U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have introduced legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Don and Deyon Stephens, founders of the non-profit Mercy Ships of Garden Valley in recognition of their nearly 40 years of service. Mercy Ships transforms retired ocean liners and ferries into hospital ships that provide humanitarian aid across the world.
U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“Don and Deyon Stephens represent the most compassionate and generous among us and exemplify why I’m so proud to serve the great state of Texas,” said Cornyn. “Through hard work and selfless motivation, they took a small idea and created the largest private hospital ship system in the world, and I’m proud to sponsor this legislation to honor them.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Gohmert in introducing this bill to award Don and Deyon Stephens a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their tremendous service as the founders of Mercy Ships,” Cruz said. “For 40 years, the Stephens have dedicated their lives to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by providing medical care, treatment, and training to those in need. More than just hospital ships docked in the ports of the world’s poorest countries, Mercy Ships are vessels of hope and healing to a hurting world.”
Mercy Ships’ fleet provides free health care, community development projects, community health education, mental health programs, agriculture projects and palliative care for terminally ill patients.