Sunday, October 30, 2011

The is never an "old" truth

Are we not so blessed to be "covered in the Blood"?  For the past 3 months of being here I have attended a different church almost every Sunday.  Tiring?  Occassionally, however, there is more to church than just going to the same one.  In this current chapter the need seems to change from week to week, but God is always faithful to meet me exactly where I am.  Often, most of the joy in going is getting to spend time with a girl or two or three outside of the daily relm of work that we live in.

Today, I was not only blessed by the girls, but by the message.  It was on the Gospel!!  What a refreshment.  The passages the pastor spoke from where Isaiah 53 and 55 (and, many Cornerstone "kids" memorized Is. 53 this summer...way to go!!)  The Gospel is such an amazing, yet simple truth.  HE died for me and told me to COME to Him and accept His gift of Eternal Life, abundant life.  Wow.  It's well worth your own time and reading to look it up.  Be refreshed today as you dwell on the Gospel.

"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance." - Isaiah 55:1 - 3
3 “(H)Incline your ear and come to Me. 
Listen, that [c]you may (I)live; 
And I will make (J)an everlasting covenant with you, 
According to the (K)faithful mercies [d]shown to David. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


And, this is the front!

This says it all. Pretty raw truth.

The symbol for you see the picture?

Some Talikala girls.  Only three of them are pregnant, but everyone can learn a little about Nutrition!

Joy and Hannah giving a health presentation.

Joy talking with a patient (pt.)
Today, you will be introduced to Talikala.  It is an orginization here that was started in 1987 by a doctor,
a missionary and a dancer to reach the prostitutes of Davao City.  It is does not have any religous connection now, it is simply a non-profit orginization.  However, the LORD is using it so powerfully.

We are very privilaged to be able to partner with them to give these girls prenatal care, and hopefully, labor and delivery care.  Prenatal care we are able to go to them every other week.  We will bring all our supplies (scale, BP cuff, stethoscope, medicines, tape measure and fetal heart dopple), health teaching, sing worship songs (in Visayan) and spend a few hours from 2:30 until whenever we are done with them.  We will usually see anywhere from 1 - 4 girls per visit.  They still have to get lab work done for blood and urinalysis just like at the clinic and we keep charts on all of them.

The exciting part, to me, about this outreach is meeting practical needs and trusting the LORD to do His work in their life.  Some of the girls who come are no longer in prostitution, but some of them are.  The staff their realizes that they cannot make a girl just stop, especially when it is viewed as "work" and may be the only source of income, but they also always strive to encourage them in other areas by offering education classes as well as other resources to help them personally work through the damage they have endured as a result of their "work".

 Plus, we have the opportunity to work with a NGO, but have freedom to sing about God, give out Bibles, and share the Gospel.  He is the one that changes lives.  It is very humbling to be reminded that GOD is the One at work, not me, not Christians.  He will raise up anyone He wills to complete the work He desires to be done.

Pictures above.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Musings of Peace

 Halo!  Well, yet another blunder in the blogging sphere of my life...this picture is sideways.  haha.  You wanted to stretch your neck anyway...right?  This mountain is the one mountain that is one the island close to us.  It is called Mt. Apo.  Hopefully i will climb it one day.  It is such a wonderful reminder to me of God's glory in making beauty from ashes.  He is our Redeemer!  Although it is a "scar", of sorts, on this land, it makes the landscape so gorgeous.
This is just a picture of what most of the streets look like.  This is 8:00 on a Sunday morning, so it is not nearly as busy as what it is normally.  See how the tricey cabs wait at the corner.  There is a person's house and a restaurant all smooshed together!  That's life in the city.  What you can't see in this picture is Gaisano Mall (G-mall) directly to the left.
 This is what is to the left.  A HUGE mall.  It's pretty nice.  Because it is a little further away than two other malls we don't frequent this one as much, but it sure is nice.  The currently empty street is normally bustling with cabs coming and going.  It's a little bit of a trick to cross the street, but not early on Sunday!
 So, this is inside a Tricey.  Basically a motor bike (or regular bicycle) with a cab attached.  My friend Eileen is in the front.  The decorations are purely the driver's own addition.  This one also happened to be the loudest.  Whew.  There is a lot of variety in them. Some just have umbrellas, some have just seats, some look really clean and shiney, some look like they've just seen every muddy puddle and dust storm.  Oh, and some have a speaker which constitutes the bench back and they really blast the music...anything from hip-hop to rock to Christian.  You just never know!
 Just another view.  I'm sitting in the back.  The back has two little bench seats.  One of the right side and one of the left side.  Oh, and they really vary in size.  Some easily seat 5 people, some really only sit 2.
 Just another street shot.  Again, it's not very busy at the time this picture was taken because it is Sunday morning.  During the week it is bustling with activity at 8:00a.  The University is also on the street, so that really makes things busy on here.
Ok, so my camera wasn't clicking as fast as I was expecting. So, this was taken a little late as we zoomed by going about 15/20 mph.  Do you see the little hut?  It's right next to the tree behind the fence.  It really doesn't look like much actually.  Well, that is someones house.  Pretty sure that they are "squaters." In other words, they don't actually own that land, hence a lack of a more permanent looking structure.  right across the street is are some major gates around much larger houses.  That is the constant dichotomy everywhere here.
Oh, this is the seat in the tricey.  You just never know how they will be decorated.  There was a Mickey face on every bench seat: the two in the back and even the one in the front.

