Thursday, September 4, 2014

The last weeks in pictures.

I'm writing this post from Memphis. After over 2 years, 77 babies, an engagement, and completely leaving my heart in the Philippines, I am home. Because mostly all words and emotions escape me as of now, here is a look at the past few weeks.

All I have to say is to God be the glory--May His name be glorified in seasons past and present. Thank you for being apart of what He has been doing in my heart!

This is me, Grace, and her family. Baby girl Cheska was born last August and now, a year later, we are celebrating her first birthday! I was privileged to be called 'ninang' to Cheska, a godmother for this sweet baby girl. :)

This is Shiela and her family. The little baby boy was born in August, just a few weeks before I returned to the states. The little girl in the picture is Axcell Rose, born in April of 2013. I was blessed to not only serve this momma once, but two times now, as her midwife. So grateful for the blessing of caring for this family. Click HERE for this continuity story!

Almost one and a half years old! :)
Vonn and I in Manila, down by the ocean. This was just days before his fiancé visa was APPROVED by the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us in our relationship. We are looking forward to the future, Vonn coming to the states, and a wedding! :)
Sweet Maricel and her family. The baby sitting in her lap is her second child that was born March 2014--baby girl Brittany. I made a visit to their home a few days before leaving the Philippines!

My last full night in the Philippines. Eating dinner and playing Scrabble with my besties. What a fun way to end my time there. Blessed by each one of these girls and love them so much! (And Jamie, too--who was taking the picture!)

Arrival in the U.S. at Memphis International. Suzanna, me, and Alex--all siblings together again! And my crying momma taking the picture!

Karah, me, and Veronica! (Missing Jessi!) Happy to see my best friends and so glad to have them after two years away!

        Adjusting to cold A/C, loving warm showers and washing machines! Looking forward to catching up with family and friends this weekend. Missing the Phils, but happy to be home. Midwifery exam in the next few weeks. Consistent, never-changing God.

Until next time,


Sunday, July 6, 2014

the challenging. and the encouraging.

Hello again from Davao. I have lived in this beautiful place for 23 months and can't believe that I only have 2 months more! These past few months have been those of great struggles and great victories. Let me share with you the goodness of the Lord in my life, that you too may share in the blessing of His faithfulness:

The challenging first: To be very transparent, it has been a very intense spiritual battle the past few months, for me personally yes, but also for the group of us here, too. There are good things, Kingdom-advancing things, in the works here, and I know that satan doesn't like that. He tries to pull us down, to send attacks, one after another after another. I think all of it, added with such stress from this being the end of our time here, has led to intense times. But God...But God doesn't change, He is always the same. He sees us, in need, and comes to us. He never leaves us, He never forsakes us. He delights in His children. He is a fortress--a strong tower. We can run to Him. And I think we all have been running a little faster and more intentionally towards Him as we have realized that we can't do this alone. This, coupled with hurting loved ones from home, really became overwhelming.
"Our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.
-2 Chronicles 20:12

"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." --Isaiah 7:9  

These verses are simple, maybe well-known. But they resonate over and over again in my heart. Thank you Lord for Your Word. Thank you Lord for others to confide in, to cry and to pray with. Continue to build in me a thankful and trusting heart. 

 Now to the encouraging:
I have been finishing up bits of paperwork and requirements these past two months. It has been good to finally put a cap on the end of all that hard work, to breathe a sigh of relief, and praise the Lord for the conclusion of such a wonderful chapter. On July 3rd, I finally was able to hand in the last little bit and have papers sent off. So crazy to think it was as easy as that. Praise God that not only I, but the whole original group of us girls, have persevered to the end and been able to finish. It hasn't been easy, but quite the opposite. But because of the Lord's great mercy towards us, we stand as a complete batch, ready to finish our time here--together. Another praise to go along with this is the blessing of the funds I need to take my board exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) when I return home! He is finishing what He began in me and I am thankful for those of you in the Body that He has used to show that to me! Thank you!

More blessings from July 3rd include the awesome news that Vonn and I have an interview date with the U.S. Embassy. It has been a long process of checking online updates at hours on end, never finding an available spot. But when I got home from the clinic that afternoon, I was able to quickly schedule a date for a spot that had opened up. We will travel to Manila in mid-August to complete several requirements in an effort to secure a fiancee visa for him. We are thankful for the overwhelming support we already get from you guys, and we continue to ask for prayer for favor and for all our ducks to be in a row when we interview. I am so grateful that we were able to get a spot that allowed me to accompany Vonn to Manila. I know he could have done it on his own, but I'm thankful for God's blessing that allows us to do it together. Thank You Lord for July 3rd, as we received overwhelming blessing all within one day! 

