Earth, Wind and Fire….

Earth, Wind and Fire….

Winds of change… We’ve been back in the USA for two months and thankfully, the winds of change are lessening and life is starting to feel normal again as we juggle the new routines and rhythms of American life. Home assignment is intended to be a time set aside from the demands of ministry on the mission field– a time to be with friends and family, a time to be refreshed in your native language, a time to catch up with...

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Photo Highlight Reel…

Photo Highlight Reel…

Highlight Reel… My brain and heart haven’t been in a place to write a newsletter…. usually my head is spinning all month long with what I want to share. This month it just hasn’t. We decided a highlight reel of images from this last term in Madagascar would be a fantastic substitute… I mean, who doesn’t love photographs– it’s honestly one of my love languages! Easier said than done though–...

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From two sides of the globe…

From two sides of the globe…

Here and there… As I type, we’re on our last day in Madagascar for 2017… late tonight we head to the airport for our 1:50am flight to Paris and then on to Los Angeles. I would be lying to say that it wasn’t with mixed emotions that we’re leaving. peace– we have peace with the place that we were able to leave each of the ministries and peace knowing that the Lord has raised up an amazing ministry team that...

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Heavy…

Heavy…

It’s been months, if not going on years, since I’ve actually written in this space.  My heart aches to write and too often I push this desire aside to complete the unending list of tasks and self-imposed deadlines. Alas I’m putting it off no longer… there’s too much to say, too much to share, too much that I want to invite others into to better understand what full-time life and ministry in Madagascar is really...

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Can you imagine…?

Can you imagine…?

Can you imagine… The medical system in Madagascar is broken as it is in many countries. Our guard’s wife, Elizabeth has been very very sick for several weeks. It began when I received a phone call from our back-up physician on March 20th telling me that Elizabeth was at her clinic, bleeding from the pores in her skin, her mouth, her eyes! Her hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen was incredibly low, so low...

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In Closing…. December 2016

In Closing…. December 2016

2016 by the numbers… Yet another year is drawing to a close and the hopeful anticipation of a new year is upon us. We’re typically not ones that look back on the year but we’re thankful for this forum of newsletters that cause us to pause and replay all that the Lord has done here in Madagascar and in our lives.     A glimpse into 2016 by the numbers…  * 584 employees hired by Eden Projects, Sarobidy...

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Final Days…

Final Days…

Growth!    The week is just starting at the Sarobidy Maternity Center and already the place is full! This morning brought 8 new women applying to be in our prenatal program. One new first-time mama will come back into the postpartum program on Thursday after having her baby at the center two weeks ago. At the same time on Thursday, 3 women and their 4 beautifully chubby breastfed babies will graduate with diplomas and another 6 months of...

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Growing Up (an update in pictures!)… May News

Growing Up (an update in pictures!)… May News

Growing Up… Five and half years into ministry here and we’re so thankful the various ministries are continuing to grow up– new opportunities, project expansions, growing in skills and knowledge, and adding a few more wrinkles to our faces along the way! Ultrasound Arrival!    We recently received a grant for a portable Ultrasound machine that we’ll soon begin using at the Sarobidy Maternity Center. This amazing piece...

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Images of SMC

Images of SMC

This space has been way too neglected for way too long.  The desire to write, share images and stories of life and ministry here is not to blame… in fact, I’ve got about 8 blogs swirling around in my mind.  The problem is the time to get all that’s in my head onto the screen to share.  So for today, I’m not going to neglect this blog or my desire to share but rather keep my words few and the images aplenty.  Images of...

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This is Madagascar– donating blood edition

This is Madagascar– donating blood edition

We experienced a devastating loss last month when one of the ladies from our maternity center experienced a ruptured uterus during labor. You can read about that tragic story here.  We praise God that we didn’t lose the mama in addition to the sweet baby girl who never took a breath.  A ruptured uterus is a total obstetric emergency and this case was no different.  Massive hemorrhaging, loss of life, total hysterectomy. In the past, it...

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Home Visits…

Home Visits…

Postpartum care for a new mama and baby is unheard of in this country.  I’ve witnessed on several occasions where babies are never even examined before they go home… not even a listen to the heart or lungs.  Once discharged from the hospital or clinic where the woman delivered, moms and babies don’t receive any follow-up postpartum care.  This of course doesn’t take into account those women that deliver at home,...

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Essential Oils!

Essential Oils!

Last week we were blessed to receive a huge box packed with lots of love by some friends of ours in frosty Ohio.  Truth be told, this friend and I have never officially met, as in, in person.  We’ve emailed, texted and talked on the phone… and without a doubt, we’re sisters from another mother.  She lived and worked in Madagascar for a year back in 2000.  Many people say, after spending any significant amount of time in...

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Heartline in Haiti

Heartline in Haiti

Earlier this month, Jamie and I (sans kiddos), traveled to Haiti with our awesome new teammates, Neal and Danielle Carlstrom and their wee one, Jolie.   Though our time was short in Haiti (Tuesday morning to Friday), our time was rich– full of learning, conversation, encouragement, ideas, prayers and oh so much more.  The major goal of our trip was to visit the Heartline Maternity Center, one of the maternity center’s that...

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Josy Update #8- Amazing News!

Josy Update #8- Amazing News!

  Last week we shared with you the most recent news about Josy and Redy– that the surgery had been performed and the only news we had was that we knew they were both OK.  On Friday morning, November 1st, we received a phone call at 4:30am from India.  Josy was on the other end of the line.  His voice ecstatic, he shared the good news that the initial kidney function tests revealed that his new kidney was working perfectly!  The...

