Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Baby Lovin

So there's been a few babies lately! Melissa and I got to help with a birth the other day. Melissa got to catch and I was going to handle the baby after it was out. So the head was out and all the sudden another mom runs into the delivery room and plops down on the other bed. Melissa is obviously distracted and quite skillfully delivers her baby and is just smiling at the baby. About 5 seconds later I look over to the other mom in the room and notice that her baby is crowning. So I'm just standing there in awe watching the second baby come out in about 1 minute. I yell "baby out!" and Melissa looks at me "Yeah, the baby's been out for a couple minutes!" "No no! OTHER baby out!" So everyone looks over to her and her midwife and just starts smiling so big. So I ran between the two and got the babies situated and whatnot. It was so much fun. We've been waiting for the fully dilated mom to run in and have her baby. We finally got to check that off the list! :D We also got to check another big goal off our list! Both of us had a baby named after us this week! Melissa got a little baby named Princess Meliza and I got Eliza Molly. :D This was a very exciting week for us! On top of all of this there was also another birth last night! I got to catch and a Kings Kid named Amanda got to cut the cord! It's been so fun getting to teach them what to expect and how to help. We even taught some of the boys how to insert IVs! (Yes, Melissa and I were the available veins.)
Anyways, that's the baby update! The outreaches have been so fun! The kids are doing awesome and getting to learn a lot and just love on the kiddos here. This week there's still another day of prenatals and the dump and housing projects. Keep this week in your prayers! We've began the one week countdown to coming home and it feels like there's still so much to learn! We'll keep you guys updated and we'll see you way too soon! :D

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kings Kids!

Hey guys! So on Wednesday Kings Kids got here safe! Thanks for keeping them in your prayers! It's so great having more people here... they're really cool! It's 30 people, most ranging from the ages of 14-18. It's awesome to see what God is doing in the lives of this generation. They're so in touch with God... it really is amazing to just sit and listen to their stories and what God has been showing them. They've been doing some outreaches at the clinic in the mornings and then they did the Hospital and the Dump Site yesterday. It's really a different experience when you go with this big of a group that is totally on fire for God. There's so many feelings when you walk into a place of so much need. Many of the kids felt, and I agree, just a spirit of darkness in the hospital. I'm honestly not surprised because whenever a light as big as 30 teenagers walks in with the sole purpose of spreading the love of Jesus, Satan doesn't just sit back and watch. There's always barriers and his defenses. Thankfully these kids weren't distracted at all. They walked in and just went up to patients like they were pros. They got to pray with all the kids on the pediatric floor and give them little gifts too! It really was cool to be a part of.
In other news, I got to deliver another baby boy the other night. He's a cutie. The mom was the quietist mom I've ever seen. Granted it was her 7th child, but she didn't even make one sound. Like I've said before, these moms are champs at labor. But it all went really well! A girl named Emily from Kings Kids even got to watch! It was a long labor but they both did fantastic. :D Melissa and I decided to stay at the house with the kids instead of moving over to the clinic. We're having too much fun with all the kids! There's 20 girls so we're not exactly short on new friends. :D So we're still hoping to catch as many babies as possible but we're also going on a lot of the outreaches with the kids.
Please keep the next two weeks in your prayers! As previously stated, Satan doesn't sit back when this kind of force is on fire for Jesus. Pray against spiritual warfare and pray that these hearts here can stay strong and focused on the goal. It's their 3rd week here in the Philippines so also pray for energy! They're going to do an amazing work and prayer warriors are always needed! I love you guys so much and will check in again soon! :D

Friday, July 9, 2010

A very eventful week....

So this week was full of new stuff for me! I finally got to deliver another baby! It's been so long! The mom had a long, hard labor and was exhausted by the time pushing came around. We welcomed little baby Yuri (spelling?!) into the world about 12 hours after she came into the clinic. This was a hard birth for me. When the head came out we all noticed that it was very non-reactive. Then we noticed that the lips were turning blue. Right when this realization came into play, I saw that the cord was tight around his neck. I quickly removed it and started trying to get the baby out. Push down on the shoulders, pull up, push down. Pushing down brought the baby out a little further. Uh-oh. Cord was tied twice. Pulled the cord off again. Push down, Pull up. Baby out. Baby not moving, not crying, no heart tones, no breathing. Everyone moved into fast action. "Cut and clamp the cord! Get O2 ready!" 2 Pumps through the mask, compressions. So I quickly cut the cord and the baby was moved to the other bed. Full resuscitaion was done. Then a cry. Weak, but there. It was the scariest moment of my life. So scary in fact that I had to leave the delivery room and catch my breath. I wasn't prepared for that. Luckily the baby CPR class was done the day before so everyone was fully versed on how to do it. It was just such a scary moment. But this truly beautiful baby boy was tough and made it through. He's doing very well now! It made me wonder what I would have done if the baby didn't make it. How seriously do I take the line in the Blessed Be Your Name song? "You give and take away, Lord. Blessed be your name." Would I see it that way? How strong is my faith in the Lord to still praise Him when He takes away? It does make you wonder.

