• Barney Goodall

Goodalls Ahoy 08: Arrival in Senegal and Big News …

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

We are now settled in Dakar, Senegal! After the unpack and set up, the Ship has hit its familiar routine of screening, surgery, outpatients and rehabilitation for the people who so desperately need this life changing service. Since arriving back on the Ship after our PTO (Personal Time Off), we lived in three different ports, experienced the Ship during the tail end of the maintenance period and lived without the conveniences that help us to have a more “normal” family life here. But throughout it all, we experienced many blessings, in places, experiences and people!

One highlight of the sail was eating lunch with the boys in our new cabin, when a pod of dolphins started darting around our ship, giving us a front row view! A few days later, Judah lost a ball over the side of the ship, to which he continues to console himself with “the Dolphins are playing with it”!

Another highlight has been getting out and about in Dakar, trying out Wolof phrases and being met with friendliness and kindness when we’re obviously not quite hitting the mark with our language skills!

So we are feeling settled…. except change is on the horizon for the Goodalls!

As many of you know, care for sufferers of Obstetric Fistula is what prompted us to leave our life in the UK in the first place. We joined Mercy Ships as we felt excited about what they do, their focus on excellence and because we felt God say “Go!”. And from this place of many blessings as a family, an offer has come our way that is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

We have the opportunity to volunteer with the Freedom from Fistula team based in Toamasina (also known as “Tamatave”), Madagascar! Liz will work and train alongside a specialist VVF surgeon, and Barney will support the non-clinical side of the team and home school Noah (at least for the foreseeable future!)

The Freedom from Fistula Foundation was set up in 2008 by one of the UK’s most successful business leaders, Dame Ann Gloag. The foundation is dedicated to helping women suffering the effects of obstetric fistula, by providing free care for those with the condition and improving maternity services to help prevent it in the first place.

In view of this opportunity, we have prayerfully decided to end our commitment with Mercy Ships in December 2019. We will spend Christmas in the UK, and head out to Madagascar at the end of December/ beginning of January.

So it’s all change – one thing is certain, life is going to look extremely different for us! We are grateful for this opportunity to immerse ourselves in a new culture working for another incredible cause, but we are not naïve that there is so much that we don’t know about the season we are walking into! We would be really grateful for your prayers, and the following are things that are on our minds at the moment:

1. Please pray for the boys as they transition off the Ship, saying goodbye to close friends. Pray for us as we start home schooling Noah, and for plenty of good friendships with other children and opportunities to connect and interact.

2. Pray for suitable accommodation in Madagascar

3. Pray for us to end well with Mercy Ships, and for the new Finance Director replacing Barney to have a smooth transition

4. Pray for us as a family, for health, safety and well being as we step into a different culture. Pray for our marriage to remain healthy and strong.

5. Please pray for financial provision

We are so thankful for our supporters, who take the time to read our blogs, encourage us with emails or Whatsapp messages, pray for us, support us with financial gifts, connect with us when we are home. Thank you all so very much.

We will be continuing to fund raise to support ourselves whilst working with Freedom from Fistula. We would be really grateful if you would consider continuing to support our family financially. Our costs are a little unknown to us at the moment. In due course we will be in touch with the “how to”, but rest assured that currently, if a donation is coming in the normal way (i.e. linked to our name) via Mercy Ships, this money will make it to us. We will add that you are under no obligation to continue to support us, so please feel no pressure! But if you know a friend, or a workplace, or a church who are looking for a worthwhile cause to support…please keep us in mind and forward on our details! Equally, if you would like to hold a fundraiser of sorts (any excuse for a party or Marathon!) we would be delighted to hear from you!

Thank you for your friendship, we miss you!

Lots of Love,

Barney, Liz, Noah and Judah


If you would like to support us financially the easiest way is by donating through the Mercy Ships UK website and select the ‘This donation is to support a crew member’ option at the bottom of the page. Please include our surname and designation code ‘Goodall 5013’


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