Mercy Ship Could Call Port Of Gulfport Home

"It helps us by you know, being ambassadors," Port Commissioner Lenny Sawyer said. "This is a way that we're going to get the word out about the Mississippi state port."

Being an ambassador is to such a noble cause is something Sawyer is very excited about. Mercy Ships help millions of sick people from the very poorest nations. Medical procedures, education about hygiene and health, drilling for clean water in poor villages - these are just a few of the things the ships do. The crew also offers prayer and spiritual guidance to many desperate souls.

All of the people living and working on the mercy ship are volunteers, like Elizabeth Aquino from the Dominican Republic.

"I feel so happy because I can see how God works in the life of the people," she said.

Entire families of volunteers live on board. For 10 years, Captain Fadley, his wife and two children have called Mercy Ship home.

"One of the main reasons we were attracted to the ministry is because we could be a family in missions, travel to different countries, help those with needs, with the skills that we have," Captain Fadley said.

Thirteen children live on board with their missionary parents. There's a school, and even a library, everything needed to support their mission of healing.

"I thought that I wanted to do something to help people who had nothing," founder Dr. Andrew Clark said. "Mercy Ship was the ideal vehicle for that."

The crew of the Mercy Ship Caribbean, now at the port of Gulfport invites all coast residents to visit their ship for a tour and even join them on board for two weeks or longer.

The tour schedule is Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, you can call (228) 871-7055. Or you can go to