All this brought me to Jeremy Camp. I absolutely love the song "Walk by Faith." It's one of my favorite songs... all about how when life is hard and when you don't see God in the circumstances I will walk by faith and know that Jesus is good. Sounds like a good theory right? Then I learned the story behind it. Jeremy Camp wrote this song in the hospital waiting area a few hours after his wife died. He married her knowing that she had cancer and had a few months to live. When she passed away he was standing in the waiting room and started writing this song... "I believe you when you say your hand will guide my every way... I'm broken but I still see your face..." That's the kind of faith I want to have. I have to be running toward God so fast and so focused that what happens in life just brings me to my faith. I want the faith that can live through the storm and still see God when I'm completely broken. Jesus is good, this I know. Jesus knows me, this I love. Jesus has a plan for me and it's not to harm me. Jesus knows what He's doing when I can't see the whole picture. Jesus loves me and hates that I hurt. Jesus stands beside me in that hurt and is my comforter. Jesus builds me up and makes me stronger. Jesus has His plan and rejoices in my love for Him. Jesus is my daddy who is madly in love with me. How wonderful my Jesus is.

And all of this brought me to my next life struggle. This week I finally hit the breaking point in my back pain. For those who don't know, my back has been hurting for quite some time. Constant for about 3 months now. And this pain is different. I've been sore- this was like shooting nerve pain. So naturally, being me, I said everything was fine and took any route that avoided going to the doctor. I stretched and took some meds- all was fine. K, all was not fine. It started getting worse. So I figured, well, might as well see a doctor while I'm here and it's cheap! Enter neurosurgeon land. He ordered me to have an MRI, gave me some pain meds and some muscle relaxants (haha...if you every wondered what being totally loopy is like you should try a muscle relaxant), and ordered me to rest my back. So I had the MRI done a few days ago and got the results today. I've been praying that it was just a muscle strain that got worse when I didn't take care of it properly but there was the idea of a slipped disk in my mind as well. Turns out it's the ladder. TWO slipped disks to be precise. Kinda sucks, right? So now it's just a lot of resting, meds, and some forms of physical therapy for treatment. Surgery is a possibility but not the first line of options obviously. We're gonna try to avoid that at all costs. i'm gonna ask you guys for a lot of prayer though! I wasn't really expecting something like this and a miracle would be fantastic! :D The pain is pretty intense but it's bearable for now! Jesus can be my healer for sure. Thanks in advance for all the prayers! :D l

Well, this was my week. Lots of deep thought and some scary curve balls thrown my way. I'm relying on Jesus to help me pull through and I'm definitely excited for what He's teaching me and the multiple ways He's showing His love. I can't ever stop smiling about His beautiful grace and provision that He's shown this whole trip. It's coming to a rapid close but His work in my life will never be forgotten. I'm hoping to finish this race well and to stay strong until the end! Jesus has so much more to teach us and I for one can't wait to learn it all. :D Love you guys so much! I miss you and will see you in T minus 20 days!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


