Saturday, December 29, 2012

just a preface

First off, let me apologize for being very behind 'schedule' with updating my blog. Life in the Philippines has been very busy, with the holidays, all the devastation caused by Typhoon Pablo in early December, and just the plain fact that women don't ever really stop having babies! :) I want to tell all of you the wonderful things the Lord has allowed me to be a part of and just what an impact YOU are making as you faithfully pray and support me in the Philippines.

Be looking for the report of the two relief trips I have taken up to the areas affected by the typhoon and the stories of 6 precious babies I have had the privilege to catch.

Also, if you are interested in partnering with my ministry here in the Philippines, donations can be made through my online paypal account linked here to my blog or through tax-deductible donations to First Baptist Church-Martin (123 University Street, Martin, TN 38237--marked for Brittany Barthol's Philippines fund.) Once again I am stepping out the boat in faith that the fees for me to stay here in the Spring will be graciously provided by the Lord. Please let me know if you want any more information about how to pray or support. I have just 4 short weeks until my money is due on February 1, 2013.

And lastly as I finish up this little reminder, I need to say it over and over again--THANK YOU! Thank you for your support, your encouragement. and your prayers. Oh how gracious God has been to me to allow such a smooth culture transition and an immediate heart for caring for moms and their babies! I may physically be here on the other side of the world, but prayer is the weapon that allows those who are on the front lines to fight. I would be standing quite defenseless with YOU. So again, thank you! The seeds you are sowing are advancing the kingdom and glory of God.

Stories galore coming soon,
          Midwife Brittany

Monday, October 29, 2012

on the topic of badjaos and generosity.

Life in the Philippines is going by so quickly. I already feel SO at home here and can't imagine not standing on the corner to catch a jeepney or going to the market to buy the food for the week. It is home. Praise the Lord.

I am still volunteering at the clinic each week on prenatal shifts and birthroom shifts. I love very second of it and can't even begin to tell you all I am learning. Each day I am so in awe that I am living this life, the life the Lord set out before me, learning to be a midwife, seeing new babies born several times a week, learning a language and a culture, and building relationships here.

One of my favorite parts of my schedule is going on an outreach to Isla Verde to do prenatals for the Badjao women in the community. Even though my language training in Visayan is completely useless with these people as they speak a different language, I am finding it to be so worthwhile spending my time with them. I am even working it into my free time to go volunteer there with some filipino missionaries who have been planted in the Badjao community. This is what I have learned so far about the Badjao--

They are known as sea gypsies as they make their 
 living off of the sea, selling pearls and fish. 

They are very poor and unaccepted among the filipino population here.

Most do not know how to speak 
English or Visayan, read, write, and have no concept of time. 
(Making questions like "How old are you?" or "
What years were your children born in?" hard to answer.)

They practice Islam, yet are not accepted 
or recognized as Muslim by the Islamic community here.

They wear wonderfully bright colored clothing 
and have very distinct (beautiful!) faces and voices.

 To learn more about the Badjao people, you can click here.

So when the Badjao patients get prenatals, they are done at Isla Verde, as the women rarely come to the clinic for their check-ups. When the women are in active labor, they show up at the clinic and are admitted, given care, and extended grace. Most of the time, they don't bring anything with them (baby clothes, baby hat, change of clothes for the mother, etc), because they simply don't have it. But what they do bring with them is a whole caravan of other Badjaos, who are close-knit and supportive of their kind.

On my last shift a few days ago, I was able to help with a Badjao patient who had come to the clinic to deliver her baby. It was such an eye-opening experience, one where I was able to witness first-hand the power of the Holy Spirit transcending language barriers and the power and dominion of Jesus proving faithful to help in time of need. Read what my housemate Sarah said about what happened here.

Interactions like these truly bring to light the reason I have come. Yes, I desire to learn the skills to become an able midwife. And yes, I am very much in love with the filipino culture. But so much more than those things, is the desire to see these people come to know Jesus as Savior. When I think about the Badjao, how they aren't even accepted in their surrounded community and how they are really in need on so many levels, I can't help but think that THESE are the people Christ came for. Yes, I know He came so that all may know Him as Lord, but these are the ones that have been disregarded by so many, but have not been forgotten by our God.