Ok, that's all the pictures for "Musing of Peace"

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in
 Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:7

"The peace of God is an eternal calm like the cushion of the sea.  It lies so deeply within the human heart that no external difficulty or disturbance can reach it.  And anyone who enters the presence of God becomes a partaker of that undisturbed and undisturbable calm." -Arthur Tappan Pierson
Sometimes in the hurry and hustle and bustle of life here I forget to dive into His peace and drink deeply!  In all our adventures sometimes the deepest longing of my heart is to be in silence!  Not rushed, not wishing for quiet, but in silence.  Yet, God has said we can have peace with Him!  So, even in the busy moments, whether its in a birth room or living in a house with 13 other girls, He has promised peace for my soul.  I will love Him with all my strength, heart and mind.

Those are a few musings recently.  Especially as we don't have fall here or autumn.  And, although my mind comprehends it, sometimes, I don't even realize how much i miss it.  It's a bit confusing sometimes.  Talking to a friend about this, she said to keep an eye out for Scriptures that talk about PARADOXes.  That will be where my focus is.

Prayer Focus:
Continued prayer for the clinic
Safety as the Christmas Season approaches and people become more greedy
For each of our hearts to be content and at peace in Christ!

All the new babies!  (really, every week...they are precious!)
Minimal sickness that has not spread through the whole house
Quiet dogs...the neighbor's dogs are sometimes loud ALL night
Wonderful MMC staff

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Fruit Made with YOU in Mind"


Last night we had a great Care Group held at MMC (Mercy Maternity Center) for ALL of the Filipina staff as well as the foreign staff (that means US!)  It was such a blessing to spend some time together to put aside our daily work and praise the Lord through song and a little lesson on fruit.

Manny (one of the staff, who also 'happens' to be married to one of the midwives) gave a great illustration last night that is just too good to keep here in one little corner of Davao City.

We started off by talking about surrender.  Ultimately, we must surrender to God.  You can go ahead and think of some things keeping you from surrenduring to God.  We came up with a few including fear, wanting to be in control, feeling that He will take away "my" Rights...and so the list continues.

After reading some verses and talking about Jesus' attitude towards the Father and how He completely surrendered to God everything!  You might think this is trivial or easy because Jesus and God are one in the same.  Let me share a verse with you:

Philippians 2:6-7
"who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."

Did you catch it?  Jesus does indeed know what it is like to be us and He didn't regard or consider equality with God something to be grasped.  He fully obeyed and fully trusted without fearing what God might do in all of His awesome power.  

What was the illustration?  Glad you asked.  Simple...simply profound.  He had three fruits: an orange, a banana, and an apple.  First, he took the orange and gave us a chance to identify it.  We all recognized it and agreed that it is a wonderful fruit.  He began to describe some of the finer points of the fruit.  It has a protective coating, which we can easily peel off and, wala, there is a yummy fruit inside.  That's not all.

This fruit is not only delicious, but it's already pre-sliced!  The orange is already packaged, ready for you to enjoy one slice at a time without having to pull out a knife and cut it.  That's not all.  Each slice consist of tiny sacs that are bursting with savory, refreshing, nutritious juice!

Next, the banana.  This fruit also has a protective coating.  It needs to be peeled. If you hold your so that the fingers and thumb make an "o", guess what is shaped to fit perfectly inside?  A banana.  It's gets better.  Not only does it fit perfectly inside, but it also fits so that the banana is pointing your mouth and not away from  your mouth.  Try it, the groves in your hand will fit the angles in the banana skin.

Finally, the apple.  This too has a protective skin, but it is edible.  It's delicous, juicey and ready to eat.  Oh, and all of this (the banana is a little harder) have seeds that we could replant to have more!

The was made with YOU in mind.  The was made with YOU in mind.  The was made with YOU in mind.  Ponder it.  God made all of creation (Romans 1:20) and we can see that clearly.  His handy work is obvious.  In all of it, He had us in mind!

If this God who had us in mind when He was making an orange (pre-sliced and ready to eat) calls us to surrender to Him.  Can we?  This is just the surface of His goodness to us.  We can surrender all to Him and know that He has our best in store.

May His shalom meet you and cover you as you seek His face.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Patient Smile :)

It's all about what we try to make happen.  We're pretty big here in trying to do everything we can when a lady is having trouble with her labor progressing.  Such was the story last night.  And, I shall tell it to you here (if you don't like reading too many might not want to read it.)

