Friday, May 23, 2014

samal.

      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,

Brittany

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 (vchou@sterncardio.com)
-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 =)