All that being said, this is where YOU come in. I am only here in the Philippines by the grace of God to provide for my needs through people who are willing to support stateside. If you read all my blog posts from this past summer, you can witness such a repeatedly faithful Father, as all my needs were met for me to be here this fall. Now I am looking toward the spring, completely trusting God to burden your hearts to see the need and commit to pray and financially support.

I found it quite ironic as I am here completely on donor support that God would choose to speak into my heart so much on the topic of generosity. Through 2 Corinthians 8 & 9, I have been SO challenged. I urge you to take just a few minutes to read them as well. (chapter 8 & chapter 9)

I heard in church this past Sunday a quote by Baptist missionary, William Carey, who said,

"I will go down, if you will hold the rope."

 The same words beat true in my heart. 

I am willing to go down 
down to the places others don't want to go, down to the places that are not easy and might be hard, down to the dangerous places--all for the glory and renown of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Will you be willing to hold the rope?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

lost and found.

The lost sheep. The shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to go find the one. He searches until he finds. He rejoices, calling his neighbors and friends, as he comes home with the one that was lost.

The lost coin. A woman loses one of her ten coins. She lights a lamp, sweeps her entire house, and searches until she finds it. She calls all her neighbors and friends to rejoice as she has found the one coin.

The lost son. A son squanders his inheritance in wild living and hits rock bottom. He returns home with a sorrowful heart, willing to be a servant in the house of his father. Instead, his father runs to meet him and calls for a huge celebration in honor of his son's return, for his son was once lost, but now is found!

In Luke 15, Jesus tells a series of parables about things that are lost and the drastic measures that surround them being found. I have read these passages countless times and even use them here in the Philippines to explain salvation to the people we minister to. But once again, I found myself reading this chapter in a study I am doing on the life of Christ.

It wasn't until this past Saturday that the Lord began to teach me even more about lostness.

I was having a hangout day here at the house--some friends were over and we were working on some decorations for an upcoming wedding. We had lunch, I worked on my assignment, straightened up my desk a bit, all cooked dinner, and watched a movie. Towards the end of the night, I realized that my watch wasn't on my wrist. I looked around me, thinking I must have taken it off when we were cooking or after I had washed my hands. No watch in sight.

Now most people wouldn't freak out about misplacing their watch (not that I was completely freaking out), but I never take it off so I was wondering where it could have gone. I began to notice myself subconsciously looking at my wrist to check the time. I did it like 10 times that hour, realizing each time that it wasn't there. I thought about how I use it to check the date to write on patient's charts, to note the number of heart beats in a minute, and to check respirations of a newborn. It is a simple thing, but pretty important.

So after our movie, I really began to look everywhere for it, retracing my steps all day. I went outside, I checked in the kitchen and the bathroom, all over my desk. Everywhere. My housemates helped too, but we couldn't find it. I told my roommate when she got home from shift about losing it and she helped search, too. I was searching in my closet in my room when I was stopped abruptly as I remembered those "lost" passages in Luke 15 that I had read before. WOAH. reality check. I was just like that woman who turned her house upside down for her one lost coin.

Then it all began to come together, as God reminded me of all the lost people in this world, who don't know of his saving grace and gift of eternal life. I began to feel quite silly for searching like a crazy person for a petty watch. I was challenged. Am I bound and determined to search for those who are lost until they are found? Am I willing to disrupt my life, leave everything behind, and find them?
I was pretty determined to find my watch--will I be committed to look with that same vigor and ambition?

I have really been praying for opportunities to minister to the women here and verbally share the gospel. I know the doors are wide open, and I don't want to miss the opportunity. For now, I am still learning how to administer good care and really how to communicate effectively in the language. I know I am still in a beginning stage and haven't had the chance to have my own patients and build those relationships. But the time is coming quickly where that will change. So I am praying now that I can be prepared and ready to share--to seek out those who are lost--to give physical care, but not neglect the more important spiritual care. I covet your prayers too, and find in God's word the plea of Paul to the church in Ephesus as similar to mine:

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that 
I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an 
ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6:19-20  

Below are some pictures of me with baby Khent Dave. He was born on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 3:06pm. I was able to admit his mother, walk with her through her (very short) labor, be there to assist in the birth, and take care of her and her baby all through postpartum until they were discharged. I was really blessed to learn a lot from her labor and delivery. It was the first time a patient kinda felt like 'my own.' Hope you enjoy!

Baby Kent Dave

Doing his newborn exam.

He was a sleepy baby, but so good and cooperative.
The first time the board had my initials (BB) on it!

