Saturday, June 29, 2013

let me tell ya about june

I'm back now at home (in Davao), gearing up to start my second year at our maternity clinic. Here's what I have been up to the past month..

I helped supervise the Mindanao rural healthcare teams through IMB Nehemiah Teams during my month break in June. I had the BEST time as I watched 15 American college students quickly adapt and jump right in and share the love of Christ to the lost and poor in the rural areas surrounding Butuan.

 This map shows in red Agusan Del Norte, where Butuan City is. The map below enlarges the province to show some of the areas surrounding the city. The healthcare teams are scattered among four remote areas in between Butuan City and Las Nieves, offering services like blood pressure checks and free circumcision to young boys, all while being intentional to share the good news of Christ with those who are deeply rooted in animism. To continue to follow the teams as the serve their second month in the areas, go to The site is full of pictures, updates, and ways for you to pray for them as they serve!
     As many of you know, this specific missions opportunity is near and dear to my heart. It is this same team that I was able to join in the summers of 2010 and 2011. It was during these summers that God changed my heart to be aware of the lostness around the world and showed me how I could join Him at this work using midwifery as a relational tool to share.

While there, I had the blessing of visiting the believers in the village I served in my two summers. They are now meeting in a small building (The land and structure was funded by some of my past teammates.) and have a pastor. Although they are few, their roots of faith are deep. And I was blessed beyond I can say to worship with them this past month.

 Here is a picture of the members that were there the first Sunday I visited. The two women beside me are Ate Adday and her daughter Mary Ann, the two people I was closest with my first summer there. Praise God they are continuing to follow Him!

The pictures below are of the three baptisms we were able to witness while being there. The first two pictures are of a husband and wife, and the third is of a youth member. :)

I could write a million and one things about how much I learned or was reminded of this month. There were funny times, new memories and old, hikes in the mud, habal2x rides, cooking successes and catastrophes, a wedding, bucket bathing, and so so much more. Most important of all is that there are workers amongst a ready harvest field, fighting a spiritual battle, that people may come to know Jesus. I'm thankful to have met them and helped a bit!

And now, back in Davao, I am looking towards quite a busy month. I have 4 continuity patients due this month, which means I am basically on-call all of July. I switch from 3 to now 4 shifts a week. The other half of my class goes on their break in July, so the clinic is full of interning volunteers. I have quite the heavy assignment as I learn about 'Well Woman.' My dorm just moved locations, and as each of us arrives back, much re-organizing and moving in is to be done. And I am nearing another deadline for clinic fees.

So far 33 people have donated $20. Only 167 more to go by August 1st. Please continue to join me as I look forward to serving my second and final year here in the Philippines, helping moms and babies and sharing the Gospel!

I miss you all across the world! Thank you for being apart of the eternally important work of making Christ known!

--Midwife Brittany

Friday, June 7, 2013

1 year down, now a break.

I can’t even begin to tell you of the joy I feel as I write this post.
      It is 4:18 pm on June 6, 2013. I am back at the BOOST (Baptist Outside of School Training Center) in the outskirts of Butuan City, Philippines. This is where I called home during the summers of 2010 & 2011, as I served through Nehemiah Teams on a medical team.
     This place has a certain air about it. Maybe it’s the change of scenery from big city Davao to simple bukid (rural mountains). Maybe it’s the people here—ones I have grown with and learned from and loved starting from years ago. Maybe it is simply the presence of God here. Whatever it is, I am happy and blessed to be back serving. Even though my role has changed from team member to a trainer, the air of familiarity remains—of simple living and simple sharing of a simple love that changes lives. This pulls at my heart in ways that hardly anything else in my life does. 

View from the BOOST--second home for me. :)
      I am on my one-month break that splits my 2 years volunteering at Mercy Maternity Center in Davao. Instead of going back home to the US, I am helping with set-up and training for an incoming mission team from the states. The team of US college students arrives on Saturday, June 8th here in the Philippines to join with Filipino believers to share the gospel through medicine to people in surrounding rural villages.  Please remember them in your prayers throughout the summer months of June and July.
     Looking back at this past completed year in the Phils, I can tell you a few things for certain. Never more have I learned, never more have I loved, never more have I been put in situations to trust what God has laid in front of me. And never more have I felt a confirmation that THIS is where I am supposed to be for this season.
     Even though I miss my home in the US and all my friends and family and just the normality of life as I knew it growing up, I can’t help but marvel at how true God is to His word. When He says that  

“no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life."..(Mark 10: 29-30)

