Many Hands… (and pictures!)

Many Hands… (and pictures!)

Many Hands… It’s simply amazing to witness the many hands of the numerous talented, passionate and gifted people that the Lord has brought together to accomplish so much here in our little corner of Madagascar.  In doing so, the Lord has woven our lives together from various backgrounds and nationalities, and as such, has strengthened the strand that brings us together to serve Him and the people on the Red Island. Here are treasured...

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Unsurpassed Love… March News

Unsurpassed Love… March News

You may remember towards the end of 2015 that many of you gave generously for necessary renovations at the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  All these renovations and improvements are in preparation for when we begin deliveries at the center later this year.  A few have asked us, “why the improvements? or “doesn’t the center function now?”.  While the answer is Yes, the center does function… the more important answer...

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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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Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts

In 2014, we completed our first calendar year at the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  The year 2014 was all about growth.  Our staff has grown together, our programs have become stronger, our knowledge about maternity care in Madagascar has increased.  Our programs have become increasingly popular and have grown in the number of women attending and graduating.  We’ve added a family planning program that is open to anyone in the...

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Sarobidy Maternity Center- a video

Sarobidy Maternity Center- a video

We opened the Sarobidy Maternity Center just shy of 18-months ago.  Nearly 18 months that we’ve had the privilege to provide compassionate medical care for women during their pregnancies, deliveries, and postpartum period in addition to well-baby care until their little ones are 6 months old.  Nearly 18 months that we’ve been able to share life-empowering education with women each week.  Nearly 18 months that we’ve been able...

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Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Today we celebrated the 1-year anniversary since opening the Sarobidy Maternity Center.  As a staff team, we celebrated by giving each other high-fives, hootin’ and hollerin’ and conducting prenatal visits.  It’s been a joy to watch this dream become a reality, to watch how God moves, to experience His provision and His grace.  It’s been a gift to enter into women’s lives here, to come closer to the depths of...

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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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Little by little at the Sarobidy Maternity Center…

Little by little at the Sarobidy Maternity Center…

It’s been really good to be back to work at the Sarobidy Maternity Center. To be with these women, to build relationships with them, to hear their stories of triumph and defeat, to rejoice with them and mourn with them, to laugh with them, sing with them and pray with them.  To marvel with them over their babies and to giggle together when their baby smiles, rolls over and begins to crawl.  It’s been good and it’s been...

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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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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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First Babies

First Babies

The first two women of the Sarobidy Maternity Center had their babies in the last week! Judicia had a beautiful baby girl and Prisca, a sweet baby boy! Both moms and babies are doing well and are settled in at home.  Rota, the malagasy midwife and I have already had a few home visits with each mama and baby as we make sure both are healthy, breastfeeding well, watching the weight of the baby, healing, educating and praying for them.  The home...

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Expectant…

Expectant…

I wanted to take the time to introduce you to the 10 women currently enrolled in the Sarobidy Maternity Center’s prenatal program.  The staff and I consider it an honor and privilege to get to know these women and walk alongside of them during these months leading up to the birth of their babies and then for the 6 months after their babies are born while they are in the postpartum/child development program.   Rose, 27 years old,...

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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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Year-End Newsletter

Year-End Newsletter

It’s that time of year again… time for families and friends to share Christmas letters and cards, photos of how the kids have changed and stories of their latest news, accomplishments and/or tribulations.  So… we decided to do the same…               Like it? Share it!ShareEmailPrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

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PASSED!

PASSED!

That’s right… I passed my NARM midwifery board exams!  How ’bout a little “woohoo!” with me!?!  I’m absolutely thrilled and so incredibly relieved!  To be quite honest, in the last two weeks since my test, I haven’t spent too much time thinking about my results.  I think there was just too many other things to accomplish.  The morning after the exam when I returned from Sacramento, we hit full-board...