Erasing the patient's info after I discharged the mom and her new baby to go home.
PS--I did find my watch, in the bottom of my backpack. And just like the people in the parables, there was great rejoicing at its return to my wrist! ;)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A tour of Mercy.

I have gotten a bit out of the habit of blogging with a new, busy schedule. There would be no way to possibly write everything the Lord is doing and all that I am learning, but I will attempt!

August was a great transition month--learning to ease back into filipino culture, learn more of the language, and begin to adapt to ministering to expecting mothers, the birthroom, and all that comes along with caring for a woman and her family. Getting to know my housemates, classmates, and all the staff at Mercy Maternity has been so fun, too!
Now it's almost the end of September and I am really beginning to find my place here. I am scheduled ~3 shifts a week up at the clinic. The majority are in the birthroom, where I am learning all about labor and delivery, postpartum care, baby checks, and newborn screenings. I love these shifts! Here are some pictures of the birthroom area:

This is a patient's bed. This isn't the best picture, but usually there are curtains down that separate the beds into cubicals when we have patients.

Supply cabinet where IV stuff is kept, bed linens, suturing kits, and array of birth stuff.

This is the little baby check area and where a lot of our paperwork, etc is stored.

Our patient's board--we write our patient's name there and important info about their labor and delivery. When I took this picture, we had a really slow shift with no patients (which is pretty rare!).

Just another corner--the patient's CR is there, an outside cleaning area, sink, and autoclave.

This is the midwife hangout area--just where we sit, eat, talk, nap, read, etc.

Postpartum Area across the hall--there are 5 beds in the area. And you can't see it too well in this picture, but to the right is a door where the staff kitchen and CR (bathroom) is.
 So if I am not on birthroom shifts, I am scheduled every other week or so for prenatals. We have a lot of women who come and listen to a health teaching, have worship, and get individualized care from our staff. Learning how to ask the patients questions in Visayan is fun and seeing women and their babies at all different stages of pregnancy is so neat. I am definitely learning and loving it all.
Prenatals happen on the second floor of the clinic.

Below are a few pictures of one of my birthroom shifts.

Patients of ours and all their info!

Our patient, her bana (husband), and her new baby. On the left is my supervisor Sylvette and on the right is my other supervisor Claire. We had to document this birth because it was our first one all together. (We had an on-going joke that we were the "bad luck crew" because a lot of our shifts together seemed to be slow, but we FINALLY had a birth!) 

Swing shift crew! (Left to Right: Jamie, me, Sylvette, Claire, and Ate Elsa)

 So things around the clinic are going so well--I love all the staff and the ministry really is helping women and their families to have healthy pregnancies. Twice a month, I am scheduled for an outreach to the Badjao people, as well as a Muslim population here in Davao. I will have to remember to post pictures of that sometime soon!

At our home, we all take turn on "chore-teams" to keep things tidy. This past week I was on kitchen team, which includes shopping at the market and store, making dinner for the house, and cleaning. Thursday, I decided to be a bit ambitious and use all the fresh vegetables available here to make a chicken pot-pie. I think it turned out alright!

Me with my dinner creation!
So as October rolls around, I will continually be learning, adapting, seeking, and serving. Please help me pray that the Lord will offer grace upon grace to me to communicate and care for these families. Pray also that I can be bold to share not only with actions, but also words, the life-saving truths of the gospel.

I am so thankful for each of you who faithfully pray and give each month. Without your support, none of this could be possible! Until next time,


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

home, sweet filipino, home.

  I'm finally HERE! I have been here in the Philippines for one week already. It seems like it has been a bit longer, as I have done so much and already learned a ton! I will give you a brief run-down of what my week has looked like.

Wednesday, 8th--11 classmates and I arrived in Davao after 3 days of traveling around the world. We were met at the airport by some of our second years, our supervisors, and the two married couples from our class! We traveled to our respective dorms and got settled in. I live in the smaller of the two dorms. There are nine of us total living here. I share a room with Melissa (a 1st year) and Lindsy (a 2nd year). The second room is made up of two 1st years and two 2nd years. The third room has two of our interns who will be here until October.  The other dorm is quite a bit larger, and that's where the remainder of the single girls live.

Thursday, 9th--All us new girls went shopping at one of the malls here to exchange money and buy necessities. We all got awesome little cell phones and other things like coffee and snacks!

