Mercy Ships? I am learning and growing a lot as a person. Coming on board I thought I would come to change others’ lives, not realising that God is changing my life and I am so thankful for that.

7. Which on board tradition do you love the most? My favourite tradition is one developed by the Rehab Team. We have “Thankful Thursdays” every week where everyone shares something they are thankful for. It is such a blessing to be a part of that.

8. What has living on board a ship with 400 other people taught you? I have learnt so much about culture, community and “raw love”. The ship has taught me to love, respect and learn from different cultures. It is such a privilege to live and work with people that come from different backgrounds; all having dreams, passions, desires, struggles and hopes; this is beautiful to see and be a part of.

9. Tell us one thing that you wish that you’d known before joining Mercy Ships. To bring sandals, because there is a lot of beach time too!

10. What would you tell someone who’s thinking of joining Mercy Ships? It is a life changing journey and you learn so much not just about your profession/cultures/people/the country you are serving, but also of yourself which is a beautiful freeing thing.

Join Suzette on board the Mercy Ship at mercyships.org.au/volunteer