Jumping ahead to August 3--My batch and I, along with everyone partnered with our organization will come together and celebrate as a way to all be together one more time and give thanks for all that God has done in the past two years. I think about how much I have grown to love the people I serve alongside and what an honor it has been to become a family. I am excited to see how the Lord will use each person as we all partner to use maternity care to reach the lost. 

And then just a month later, on September 3, I leave on a jet plane to move back to the United States. After not setting foot on U.S. soil for over 2 years, this will be an interesting transition. I'm not sure if I am quite ready, but I know that whereever I go, the King goes. And wherever the King goes, His Kingdom comes. So my prayer is to journey along where the King leads and partner with Him to see His Kingdom come, whether here in the Phils or at home in Memphis. Lots of a desicons need to be made, and Lord-willing, a wedding will need to be planned. All exciting things. Lord, prepare me for the season ahead!

So as I finish, I remember that the whole purpose is to know God and make Him known. I wrote this for a summary of a book I was reading on missions:

“Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” This is a quote by John Piper, in his book Let the Nations Be Glad. He stresses that the importance and focus of the church is not missions—it is worship. Sometimes as believers, myself included, we get so caught up in the going and doing that we ourselves aren’t worshiping the King. Missions aids in the worship God deserves, but as partners in this mission, we have to remember that our goal is worship, too. It doesn't mean that we don't go or we don't share--we surely do these things and make them an utmost priority. BUT, we are made to worship the Lord, just as all the millions of people in the world are too. So may we continue to pray and seek and love our Maker first, and serve Him from the ourpouring of His love.

Thank you for following me in this journey. It is a deep joy to serve and know that there are loved ones who pray and support. Can't wait to see you in a short, short time.


Friday, May 23, 2014


      My months here in the Phils usually include a mixture of the same things--volunteer hours at the clinic (~32+/week), check-ups with babies and mommas, church, and lots of studying! It was nice this past week to break the routine and take a day trip to Samal, a neighboring island, to speak at a youth camp. Vonn and I were both able to go and share about the things the Lord has taught us about missions and how to practically share. It was a blessing to prepare for my talk, as I reflected on how God has used my relationship with Him, His Word, circumstances, and other believers in my life to lead me to where I am today. Equally encouraging were the students, as they were eager to listen to what I had to say and eager to learn and practice how to share the gospel with others. Thankful for the opportunity to speak and see filipino youth in love with the Lord, dedicated to sharing.

This is me sharing a little bit of my testimony and talking about missions.
My handsome to-be groom sharing how to use 'Ang Tulay' (bridge tract to share the Gospel)
Some of the kids of a family who lives near the camp
Looking ahead for the summer:
-I will be helping supervise a team of four college students who will partner and volunteer with the clinic here. They will serve through Nehemiah Teams during the months of June and July. Please pray for their transition here, willingness to serve, that they will be a blessing to the staff and patients, and for opportunities to be intentional in sharing.
-Because I will sit my midwifery exam in the US in October, all of my school work and cases are required to be completed by the beginning of July. Pray for me as I finish up this last little bit and gather the finances and resources to file for the test.
-Transition! I am always asking for you guys to partner specifically in this with me, because I know transition from the Philippines to the US will be a difficult one. Excited to see family and friends, knowing that the God who is faithful to me today doesn't change, no matter where I am in the world!

Thank you for walking through this journey with me and following my last few months here. To Gos be the glory, great things He is continuing to do! Until next time,


Sunday, May 4, 2014

the seasons of Mays.

May 2012.
Two years ago tomorrow I graduated from my 4 years of university at UT Martin. It was one of the hardest days I have lived, as I drove home with my car packed full of the things I had accumulated while living away, tears running down my face as that wonderful, pivotal season in my life had come to an end. I wasn't returning home as the same Brittany who had moved away after high school. I was very, very different, with different plans that I had originally thought of, facing a unique looking future. I was a college-grad about to move out of the country for 2 years.

