“The clinic’s name is Merced, meaning Mercy… It will bring a message of hope to isolated families along the 2,500 miles of navigable rivers in the Beni. Joe plans to do preventive medical work and teach basic hygiene at various centers along the rivers. Our long-range plans are to turn the clinic over to the people.”

~Lay Missioner Carol Honerkamp, Maryknoll Magazine, April 1972

The idea of a hospital boat had long been in the mind of Lay Missioner Joe Honerkamp.  He knew that, if this dream were ever to come to fruition, it could help facilitate a way to reach and provide medical care for so many isolated peoples living along the Beni River.

Both he and his wife, lay missioner Carol Honerkamp, shared their enthusiasm for this idea while at home visiting family. Carol’s father, Dr. Castelli, was inspired by their work and with the help of his wife began raising funds to make this dream become a reality. This project took over four years with the transportation of the finished boat being the most frustrating and arduous part. However, their persistence to make this floating clinic a reality was well worth the effort. They were finally able to provide medical care and education for those living along the Beni River. To read the full article from Maryknoll Magazine, click here: The Incredible Journey of a Boat Named Mercy.

To return to the introductory exhibit blog post, click here: Moments of Mercy