The leper who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry, `Unclean, unclean.' He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone in a habitation outside the camp.
Leviticus 13: 45-56
This verse was on my mind today at the dump site. Melissa and I went, as has become our usual Thursday afternoons, with Father Heinz to the dump site today. We did the usual handing out of cookies and medical check ups. Though, this week we decided to change it up a little bit. We went to the local department store and bought a cheap volleyball and some stickers for the little kids. So instead of helping with the medical checks we played with the kiddos the whole time. We started playing volleyball but it turned out to be a little bit risky since it had just rained (resulting in black tar water lining the streets). So we broke out the stickers. Mass amount of children piled around and placed loads of spiderman stickers all over their faces and arms. When they started to run out of room on themselves they started putting stickers on us instead. Trust me, we have the photos to prove this. Once the stickers ran out, I decided to start spinning the kids and making them fly like I do with my 3 year old class during the "Jesus is my Superhero" song. They loved it! It was so great! But they were all a little timid at first... I couldn't realize why until one the kids looked up at me, looked at themselves, and said "but you're going to get dirty" and kinda started stepping away. I looked down and realized that indeed my arms and neck were on their way to a blackish color. At that moment I realized what was going on- they were ashamed for me to hold them because they somehow knew that I was "cleaner" than them. I finally looked at the little girl, said "I don't care", and went to pick her up. They all were ready to fly after that little conversation.
This all brought me to this verse in the Bible. During those times if you had leprosy and you came into town you had to shout "unclean" everywhere you went to warn people that you weren't safe to touch. It was pretty much public humiliation. You already have to live with the fact that you are sick and hurting and now whenever you're around other people you have to let all of them know it too. It made me really sad that these kids are living that life. We're the white people who walk in and suddenly they are self conscious about the fact that they haven't bathed in a while. They're scared for us to touch them because they don't want us to be dirty too. All of them were like this. They were worried about our arms that were getting dirty because of the volleyball. They were worried about holding our hands or riding our backs... they were worried about them being who they are. My heart broke at this moment. I don't ever want to be the person who puts on hand sanitizer after they shake hands with a child. Or not hug a kid for fear of getting dirty. My arms are open for them. They'll always be. I love these kids already and I want to play with them and hug them and let them feel safe with me. I' happy that we got to be the light to them today. We got to have open arms and smiling faces. I love this trip so much... :D

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More babies and adventures

Hey guys! It's been a while since I blogged! There's just no time! It goes by so fast over here! I hope your summer's are going well. I wish (well...kinda) that I was with you guys so I could catch up and talk to you! I had a dream about Erica last night that I got to talk to her and hug her and it hit me that I miss home. This is probly the first time that I've really missed home. But we're half way there! We've learned so much over the past month and have gotten to practice all of our skills. It's been the best experience in my life so far. There's so many differenced between the US and here. I wasn't ever mad at the limited things I got to do during clinicals at the hospital until I got here and got to do so much more. Melissa and I were talking and saying that if we both decided to not get our masters, then what we did this summer is more than we would get to do in our entire career in the US. Nurses don't catch babies, doctor's do. Here- not so much. :D We've both done our share of internal exams, pap smears and gram stains, IVs, catheters, and catching a baby when it first enters this world. We've grown in so many ways. Physically we're both probly doing better due to the mountain terrain. Emotionally we've learned to handle more than our share. We've come face to face with extreme poverty and learned to never get used to it, but also not to let our anguish show to those people. We've learned that a smile can change a day. We've learned that a picture and a hug can make a child remember your name forever. We've learned that joy is something to never take advantage of and we are privileged so that we can bless others. Spiritually we've grown so much. We've learned that prayer is the best weapon we have. We've learned that Jesus is our comforter and joy and is never, ever far away. I've come to the realization that my dad and mom raised me well and were truly great parents. They taught me how to love through actions. I can't even believe that all my kids church training has come to such great use over here! My mom and dad taught me to rely on Jesus and how to be the light to this world. They showed me through action and word what a true man and woman of God look like. They are...amazing. And while you read this, mom and dad I love you so much. And thank you. (Don't cry. I kinda am though. haha) We've seen so much and have grown because of it. This truly is a chance of a lifetime and neither of us are coming back unchanged.
With all that said, there was a recent experience that was so great. I got to solo catch a baby again. Solo meaning I was the one on the chair in front and for the most part the only hands on that mom and baby. A handsome baby boy named Daniel was born a couple days ago and I got to be the one to help him out. He was a big baby, too! A little over 8 lbs! That's huge for this culture. haha. Our bodies are...amazing. God crafted us so cool. It never amazes me that a baby that big can live inside a woman and come out so smoothly. And the nasty, gross placenta- it's a organ that our body generates to keep this baby alive. And then when it's done it just comes out. And our bodies can do this over and over. It's so awesome! It makes me proud to be a woman. lol! Babies are so much fun and each one makes me smile so big. I truly love this job!
I also went back to the dump site this week. The kids remembered me! I heard my name and had a group of kids run up and hug me. It broke my heart... This time I got to help Father Heinz with the medicine part of it all and learned a lot of cultural things when it comes to the medicine. For instance- as a nursing student we are taught that when you place a patient on antibiotics you reinforce the instruction to take it for the whole course. This is to prevent the bacteria from becoming resistant and then having to use a stronger one later to overcome the same infection. Well here they just stop it when they start feeling better. So we have tons of patients who have been sick for so long because they don't finish the course of their medicine and actually get sicker. So we got to help a bunch of people and really bless them through free meds so they can start trying to get better. I also got to play with the kids again! This time we did twirling... there was a line after like 2 minutes. But hearing the giggles and seeing the smiles was totally worth however sore I was the next day. I love those kids. I love being able to make them happy and help them through one more day. It makes my heart smile. :D
I really just feel like Jesus has been showing me the same thing over and over this trip. He's been telling me that His view is hard but it truly is beautiful. We've all seen the videos of putting on the "glasses" of Jesus and seeing all the hurt as He sees it. It definitely is like that, don't get me wrong. I've seen more hurt than I ever imagined. But when you put on those same glasses you also see amazing, perfect, unconditional love. You can't see the hurt without feeling the breaking of your heart that only happens when you are head over heels in love with someone. That tightening in your stomach and the voice in you head that says they're so beautiful it hurts. That's how I see it now. I see hurt, yes. But I also feel love. The "break my heart for what breaks yours" isn't all bad. His heart breaks with the sheer amount of love He feels for His people. I just keep hearing Him tell me to love his people. This is His highest calling for my life. To love. Love like He loved. Love them with open arms. I will love with all my heart. I want to show His love all the time. We went with a group to an outreach once and the pastor kept saying "we're doing this because it's our calling. If we were honest with ourselves we would realize that these aren't people we know. And we really don't care. But we're going to do it for Jesus." All I could think about that whole time was that he was missing the point. Action without feeling isn't enough. We are supposed to care. We are supposed to LOVE his people! I couldn't get that little pep talk out of my mind because it just felt that the whole group was doing something and not understanding how it's supposed to be. I never want to do that. I don't ever want to just not care. I don't how how to not care. Jesus has put a calling on my life and I will follow it wherever He takes me. Loving isn't exclusive to foreign countries. I can show His love wherever I go. What a great calling... :D
Well friends, I'm going back to the clinic now! I took a picture of me and Daniel and will post it as soon as possible! I love you all and thank you so much for all your encouragement and prayers! :D

