Of babies and ambulance rides… August 2016 News

Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

First Births…

More than three years ago we opened the Sarobidy Maternity Center with a 3-Phase approach. The reasoning behind this approach was simple… we’ve never opened or run a maternity center and we wanted to take it slow, do it right, and create a solid foundation on which the center would grow well.

2013: Phase 1— we began to provide prenatal and postpartum care, education, and vitamins. Deliveries occurred with our staff typically in a supportive role but at the clinic of our back-up physician.

2014: Phase 2— we expanded our services to include more laboratory testing and family planning services open to anyone in the community. Deliveries still occurred with our staff and back-up physician at her clinic.

August 2016: Phase 3— Deliveries began at the Sarobidy Maternity Center!!! This month the first four babies, 1 boy and 3 little girls, were born at the center with loving, competent and compassionate midwives and a doctor!

The contrast between the typical care women experience in birth here in Madagascar and of the care we provide is extreme.  To name just a few….

* fetal heart tones are rarely assessed when a woman is in labor to assure that the baby is doing well as opposed to timed and frequent monitoring at the maternity center.

* to speed up labor, women often receive pitocin undiluted and directly into their vein as opposed to unmedicated births at the center.

* it’s not uncommon for women to experience physical and emotional abuse while in labor… slapping and yelling are just a few examples as compared to gentle and respectful support of mom and baby.



* because the baby’s heart beat isn’t monitored, doctors and midwives get scared and therefore attempt to literally PUSH the baby out by forcefully, painfully and dangerously pounding on the mother’s abdomen as opposed to waiting and trusting in the mother’s ability to bring her baby into the world.
* not only do women give birth flat on their back which is the absolute worst position for a woman to be in but her bottom is often raised up on a bedpan making delivery even more difficult as baby must fight gravity as opposed to allowing women to be in any position that feels comfortable to them… with the exception that they are not flat on their back.


* it is believed that women can and should only push for 30 minutes and the baby is in danger if it takes any longer. As a result, women needlessly receive episiotomies without any medication and babies experience needless trauma from a forced and hurried birth as opposed to allowing moms to push as long as baby is doing well and progressing!
* babies are typically bathed and dressed right away, interrupting precious and critical time in initiating breastfeeding as compared to placing babies skin to skin immediately on the chest of their mama and allowing them to nurse and bond immediately.


   We praise God for the beauty of His design for birth and the precious ways in which these ladies are experiencing it here at the Sarobidy Maternity Center!  We praise Him for the first four beautiful births and healthy moms and babies!

Going Home…

August2016-SpecialAmbulance 2   Now that women are delivering at the maternity center, we’re also putting the ambulance to good use to take women home after the birth as opposed to them walking home! Can you imagine walking home after giving birth?! What a delight it was to take first-time mom Sandrah and her baby, husband and proud grandma home!! Just as exciting was rejoicing with the neighbors as mom and baby were welcomed back! And even all the more exciting as Neal announced from the loud speaker on the ambulance, “tonga ny mama sy ny zaza vao teraka!”– the mom and new baby have arrived!

   We praise the Lord for the gift of the ambulance not only for emergencies but for the simple act of returning families home! 

Maman’i Malala…

   One of the things that I love about the maternity center is building relationships with the women.  Sometimes these are women who we meet only because of the center and sometimes these women are friends long before they enter into our program. Maman’i Malala is one of the ladies in our community that we’ve known for several years. In fact, her 3 kids and our kiddos regularly play together at our home and in the neighborhood. The maternity center provides a platform to continue to build a relationship with Maman’i Malala as we talk and pray and giggle over the wonder of another baby growing in her womb. What a gift that Maman’i Malala was also the first woman that received an ultrasound at the maternity center!

   Please join us in praying for the ladies that enter the doors of the Sarobidy Maternity Center– that relationships would be established and deepened so that we can uniquely and authentically share the love of Christ with them! 

August2016-EchoElizabeth 2

One more family…

   We’re so super excited to share with you that another family is being added to the mix here! We went to SPU with Kyle and Kristen and they’ll be arriving in Mahajanga tomorrow with their four little guys! Kyle spent 10 weeks in Madagascar with Jamie in 1998 on a summer mission team which is super fun! Kyle is a jack of all trades and we’ve already got lots of construction projects lined up for him! Kristen is a credentialed elementary teacher and will be homeschooling our kids and the Carlstrom kids in their English education each afternoon! Our team which recently grew from 10 to 20 is now about to become 26!

