Category Archives: Giving

Thank you, Ellie!

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I just want to take a moment to thank my friend, Ellie, who recently sent me not only a generous gift in support of my trip to the Philippines, but a doppler to keep and use, both now and in the future.

A doppler is a hand-held electronic device that midwives can use to listen to a baby’s heartbeat in utero. It’s incredibly useful, especially in labor, and any time it might be hard to hear heart tones with only a fetoscope.

Ellie, thank you for blessing my life when I was in Colorado — and now. You are not only a mentor-midwife, but a sister in Christ. I am praying for our Lord to richly bless you!


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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you, and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

 

Getting Ready to Go Again

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It’s been seven months since I returned from serving as a midwife in Acholiland in rural, northern Uganda, and the Lord has opened another door for me to serve as a midwife internationally. In two weeks, I leave for the Philippines, where I will join other international and native midwives as part of a medical missions team at Mercy Maternity Center in Davao, the Philippines. I’ll be there for ten weeks, providing comprehensive prenatal, childbirth and postpartum care to women and their babies. All care is provided free of charge to families with limited or no financial resources. I praise God for this opportunity.

Already I have people to thank for their support! The vestry of Church of the Savior, under the leadership of my dear pastors, Bill and Linda, has made a good gift and so has my dear friend of more than ten years, Gemma de Luna. Thank you! DSC01170 These funds are going to support the work of the birth center in Davao, to pay for my room and board in the Philippines, and to help pay for my plane tickets (because, as it turns out, free services provided to people in need are not actually free — but God can move the resources of his kingdom wherever they are needed). If you would like to give toward this ministry of midwifery, please let me know! There’s still time to give, and there’s still a need.

Meanwhile, I just want to take a moment to thank God, here, publicly, for making a way for me. Jesus said, “I AM THE WAY,” and he is! Please pray that he will continue to go before me, providing safe travels, smoothing the process of obtaining a visa, and blessing my relationships with my team. “Lord, I lift up my heart to you!”

Here’s a word of encouragement for all of us serving in the Kingdom of Heaven:

YOU MAKE ME BRAVE

Consider the Lilies of the Field

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I come from a families of seamstresses. My grandmother’s maiden name was Taylor (a variation of “tailor”), and my great-grandmother said of her that she could sew a straight seam by age three. (Yes, I said three.) Tiny fingers doing such delicate work! My mother followed in her mother’s footprints. I love the way she expresses her creativity through sewing. I’m lucky because she blesses me through it!

For my trip to Uganda, she made a light, cotton dress for me, altered a skirt I had been given from Tanzania years ago so that it now fits me, and she is, at this very moment, patching a pair of jeans that I would really like to take with me. I am so thankful! It’s always good to have clothes that are suitable for the season. Thank you, Mom!

Consider the lilies of the field … They neither toil nor spin.
Yet not even Solomon in all of his splendor was dressed like one of these!

Jesus (Matthew 6:28)

DSC00087Jesus says that we don’t have to be anxious about what we will eat or what we will wear. Yet I know that I’ve worried about both of those things, and I know that families living in poverty in the developing world today worry about them. But God’s provision is endless, and it comes to us and through us to others.

Today, for instance, when I was at Church on the Hill in Vallejo, Pat, Maria and Cierra gave me baby clothes, hats, and blankets to bring with me to Uganda to give as gifts to the families served by Mother Health International. I’m so excited to be able to share these gifts. Thank you, Pat, Maria and Cierra!

Jesus also says we don’t have to worry about tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow … that’s when I’ll catch my plane out of Oakland, CaliforniaSAMSUNG and begin my 26 hour trip to Entebbe, Uganda. So I was glad to receive prayer today from a missionary who was visiting Church on the Hill, Mike Santiago. He has been an ordained minister for 50 years serving in Zambia in Africa. His prayer for me was deeply encouraging.  Please pray for Mike and his wife Judy and for their ministry.

When I came home, Linda Jones stopped by to give me a poem she wrote called “Appointed.” Thank you, Linda, DSC00088for this gift of encouragement.

                                                  Every joyful moment of this life is like a lily,

like a flower growing in a field —

beautiful and wild, precious in God’s sight.

                                            ~ jb

Blood Pressure Cuffs

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My mother hosts a Bible study in her home every week. The women are currently studying Romans — and always praying for one another’s families. Linda Jones, one of the members, knew I was going to the Mother Health International birth center in Uganda next week, so today, she brought by blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes for me to take as part of the medical supplies donation.

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Blessed are those who give

Why do we need blood pressure (BP) cuffs? A woman’s heart has to work harder during pregnancy to circulate the increased volume of her blood while supporting her life and the life of her unborn baby. If a woman’s high blood pressure begins to rise to unhealthy levels, it can be a sign of preeclampsia, which is a danger to both mama and baby. So every time a woman has a prenatal visit, her midwife checks her BP to establish what the mama’s “normal” range is, to assist with nutrition and exercise recommendations, and to refer for further medical care if needed. Having our choice of BP cuffs in the U.S. is a blessing!

While Linda was here, we talked about the developing world, where so many necessities must be imported because the resources, the factories, and the specializations simply do not exist to produce, for example, medical equipment within country.

Linda mentioned her sister to me, a nurse-midwife in Britain who also taught about hygiene to women living in the Ivory Coast when her husband was transferred there for his work.

I am blessed by the family of faith and the sisterhood of midwives — and their families — around the world.

Thank you so much, Linda.

Gifts for Mother Health International from Church on the Hill

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Yesterday I was at Church on the Hill in Vallejo where I had the chance to share with my brothers and sisters in Christ there about Mother Health International and my upcoming trip to serve as an assistant midwife at MHI’s birth center in northern Uganda. With the encouragement of Pastor Scott Peterson, I spoke briefly in two services and shared this slide show:

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After church, I was blessed by Garth and Esmeralda Hopkins, who lead Divine Guidance Outreach Inc., because when they heard me announce in church that I needed supplies, they got five boxes of medical examination gloves from their vehicle and brought them to me in a big bag–immediately! This is the first donation of medical supplies that I have received, and it meant so much to me. Please pray that God will continue to expand the awesome ministry of Divine Guidance Outreach. And to Garth and Esmeralda, thank you!

Manny and Irma Espinoza, members of Church on the Hill, also saw the list of supplies needed, including my special request: a lightweight (so I can carry it!) laptop for the MHI Birth Center in Uganda. The birth center’s laptop was stolen recently, and it hasn’t been feasible to replace it yet, but the staff there are in need of a computer that is up-to-date for keeping medical records. Manny and Irma donated a LeNovo ThinkPad laptop (running Windows 7, 4 GB RAM, fully loaded up with great software – Word, Mozilla Firefox, etc.),  which I will bring with me for the midwives serving in Uganda. Please pray that God will continue bless Manny’s business as a driver in Napa Valley. And to Manny and Irma, thank you!

Before I left church, my friend Sandra prayed for me. She is the mother of ten children, and she has attended twenty-one births in the role of awesome-mama-friend. Her prayers encouraged my heart so much. Thank you, Sandra. You have a true midwife’s heart.

Thank you, God, for these gifts!