Friday, September 30, 2011


One of the things that MKs (missionary kids) get really good at is saying hello and goodbye. We don't necessarily LIKE saying it so much, but it's a fact of life. Our lives are layers of acquaintances, friends, relatives, and even relative strangers (pun intended). There are the folks I grew up with on the mission field from all over the world, my Biola days, my study abroad in London days, my nursing school days, church friends, work friends, and now back on the mission field.

There are times when I see someone and have to think hard for a minute to place them. Where do I know them from? What's really weird is when you see someone out of context, like a church friend from the US who suddenly shows up at my church in Philippines.

I think the greatest challenge comes in maintaining those friendships from all the layers. When life gets so busy, we (I) tend to live in the moment, and it's hard to remember the incredibly important people in my life who may not be a phone call or quick drive away. These people have had such amazing influence in who I've become and they STILL mean so much to me.

So for those of you reading this, I'm sorry if I haven't been as faithful in sharing life with you. Please never doubt for a moment how very much I miss you all. A busy life helps take out some of the sting, but each goodbye is just as painful. So when you get a chance, please send me an email or catch me online. I miss you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

getting creative

One of the things we at Shalom are really promoting is 100% exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and supplemental feeding for up to 2 years and beyond. Formula and potable water are just so expensive and impractical here that there's no reason NOT to breastfeed. (And every single study shows it's best for babies in all social stratas!)

So what do you do when you are donated 120 brand new cute t-shirts that have a big ole' baby bottle on the front?

You get all corny and cheesy and do this. It's looks silly but at least I feel like we're not compromising our breastfeeding campaign!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

...a time to weep

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a).

I love the first part of the second verse, "a time to be born." That is what our work at the birthing home is all about. We help during that time to be born. But we really dislike the second part of the verse, "a time to die." There aren't supposed to be deaths at a place where life is introduced to the world. And yet it is inevitable.

The maternal mortality rate for the Philippines according to the World Health Organization is 1 for every 500 deliveries. And Antipolo, the city where we serve, has an even higher rate than that. If Shalom were in keeping with this statistic, we would have a death every 2-3 months. Last week, we had our 3rd maternal death in over 19 years. The fact that we have such an incredible track record doesn't make the few deaths we do have any easier. It is still unspeakably difficult to have a mom die.

And yet, we cling to promises that God is in control of life, He is sovereign, and He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, even when the process of that "good" hurts terribly. Please pray for all of us at the birthing home as we grapple with that hurt. Please pray Isaiah 26:3 for us, "You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You." Pray that when the doubts come raging in, we would cling to the promises we know in our heads, but sometimes forget in our hearts. Please pray that we would grow stronger and closer as a team who are seeking to show the love of Christ to a hurting and oh-so-vulnerable group of people. And please pray for the family of the mother who died, that they would come to know Jesus as their Savior, Provider, and Sustainer during this time of intense loss.

Thank you for your prayers. I cannot emphasize this enough. When the tears were pouring last week, I took great comfort knowing that I have a powerful group of people praying for me and the work at Shalom. I fully believe I am sustained by God through the power of your prayers. They work. They matter. They help. Please keep them coming!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Today was a big day for multiple reasons:

1.) I spent 5 hours sitting in bumper to bumper traffic that I will never get back

2.) I FINALLY cleaned my office/guestroom and it's mostly organized and functioning. I FINALLY took the empty boxes up to the garbage to get carted away. I FINALLY assembled/spliced/put together light bulbs in all my closets and cabinets to keep away mold.

3.) and best of all, I picked up a sweet friend from the airport who will be staying with me for the next month. Joy (her blog here) is a single American RN and a CPM (nurse and midwife) who is working and living in Davao. Joy and I connected during my trip to Davao last May and I am so excited to have her staying with me. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have another single missionary to talk, laugh, vent, and maybe even cry with. There are things that we single gals go through, especially on the mission field, that only another single gal can possibly understand.

<---Joy & I at an outreach in Davao last May

On the ride home, Joy and I were both commenting how much we need this. Joy has come out of an especially stressful season and is looking forward to the break from the routine. She is here primarily to work with Dr Scott, the missionary doctor I've mentioned before...but she's also here for some time away to focus more on her walk with God. I know I could certainly use some more intentional times in the Word.

So why did I spend 5 hours in traffic? Manila Water brilliantly decided to tear up the ONLY road out to our area and leave just 1 lane of traffic for each direction...during rainy season, of course, which means they can only work on it for a few hours a day. Like I said, brilliant.