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How do I go back?

I was thinking today about when I go home. Time goes by so fast here. It's been over 3 weeks already! I can't believe that it's already almost half way over. So I was sitting in the car talking to David about how strange it is to go back. We talked about how we don't necessarily feel like we "belong" here (or-morelike fit in) but how going back is almost an angry experience. We were sitting at a stop light and a little boy was standing in the middle of the road. He was wearing dirty clothes and you could just tell that he lived on the street. He probly stands at that stop light everyday and begs for money to get food. We gave him a milk carton and then the light turned green. Something like this would never ever happen in America. If a 9 year old boy (which I'm guessing is about how old he was) lived on the street, Child Services would be all over it and he would most likely be off of them within a day. This kid might not every be helped. Which brought me to this fact. I don't really belong here because it's so far out of my upbringing. I don't honestly understand how things can get this bad and nobody do anything about it. My mind doesn't get it. But then after you see it you'll never not see it, you know? I can't get a lot of these mental images out of my head. I don't think I ever will. So that was my second observation for the night. How do I go back to the way America lives? How do I go about life as if my way of life is the "normal" way? I'm honestly not entirely sure. I don't ever want to be not sensitive to what I've seen. I don't ever want to see a desperate child's face and not be moved. I don't ever want to hear about poverty again and think that since it's out of sight it should also be out of mind. So how do I go back?
Another thing on my mind: I was overcome this week by the desire to live in the times that Jesus lived on earth. All week I've wanted to physically walk with my Savior and talk to Him. I got insanely jealous while reading the book of Luke of all of those people who got to hang out with Him. I want miracles to happen everywhere around me. I want a man to come up, say that his servant is dying, and by faith they be healed. I want Jesus to walk with me and to see the power that just radiates around Him. I mean, the woman who just touched His robe and got healed?! That's power. It's like in the Rock that Rolled Easter video... the little bird was healed just because Jesus walked next to her. His power was just like a bubble around Him. I want to be near that. I want the faith that moves mountains and the faith that can bring the dead back to life. I want to see His beauty and hear his sweet voice always. During this amazing time of jealousy, I felt His presence nearer than ever before. I realized that while it might not be physical, my Jesus is always walking by my side. He talks to me constantly and loves my presence. He has His hands on my shoulder and smiles when I do His deeds. He says that through my faith I can move mountains with Him. He basically says that I can have the power. And I can have the power because HE has the power and HE lives in me. I can heal because He can heal. I love that Jesus empowers His followers. Each of us has the power to do what He did because He is still very much alive and working through us. What an amazing entitlement. I love my Jesus. And I really always want to follow Him and listen to Him and walk with Him. I know I say this all the time- but what an amazing God we serve. I will rejoice and be glad in this simple fact- He loves me and is always with me. Yay.
So friends I don't have too much else to say. I've gotten to deliver two babies in the last couple days! I never knew I would like being a catcher so much. :D They were both beautiful baby girls and such good deliveries. It really is the best job I could ever think of. God designed our bodies so wonderfully. I'm suddenly really excited that I'm a woman and get to bring a baby into this world someday. :D It's such a beautiful (and slightly gross) experience. haha.
Welp. That's all I got for right now. Please keep this mission in your prayers! Hilary started up school again and is insanely busy with 34 credit hours of med school (YIKES!) and so things are always moving around here. Keep in your prayers the Kings Kids that are getting ready to come to the Philippines too! They get to the Philippines at the beginning of July and join us in Cebu on July 14. We're pretty excited for them to come but there's a TON to do before they get here. Also keep in your prayers the moms of these little babies. There has been another death since we last talked. The baby was transported to the hospital due to bad heart tones and ended up being born with a condition called gastroschisis. This is a condition where the intestines are outside the body instead of inside. She made it through one surgery but died today due to infection. The couple was pretty young and we can only image how this is effecting them. Please keep them in your prayers. I love you all so much and will keep you posted!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's...I don't even know...

