Mercy Ships Update | Getting Back Her Mojo

Christine Schedler has been nursing for 45 years, with a focus on recovery and critical care.

This year will also be her be her fifth with Mercy Ships.

Her first volunteer experience came in the middle of a personal crisis. “At the time, I was pretty lost and didn’t know what to do,” she says. “I’d done other medical missions and knew I needed to do something.” As she was researching missions, she ran across Mercy Ships. “I knew at the time I needed something bigger than me. I was lost and broken, and it turned out that the faith-based processes and the diversity on the ship started the healing process.”

After her first mission, Christine was able to stay in touch with many of the other volunteers on the ship, relationships she maintains today. “It’s amazing. I’m connected to these people in Australia, in Germany,” she says. “I thought ‘let’s continue this’ and found that this [Mercy Ships] was my place to be.” Christine continued to serve on Mercy Ships on two-week and then four-week missions for the next four years.

Then an unexpected tragedy struck.

“Last year I’d decided not to go, since I was moving, but then I fell while I was hiking,” Christine says. Her ankle was crushed, and she found herself enduring months of therapy before finally beginning the slow process of learning to walk again. “When I was recovering, I got a message from Mercy Ships that was kind of an SOS. I thought ‘I have no time to fundraise, I’m barely doing anything I want,’” she says. It was Christine’s sister who encouraged her to apply again. “She said to me, ‘Your mojo is gone. You need to write to them and explain the situation — You need to get your mojo back and Mercy Ships will help you,’” Christine says. “Then Relode came into my life and I said ‘Well, I guess I’m going!’”

The PACU unit onboard Mercy Ships is small — only about 4-5 beds. Christine will be part of the team that helps patients recover after surgery. She loves being able to make connections and to see patients celebrate after the healing process. Many of the patients have been outcasts their entire lives, so being able to acknowledge them is incredibly meaningful. “You don’t need a common language, you put what’s in your heart and you show it through your eyes and through your hands. You make sure you make eye contact and you just… look at them,” Christine says.

She’s looking forward to connecting with more patients and with the other staff on her trip. She adds, “I’ve been doing missions since 1990 with other groups and what I find on Mercy Ships is that you live and you breathe and you share… you’re all there for the same reason.”

We’re so excited to be able to support Christine on her journey with Mercy Ships. If you’d like to read more about the men and women your interactions with Relode help support, you can head here. Learn more about our partnership with Mercy Ships here.

Molly Powers