Friday, 10th--We left early this morning to head to Samal, an island right off of Davao. It was so very nice there! We stayed at a beach-side resort and did orientation for two days. The food was great, there were wonderful performers at night (fire-dancers!), and it was a wonderful time really getting to know the girls I will be serving with the next two years!

Saturday, 11th--Continued with orientation and then left for Davao in the afternoon. (We learned so much about what we are going to be doing over the next two years--talk about information overload! But it was the coolest thing to be constantly in agreement of all that was taught to us. God has been so faithful to match up the desires He has placed in my heart with all the things here!)

Sunday, 12th--We went to church as a group this morning. It was a really good time worshiping all together, being reminded of the reality of souls without Christ, and praying as we all begin in such a new environment! Sunday night I had my first shadowing shift in the birth-room. I was on night shift which is 10pm-6am. Two precious baby boys were born while I was on shift. I got to learn my way around the birth-room, become familiar with where supplies were, and got to meet more classmates and supervisors. It was seriously one of the coolest experiences I have had to date. Right as the first baby of the night was born, I was overwhelmed with so much joy. I'm not a person who cries a lot, but witnessing a new baby come into the world is definitely an appropriate time for tears to fill your eyes. It was really neat. Made me so thankful to be here and be able to be a part of all this!

Monday, 13th--I slept a little after having night shift. Then all of us 1st years went to the clinic and had a vital signs teaching. That was a great refresher! And then we had our first language lesson! It was really great! Our teacher is so wonderful, and I think all of us loved learning together. We will have language lessons twice a week! 

Tuesday, 14th--I was on shadowing in the prenatals clinic this morning. We had SO many women come to the clinic for prenatals. The way it is all organized is neat. The women come in and have a devotional and worship. They hear a new health teaching each time they come, and then they are each seen by a midwife who gives them a check-up, encourages them, and prays for them. I got to see a lot of the paperwork side of the clinic, too, as we shadowed with the clerks. I loved prenatals! Yet again I had such an "ah-ha!" moment of 'This is why I am here!!' from the Lord. I cannot wait to continue to pour into the lives of the women here! After prenatals, we had a get-to-know-you-party with all the staff and our classmates. That was as well so wonderful! It is so cool, too, because two of my translators from the mission work I have done in the past years here in the Philippines are on staff/learning at the clinic. Having those relationships is so wonderful, especially as the Lord has so wonderfully reunited me with people who know me well. Sometimes we forget how great it is to just have someone who understands you. So grateful that these two girls know me and love me!

Wednesday, 15th--Today was a rest day for me. I did some laundry this morning, got some great facebook/skype conversations in with my friends and family at home. Then some of my roommates and I went to another mall and shopped for a few things we needed. (We "needed" starbucks, too!--I will say that a mocha frappe is still really good, even all the way across the world!) We had lunch, then went to the clinic for a bit more of orientation!

The next few weeks have a lot planned. We are still getting to know each other, get settled into our houses, and find our way around the city. We take public transportation (jeepneys--but way smaller ones than the ones in Butuan) and walk mostly. The clinic isn't too far from where we live. I am so excited for all I have ahead of me, all I am going to learn, and all the ways that the Lord plans to grow me and teach me. AHH--it is a blessing to be here. My heart never really made it back to the US after last summer, so being here feels so at home. I still can't believe I am here, but I know it is because I serve such a faithful Savior and that His body has been so wonderful to pray, give, and encourage! THANK YOU! Love & miss you all!

Without further ado, here is a little tour of where I live:

This is our kitchen. It is so so nice! The tap water is clean and safe to drink!

This is our little stove!

We have a fridge, freezer, microwave, and toaster. Yep, pretty nice!

Little living room area..

Our study area. We all have a little section of table for our desk space.

Here is my little space. I really like it--still waiting on a lot of my school supplies from my box to make it here, but it is a great space.

This is the bathroom that Lindsy, Melissa, me, and the interns share. Yes, the toilet flushes, but you can't flush the TP. Yes, there is a shower head, but it is only cold water. Let me tell you, I don't mind it one bit. It is SO wonderful.

This is where I sleep. My bedding hasn't come yet....(it's in that box that should be here soon!). I'm on the bottom bunk, which I like, and I just sleep with a light sheet and, of course, fans blowing, too.

