December 13, 2009 – Cruise Mission to the Pacific Islands

December 13, 2009

2010 Cruise Mission to the Pacific Islands
Saving lives in the Pacific with Medical Surplus

Goal: to help provide health care supplies and educational needs of the  Pacific Islands

Donated supplies were sorted, boxed and made ready to be shipped for the January 4 2010 Cruise Mission to help the Islands of Fanning, Christmas, Rarotonga, Bora Bora, Papeete Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa and Nuku Hiva.

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Holland America Cruise Lines scheduled three sailings to the Pacific Islands for during the 2010 New Year. Our hope was that they would deliver many of our donated supplies that had been collected over the year, with the approval and help from the ship.

The sailing departed San Diego California, for a full itinerary of visiting various far away Pacific Islands, and returned back to San Diego 33 days later. The ship first sailed to the Hawaiian Islands, and visit the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Oahu. During these various stops, the donated supplies that have been collected (and possibly will be purchased during the cruise) were loaded onto the ship for delivery to Fanning Island, where most of the clinical and school supplies are needed.

The supplies included many new ladies slippers that were donated last year from the two NCL ships that have discontinued sailing here in Hawaii and to Fanning Island.

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There were also many “Crock” rubber shoes, which were donated by a couple of Kona business people, and were sorted and boxed by the Kona Living Stones Church youth group

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The people who receive the footwear, and wear them, would then benefit from the safety the footwear can provide while walking in brush, on rough terrain and contaminated parasitic and infectious soil conditions the islands have.

Another important need for going on this voyage will be to assess the new, and soon to be completed, clinic on Fanning Island.

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The final stages of the finish work are taking place, and many needed materials for the completion to take place were requested by the island council, to a fellow developer here in Kona. Information that was collected would help the developer to determine the next package of supplies needed to be sent by a cargo sailing vessel that deliver supplies to Fanning Island about every four months.

It was everyone’s hope that we will be able to transport a very large amount of supplies during this cruise.
If you would like to help with the financial needs to make this possible please feel free to contact us. A tax receipt is available for any donated supplies and financial donations towards purchases necessary to fulfill the needs of this mission.

Thanks you so much for your partnership and compassion to especially meet the needs of the people in the Pacific Islands thru our ministry.

Please do view the various media clips provided on this website to obtain more information.

NOTE: If you are a future visitor to the island with supplies to donate, please contact me directly to find out the best method of giving the supplies to a trustworthy representative of the council, clinics or schools.
RICH SMITH
Pacific CARE Missions director

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January 21, 2009 – Christmas, Fanning and Washington Islands SAILBOAT Mission

January 21, 2009

Aloha and Mauri to you,

I wanted to let you know that our team and I have finally returned safely and well from our recent medical/supply mission to help the people of the Line Islands. It was a grand adventure and many lives were impacted by the things that were done through us and with the help of you and many other people. There were more than 3 pallets of supplies sent, distributed and used during the mission.

We had an awesome adventure flying into Christmas Island on a small passenger twin engine prop plane and then sailing on Chuck Corbett’s chartered sailboat with many of the supplies to be delivered to Fanning and Washington Islands.

We first sailed towards Washington Island (2 ½ days sailing) and during the night we had a problem with the main sail. This caused us to detour to Fanning Island and do about 4 days of missions-work there before sailing up to Washington Island to do another supply drop off, assessment of their needs and dental mission.

Looking back we feel it was meant for us to arrive at Fanning first, when we did, to tend to our friend Brunno who was seriously infected with a leg wound. I believe we saved his life by being there those first days to tend to his wound and see the nurse be taught how to keep dressing and bandaging the wound.

Along with helping Brunno, many people were treated by our team member Bill, a 70 yr. old retired dentist, who pulled over 600 teeth (about 200 + patients) while sitting on a 5 gallon plastic bucket, most of the day, for about 4 total missions!

Thanks for the prayers for protection and divine appointments as they were answered. Especially for protection, as I was bitten on my left toes by a dog at Washington Island while riding a motorcycle. Thankfully, I was wearing a new pair of Crocks (with a rather thick toe material) I bought in Kona, before going on the mission, and just happen to decide to wear them that morning because I noticed my slippers were about to give out. I thought I would take the Crocks as backups. If I had been bitten without the Crock on, it could have been a very serious thing with four days of sailing to get back to the main hospital at Christmas Island. I just know it was something covered by prayers as the dog really should have gone for the leg/ankle and not the toes on my left foot. What a close call! How many other close calls we had, we will never know.

At this time, I wanted to share with you that the local TV station KHNL news 8 has aired a short video interview (if available) about this recent mission. Please view it at the following address http://www.khnl.com/global/story.asp?s=9816264 or read below to understand more about what happened.

All in all, what a powerful mission/adventure and team effort. Thanks much for your friendship and partnership.

RICH

KHNL News:

Volunteers bringing medical assistance to remote Fanning Island

Posted: // Feb 09, 2009 5:00 PM Updated: // Feb 10, 2009 2:22 AM

HONOLULU (KHNL) – A group of health care providers and volunteers are coming together to help people living in one of the most remote places on Earth.

The people of Fanning Island smile brightly even though their situation may not be so bright.

Rollin Caristianous“About four percent of the children die before they get to one-year-old” said volunteer Rollin Caristianos.

Rich Smith “Without help from the outside, they’re pretty much left to die” said volunteer Rich Smith.

Fanning Island is one of the most remote places on Earth, located about a  thousand miles south of Hawaii. The lack of medical care for the estimated 4,000 who live there is one problem:

“There is a doctor on Christmas Island but there’s no doctors on Fanning or Washington” said Caristianos.Their isolation, is another.

“Cruise lines used to go there on a regular basis about every ten or eleven days. Last year, in April they decided not to go anymore. That pretty much stopped their economy of selling crafts and having some income from guests coming off the cruise ship” said Smith.

So Hawaii island residents Smith, Caristianos and friends chartered a boat and sailed off on a goodwill mission to deliver much-needed medical supplies including exam tables and hospital equipment.

Other doctors came to help.

  One even provided dental care.”…sat on a five gallon bucket and pulled teeth all day long” said Smith.

“It was very obvious from their smiles and gestures they were very appreciative of what we did” said Caristianos.

“It’s a short term fix but we have plans to go back some other trips there in the spring”

And when they go back, they hope to bring more medical supplies and other donated items to the people of Fanning Island.