May 2013.
Fast forward to this month one year ago. I am celebrating my birthday thousands of miles away from home with half foreigners, half filipinos by eating makeshift Mexican food and playing games. I was loving every second of the culture, the midwifery, the experience. I was surprised at the quick friendships that had formed and the strength behind those that had been long-standing. I was happy to be right where I was, full of peace that the Lord had indeed led me to the right place. I missed my friends and family back home, but oh was I happy to be in the middle of Davao City, Philippines, catching babies and loving on mommas. 

May 2014
So now let's look at right now. As I was having a conversation with my roommate earlier, I was reminded again that it is MAY already. This month has been long-awaited, circled and starred in my planner since early last fall. The arrival of May means the end of my official academics. No more assignments, no more deadlines. The next three months ahead will be full of continued clinical experience, practice tests, and studying everything I have already learned in effort to prepare for my midwifery certification test (the NARM) that I will take in October. I am full of mixed emotions and quite frankly, I just really don't know what to feel.
       One thing I am certainly feeling, though, is excitement. Not necessarily excitement to leave or to even come home, but excitement because just a few weeks ago, my boyfriend of almost three years, Vonn, asked me to marry him! Most of you probably have already seen the news from Facebook, but I wanted to officially update those of you who simply follow by email. I share this announcement with you all as a praise and a prayer request. I praise the Lord because of the wonderful man he has given me--one who loves the Lord above all and lives to see others come to know Him. I am very blessed. I additionally ask for your prayers as Vonn and I continue on the road of jumping visa and immigration hurdles for him to join me in the US. It is quite the lengthy process, but we are definitely up for the challenge!

After three months of studying, my class will have our graduation here in the Philippines. My tentative plan as of now is to stick around for a bit to spend a few weeks with Vonn, working on visa things and hanging out with his family. Then I prepare to make the big move home at the beginning of September. I have a feeling transitioning out of this season might be a bit more than the silent tears I shed when leaving college. Once home, I will be living for a short time with a friend from college and looking to quickly get on my feet, finding a car and job, and get settled back into the US. Vonn will remain in the Philippines until all processing is complete and then, Lord-willing, will join me in the states. Of course, all of this is what we are loosely planning. We simply do not know exactly what will happen or how the path in front of us will turn and change. We do trust however that the Maker of the road will not change, and that is where we are placing our hope and trust.

Prayer Requests:
-Pray for Vonn's processing as we seek to follow the Lord in marriage. We are asking the Lord for favor and provision for the process to be complete.
-Remember me as I study and prepare for the NARM. I am praying for quick recall and productive study time.
-Transitioning to my home in the US will be difficult. Please join me praying for the Lord's comfort and goodness as I make huge changes in the next few months.
-I am looking to purchase a ticket home and also register to take my NARM test, but need still need financial assistance for these. Please continue to pray and give online through my blog as you feel led. You can also contact my friend, Veronica Choukalas for more information (
-Pray for peace and continued dedication as I am here. Often I am reminded of the Jim Elliot quote "Wherever you are, be all there." I desire to remain here physically, mentally, emotionally up until the day I leave, serving and loving these people.

Once again, thank you each and all for being apart of this awesome journey. Your prayers and support have most literally carried me through this season with joy and awe. I look forward to seeing you as I return this fall and can't wait to share even more of what the Lord is doing around the world and in my heart. Will update again soon!

Brittany =)

Monday, April 14, 2014

life lately

       The hustle and bustle of a busy midwife schedule has kept me pretty busy these last few months. I am on the last leg now of this journey, finishing up my studies and preparing things for my big certification exam this coming October. 
        Here is a look into my last few weeks....

Vonn and I went to his hometown for a few days at the end of last month to see his cousin, Daylyn, graduate. It was a fun little break away from the city. I am always blessed with the little time I get to spend with his family. Below are a few pictures of our time there. 

Just a little over a week ago, devastation hit a part of our city when a massive fire burned much of Isla Verde on the evening of April 4, 2014. This area is near and dear to my heart, as I volunteer on an outreach there twice a month to provide prenatal care to Badjao women and the local Muslim community. (See THIS previous blog post of mine for some background.) Not only were some 1,000 houses engulfed by the fire, but three neighboring barangays (neighborhoods) were affected, and 3,700 families have been left  homeless. The multi-purpose building where we held our prenatals and where our partnering ministry served the people in countless capacities is no longer standing. What is left is pictured below.