 He really wasn’t joking. He is faithful. He fulfills His word. He is true. I’m certain I’ve written about this very thing before, but allow me again to be thankful that our Lord doesn’t change. He doesn’t leave us. He doesn’t forsake us. He is God.
     As I prepare for second and final year serving and learning at Mercy Maternity, I must be very transparent with those of you who read. I am in great need. I am once again in need of financial support for clinic fees for this coming fall. If I can be honest and show a little bit of my discouraged heart, it is no fun asking and asking and asking for money. BUT let me tell you that from what I have witnessed of the work of the Lord, He always provides. And He uses His people to provide. Just like He uses his people to reach those who are lost.
     So once again, boldly I ask for your help in allowing me to continue serving in the Philippines this year. Each and every amount is something huge. Every effort to repost my blog, to share with your family and friends, to challenge your small group, to be apart of the Lord’s work in expanding His kingdom—it all counts! I challenge each of you who read to be moved to donate a small amount. A simple $20 from 200 of you would meet the goal. It was done back in January. I am excited to watch it happen again!
     Of course more than anything else, I ask for your prayers. The harvest in plentiful, but the workers are few; therefore pray that God would send our workers among the harvest field! That is the goal. That is what we live for as believers. Let’s together match our actions with this in mind! 
     I will update as much as I can in June about my experiences here in the bukid, as well as progress in raising the needed funds by August 1 for me to continue serving here in the Philippines. Thank you for encouragement and support and prayers! Oh that God may be glorified for the way He is using His church!

Brittany :)


Midwife. The word literally means 'with woman'
     I know I have written this several times in my posts. It is a pretty simple thing to understand at face value. But once that title is seemingly snatched away, when the privilege of being ‘with woman’ is not longer an option, a far deeper meaning surfaces. You begin to realize just how ‘with woman’ you really were.

I learned this full well this past week

     I have this patient named Jen. She is a 15-year-old girl from one of the clinic’s outreach areas where I volunteer once or twice a month. I did one of her early prenatals back at the beginning of this year and decided to take her a continuity patient of mine. I was to handle all of her prenatal care and be the one to manage her labor and delivery at our clinic. She had some complications prenatally so from then on out, I began to see her every two weeks, monitoring the growth of her baby and building a relationship with her. We became close and were frequent ‘text-mates’ as she had a lot of questions and wanted someone to guide her.
     I began praying for her upcoming birth. We couldn’t quite figure out her estimated date of delivery as her dates seemed to be mismatched with our clinical findings. When she finally was able to collect money for an ultrasound, it turned out not to be of much help. With an unsure due date and my upcoming break for month of June, I was sure that she would end up delivering while I was gone.
     Then, I got a text at 2:30am on May 28th that she was hurting and in labor. She continued to say that she was heading to the clinic, so I woke up and got ready. Several things happened very quickly at the clinic as I was awaiting their call. Because her chart showed that her dates were early for delivery, the supervising midwife made the decision to transport her right away to the hospital. I had feared that would be the case, but given the same circumstances, I would have done the same. Jen texted me that she was being referred, and then the call came from the clinic that she was indeed already at the hospital. I was so crushed. All the prenatals, all the time spent trying to prevent a transport to the hospital, all the efforts to prepare her for a birth at our clinic—all of it seemed to be for nothing.

I was really upset. I sat on my desk at home, 4 o’clock in the morning, crying. My patient continued to text me from the hospital as she waited to be taken to the delivery room. I was so discouraged and defeated. A midwife is with woman. And I couldn’t be with Jen. I had advocated, I had fought for her, but it didn’t turn out like we wanted.

The beauty of the situation is that she gave birth to a very healthy, beautiful baby boy at the hospital—no complications. I went to visit the pair the next day. It was wonderful to see them. In the end, I just wanted them to be healthy. And that indeed they were.

I’m learning more and more and more that it isn’t about me being the one to deliver a baby, or be close to a woman, or me doing anything at all. Every effort of mine is comparable to filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and if I do not abide in the Lord, I can do nothing. (John 15)

I have continued to talk daily with Jen, and am excited to continue being her friend, to continue loving her, and to continue to share the incomparable love of Christ with her. She has a special place in my heart. And God has used our unique relationship to show me so much already.

Continue to pray for Jen, her family, and her baby boy Prince Yusop.
Pray for salvation, as they are unbelievers.
Pray that God may be glorified through our sweet relationship.
Pray that I would die to self and allow God to work through me.