I've learned something very valuable about myself lately. I thought I hated journaling (and it's still true to an extent) but I do love blogging. I'm not always great at expressing my feelings through a conversation. I think I tap into my emotions when I write. So here we go...
Today ended the "no babies" streak. We had 3 births in the clinic! Unfortunately Mel and I missed all three. Ironic, no? They were so fast! The first mom Mel missed the birth because she was only 5 cm (haha, yeah right) so Mel went to listen to a song. During that 3 minutes the baby was born. Mom number two came in right as I was leaving the clinic for lunch. She wasn't sweating or anything so we told them to keep us updated so I could come back for the baby. 10 min later we get a call that says she was fully dilated when she came in and the baby is already out. Baby number three came in when mom was about 8 cm and me and Mel were at the mall with Hilary and David. So obviously we missed that one too. We're hoping for some more that we can actually help with soon. haha!
Despite the missed births our day wasn't completely lost. Mel and I went to the dump site with Father Heinz tonight. The dump site is where thousands of people in Cebu live...and it's exactly what it sounds like- a dump site. Under our feet was yards upon yards of trash that has been dumped there over the years. And this is where these people make their life. The trash is their livelihood. We went and gave out cookies to the kids and then we did meds for all the sick people. Mel got to do the nurse stuff while I took to playing with the kids. It's amazing how taking a picture and showing it to them makes you their favorite person. It was just so hard to see it all. I'm still working on getting feeling back to that part of my brain so I can process it. I know that I can never pretend like I knew what poverty meant again. We complain about losing our jobs and living on less than 20,000 per year while these people make their homes at a trash dump. And they don't even want to leave there because they know that at least when they're at the dump they can find food and live. If they weren't there they wouldn't know how to survive. Father Heinz was telling us that he held a mass there the other day and one of the kids prayed "Dear God, thank you for the trash. Amen." Talk about feeling convicted for being selfish and greedy. And these kids are so beautiful. Jesus created these children to be His own and this is how they have to live. It was so much fun being able to just play with them and show them some love. I would love to go back everyday just to be there for them. They all know my name by now. :D I think we'll make this a weekly visit along with the Red Light district. I just feel like this is where we're supposed to be. We can't reach out in any better way. Jesus has made anyone who can smile a missionary. We can show love in ways that are so simple. We get to lead by action while we're here. We get to look at a child and communicate through our eyes and faces how special they are. It's an awesome gift to have! I feel so blessed to be able to be here this summer. Jesus said he was going to open my eyes and I know I can never go back after this. Once your eyes are opened to the world and how simple it is to bring some joy you can't really close your eyes again. It is a harsh reality- like being blinded- but it's beautiful. Seeing through the eyes of Jesus is so beautiful. I definitely want more. :D
Love you guys so much! <3