Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Sorry it's taken me so long to post this final blog. I've now been back in the states for about 3 week and am starting school this week, Thank you all for your prayers and support while I went to the Philippines. It was definitely a life-altering summer, and I'm so glad that God gave me the opportunity and used all of you to help me too! I'm so excited to grow in what I've learned there both in nursing and spiritually. If anyone is interested in knowing more about my trip I'd love to sit down with you and tell you all about it, just let me know!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sharing God's Love on Stilts!

Wow! We have been having such a blast here, and it's sad that we only have another week. Molly and I have been participating with the King's Kids on the different outreaches, as well as working at the clinic too. On Saturday Molly and I got to attend a birth together. I got to catch and Molly was on baby duty, but as soon as the baby had come out, another mom came in and had her baby within a minute! They were both beautiful baby girls, but the second one was a preemie. We actually had another preemie the night before, but they've been getting excellent care, but their immune system is still really low :( Please keep them in your prayers that they will be free from disease and their little bodies will develop fully. On Monday, I worked an evening shift on the green team. During the shift, our laboring mom had to be transported due to prolonged decels (where the baby's heartbeat drops). I was able to pray with the patient and then go with her and Marielyn (one of the midwives) to the hospital where one of the clinic's on-call doctors would perform a c-section. I was hoping to peek in on it, but the hospital's OR was too busy. Consequently, it turned out that the mom had a normal delivery anyways and a healthy baby, praise God! I was really glad I got to pray with her :) We also attended the VBS that the King's Kids held in the neighborhood of the clinic. And today I went with them to their VBS at the Badjao, which is an interesting place! The houses are on stilts so we had to walk on 2-3 planks of pathways to get through. It was quite scary! I'll have to post a photo. But the VBS was great, and the precious little kids are so much fun to watch while sit on your lap and praise God! Please just pray for all the people who have heard the Gospel through this group and that God will bless the seeds they have planted.

Well our days here our numbered, but we're hoping to make the best of it!

See you all soon!


Friday, July 16, 2010


The baby was named Princess Meliza. Lol. Apparently "z's" are better than the double "s" here =)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Hello! The King's Kid got in yesterday afternoon, and we've been having lots of fun meeting all of them, as well as adjusting to living with 30 new people! Today, we all went down to the clinic for prenatals. Some of the girls followed us and learned how to do a basic prenatal check up; others learned how to take vitals; and since the guys aren't able to partake in the labors and prenatals, we taught some of the interested ones how to start an IV =) Then the King's Kids did some dancing and a drama skit for the moms and played with the neighborhood kiddo's. During the songs, Molly and I had a couple of kids on our laps, and it was one of the cutest things watching them do the hand motions and singing along. They all had huge smiles on their faces, and nodded ecstatically when I asked if Jesus was in their kasing-kasing(heart). It was a great time of praising God and getting to watch the King's Kids in action. Later in the afternoon, we visited another poorer neighborhood they did their whole performance again. We also got to play basketball with the teenagers, dance with the kids, pray with some of the parents, and meet a lot of new Facebook friends! haha. The older kids typically ask a few questions-your name, age, brothers and sisters- and then it's followed by, "Ate, do you have a Facebook?" Makes me laugh everytime! I'm on my way to beating Fuzz for the number of Facebook friends...haha well, not quite there yet.

Anyways, between all this fun I also got to catch a beautiful baby girl! I even got to start the IV ad everything =) It was a great birthday with a precious little Princess born. Literally. That's the most recent name I heard from the mom.

Well all is well in the land of Cebu! We're loving it and making lots of new friends.

Love you all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And the countdown begins...

It's been awhile since I've posted, but this week has been quite busy! I saw 2 births last Thursday, and there were SIX births at the clinic yesterday. The clinic is packed full with one of the babies in isolation. Molly and I got to attend the last birth this morning at about 1am; we never seem to be there during the baby booms. Darn, lol. We were helping get ready for the youth group that is coming tomorrow, King's Kids. Preparing meals for 30 people is quite a daunting task, so Molly and I helped prepare the meals. We are quite excited for the kiddo's to be coming this week. But this also means we will now be relocating to the clinic, and as an added bonus, we will be seconds away from any birth =) We'll also be doing some of the projects with the group in the next two weeks including taking them to the dumpsite and some construction for housing projects. We can't wait! Although we're sad that we only have two weeks left in the Philippines =( But we're looking forward to whatever God has left for us. Please keep the youth group in your prayers as they travel from another island to here and just for all the logistics.

As a side note, please continue to pray for the Glory Reborn Clinic. It's so amazing to see what God is doing here in the Philippines, and how He has used Hilary and David. They are absolutely amazing and you know they can only do it through God's strength. As the clinic continues to grow in quality of care -including IV meds, phototherapy, and post-op ligation care- there is an increasing demand for a larger facility. The plans are already in the works, but please pray that God will provide for this endeavor and supply the necessary people and willing hearts.