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Midwifery Journey…

Midwifery Journey…

The last 3 years of my life have been forever shifted.  It all started one day when I was vacuuming our house…. which really is a miracle in itself because I loathe vacuuming.  It’s one of the jobs I leave for my incredibly awesome husband.  Fortunately, in Madagascar we don’t have carpet so Jamie gets out of vacuuming but we do have tile floors and lots of dirt and mud and grass and bugs, pick your poison I guess.  Alas, I...

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Midwifery Retreat

Midwifery Retreat

Yesterday I did something that I’ve only done one other time in my life as a parent for the last 6+ years… I left all my kids and husband and boarded an airplane and flew to another state.  The last time this occurred I went to a Midwifery Volunteerism in Developing Countries seminar in Taos, NM.  This time, I’m in Boise, Idaho for a 6-day intensive midwifery study retreat just prior to my...

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Life in Olongapo

Life in Olongapo

  We’re on the eve of our departure from the Philippines.  It’s been a blessed 6+ weeks here as we experienced a new culture and new way of life.  Though we’ve written other blog posts about certain aspects of our time here, here’s a larger recap and closer look at our life in Olongapo, Philippines. Bennett Road… our street in Olongapo And our humble little abode The Mercy In Action birth center directly across the street...

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Break the Silence

Break the Silence

During my time both here in the Philippines as well as in Madagascar, I’ve been with women during childbirth in hospital settings. On this blog, I can’t describe in detail the things I’ve witnessed, experienced and heard… they are not my stories to tell and to be honest, they are too gruesome to share in such a public setting. However, what I can share is my feelings in relation to what I’ve seen. I’ve always known to an extent...

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Wisdom in Birth

Wisdom in Birth

My midwifery courses are nearly all complete, my internship is wrapping up in the Philippines, and most of my “required numbers” are fulfilled. In less than a month, Lord willing, my formal midwifery education will be complete and all that will remain will be studying for and sitting for my midwifery board exams in mid-August. It’s at this point that I have total mixed emotions. Am I excited to be done with school? Absolutely!! Especially...

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Two by Two….

Two by Two….

  For some odd parental reason I now have the kids song, “the ants go marching one by one” stuck in my head thanks to the catchy title of this post! In the last week here at the Mercy Midwives Birthing Home we’ve had 4 deliveries… 4 precious new babies entered the world safely. And at least for these last four, they’ve come in two by two. The first set of two ladies delivered within 45 minutes of one another. A few days later,...

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Flyers

Flyers

Mercy Midwives Birthing Home is the birth center through Mercy In Action that I’m interning at here in Olongapo. Though Mercy In Action has initiated, successfully operated and turned over many birth centers in the last 21 years here in the Philippines, this particular birth center has only been open for just over a year. Word is still getting out. The first week that we were here, I helped Lanie, a Philippino friend and employee of Mercy...

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Philippines

Philippines

Last week we arrived in Olongapo, Philippines where we’ll call home for the next 6+ weeks. We were blessed beyond measure as our teammates here had already found and furnished a small house for us… no easy feat in a developing country! As though this isn’t gift enough, the house is literally right across the street from the Mercy Midwives Birthing Home where I’ll continue my midwifery training. Within 2 hours of our arrival, I was...

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Family Outing To a Birth

Family Outing To a Birth

Family Outing to a Birth My days lately have all been running together, but sometime before Christmas we experienced a new type of family outing… to the birth of a baby.  We were enjoying dinner out with a couple who are considering returning to Madagascar when I received a text from the doctor I’m working with.  First time mom, 35-weeks along in her pregnancy and 4 centimeters dilated.  Could I come?  Absolutely! ...

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A Birth Story

A Birth Story

If you didn’t already know, I’m a Master’s trained Family Nurse Practitioner and practiced for 5 years in the States before returning to school once again to attain my Midwifery licensure.  For the past 2 years, I’ve been slowly chipping away at my midwifery academics as well as attending prenatals and births.  A few weeks ago, I attended my first birth here in Madagascar.  As could be expected, it was different than the lovely home...

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