Tretheway Lines News

Tim, Sharon & Nathanael Tretheway - Serving with Mercy Ships
Grander earth has quaked before, moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred, can be calmed and broken for my regard
Far be it from me to not believe, even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me, will be thrown into the midst of the sea
Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You, through it all, through it all, it is well
So let go my soul and trust in Him, the waves and wind still know His name
It is well with my soul, it is well with my soul

Dear Friends,

We want to communicate to each of you a huge change that is coming for the Tretheways.  With Tim at 28+ years, and Sharon nearly 14, it has become clear to us that we must leave the Africa Mercy and the work we have done here for these many years.  We learned from Mercy Ships Marine Operations in the fall of 2014 that the Madagascar Mission would be the last for us and we have been processing what this means for us.  It has been a difficult and painful process at times, but we know there is more for us to do in this world.  

Mercy Ships Founder and President, Don Stephens, has assured us we can continue as a part of Mercy Ships for the coming year while we get some rest and look at whether we will continue with the organization in Texas, serve in another organization, or seek normal employment.  We appreciate any thoughts or leads, as well as prayers.  

So in summary, we will be moving off the Africa Mercy this summer and will head to the UK for now.  We will remain a part of Mercy Ships for the following year of 2016 as we seek direction for our future.  Our support will still be processed by Mercy Ships.

We are grateful for the support and encouragement of so many of you as we have tried to make a difference in this world, following the example of Jesus.  We plan to continue to do so and appreciate your support, encouragement and prayers as we seek direction into the future.


With each outreach comes the search of a new project that we pour our hearts into and share the love of Christ to others.  Somehow God always brings the right one along.  This year a man joined the ship as day crew in the deck department, it turned out he was a pastor, known to many as "Pastor Mark".  Soon his gifting's were recognised and he was transferred to work with the Hospital Chaplaincy Team where he spends time with the many patients.
Meanwhile in between his day job he also runs a church.  It's quite a trek getting to this church, it took us many trips before we memorised the way.  Along the trail we have to cross this rickety wooden bridge which most of us close our eyes and try not to imagine what could happen if it collapses with the land-rover on top!  We also got to the know the man on the "corner" that always appeared with a shovel, along with many helpers, to help dig our land-rover out of the sand, we have became quite the spectacle each week.
Pastor Mark and his family have been working with the village to try and build up the church.  They are also running a school for those who can't afford local schools.  The building has a foundation built which is double the size than the building itself, a bit of forward thinking ready for the day they have a enough money to build a new one.  In the meantime they make do with wooden beams holding up the metal sheeting walls and roof.  When it rains, it's wet inside, when the sun's beating down, it's hot, but It works and God is present, what more can we ask.  
But we knew God could do more so we teamed up with them and started a kids program on Saturdays. It started off with 20 kids and soon we were up to 70 as the news spread amongst the village.  Just a few weeks ago the church was also the fullest they have ever been for a Sunday service.  Time to build that church!  
Over the weeks we have laughed with these precious kids as we played games, worshipped with them as we danced and sang, fed them with the word of God and yummy food! and learnt Malagasy as we help cut out their crafts. Again these kids have carved their names in our hearts and etched their smiles in our minds. 
A few weeks ago we had the dental team come along to talk about oral hygiene with a bonus toothbrush and toothpaste to take home. Here you can see Nathanael helping to give out supplies.

We are excited about the work that has begun in this place. Already a church in the UK has donated money to start the church & school building and so we suspect when Mercy Ships returns in August it will be the start of new beginnings for them.

Patient Stories:


After 3 days of travelling, Sambany showed up on our doorstep carrying one of the biggest tumours we had ever seen, click below to hear his story.  Last week some crew took the long journey home with Sambany.  They drove as far as they could and then walked with him for 2 days under the heat of the day. Along the way they met his wife who had presumed him dead after having not returned home after 5 months.  Their village is so remote there is no cellphone coverage, and the nearest communication is a days walk away.  She recognised him instantly and was joyful and amazed to see the tumour had gone.


At 11 years old, Vanya came to us with deformed legs, click below to see her story and see how her legs are now straight.

Our News:


Tim is in the midst of handing over his command to the next 2 Captains that will cover the shipyard period, then onto the current Chief Officer & friend who will take his place at the helm to become Captain.  He brings with him much ship handling experience and loves the Lord with all his heart.

Last week Tim was awarded for his 28 years of service with Mercy Ships and was presented with an ornate desk globe.  Click below to see the beautiful tribute that the crew put together.  The crew also had a "surprise" farewell party, and yes, the crew did so well in keeping it a secret and took Tim totally by surprise.  Thank you to all that contributed to fill in the gaps of Tim's life, near and afar, it was truly a touching time.
Capt. Tim receives Service Award from Mercy Ships.


Sharon has been enjoying working in the Supply Department.  The team soon grew to 9 with the addition of 3 amazing day crew, Olive, Anton & Jouka from Madagascar.  They have been a delight to work with and have become like brothers.  
The department has been mostly in the pioneering stage this field service as we see what is involved in supplying the ship, setting up re-order points (bearing in mind it takes about 3-4 months for your order to arrive by container!), laying down procedures, working closely with our USA and Holland support warehouses and not to mention building up the muscles with the continual unloading of supplies and moving of freezer products when a freezer breaks down.
With the addition of a new crew member, Sharon stepped away from Supply last month so her desk could be freed up.  It fitted in well for Sharon to start concentrating on packing up our lives in boxes ready for shipment back to the UK and help Nathanael with his transition.


Nathanael is coming to the end of his 2nd Grade, finishing with straight A's throughout his report.  He has really enjoyed his teacher, Miss Jessica, who has invested so much into the lives of these 5 kids. He is kind of excited at the prospect of going into year 4 when he returns to the UK.  In his mind he feels that he's missed a year, but in reality the USA class grades are numbered differently to the UK system.  
He is handling the transition fairly well considering he has been on board since he was a one year old.  Four of his close friends are also leaving which has made things a little easier and they look forward to continuing their friendship on Skype.
He is starting to learn about what life will mean to him off ship, whether it's wearing a school uniform, not seeing us in his lunch time, a bigger class size, wearing a winter coat and shoes (unhappy face!) or just running upstairs to see his friends. It's the simple things you forget that he doesn't know.

Madasgascar Statistics so far:

1046 received surgery (1181 surgeries/2554 procedures)
5000 received dental treatment
33 received home-care from our Palliative Care Team
50 mentored in Health Care Education
318 trained in Health Education Courses

Ship Schedule:

  • June - August 15 - Durban (Shipyard) South Africa
  • August 15 - June 16 - Toamasina (Tamatave), Madagascar

Pray for:

  • Screenings to be held in 13 cities across the country.
  • New VVF clinic building and training of medical staff.
  • Ships new leadership transition, New Managing Director, Operations Director, HR Director & Captain.
  • Our transition back to the UK.
  • Tornado damage in Van, Texas the home of our International Office, many Mercy Shippers suffered damage to their homes.
  • Earthquake in Nepal. Give thanks that our Security Gurkha team and families are safe. They are now showing mercy to others that haven't been reached by foreign aid with the help of an offering of $22000 made by the crew & international offices.
We want to say a big thank you for all your support over the many years we have been with Mercy Ships.  Without you playing a part we would be much weaker.  You hold us up in our down times and you rejoice with us in God's miracles.  Words can not express how much you all mean to us, for now we say thank you and look forward to the days we can sit across the room from you and share God's stories.
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Our mailing address is:
Tim, Sharon & Nathanael Tretheway
Mercy Ships- m/v Africa Mercy
PO Box 2020
Lindale, TX 75771

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