This is our whole bunk. Melissa is on top bunk. Love her map. (And again, my wall hanging and decor is all in my box!)

Closet space. We all have our own shelf--with the bottom one as a community shelf. The other set of doors open to where we have hang-up clothes!

This is the view of the front of the house.

This is in the back yard. Notice all the laundry hanging to dry!

This is where laundry goes down. You have to wash a load, rinse it a few times, and then switch the load over to the other side to spin almost all the water out. Then you put the clothes on the clothesline. This is SO nice, especially compared to my hand-washing endeavors of the past two summers.

Here's the side of the house. We have a lot hang-out space outside. I love it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


5:38am Singapore Airport.

I don’t have an internet connection as I am writing this, but I am taking full advantage of my layover to update my blog. (which I have miserably forsaken this past week).

Last Sunday, I had a commissioning time at my home church, FBC Martin. It was so wonderful to be back after a long summer to see familiar faces and spend such a special time with church family. I am so thankful for the guidance of the Lord as I have been able to be apart of such a gospel-believing church during my college years, and could not have been any more proud or blessed by the prayers and encouragement I have received from them, even from the very beginning of this journey of leaving for the Philippines. It felt so right to be back in Martin, surrounded by friends and church family who have been there to see me grow and encourage me to do so. There will never, ever be a place quite like that small West Tennessee town. Not going back is going to be so weird, but in the new season the Lord has for me, I am trusting His leading and remembering His faithfulness in the past.

After that Sunday, with the overwhelming support of FBC Martin, donations through my blog, and gifts from two specific couples in Memphis, I was able to meet my tuition goal by August 1st! And of course, God “threw open the floodgates and poured out so much blessing that I didn’t have room for it!” (Malachi 3:10). I have been provided for once again, more than I needed for the fall. I am able to save some for the spring, have some to live off of, and be blessed by those of you who are monthly supporters to save for what will be due in the spring. I am thankful that even though I had an unbelieving heart as some points, that my Savior looks past my inability and comes through for His glory and His namesake. All glory to THE sovereign, forever-faithful God!

With the petty worries of finances taken care of, I was able to spend a lot of my week with my best friend, Jessi, preparing for her wedding on Saturday. I am thankful for that sweet time and for the rest I was blessed with.

I had a “going-away” party on Thursday at my aunt’s house. That was such a fun time, having one last hooray to celebrate with my wonderful family and friends. Friday and Saturday brought wedding celebrations for Jessi and Trent. I love weddings. And I especially loved theirs--for the wonderful love that they have, but more importantly for the testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ they present as a married couple. So very happy for them and the plans God has prepared for them.

After their wedding, it was last-minute packing time. So thankful for those of my friends that literally packed my bags for me. Never ever could I express how grateful I am for all the little things my friends have done to help me. They put feet to their faith—they are the real deal. Why have I been so blessed with these relationships?

The string of goodbyes came next. Goodbyes are not easy, my friends. Not easy at all. I think that I thought it wasn’t going to be that difficult, but even thinking about it now is very, very difficult. But looking at it now, I am so blessed that it was difficult. To have relationships that are hard to let go of shows me such a fullness about my life in the US. And having relationships to look forward to cultivating and continuing in the Philippines displays that fullness once again.  A fullness in Christ.

It doesn’t truly seem real that I won’t be on US soil until next summer. I am excited for what is to come. I’m nervous about learning things and acclimating to cultural norms. I am blessed to have wonderful girls to be experiencing this with. I am anxious to see what daily life will be like. But most of all, I am thankful. Thankful that I am actually living this. Thankful that the Lord sought me and directed my path when He did. Thankful that I am a daughter of the Most High. Thankful and privileged to be sharing His love with the people in the Philippines. Thankful that His salvation is free and real and life-changing and perfect. May He continue to receive all glory through His work in my life.

And thanks to all of you who support, encourage, pray, and love me. I ask that you would “pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” That is, after all, the reason I am here.

Miss you guys!! Love and prayers,


Monday, July 23, 2012

peace I leave with you.

      Yesterday marked 2 weeks until my travel begins for my move to the Philippines. I had the awesome opportunity of sharing with several Sunday School classes at Highpoint Church, my church in Memphis. Thank you to those of you that took the time to listen to how God has directed my path over the last few years and led me to where I am today. Thanks especially for joining together as a body to pray for me and speak blessing over this journey! I am truly blessed!

