Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home for Christmas...

Well I made it back to Washington. 33 hours without sleep and three airplane transfers can really be a drag, but it went by quickly for me. This can only be God, but I have not experienced ANY jet-lag upon my return to Washington.

Since I've been home I have mostly spent time with family. Mom and I put up the Christmas tree together and we went to an awesome Christmas concert with some friends. I've wrapped all the gifts I bought in the Philippines too, they are snug under the tree. It defiantly feels like Christmas now.

I am so thankful for the comforts of home, some I'm particularly thankful for are:

  1. Clean bathrooms with plenty of toilet paper, hand soap and paper towels. 
  2. My bed, with flannel sheets and a comforter. 
  3. Mom's cooking.
  4. Working out, after 10 weeks without exercise it feels so great to be moving again. 

Lots of people have asked what's next for me, I'll share my plan, Lord only knows what will really happen. After Christmas with the family I will return with my sister McKenzie to Montana for 10 days. Then, my goal is to get a job as a nurse at a hospital. My first choice hospital is Providence in Everett. After awhile I would like to go back to school to become a midwife. And then, maybe take over the world, we'll see how it all plays out :)

Now I want to share some of my favorite memories from the Philippines.

Pineapple farmer. 

Video from the airport.

Beach for Pami's birthday. 

Hike to the waterfall.

Starbucks spelling of my name.

Cutest little family ever.

Neighborhood kids.

Fruit market in Cebu.

Johnson's church in Cebu.

Little girl in the Johnson's church.

Great night/day at Shalom Birthing Home.

Market at Divisoria. 

Neighborhood community down the road. 

Sewing class at second mile.

Children in the community both born at Shalom. 

Thanks to you all for reading this blog. So far 867 people have read this blog, from United States
659, Philippines 110, Russia 27, Germany 15, Israel 8, United Kingdom 6, South Korea 6, Bulgaria 5, India 5, Australia 4. It's so cool to be able to see how many people are taking interest in this. A special thanks to my church at Whidbey Evangelical Free Church for all the support and prayers along the way. God bless you all!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My last week!

During my last week here in the Philippines I was able to visit a nearby community where many of our patients come from. Pami was my guide, of course. 

A typical house in the community. Notice the siding of this house is scrap wood. 

Here I am with some of the many children who followed us through their neighborhood. We hopped into a tricycle for a quick shot. 

Some of the children who were tagging along during our walk. 

The laundry up to dry. 

This little cutie was most likely born at Shalom. 

This week one of the midwives who works at Shalom got married and I was invited to her wedding. Here is the reception site on a lake. 

The happy couple. Jheny and Jonathan. 

The Shalom crew with the newlyweds. 

Another exciting event this week was a visit to Daranak Falls. The midwives took Pami and I to this local swimming spot. I went behind the waterfall and jumped off the rocks, it was a fun way to spend one of my last days in the Philippines. 

Here we are after an invigorating afternoon of swimming. 

I am flying home tomorrow, December 10th back to Washington. Please be in prayer for me to have a safe trip and a great last night working at Shalom. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Women of Shalom

This post is all about the amazing staff working at Shalom Christian Birthing Home. The women in these pictures take shifts so that a trained midwife is present 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. As you may know, babies wait for no man, or women. The birth of each baby is of course miraculous, but don't forget that prenatal and postnatal check-ups are vital steps in the life of a healthy mother and baby. I wish you could all get to know these women like I have. Here is just a glimpse into their lives. 
The whole staff (plus me). Center you will see Ate Mavis. She is 80 years old, and the founder of Shalom. She has opened her home to allow women to deliver there since 1991. I have learned from Ate Mavis that you can never be too old to follow God and serve as a missionary. She was 51 when she became a missionary. 

This is, drum roll please, Cindy Gingerich! She has been work at Shalom since 1998. I've learned so much from Cindy. Mostly I've learned that it is possible to be a wife, mother, nurse, missionary, event planner and wonderful human being all in one. It's possible, your name just has to be Cindy Gingerich. I'm gonna miss her!
Ate Benneth is an administrative assistant working at Shalom. She works very hard to make sure all the birth certificates are properly typed and printed. I have learned from Benneth to work hard and look on the bright side. 

