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Feeding a Crew Keeps a Mercy Ships Hospital Ship Fueled

When Morgan Georgioff shows up for work in the morning, she knows she’s making an impact that will quickly multiply.

As a galley team leader on board the floating hospital ship the Global Mercy™, she oversees the production of up to 1,700 meals on any given day.

“Every single person on this ship needs food to be successful in their roles,” she said. “From the surgeons to the deck crew to the patients themselves.”

Morgan is responsible for training new galley team members, overseeing the cooking, and making sure every job, no matter how small or large, gets done — and done well. The galley staff prepare three meals a day for volunteer crewmembers, local day crewmembers, patients, and their caregivers.

“Everyone needs to stay well-fed with nutritious food or we wouldn’t be able to run our ship,” Morgan said.

And if the ship stopped running, Morgan knows, hundreds of patients awaiting life-changing surgeries would keep waiting. In sub-Saharan Africa, where Mercy Ships operates, 93% of people cannot access timely, affordable, and safe surgical care.

So while Morgan’s official job may be nourishing the crew, she’s also enabling them to provide lifesaving services that otherwise would not be available.

‘Cooking for Jesus’

Morgan hasn’t always found such meaning in her work. After attending culinary school in her home country, the U.S.A., she entered the professional world of fine dining.

“It was great for my skills, but not as great for my spiritual life,” she recalled. “I felt like the Lord was calling me to cook for the people who needed to be fed, instead of those who wanted to be fed.”

Morgan wasn’t sure where to start. She Googled “cooking for Jesus internationally.” That led her to Mercy Ships – and to a workplace like nothing she’d previously encountered.

“Working with Mercy Ships has shown me parts of the world and introduced me to cultures that I’ve never experienced before,” she said. “Getting to learn and live in a new culture, alongside people who do it every day, gives you a new type of empathy toward others.”

It’s not just the meals she makes that have a ripple effect. Many of her team members are native to the ship’s host nation and gain valuable work experience during their time on the ship. Morgan knows she’s investing in their futures.

“I know that what I teach them, whether it’s new cooking skills, new techniques, will benefit them and their families long after we leave here,” she said. “More importantly, showing them every day that they are valued.”

Inside a Mercy Ships Galley

Running a kitchen and a cafeteria for a few hundred volunteers is no easy task.

Add to that a few complicating factors: The kitchen and the cafeteria are both on a ship docked in an African port; the galley and dining room teams hail from a dozen different countries with as many native languages; and a few hundred additional local crewmembers, patients, and their family members must be fed as well.

This massive of a job requires an intricate system and a tight knit, highly communicative team.

These dining services roles draw people with interesting and diverse backgrounds, who love to serve others — and chances are, they also have a passion for food.

For Morgan, the job delivers just as much purpose as it does pressure.

“While knowing that my job impacts every single life on this vessel is a big responsibility, it also is such a pleasure to use the talents that God has given me to help change lives,” she said.

‘A Family From All Over the World’

In 2024, Mercy Ships will have the world’s two largest civilian hospital ships operating simultaneously, serving patients in Sierra Leone and Madagascar. The Global Mercy has capacity for 640 crewmembers. The Africa Mercy® can hold 470.

The opportunity to make an impact is greater than ever, with more hospital beds and a higher capacity to perform surgeries. But this comes with a need for double the volunteers to make the mission possible.

“Volunteering with Mercy Ships gives you a look into the world that is hard to find anywhere else,” Morgan said. “Getting to live alongside people from all over the world gives you insight to not just one new culture, but dozens.”

Morgan said her volunteer experience with Mercy Ships has shown her what it really means to be the “hands and feet of Jesus.”

“It’s opened my eyes just to how much love and hope can change the lives around you,” she said.

The Mercy Ships food services team needs more volunteers who are passionate about feeding others, to keep the crew fueled and energized, and to be a part of delivering hope and healing to thousands of patients this year. Morgan said she’s found a special kind of community working in this department, with a team of people who are all focused on serving others.

“My life has forever been changed by working here. I can now say that I have a family from all over the world.”

Are you ready to Find Your Place on Board like Morgan?

Do you want to use your experience in cooking, serving, or another part of the restaurant industry to change lives? Mercy Ships currently has openings for a baker, a senior chef, galley staff, and more – as well as roles across the entire ship. Learn more and view all the critical volunteer needs on the Mercy Ships food services team here.

Find your own place on board

Want to be part of making a tangible impact during this exciting season in Madagascar? There’s still time – and still space for you on board! Volunteers are needed across each deck, including in the operating room, the hospital ward, the galley, the engine room, and the communications office. Find your place on board today to help bring hope and healing in the model of Jesus.

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