View of the fire from the ocean

Some of the devastation
Please continue to remember these people in your prayers. Families are relocated to areas nearby in a local park and school. Everything they own was lost, and they are living day by day as they struggle to provide food and shelter. These people are already the poorest of the poor in our city. 

Many people have stepped up and volunteered by donating food and clothing. Our organization was able to provide 200 meals a few days after the fire for those displaced in partnership with the ministry already based in the area. Many others are doing the same in efforts to provide for the practical needs of the people. We will continue to partner in the area to provide maternal health care and are praying that a space will be provided for the continued ministry of our partners there. My hope and prayer is that many come to know the Lord even through the devastation, that He would show Himself to be Provider, Healer, and Comforter in the midst of such hardship.

           On a bit of a happier note, I finally received my box from home. It was sent in December, but just got to me this week. I was SO thankful to have so many wonderful treats from home and enjoyed having my Christmas in April! Thanks to all my family who gathered my favorites and sent them. I am thankful for all the little things. Oh and Vonn loved his Memphis Tigers tee. ;)

Thanks again to all for supporting and praying for me as I am here. I am continuing to love every second of it here and am thankful to be learning and using midwifery skills for the glory of God. 

Until next time,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Continuity at it's best.

       Last April, I had the privilege of delivering the baby of this sweet 19 year old. I had done a few of her prenatals beforehand and was happy to see her in the clinic when I arrived for shift that day. Her baby girl, Axcell Rose, is her second-born. 

     Just a few months ago, I got a text from a number I didn't know. Through the Visayan I know (and the help I got from Vonn and other friends), I found out that a past patient of mine thought she was pregnant again. I quickly grabbed my birth book where I keep records of all my patients and instantly remembered her! She was only 4 weeks along then, so I advised a few things, including a pregnancy test. A few weeks later, I got a text that she was indeed pregnant!
     Just this morning she came in for her first prenatal. I of course was happy to take her as my continuity patient. The pictures below are of her and the baby I caught last year! Wow how time flies! So happy to be doing what I am doing. Salamat sa Ginoo. :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014


February. I welcome you with open arms. Not even 2 days have passed and already blessings have flowed forth.

I will be the first to admit that January of this year was a bit of a transition..and just plain hard. It is 2014--new year, new hype, wohoo. With a new year comes resolutions and hopes and promises and bright outooks. I too welcomed the new year with a hopeful heart. But it has been a tad bit more realistic and, like I said before, just hard.

2014 for me meant one more round of clinic fees to pay. It meant buckling down because of several module classes and some complicated assignments (literally). It means that the reality is--life is wrapping up for this season of me being in Davao, being a midwifery student (and almost a certified professional midwife), and me living and absorbing every ounce of a culture I often claim as my own.

Now there are days that sounds so good--school work is over, and I can finally go home. But other days (which are the majority right now), that doesn't sound so good. I have made transitions in and out of seasons, and I know that life is full of transitions, but I don't think I am quite ready for this one. It will be a HUGE one. I can trust that God will give me the grace to embrace it when it comes, but for now, I will stay right here--focused here, being a good steward of my time, loving on these sweet mommas and babies--at least that is my earnest prayer.

One of the reasons that January was so hard was because of raising clinic fees. It is always kind of an internal dread asking for people to give. Don't get me wrong, I am always blessed and overwhelmed by the response I get, but I just don't like asking for money. I know that when God asked me to come here 2 years ago, you all welcomed the idea with open arms and open pockets, but still--not the most fun part of being supported-based. I did however have such a faith and peace built up from the Lord from the past three times I have raised money to meet the deadlines, and that surely sustained me. I got to the point this time where I realized there was NOTHING I could do raise the money on my own. I couldn't go out and get a job or take out a loan or anything like that. I was so out of control of the whole thing. I guess it was really like that each time, but it seemed so intensified this time. I was stuck. Stuck here, with no resources and no way to conjure up the lump sum remaining to pay. Oh but the Lord was so good to me in my 'stuck-ness.' What else can you do but turn to the Lord and trust him? In flooded all His promises--that He intends to finish what He began, that He is with His people, that He provides food for the birds of the air and clothes the flowers of the field, that He desires good for His people--and on and on they kept flooding in. 