Ate Maricor taught me how to give a baby their first bath at Shalom. She is a midwife, working at Shalom since 2003. I will miss her calling me "dear".

Ate Maricel has been a midwife at Shalom since 2006. She is a great teacher and has taught me so much. Including how to measure the fundel height and fetal position during prenatal checks. She was the first midwife to allow me to "catch" the baby during delivery.  She also taught me the proper way to eat Bulat. 

Ate Diane is a wife, the mother of three beautiful daughters and a midwife working at Shalom since 2007 (I believe?).  She helped me get comfortable working night shift at Shalom. She taught me the basics of the internal examination. Probably most importantly, she taught me to praise the Lord for each and every birth at Shalom. 

Ate Grace is a seminary graduate who just finished nursing school. She has been volunteering since 2010 at Shalom. She has demonstrated to me what an excellent combo it can be to have nursing and seminary training. Please pray for her as she takes her board exam later in December.  

Ate Jheny, midwife and soon-to-be-bride. She is getting married on December 6th. Jheny has been working at Shalom since 2010, she has a wonderful sense of humor. She has taught me the value of avoiding the "hot showers". 

Here is Pami, RN, roommate and missionary. Pami was raised in the Philippines and came back in 2011 to work at Shalom. Pami has taught me to depend on God during the everyday activities, like being a passenger in her car. I will miss her amazing cooking abilities and I might even miss Coco, the nut (her dog). 

Last, but defiantly, definitely NOT least is Ate Angie. Angie is the most recent addition to the midwifery team at Shalom. She started in 2012. She taught me how to suture and to laugh at the unexpected, like delivery six babies together on night shift. 

 This group has welcomed me fully into their lives and I can't say enough how much I will miss them all. I hate saying good-bye. Please pray for my final week in the Philippines, that God would be glorified and He would use me in His perfect will. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Dedication of Shalom!!

On November 25th, 2012 we held a dedication ceremony for Shalom Christian Birthing Home in Antipolo, Philippines. With over 200 guests the Shalom staff and I celebrated what the Lord has done in Antipolo. God is providing such a beautiful building in order for us to serve the poor more fully and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Here are the midwives and nurses who work at Shalom getting ready for the big dedication (notice their matching scrub tops, made especially for this event). From left to right, Maricel, Jhenny, Maricor, Grace, Analyn, Diane, Benneth, and Angie. This group of women have welcomed me wholeheartedly. They are teaching me all about midwifery and living out the Christian walk in the Philippines. 

The new building is still under construction. There is about 10% remaining to be completed. Donations welcome! Click this link to donate online.

Prenatal check-up room, complete with verse and curtains :)

The midwives are wonderful tour guides, here showing guests the new building. 

This is an alternative delivery room. Water births, delivery balls and mats along with birthing stools may all be used in this room. 

This is the recovery room. It will hold six to eight beds for mothers and babies recovering from the birth process. 

Here is the laboratory. We do all our own lab work. 

There are four stories in the new building. 

The entry way. Cindy Gingerich is a missionary nurse who works at Shalom. Here she is greeting some guests. 

Guest and midwives gathered in the large reception area. 

Benneth, Grace, and Pami greeting guest. 

The ceremony was held on the roof-top. It was a beautiful afternoon of worship and praise to God for all He has accomplished at Shalom Birthing Home. 

Mavis Orton, the founder of Shalom. Mavis told her story of God leading her to the Philippines. She will be 80 years old on November 28th, 2012. 

ACTION International founder, Doug Nichols closes in prayer. 

All the Shalom staff. Left to right, Jhenny, Maricel, Maricor, Cindy, Angie, Mavis, Diane, Analyn, Grace, Pami and Benneth. 

Our neighbor painted this picture of Mavis. 

And here I am with Diane, her daughter and Maricor.