Only 2 more weeks left here in Cebu!

Love and miss you all,

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Baby

On the morning of July 4th, I caught my third baby! She was a beautiful baby girl. It's still just as exciting each time, wow. I also got to assist with suturing, which isn't all too pleasant, but still a fun skill to do. Aside from the Sunday morning birth, I'm now on the Green team, which is the 2-10pm shift. I'm getting a lot more comfortable with IE's and even got the right dilation each time I did one yesterday! Today we're having a baby party for the babies that have been born, complete with cake, gifts, and vaccines!! hehe. What kind of party would it be if there weren't vaccines? :)

As we continue our trip, I can't help but think of what can I do to help, what can I change, etc. But the truth is, there is nothing in myself that I can accomplish in my own strength. But I feel like one thing God has been showing me, is that I may not be able to give the whole dumpsite a new home, but I can create relationships with the people here and be a vessel for God through that. God's love continues to amaze me every time I see the smiling faces of the kids at the dumpsite when we show up, "Hi Melissa and Molly!." And when I hear a tiny boy yell "Hi Melissa" on my way to buy bread. And when I hand a baby to a glowing new mom. It's more rewarding than I can possibly imagine, and I thank God for using me in even the little ways.

Ephesians 2:10, For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

And great news! We had a baby that was suffering from severe jaundice due to an A-O incompatibility. Apparently, the parents had lost their first baby to this same problem. Consequently, she needed a complete blood transfusion (replacing all her A blood to O). It was going to require three separate transfusions, but praise God, she only needed two and is now on one more day of phototherapy. Please keep baby Abigail in your prayers that she will have complete healing without any complications.


PS. My mom is putting together a welcome home party for me either July 31st or August 1st, and you are all welcome!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Twilight and Spiderman Stickers

Molly and I were very excited because we were graciously given free tickets to the see the new Eclipse premiere here in Cebu. We took some of the girls from the clinic, so it was a fun night out with all of them seeing the new movie.

On another note, Molly and I went to the dumpsite again today. It was so much fun! We took some stickers with us and a volleyball to play with the kids. They loved it! They kept sticking them all over themselves...and us, haha. Volleyball was quite fun too except for when the ball landed in sludge :-/ Little to say, my shoes will never quite be the same :) But we had such a great time with the kiddos playing around, dancing, giving piggyback rides and laughing. It's so great to be able to spend the time with them and see their faces light up! Despite their poor living conditions, these little ones have the biggest smiles and laughs you can imagine. We love going to the dump each week, and even more so we love how the Lord continues to teach us humility, kindness, and thankfulness from the kids.

Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. It's always so encouraging when I talk with someone on facebook and say that they're praying for me. Thanks! Molly and I are working with one of the midwives tomorrow to man the clinic while everyone else does a CPR class. Please pray that all goes well and perhaps we'll even get a birth :)


Monday, June 28, 2010

Not a Fan of Lechon

I've been working on the night shift this past week, but it's been fairly quite recently. We've had vitals for several postpartum moms, but not any births. It's only been a week, and I already miss seeing a birth! Hopefully we'll start welcoming in some more nighttime babies this week :)

I didn't get to go the dumpsite this week because I got some sort of stomach bug last Wednesday. All's well now, but I guess it happens when you're in a new place sometimes. Molly got to go though and had a great time. She said the kids remembered her and were asking where Melissa was too! How touching, I can't wait to go back and see the precious kiddo's this week.

On another note, we had some bonding time with the girls from the clinic this week. One of them, Marielyn, just got engaged, so Molly and I treated them to a yummy Filipino dinner complete with delicious lumpias and an interesting dessert called halo halo (not so good). We also went to karaoke, so it was a fun evening and just nice to make some new friends with the girls.

Also, I booked my plane ticket home from Phoenix to El Paso, so I'm excited about getting to fly home instead of drive :) And hopefully my mom will have my welcome home party put together too :) hehe. But I'm definitely not ready to go home yet! I feel like there's still so much more to do and more that I want to be a part of before I leave, but the time is just flying by! We only have 4 weeks left here, but I just pray that God continues to work through me and teach me in those next 4 weeks. Well, for the rest of my life too! ;-) Anyways, just thought I'd give you all a mini update, and I pray that you all are doing well. I miss you guys!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Babies Galore

The clinic went from a baby drought to a full on flood. It's been super exciting! Yesterday alone we had 3 labors and a total of 8 moms at the clinic overnight. It's been such a blast welcoming the precious newborns into the world, and not only welcoming but being the first hands to bring them in! Each tiny, little finger and every curious, blinking eye just reminds me of God's awesomeness. It's really fantastic, and I'm excited to pursue the career of a clinic nurse midwife. This is the type of job that never dulls or loses it's splendor. Of course, there are the hard parts. We recently had another little baby that was transported due to the lack of variability in heart tones. Turns out, the baby was born with a condition known as gastroschisis. It's a birth defect where the baby is born with its intestines on the outside. The baby had a 2-part surgery to try to put her intestines back inside, but unfortunately she passed away after the first one. Please keep the young family in your prayers. The mom was 18 and the dad 19. It's hard to see this side of birth too, and even harder to continually realize how God has a perfect plan for it all.