So I am happy and overwhelmed and blessed beyond measure to say that ALL of my clinic fees for the rest of my time here in the Philippines have been given--and technically on time according to US time. Like I wrote in my previous post, I know my response to your generosity is to pour out thanksgiving to the Lord and pray for you. But it still makes me feel 'stuck'--but very much so in a different way.

As the last bit of donations came in, I kept thinking 'How I am supposed to accept this?' 'What can I do in return for their generosity, for their goodness and encouragement and support of me?' And that's where I find myself stuck. There is simply nothing I can do in response to your kindness in supporting me here, in sending me encouragment, in wrestling for me in prayer, in believing in the work God is doing here--simply nothing.

And I think to myself, 'Isn't that the beauty of the whole thing--the point that the Lord is trying to make?' There is nothing we can do to earn the salvation He freely gives. We can't pray enough, we can serve enough at church or do all these good things--we just can't. We are incapable of measuring up to the standards of God. But CHRIST. Now He can. And He does. And that's what we put our faith and hope and whole lives in. That He offers us this salvation and eternal life and goodness for free, and 'For it is by grace you have been saved through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works so that no one can boast.' (Ephesians 2:8-9) AMEN.

So I thank you for walking through this season with me. There is still quite a chunk of it left. I will continue to update you and call upon you for prayer for this ministry, as so many good things are to come. But for now, I want you to join me in being stuck. Let's be stuck together on the fact that we can't do a thing to earn this salvation God has given us through Christ. May we simply respond in thanksgiving and dedicate our lives to loving Christ and sharing with others--that they may too share in the blessings of salvation.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

giving and receiving.

Timely, timely, timely is the Lord.

As I have been reading my Bible this past week, several things have jumped out at me that have encouraged me.

        There are a few chapters in 2 Corinthians where Paul talks about giving (chapters 8 & 9 specifically). I couldn't help but relate as I am here across the world, supported by those who give. Paul urges the Corinthians to give, as he looks at the faithfulness in giving displayed by the Macedonian churches. He talks about "sowing generously and reaping generously" (9:6) and also about how "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in good work" (9:8). Those things were somewhat familiar to me; I might have even blogged about those before. What REALLY stuck out to me was what I found in the next few verses..

"Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" (9:10-15)

     All of that is wonderful--reasons to give, reasons to trust. But look at the part I have bolded. THAT IS WHERE I AM SUPPOSE TO RESPOND. People give. They are generous. And what do the receivers do? They remember those people. They pray for them. The result is thanksgiving to God, glory to Him, magnifying His work and goodness.

     So that is what I have been trying to do. And it has been such a blessing, remembering each of you as I receive notice of a donation. Some of you who have been in my life for years, some from college, some just acquaintances, some family. But all of you are givers and have been a blessing to my heart. 
So thank you. I am thankful for you each and all.

All of that being said, I am still in need. I have been blown away with the response since my last post. A lot of people have given! As of Sunday, January 19th--I am at needing $3,025. That is 121 more donations of $25 by February 1st. Thanks for standing with me in faith and continuing to pray.

Know that I am praying for you and ever thankful for those of you who give and encourage and support and simply talk to me. You have made this journey wonderful.

Brittany :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

literally stepping out of the boat.

Midwifery partnerships to meet needs physically and spiritually. That is what it is all about.

Those of you who keep up with my adventures may remember my trip to Cambodia this past September. What an eye-opening trip! Spiritual darkness like I have never seen before, women so far removed from understanding their bodies and how/what it means to give birth, young babies and children dying because of traditional practices that put their babies at risk. My heart was challenged and changed.

Vonn and I continue to pray for the country of Cambodia, not knowing if one day God will call us to serve there. My experience there was used to continue to kindle the fire in my heart for the NEED and the DESPERATION. And also reminded me of the vital role a midwife plays on the foreign mission field.

Below is a link to a video a teammate of mine made of our experience in September. Thank you to those who made it financially possible for me to go. Thanks to those who stood faithful in prayer to bind back the enemy in spiritual battle. Our organization continues to send girls there for further ministry.

As an end of week update, I am at still needing $3, 675 by February 1st to finish up my last semester here in the Philippines--that equals out to 147 more donations of $25. Donate via the link to the left of this post.

Thanks for standing with me and trusting. I'm am beyond thrilled to use what I have learned here for the rest of my life!

Midwife Brittany