Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Once again THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Well our days here our numbered, but we're hoping to make the best of it!
See you all soon!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2065740&id=1347150104&l=388e9f01da
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
On Friday, Molly and I attended the church's youth group. The youth group is supposedly for ages 15-25, but we were a little weary when the message was about getting good grades to honor your parents...haha. But we decided to stick with it a little more and did an outreach with them on Monday, and we met a lot of people and discovered that they are our age which was exciting :) We visited the children's wing of one of the public hospitals and sang, talked, gave gifts and food, and prayed with the families that were there. It was a sad situation in many of the cases because the people don't always get better when they are at the public hospital. We also visited kids in the malnutrition ward which was heartbreaking :( I saw a little baby that was supposed to be 1 year old; but she was just skin and bones and the size of maybe a 3 month old, and she had what looked like a cataract in one eye. It was a very sad situation after typically seeing happy and healthy babies. But it was exciting to see a little hope when we brought them food and gifts and sang "Jesus Loves Me." Hopefully we were able to share a little bit of God's love with them and brighten their day.
At the clinic, I've been working with the Red Team, which has been a blast :) The girls are really fun, and it's been awesome getting to know them and becoming friends. They've also been teaching me some Cebuano, so I'm working on that :) I also learned how to do gram stains, which is .... interesting. haha. I've also been doing a lot of shots but doing baby vaccines isn't very fun :( I don't like making the babies cry, but at least it's keeping them healthy in the long run. But once again, we're hoping to see some more action coming up soon :)
As far a prayer requests, just pray for energy :) We're trying to stay involved with lots of different things - the clinic, youth group, visiting patients, and working with Father Heinz. We're going to the dump site this Thursday with Pastor Heinz, so that should be quite an experience.
Love you guys!!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Hope you enjoy!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
As far as clinic work, I started with the Red Team this week. Red team consists of gram staining (Pap smears, vaccines, and lots of education). However, I've mainly been doing pre-natals and initial interviews because we've had free labs the past two days. Tomorrow I work the night shift with Red Team, and then Saturday morning is the family planning workshop. So i've been doing a lot of prenatal check ups, which consists of fundal height, fetal heart tones, BP, and baby position. I'm getting better at feel what position the baby is and also finding the cervix! (which we learned can be a little difficult). We also had another delivery on Monday morning. Another girl! :) Her delivery was sooo quick! She was 9cm and then all of a sudden here comes baby before they could even rupture the water bag. She's a precious little baby who has a very calm temperament. I got to hold her for quite awhile today while her mom got a ligation. She seemed to enjoy the Taylor Swift songs as I rocked her :)
Tonight we went to the red light district here in Cebu City, and boy, what an experience! We went with a man named Father Hines who has been serving this city for 29 years! Praise God for his perseverance in reaching out to the people of Cebu. He's part of many different aspects of outreach including helping people the live at the dumpsite, aid for the homeless elderly, and the red light ministry. The red light district is a breeding ground for sex trafficking. There are very, very young women who are being sold as prostitutes, and they hardly have a clue of the consequences. Not only that, but the red light district is also "home" to many orphans. Their moms just abandon them and they grow up there. We went and passed out stickers for the children and biscuits & condoms for the prostitutes. The kids loved talking to us and following us the whole way through, mostly begging for more stickers and asking our names. They all love Father Hines; he goes there EVERY day to give out things, including medicine. I found out that it took a long time and a lot of work for him to even be able to visit. Some of the women we talked with were pregnant or had babies, so Hilary would encourage them to come to the clinic for their care. I can't even imagine someone trying to deliver a baby there in those conditions. There are so many things to pray for in this area, but really, they need God the most; He's their only hope of a Redeemer. There's too much for one man or a hundred men to take on, only God can bring restoration to this part of the city. Please continue to keep Cebu in your prayers and pray that many of the women take the opportunity to come to the clinic to receive proper care for them and their babies.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Later that day, we got to see our first birth! It was amazing! First off, I gotta say, the Filipino women handle the pain extremely well, I don't know if I'll see that so much in America. Hilary said part of the reason is they don't know any other way; meaning, they haven't heard of an epidural. Anyways, the baby came out with the umbilical chord wrapped around her neck twice, so they quickly untangled her and placed her on her mommy's belly where another nurse and I got to pat her dry. Then I got to clamp the chord and cut it :) After that, they handed me the baby, and another nurse walked me through the assessment and initial check up. Listening to the precious baby's heartbeat for the first time outside her mommy's tummy was unreal. I'm just in awe of God's handiwork and all of the intricacies that goes into the human body and human life in general. The little baby girl was very blue at first so I hooked her up to oxygen and she pinkened up quickly. The Filipino babies are beautiful! They come out with soft hair and great color! I had to give the baby her first shot, which she didn't like too much but after that I got to swaddle and hold her until they were done fixing up her mommy. Molly, was on the other side of the delivery with the mom, where she got to deliver the placenta and suture the mom up! How cool! So next time we're going to switch it up :) We got lots of pictures with the baby and the mom. She wants to add us on Facebook! haha. I'll post some on Facebook because I've had difficult getting the pictures on here. There was another mom in labor so we stayed at the clinic and waited for the next one. But the labor was going very slow (it's her first baby). So after putting in 13 hours, we called it a day and headed home.
