Electronics tech from Chrstchurch.
‘I wanted to combine my skills and find a practical way I can serve God and help the needy of this world,’ explains Fil. He is one of the hidden heroes aboard the Mercy Ship – for seven months he is filling an engineering role that is vital to the Mercy Ship functioning, but one that almost never springs to mind when you think hospital ship. ‘My role on the ship takes care of the control systems for fire, lights, air conditioning, and other systems that relate to electronics.’
Fil loves being part of the unique, international crew. ‘In the Community on board we have many different cultures all coming from different belief systems. We are able to work alongside others, I think that’s something you don’t get anywhere else, with such a broad spectrum of age and experience. As I got to know the crew that I work alongside with, I learnt that more about the stories that brought them there, and the way they view God and life.’
‘My days on the ship are never the same. The majority of my work is taken up by the fire detection system. On top of that, we have ship managing software that
helps us prioritise the maintenance of ship equipment, so we have regular work come up too. Faultfinding a giant network of electrical and electronic circuitry can be overwhelming. I am thankful for my previous experience which has taught me how to approach such situations.’
‘My work often takes me all over the ship, so working in the hospital is part of daily activities. At first, I found it really hard working amongst people who are either going to or have had surgery. After a while, I started to see hope being restored, especially in the kids, when their energy and smiles on their faces spring back.’
‘The awesome thing about Mercy Ships before anything else is that we will take care of [our patients’] physical needs. No matter what background you come from, you can leave here better than you came. People are loved no matter what.’
With thanks: Filmed and produced by TVNZ SUNDAY, and made with funding from New Zealand on Air