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Video Ministry Update- October 2013

Video Ministry Update- October 2013

We’re excited to share with you our newest ministry video of 2013 as God restores health, forests, and hope in Madagascar! Restoring Health– through the Sarobidy Maternity Center as we strive to empower impoverished women with truth, education, and culturally sensitive and compassionate medical care during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the newborn period. Restoring Forests– through the planting of over 55 million coastal...

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Before… and …After

Before… and …After

It’s almost indescribable the transformation that took place at the house where Jamie grew up into what is now the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  I think Rota, our Malagasy midwife said it best after living in the house for a few months before and during the construction and renovations… her words to be exact, “I felt like I was living in a house within a horror movie”.  Note that Rota comes from a lower middle class...

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Opening weeks…

Opening weeks…

On Monday, May 13th, just 1 day after American Mother’s Day (Malagasy Mother’s Day is actually the 26 of May), we officially opened the doors of the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  What a feeling!  We received the first 5 pregnant women that day and the joy in the air was palpable. The second week, we added the education component to the prenatal program.  As you can see from the picture… we started with the...

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On the Eve of Opening Day…

On the Eve of Opening Day…

It’s the eve of opening day… not the eve of the opening day of baseball season… though I have desperately missed the last few years of these. Not the eve of a summer break or the eve of a beautiful relaxing vacation, though both of those would be great too.  Rather, it’s the eve of the opening day of the Sarobidy Maternity Center. It’s CRAZY to think back to summer 2007 when God whispered this plan to me, the way...

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Josy- Update #3

Josy- Update #3

It was just 3 short weeks yet what-feels-like-forever-ago, that we wrote to you with the devastating news of the prognosis for our dear friend and ministry partner Josy.  Three weeks ago that we were preparing ourselves that Josy might not live another week.  And truth be told, according to the physician, he was that close to death. God’s truth that He knows the number of our days is so apparent and we’re thankful that Josy has...

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A Brutal Reality…

A Brutal Reality…

A brutal reality is the medical care or lack-there-of, in this country. Madagascar doesn’t stand alone in this reality as I’ve experienced the same truths in other developing countries. We’ve recently been forced to look at this nasty reality square in the eyes as Josy, our long-time close friend and ministry partner has been in two different hospitals for the past 6 weeks in the capital city.  To read the back story, click...

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Josy- Update #2

Josy- Update #2

Friends, thank you for your continued prayers for our dear friend Josy.  It’s been 2 weeks since our last update just after Josy had surgery.      There’s been several times that I’ve sat down to write a letter but the suspected diagnosis and prognosis hasn’t been concrete enough to share, until now.      Two days ago, Josy was readmitted to the hospital for monitoring and seen by a nephrologist yesterday.  We...

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UPDATE- An Urgent Call to Prayer

UPDATE- An Urgent Call to Prayer

   Friends, we are humbled by your prayers! We are humbled by your love and care for a dear friend of ours that many of you have never met but have only heard stories of over the years. We are humbled by your notes of encouragement to send along to Josy and notes for us.  We received well over 125 messages on email and facebook.  Many of you passed our prayer request on to others, emailed it to your friends and families, sent it to prayer...

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An Urgent Call to Prayer

An Urgent Call to Prayer

It is with a heavy heart yet a heart still full of hope that we write to you today to ask you to pray for Josy, our closest friend and partner in ministry.  As you read this, he is laying in a hospital in the capital city awaiting emergency surgery on Monday.  I say emergent because the surgery should have been performed Friday, but his blood count was too low.  Yesterday, his brother Dina searched the city’s hospitals looking for...

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A sickness and a prayer…

A sickness and a prayer…

You may have read about our doozy of a Thanksgiving last week… if not, my last post will give you the back story. I was sick.  Sick as a dog.  5 full days of raging fever, intense body aches, and extreme fatigue… and that’s all.  No respiratory symptoms, no GI symptoms, no rash.  In fact, this bout of illness put the bout of Malaria I had in 2001 to shame.  Or maybe time has faded my recollection of the intensity of...

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Death in Madagascar

Death in Madagascar

I know… not such a nice title nor subject. Nonetheless death in Madagascar is a huge reality. In one of the poorest countries of the world with little resources and most living in poverty, death is too common. Death from preventable and treatable diseases and conditions. Death that would have never happened had the person been living in a place of opportunity and quality medical care, a place like America. The last three weeks we’ve been...

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Medical Care in Madagascar

Medical Care in Madagascar

Last post I told you about our Family Outing to a Birth and promised that the story wasn’t over yet.  Unfortunately it wasn’t over… and three weeks after the birth of this little girl, the story still continues.  Medical care in Madagascar is, we’ll just say, sub-optimal to put it nicely.  Case in point… The baby in my previous post was born at 35 weeks gestation and weighed just over 5 pounds at birth.  The mom and baby...

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The Miracle Tree

The Miracle Tree

Part of the goal of our work here in Madagascar is to see the health of the Malagasy people restored.  Nutrition is a huge part of the restoration of health.  There is a tree here in Madagascar, called felomorongo, in English, it’s the Moringa tree.  It’s also known as the “Miracle Tree” and “Mother’s Best Friend”.  And for good reason… check this out… (taken from the TreesForLife website)   While in Mahabana...

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