As time slips away so quickly, I'd like to give a financial update to those of you who read. I am now at 55% of the amount that is due on August 1st (next Wednesday). I am lacking around $3,000. If you look back at two posts ago, that's a big jump! God is moving and truly showing me that He alone is Provider.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John  14:27

That verse was brought to my attention time and time again yesterday. 
Oh, how I believe it is TRUTH!

Once again, I ask you to pray and ask the Lord if He would have you give. 
You can simply click the "donate" button to the left on this page to give online through Paypal. You don't have to have a Paypal account to do this!

Feel free to email me (, comment here, or contact me by phone (901-830-5843) if you have any questions.

Also, thank you to those that are praying. I am so grateful for you!

To God be the glory,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Record of Faithfulness.

I know that I just wrote a new post a few days ago, but I wanted to share what God is teaching me.

Through the struggles of being funded for this fall, I have thought about so many things. I have been at points of complete peace, trusting God will provide, and then at points of complete disbelief, wondering how it is all going to work out. I have teetered on the disbelief side more so than I think I would like to admit. But just because I don't believe, doesn't mean that God isn't faithful. He is in His very nature faithful--to be unfaithful would deny who He essentially is, 
and He simply doesn't do that. Sometimes I fail to acknowledge that faithfulness. 
It is definitely easier to see what I lack instead of what I have been blessed with. 

But oh how sweet is the Lord to be patient with His children. He loves us. "He is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is long-suffering in order that none would perish, but ALL may come to repentance." 
(2 Peter 3:9)

In my shameful moments of disbelief, a million things have run through my mind. "What if I don't get to go this fall?" "Maybe I will just wait a year, save all my money, and then be able to go." etc, etc, etc. Basically looking at my situation as impossible for the LIVING God and trying to make ends meet in my own power. But Praise God for His sweet correction. He reminds me of His promises. He shows me glimpses of His faithfulness, in small and big things. And that all leads to praise and glory of His name--which is the reason we are to live.

So now, I am in a season of thankfulness. Rejoicing in this suffering. I wrote this before, but it seems I still need to be reminded--That when we are in these intense seasons of suffering, however suffering may manifest itself in our lives, that God very literally gives us Himself. He gently says that we can't do it on our own. We have to trust Him. He grows us in these times. Why? Maybe I am going to need a solid faith foundation for all the Lord has in store for the future. Very likely is that he desires and deserves the praises of all people, and will do what it takes to get that.

I am thankful for this time. I am thankful that I can't look to my own ability to raise money to go volunteer as a midwife and share the gospel in the Philippines. I praise God for all those who already have met their goal and can sit with assurance that the money is there. But I even more praise God for His faithfulness in showing me that this call has NOTHING to do with me. I can't go on my own accord. He will provide, for His namesake. He will "Enlarge the place of my tent, stretch my tent curtains wide; lengthen my cords, strengthen my stakes." (Isaiah 54: 2) He will make me rely on Him for everything. And for that, I am so grateful. Just lets me know that this endeavor has God written all over it. 
And in the end, I just want to be where He is.

"I am STILL confident of this: That I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." 
and now I am to "Wait for the Lord. Be strong. Take heart. And wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:13-14)

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for all the encouragement and prayers. I said it in my last post, but the prayers of God's people are being honored, and He is moving mightily. I ask you to continue praying for His Kingdom come and will to be done.

Love you guys!


Monday, July 16, 2012

20 days.

The past week or so has been eventful, full of travel, and a good break. I had a week off from babysitting, and went down to Mississippi with my brother and his girlfriend to visit my dad and family. That in itself was such a blessing, just getting to catch up and spend time with those who mean the most to me. In the few days I was there, I had my wisdom teeth taken out, too. Even though surgery isn't the most awesome thing, it was a good opportunity to get my pestering molars removed. I have been healing well for the most part!

Then I got to turn right back around and drive to Franklin to spend the weekend with the bride-to-be, Jessi. We picked up Karah from the airport as she returned from her mission trip in India. Battling the airport was surprisingly not too difficult. It made me feel really grown-up! Veronica came in that night--and E103 was reunited once again! Our lives are already so drastically different, but I can never express how thankful I am for them even still.

So now I am down to twenty days. Less than three weeks are all that stand between me and my home-away-from-home. About a million thoughts are flooding my mind. It is the oddest feeling in the world to be this season of transition. But oh what a peace flows from obedience to the Lord.

