PET and Mercy Ships Partnership

2007HenryPETS built since 1-1-14 – 1171

A “Must-read” for all PET folks: Ships of Mercy by Don Stephens, Nelson Books, 2005.

PET MO-Columbia sent the first PETs to Sierra Leone in 2004, establishing a partnership with one of the world’s most amazing NGOs. (See attached early story of PET & Mercy Ships.)

This book has a picture of one of those PETs, and tells the story of the
development of that mission. The back cover of the books states:

“It is a simple idea, really, a floating hospital, staffed with a multinational team of high level experts, docks in ports around the world and serves the neediest people with free state of the art medical care. But turning the idea into reality is anything but simple, as revealed in this
remarkable first-hand account.”

The following comes from the book, telling of their first ship. I think
they now have five.

“A ship with a cargo of mercy—

“Patients coming down her gangplank dancing on sunshine.”

“Those great images expressed by Lord McColl of the U. K.’s foremost surgeon, come to mind as I stand aloft on “monkey island”, fifty feet above the deck of the twenty-first century’s newest Mercy Ships, the Africa Mercy. Below me is the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship sailing the modern world’s seas — an intensive care unit, six operating theaters, a seventy-eight bed recovery ward, a women’s ward, a limb-fitting center, and a living space for more than 484 volunteers and crew.”


Having started my own share of humanitarian projects I feel a close kinship with Don Stephens, though we have never met. PET International has profited from Mercy Ships as one of their experienced staff, Von Driggs, came to work for PET International as our logistics man. He seeks out reliable NGOs to receive our PETs and arranges transport.

I can think of no finer Christmas gift for your friends or for yourself than this book. Get it. Read it. Pass it around. It is the kind of story that should more often be in the world’s headlines, but is not.


“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no
vision.” – Helen Keller

Mel West

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