   We praise God for bringing the Gough family out here to use their gifts and talents to bless the ministry and our families in this next year!  Please join us in praying for their transition to life on the Red Island of Madagascar! 

Nearly 70%… and ENDS September 5th!

   We’re super excited to share with you that we’re nearly 70% of the way to the purchase price of the Sarobidy Center property!!!  This large 5-acre property is the home to the Sarobidy Maternity Center, the Sarobidy Creations women’s artisan project, our weekly Saturday Kids Club, our monthly Malagasy/English church service, and the research nursery, seed bank and gallery forest for Eden Reforestation ProjectsThe long-time friends and current owners of the property are giving us an incredible price of just $111,000 which is far, far below the market value for the size and location of this property!

   Many of you have already generously donated towards this amazing opportunity to purchase this property! We’re BLOWN AWAY by the way you’ve shown up, given generously and loved our little corner of the globe and it’s people here in Madagascar!  Thank you, thank you, thank you! 
We’re nearly 70% of the way there… with just $34,000 remaining!!! Would you help us close the gap in these FINAL DAYS?? Though you can continue to give, the rewards campaign ends on September 5th!
For donations given between now and SEPTEMBER 5th, Red Island Restoration and the Sarobidy Center would like to show our appreciation to all donors by offering the following thank you rewards… 
Any amount– video sent by email with a message of thanks from the men, women and children blessed by the Sarobidy Center… 
$100.– handwritten card (translated of course) and picture from one of the mamas at the maternity center
$250.– handcrafted Christmas Ornament made by the ladies of Sarobidy Creations
JuneSpecialOrnament 2
$500.– name etched on brick that will become the walls of the maternity waiting home PLUS picture of the finished house with YOUR brick PLUS Christmas Ornament 
JuneSpecialSarobidy 2
$1000.– small 7″ handcrafted recycled aluminum Baobab tree PLUS name etched on brick of maternity waiting home
$5,000.– large 17″ handcrafted recycled aluminum Baobab tree PLUS name etched on brick of maternity waiting home
$10,000.– A night at Antsanitia Resort, a beautiful partnering hotel 25km north of the Sarobidy Center and a site of one of Eden’s Dry Deciduous reforestation sites PLUS a nocturnal hike to see mouse lemurs, chameleons and other amazing wildlife… led by yours truly… Jamie and Neal!  PLUS large baobab, ornament, brick, card and video! **
$20,000.– Half-day deep sea fishing trip with Antsapeche… think BIG fish (with chance to snorkel and spearfish!) PLUS guided tour by Jamie and Neal of Eden Project’s dry deciduous nursery and reforestation site at Antsanitia PLUS large baobab, ornament, brick, card and video! **
$50,000.–  “Generous Gift From ___” plaque at the Sarobidy Center PLUS night at Antsanitia with nocturnal hike PLUS half-day deep sea fishing trip with Antsapeche and guided tour of nursery and reforestation site PLUS large baobab, ornament, brick, card and video! **
** Sorry, airfare and additional accommodations in Madagascar are not included ** 
   We humbly ask for your partnership as together we endeavor to raise the full amount to purchase the Sarobidy Center property!
To donate online: 
Click here to be directed to the dedicated Sarobidy Maternity Center page through our mission organization, WorldVenture. In the comments section, please specify “Sarobidy Center Property Purchase”
To donate by mail: 
Make your check to WorldVenture and specify #6401-909 in the memo and include an attached piece of paper stating “Sarobidy Center Property Purchase”.  Mail to: 
1501 W. Mineral Ave
Littleton, CO 80120
To donate by phone:
Call WorldVenture directly at (800) 487-4224 and ask to speak to donations. Please specify that your donation is to be directed to account #6401-909 and more specifically for the “Sarobidy Center Property Purchase”.
Remember, only those donations made on or before SEPTEMBER 5th are eligible for a THANK YOU REWARD!  Rewards will be sent towards the end of 2016!


All donations are so incredibly appreciated and as always, are 100% tax deductible!  


Blessings of peace to you.
Alissa, Jamie, Isabella, Eliana and Gavin


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