‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…on the AFM


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the ship,

Not a patient was stirring, no pallets or lips.


The IVs were hung from the ceiling with care,

In hopes Dr. Gary would soon be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of straight legs danced in their heads.


Leeanne in her ‘kerchief, John in his cap,

Had settled their brains for a long sailors nap.

When out on the dock there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bunk To see what was the matter.

Away to my porthole I flew like a flash,

Tore open the curtains, threw up the sash.

The moon on the crest of the ocean below,

Gave a luster of midday to the pollution that glows.


When what to my wondering eyes was in view,

But a flying Land Rover and eight tiny crew.

With a driver so yovo, so southern and quick,

I knew in a moment it was Reverend Nick.

Senior Chaplain Nick Cash leads worship on the bow of the Africa Mercy.

More rapid than zemis his small crew they came,

He whistled and shouted and called them by name,

“Now Eli, now Caroline now Abby and Emma .

On Lucas on Zaiden, on Jack and Hannah.

To the top of the deck, the top of the funnel,

Now dash, away dash away, dash away all.”

As the fronds that before the wild cyclone did fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

The Africa Mercy during sail from Durban, South Africa to Cotonnou, Benin

So up to deck eight the courses they flew,

With a Rover full of mangos and Reverend Nick too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard up above,

The screeching chatter of children we love.

Down the red stairs and turning around,

Into reception Nick came with a bound.

He was dressed in blue scrubs from head to his toe,

Gave a nod to Jacqui who said, “Mikwabo.”

COM389 Jacqui Saward (AUS) Receptionist at work on the Africa Mercy.

A bundle of toys he had on his back,

He headed to the wards to unload the sack

He spoke not from the Word but went straight to his work,

He filled the children’s shoes then turned with a jerk.


Then laying a hand on the side of his belly,

Up the elevater he rose in a hurry.

Quick to his Rover, to his crew gave a tug,

I think they all caught a GI bug.

I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,

Not, “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

But an important phrase we should all keep in mind,

“Use hand sanitizer, so you don’t all die!!!”


The Africa Mercy during sail from Durban, South Africa to Cotonnou, Benin




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