So for the most part it was an exciting day with the new life entering the world. But on a sadder note, one of the mom's came in, and they couldn't find a heartbeat :( After an ultrasound, they confirmed that the baby had died. Please keep this young mommy in your prayers that God would comfort her and draw her near to Him.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
After the morning at the clinic, we went to lunch with David and Hilary at a huge mall. I finally was able to get some Filipino money. And boy does my bank account look better in pesos! At first I was trying to withdraw money in dollars, and when it wouldn't let me Hilary explained that it had to be in pesos, my bad :) We've been having such a great time so far. I even got myself some yummy, sugary cereal at the store. Although the food has been delicious so far! Well that's it for today. We're having company over for dinner tonight so that should be fun, bye! :)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This last week, Hilary and David Overton (the founders of Glory Reborn) were in the States meeting with people and sharing what's going on in Cebu. I had a chance to attend one of their meetings in El Paso, which was really neat and great for my mom to meet them as well. We watched a slideshow, heard stories, prayed for them, and ate some delicious food. It was awesome to meet Hilary and talk to her in person before I got there. I'm so excited for what God has planned for us this summer. Can't wait!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Since I've been very blessed by all of you and have raised some extra money for this trip, I wanted to be able to bless Glory Reborn by purchasing some supplies for them. I spoke with Hilary, who heads up Glory Reborn, and she said they needed stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs. I just wanted to share that with you all and again thank you for continuing to keep me in your prayers! We sent in our application for our visas, but apparently we need to have them notarized first. Oops! So they're mailing it back, but don't worry, they said we still have plenty of time. So all in all, good news. As the days keep coming, Molly and I continue to get even more excited! Yayy! Hilary will be in the El Paso area this month, so it'll be nice to meet her before I fly out there for the summer.
Hope you all are doing well!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I've already received all the money I need for my trip to the Philippines! Thank you all again for being so generous and offering to keep me in your prayers. It has been a true blessing, and I'm very grateful.
In addition, I'm posting this in hopes that people who may have not replied yet will look before they mail me back.
I don't believe I have posted when I'll be gone and such. So, we drive to Phoenix on May 30th and fly to LA that evening, leave LA early on the 31st and go to Hong Kong and then Cebu. We'll be returning to Phoenix on July 28th and probably drive back to Cruces the 30th or so depending on how jet lagged we are.
Thank you all again! And please continue to keep me in your prayers.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Just a little update on where we are concerning the trip. Molly and I bought our tickets to Cebu this last week, and it was very exciting. Next on the list is our visa application! Praise God, we haven't ran into any huge obstacles yet :)
So again, thank you all so much, and I hope you continue to keep me in your prayers as we continue preparing for our trip!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Hello Family and Friends!
I hope this finds you all in good health and enjoying the New Year and God’s grace! As many of you know, I’m currently going to school for nursing at NMSU, and I’m approaching my senior year! It’s definitely been quite a journey, but I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten this far. I have the Lord and many of you to thank for that. I’m very excited to almost be a nurse, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for my future.
As the “real world” is steadily approaching, I have a chance at an amazing opportunity, which I would like to share with you all. This summer I have the chance to travel to the Philippines, more specifically the city of Cebu with another friend/nursing student, Molly Walker. We will be working at a birthing center, as well as leading Bible studies and sharing God’s love for two months there. The maternity clinic we’ll be working at is run by Glory Reborn; here’s their website if you’d like to check it out, http://gloryreborn.org. After deciding to pursue nursing, I’ve been interested in participating in a medical-related missions trip, and this may be one of the few chances I have. In the nursing role, we gain trust and respect, and we are given such a great opportunity to talk to these people and display God’s love. This is a great time to show that love and assist others with healthcare needs. I’m very excited and eager to utilize the talents God has given me and the skills I’ve learned to help others who are not as fortunate. Not only that, but I’m also excited to see how God will use me.
For the trip itself, I need to raise $2500 for the plane ticket, lodging, food, bedding, and all the toiletries we’ll need to purchase there. As of now, I have $500 to put towards my trip, but I would love any additional financial support you feel called to give. I know it’s a lot of money, but I truly feel that it’ll be worth it to serve God’s Kingdom this summer. If you're interested in being a part of my adventure, first off, please pray for me. If you're interested in helping financially, you can either contact me via email for mailing information, firstname.lastname@example.org, or click on the donate button below.