On night shift we had a lady come in at 11:50pm.  She reported BOW (bag of waters) Rupture and the back of her duster (dress) was soaked, so we concurred.  Guess what?  This morning at 6:00am when the Day shift comes on, she was still walking around.  She walked all night!  We gave her two doses (60ml) of Castor Oil one hour apart.  This did help her labor, but it didn't quite bring her around.

We left her and she knew that there was high likelyhood that she would have to be transported because of her BOW rupture (it was probably more of a leak because an ie -internal exam- revealed BOW bulging with contraction.)  Its hard to leave a patient and know that she will probably be transported.  I just woke up about an hour ago, so I haven't inquired into the rest of her story yet.

She was incredibly smiley and sweet through it all.  She bravely drank down her Castor Oil like a pro (it was mixed with Orange Juice mix), she walked all night, even with encouragement to rest, and but on a 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

oh the little trials!

Today, is a "free" day for me, therefore, supposedly I have lots of time to do whatever needs being done.  Sounds perfect, eh?

Step one: computer work.  Easy enough....usually.  Upon moving to an outside location (the balcony) it became quickly evident that my nifty converter wouldn't turn on.  Oh I tried all sorts of ways.  Eventually, after working on my computer until the battery was at 6% it became an obvious necessity to be able to plug it in!  So, back down to the usual spot we went.  No work-y there either.

So, much to my shigrin, I walked to Victoria (after taking a moment to talk to a friend who was very wonderful in lending a listening ear.)  After the 15 minutes walk I went into the store, which was not busy, Priase the LORD, and explained it was not working.  He asked for the reciept, which I also explained I did not have.  He plugged it in and on went the little light.  Then, he tested it and it worked.  He kindly asked, "What was the problem?"  *Sigh.  Nothing, nothing at all.

Really, me and Jesus just had a lovely chat to and from the store.  He reminded my that, "your ways are not My ways and My ways are not your ways."  Still learning to rest completely in Him and take whatever turn in the road might come.  It's His life, not mine.

Just thought it might be fun to share a little "life minute" from my day.  Oh, and when I plugged it in at home it didn't really work here either, but with a little wiggling (popping and cracking too) it works.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Catching up...


So much has happened.  Sorry it hasn't made it's way on here.  I'm learning, slowly, how to fit all life into the days and what is priority and so on and so forth.  Whew.

The hand...that you all so very much for your many prayers.  It really looks like it is clearing up!  Praise Jesus.  I haven't been around mangoes, yet people still surmize that it might be stress.  That's a hard one because stress comes about in so many forms.  But then, it doesn't seem like anything except for the lack of cutting magoes, has changed.  Hmmm.  Thank you all so much for praying!

This past weekend was a double whammy birthday weekend.  It was a lot of fun.  Pictures from the second birthday are up on facebook.  We went on a zip line.  Actually two. It was lots of fun.  The facility is called "Outland Adventure."  You can check it out at  They have an amazing ministry to the surrounding people, especially schools, in Davao City.  We sure enjoyed our time.

Just prior to that, I was able to enjoy some special time with a patient at an outreach.  We were able to take her to get her Ultrasound.  First of all, ultrasounds are just fun to be at, but being able to take her was amazing.  Just superb.  Nothing goes too fast here, so we had lots of time to sit and tsica-tsica (sounds like chica-chica), or chit-chat in a little Vasyan/English.  Then, we were able to take her back the next day to talk with the doctor.  Her "job" is nothing that we would consider table-talk, but as she works with the outreach (we partnered with a local NGO) she is learning to be open.  Although she was a little dissapointed with her estimated due date (she's not sure then, who the father is), we were able to encourage her and just spend time!

Just tonight...well.  Some girls here were eating durian...again.  They coerrsed me into trying it, again.  So, i did.  This time it didn't seem too bad.  Surprisingly.  However, i'm not ready to admit that, so i'm not saying I'd eat again (tho, i probably will).  And, we had it with Coke, which does help to balance out the flavor.  A little bit.  (like i said, i'm not admitting anything.)

This is one of my housemates, Annabelle.  The Durian is a specific type called "Puyat."  It tends to be "sweeter" than most.  If, you can call durians sweet.  HA.

The clinic is busy, as usual.  Today the day shift I was on (from 6 am - 10pm) wasn't too crazy.  We had a couple postpartum patients, that we discharged after their 6 hours of staying after giving birth.  Lots of baby checks, Newborn screening (government mandated), a couple labors that we had to send home because they were too early and an otherwise happy shift.  You can keep on praying for it.  The LORD will bring the increase.  He is painting a beautiful tapestry with it.

The weather has changed to mostly rainy in the evening, sometimes a rain shower during the day. So, it's a little bit cooler.  And, we are soaking it up.  Especially those of us who are missing Autumn!  So, those of you who are enjoying it, soak it up!!

Blessings.  May His peace, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds.