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Story of Judy Harding

After 20 years of teaching in the small rural town of Dargaville in Northland Judy began life on a floating hospital ship in Senegal, Africa. First on the Africa Mercy in September 2021 and then moved to the Global Mercy in December 2022.

“I was brought up on a farm just out of Dargaville, explains Judy. “I spent 35 years in the photographic business before training to be a primary school teacher.  I became a wife and a mother of two beautiful children. I now have four just as beautiful grandchildren.

Judy works in the on board international Christian school, The Academy, with the children of the long-term crew. Providing quality education makes it possible for people in key roles to volunteer. Essential surgical services could not be offered on board without volunteers like Judy playing their part in the Mercy Ships community. 

“The Academy has classes from preschool to high school. The students are the children of the long-term crew members who come from countries around the world. Some students speak very little English when they arrive. It doesn’t take them long to pick it up though. The classes have low numbers of students. I teach Grade 3, the core subjects being bible, maths, literacy, social studies (geography and history), science and life skills. Other subjects, P.E, art, music, singing, technology, and library time are taught by specialist teachers. It is a very well-resourced school with light, airy classrooms, each having a door onto Deck 10. Sometimes we sit outside to have lessons or just read.”

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