Last Sunday, I had the blessing of speaking at my grandparent's church about my move to the Philippines. Once again, the Lord used His body to encourage me and help support His mission around the world. Thanks so much to Living Oaks for your loving arms and heart for the world!

To update those who follow my blog, here is where I am financially. I'm at about 43% funded for the amount due August 1st. I am still in need of the other 57% in order to move in three weeks. I ask most importantly for your prayers. I can so honestly say that your prayers have offered much comfort and peace as I am waiting on the Lord and trusting in His leading.

In addition to praying, if you feel led to give financially, please let me know. Remember that the "donate" button on my blog can be utilized as online giving through paypal. Feel free to email me (, comment here, or contact me by phone (901-830-5843) if you have any questions.

 So grateful for reminders like Revelation 7:9-10:

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, 
from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne  
and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding 
palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

All nations will praise our God! May we be a body united to this end!


Friday, June 29, 2012

sweet reminders.

Isaiah 61.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

     About two years ago, in my college Sunday school class, we studied this text. It was something that I had never read before, or perhaps that never really stuck out to me. But that morning as we went through the text, I was so intrigued by this passage. I went back to my campus apartment and read it again. The Lord so very sweetly nudged my heart, planting the desire in my heart to "proclaim good news to the poor" and "bind up the brokenhearted"--to physically go and do the things listed here in Isaiah. This was my mission.

      So yesterday, I found myself in this chapter again, as I have been going through Isaiah this summer, and chapter 61 was yesterday's reading. Again I was reminded of the truth that God has revealed to me--the validity of His calling. I was reading and studying further, too, as I was reminded of Luke 4 (verses 14-21), where Jesus is in Nazareth. He stands up to read from the scroll of the prophet of Isaiah, and reads:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
 He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners 
and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

     After this, Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

     Jesus announced his mission using Isaiah 61. And before realizing that connection, Jesus announced his mission in my heart using Isaiah 61, too. As I was reflecting on that yesterday, I realized something. Of course he would use that same scripture to give direction to my life. And why? Because it is His mission we are living for, not our own.

Matthew 16:24 says "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Follow what Christ does. 
         What does Christ do? Read Isaiah 61. 

In Matthew 26:39, Jesus cries out to the Father and says, "Not as I will, but as You will." 
         What does the Father will? Salvation through Christ for all peoples.

He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, 
according to the purpose of his will
(Ephesians 1:5)

For this is the will of God, that every one who sees the Son 
and believes in him should have eternal life. 
(John 6:40)

I've also been learning through Isaiah that God's will is His glory.

" gain for Himself an everlasting renown."

" make for yourself (God) a glorious name."

"For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? 
I will not yield my glory to another."

" that you may know that I am Lord."

" that men may know there is none besides me."

     That all may know His salvation and He may receive all glory. That is what we as Christians should live and even die for. That is what I am learning to do, as I graciously thank Christ for reminding me of His mission and how it is mine as well.

Also, a quick thought from my journal--something that was so simple, but so profound, especially as I am struggling with finances and leaving in August:

Pain and suffering--these are usually seen as bad. But as I begin to think about my 'suffering' in raising funds for the Fall, I am reminded just how much suffering is a gift. In suffering, God gives us Himself, which is the greatest gift to be given. So suffering should be rejoiced in! (1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4) God gives us Himself--to learn, grow, be comforted, understand that He is all we need. Thank you, Lord, for very literally giving me yourself.

Thanks for reading all my random thoughts. Praying that you are blessed through your sufferings and that God may be glorified!


Monday, June 25, 2012

tid-bits and a challenge.

Pray. Give. Go. Three powerful words that encouraged my heart as I shared at a small church in Union City yesterday. Thanks again to Crosswind who encouraged my heart and reminded me that indifference is not an option.

 Here's a few updates:
*Today is June 25. 41 days until August 5. Oh, what a countdown!

*I got my overseas address! If you are interested in sending me letters/boxes/'s the info.