It's hard to believe we've only been here for three weeks. Time is just flying by, and Molly and I are definitely not ready to leave anytime soon! I just switched to night shift this week, so that has been a new adventure. Typically, a lot of births come in the night, but lately, we've been having them at any given time of the day. I have now officially "caught" a baby :) ...actually two! Probably one of the most amazing feelings in the world, but I think you already caught my drift from earlier hehe. It's fun to have an active part in the delivery process, but I'm still learning a whole lot so it's nice to sit back and learn from the more experienced nurses/midwives too. I fear that I'm going to be really bored next semester in my mommy-baby rotation for clinicals because there's no way it'll compare to this.

Well that's about it for now, I'll continue to keep you all updated. Thanks again for taking the time to follow me through this trip and to keep me in your prayers! I appreciate it so much and I always love to hear from everyone back home.


Friday, June 18, 2010


The past couple of days have held quite a bit of adventure. On Wednesday we went on 4 home visits to see patients that had delivered at the clinic. We went with the clinic's social worker May May, who's great :) A little bit about the social work program, May May meets with the people who are too poor to even afford the smalls costs at the clinic; she interviews them to determine how much they really can afford and then they are placed in the social work program which includes counseling with pastors at the clinic as well. Then she follows up with them by doing home visits after they've delivered, which is what we got to do on Wednesday. It was crazy how hospitable the people were when we'd come into their "house," which really just looked like a really cool clubhouse. But they'd insist we sit down on their mat and seemed thrilled to have visitors. Molly and I took turns holding their babies who weren't very little anymore (one of the 2 month olds felt more like a 1-year old haha). Anyways, all of the moms would just rave about how great their experience was at the clinic, how fortunate they were, and gave lots of 10 out of 10's. It was great to see the smile on their face and know that we are getting to be part of this miracle for many people who couldn't otherwise afford it.

Then yesterday, Thursday, there were 3 births at the clinic! And one last night. But we pretty much missed all of them! haha. I was at the clinic for the first one, but the baby came flying out. I walked by one minute, and they were just hooking her up to the CTG machine. I go put my ipod on for one song, and one of the nurses comes in and says, "baby out." haha. It was the first baby boy that I've gotten to see. But it was still a great experience because I got to start an IV :) (my first real one! and I got it on the first try). I also got to deliver the placenta on my own which was very interesting! It looks really weird, but it's absolutely amazing how this thing grows inside of the mommy and keeps the baby alive! God is a genius! Well, of course we all knew that :) but the miracle of birth is just so fantastic! This is why I've always loved this field because the human body is so fascinating, and all the intricacies of it just point back to the wonderful Creator of it all.

We missed the later births, but instead we had the great opportunity to go with Father Heinz to the dump site. What an eye opener! It is exactly what it sounds like. All of the trash in Cebu City comes to this dump site, and it is the home to thousands upon thousands of people. It's literally just mounds of trash all over. It was hard to internalize it because when we had trash, Father Heinz was like just throw it on the ground, but really, that's where it all ends up anyways even if you had a trash can. Both Molly and I handed out cookies to the 200+ kids that came to line up. Then there was a line for people wanting medical treatment. I helped Father Heinz with that part by taking temperatures, blood pressures and listening to people's lungs. Father Heinz is part of a German doctor's program, so he has a HUGE medicine supply and gives it out to the people here who could never afford treatment. Some of the people come and there's nothing wrong with them, so he gives out a lot of Vitamin C too ;) Many of the kids have these huge sores that develop from the lack of hygiene. It's crazy because it's something you definitely don't see in America because it's so treatable with just a little soap and water every now and then. But at the dump site it's not. Father Heinz told us a story about how he held a mass at the dump site recently, and he asked the children to pray. One of the little boys started his prayer with, "Dear God, thank you for the trash..." It's their livelihood and their only means of survival to the point where little children are thankful for their trash. Wow, if that doesn't say something to you then I don't know what does. I think of all the times I've been worried about money, upset that I didn't have enough money for something, or just outright ungrateful. Visiting the dump was definitely a humbling experience for me and just gave me more perspective on life in general. These situations are hard because you show up, give out cookies and medicine, talk, and play with the kids, but you still feel like it's so insignificant compared to the situation. But I'm just thankful for the little part that God has brought me to do. Sure, I may not be giving all these people a new life, but I'm sharing God's love with them just a little at a time and His love is definitely something extraordinary.

New photos up as well. For those of you who don't have a Facebook, here's a link to the photo album