For letters and regular mail:
Brittany Barthol
Mercy Maternity Center
PO Box 81227
Davao City  8000

For shipping via UPS or large Forex Boxes:
Brittany Barthol
Mercy Maternity Center
10 First Opal Street
Near Corner Veloso/Dakudao
Davao City  8000
Tel.  63-82-224-1482

*As of today, I am right at ~25% funded for the Fall in the Philippines. Even though the countdown to my departure is exciting, it has become a bit daunting as well, as 41 days are left for that 25% to be 100%. There are several ways to financially support, with one-time gifts or monthly pledges. I have had some response to monthly donations that have been so wonderful. Thank you to those who can give! If you want to give, ANY amount helps, I promise! Please let me know if you can support, have any ideas fundraising-wise, etc.
      *Supporting a birth costs about $80. If you are interested in this option, I will send a picture and short story about the baby and the family you specifically assisted. Be sure to notify me if this is the avenue you wish to support.
     *Also, Newlife International School of Midwifery is unique in that student fees go directly to fund the clinic. The clinic is self-supported and funded by the students enrolled in the school. The fees are based on the amount of births at the clinic each year. Last year it was over 1500, with 20,000 patients annually in for prenatal exams!! This clinic offers wonderful labor and delivery services free of charge to those who would not be able to afford it. 

    *Here's the monthly goal I want to challenge you with: If I have 25 friends pledge $20 each month for the next 6 months (July-December 2012), MORE THAN HALF of the fees for Spring 2013 would be covered! $20--a few coffee's worth, your pocket change from the month. Think about it. Pray about it.

Finally, I want to continue to say thank you to everyone who has shown great support for me and this ministry. I am confident that the Lord can use such a practical, common avenue such a child-birth to bring the lost to salvation and life abundant in Him. The director of the clinic I will volunteer with posted this link to an article on maternal health in the Philippines. ( It is a short read and shines light on the high maternal mortality rates. Add this to the reasons I am compelled to go.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Midsummer Update.

It’s June 12. I’m right in the middle of my summer break. In seven weeks, I’m done with my summer, and I move across the world. Hello, reality.

        It would be wonderful to say that the past six or so weeks have been carefree, without worry, all fun. But that wouldn’t be true. These past six weeks have been tough. Tougher than I anticipated. Tougher in more than one way. Tougher than I have been able to handle on my own. But amidst the toughness, I have found a wellspring of gratitude.

Romans 5:1-5 says “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

This passage has been a constant comfort and reminder of where the root of my joy should stem from. Paul writes that we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And also that we rejoice in suffering which produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope. And that hope does not disappoint us.

The Hope of the Glory of God. What does that even mean? How does God even get glory?

        God has been teaching me that He gets glory from people turning from the world, embracing His salvation, and living gospel-centered lives. Lives that deny self. Lives that seek first His Kingdom.  

2 Corinthians 3:18 describes this glory. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

        To be completely transparent, I have been struggling a lot with the financial aspect of moving to the Philippines. I have been granted peace in knowing that God intends for me to go. He has displayed His faithfulness in the little and big things over the past year in getting me to where I am today. But it seems like once summer hit, the anxiety immediately began to rise in my heart and no support has come in at all. Sometimes I feel like there are a thousand and one things I should be doing to try to raise support. Other times I am reminded that no matter what I do, I am helpless without the favor and hand of the Lord. It is a back-and-forth tug on my heart, and I know that Satan is at the root of my doubt.

        God has been gracious to remind me over and over through my study of Isaiah that HE will fulfill His promises, that HE is always with me.

“They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.” 
Isaiah 48:21

“Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are far from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.” 
Isaiah 46:12-13

A verse that the Lord has used over the past few years in my life comes to mind. 

 “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:13-14

I am confident that on August 5 I will board a plane to move my few possessions and myself over to the Philippines. I am STILL confident that my God, who created the earth and everything in it, will stay true to Himself, in what He has revealed in my heart, and that He will get His glory—the glory in which we rest our hope!

I found this written in the back of my Bible from where I heard it sometime this past semester: 
“God is not going to call you to do something you can do on your own.”

I am beginning to learn this full well.

Please pray!

*Pray for financial support to come in. (Matthew 7:7-8)
*Pray that Satan be bound from God’s work through Newlife. May we who are entering in take up the shield of faith that we will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
(Ephesians 6:16)
*Pray and ask the Lord how He would have you be involved in His plan of drawing all peoples to Himself. Whether it be in praying, financially supporting, going, mobilizing, or other ways, ask God to use you for the redemption of His people in the world.
*Pray for the people God has prepared for me and the other girls to meet and minister to. May people come to know salvation in Christ through the work we will be doing.
*Pray also for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:19)