Jan 222014
 

PamiJan2014a

This past December, Shalom midwives safely delivered 142 babies. The picture above shows our busy recovery room, as families enjoyed getting to know their new little one. I still take a deep breathe of gratitude every time I walk into our new facility and see the great things God has done. Like the verse on the wall in the photo says, it’s good to “Be still, and know that [He] is God,” Psalm 46:10

MissionFestVancouverJan2014b

This coming Thursday, I board yet another flight, this time to Vancouver, BC to represent Shalom and ACTION at the Vancouver Missions Fest January 24-26. They have chosen Shalom as the recipient of their global missions project with their “Baby Bundles of Joy.” Please pray for me as I represent Shalom and share about our ministry in one of the main plenary sessions. On Jan 27th, I will fly down to California where I will speak at an event in Desert Hot Springs on February 1st. Please be praying for me as I travel, overcome jet lag, and speak to thousands of people. But above all, please be praying for the joy of the Lord to shine through me in all encounters. I return to Manila on February 4th.

In addition to daily work at Shalom, the last few weeks have been especially busy, as I’ve been asked by several missionaries to help them navigate the local healthcare system throughout their pregnancy and delivery. It has been such a joy to help these ladies so that they can continue their own ministries. Who would have guessed that the baby girl born to missionary parents in the Philippines would one day help other missionaries deliver their own kids?

Pami2an2014

Jun 262013
 

After 10 years of prayers, dreaming, and much hard work, Shalom’s new birthing clinic is hearing the cries of new lives safely delivered.

IMG_041322d773

3 pm on June 15th quietly slipped by and only a handful were aware that the first baby in our newly opened building had just been born. There was no pomp or circumstance, as we had already dedicated the building to God’s glory in November, but the dust was flying as boxes and supplies were transferred from Mavis Orton’s small home to our glorious new facility.

Therefore I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing praises of Your name! (2 Sam 22:50)

Missionary nurse Cindy Gingerich takes the blood pressure of a prenatal patient.

Missionary nurse Cindy Gingerich takes the blood pressure of a prenatal patient.

Founder Mavis Orton checking out patients with Filipina midwives during prenatals.

Founder Mavis Orton checking out patients with Filipina midwives during prenatals.

The first baby born in our new delivery room!

The first baby born in our new delivery room!

Join us as we praise God for His goodness and provision!

Join us as we praise God for His goodness and provision!

 

 

 

May 222013
 

PamiMay2013

Connecting the Dots

Sometimes it’s hard to see where my work fits into the eternal picture. I share Jesus through words and actions, I pray with the families we serve, and trust the Lord to water the seeds planted. But at times I wonder what it’s all about as I seldom get to see if the advice I give is taken, if families follow through with discipleship, or if salvation is real. God gives us glimpses every so often of what the reunion celebration in heaven will be like as we see Him connect a few of the dots on this side of eternity.

On April 15th, I was at a hospital visiting another patient who had needed an emergency c-section. While I walked in the hallway, a beaming lady called me by name. Not expecting to be recognized at a government hospital, I seemed to remember her face. “I’m Divine, Pami, you saved my baby’s life!” I looked in her arms and saw the tiniest of babes nestled there. “This is Jasmine, you did an ultrasound on April 3 when I started to feel labor and said the baby was premature, so you sent me to the hospital. She was born on April 4 and we’re going home now. Thank you!” Nervous to see a 3.5 pound baby going home, I did a quick assessment, sternly instructed specific care guidelines, and asked her to bring her back to Shalom in a couple of days for follow-up. The baby continues to do well and I see her regularly to take her weight and check other key markers. Yesterday, I was privileged to visit her small plywood home in the remote countryside and see the whole family. She is now over 5 pounds and doing well! Please pray for baby Jasmine and the Tebia family as they care for her. Although very poor, both Divine and her husband are active members in their church and very responsible in their baby’s care.

PamiMay2013a

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Jan 282013
 
PamiJan2013a

Our 2012 Christmas card really says it all. The verse painted on the wall behind us is John 14:27a, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.” As I prayed over what verses to paint on the walls of our new building, I looked at our name – Shalom. Does it get any clearer than that? Ultimately, we hope to share the Prince of Peace with each and every baby and family cared for at our birthing home. It’s not just a name; it’s a mission, a purpose, and it is why we are here.

A DEDICATIONPamiJan2013b

On November 25, 2012, Shalom staff, Action missionaries, local dignitaries, and other special guests gathered to dedicate our new building to the glory and honor of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Before even a single baby is born inside its walls, we wanted to take time to recognize all that God has done in the 20 years of Shalom’s existence and praise Him for the provision of our new facility. Dr Harold Sala of Guildlines, Inc. gave an encouraging message, and ACTION founder Doug Nichols prayed the prayer of dedication. We also wanted to honor Mavis’ 80th birthday (Nov. 28) and many years of service among the impoverished women and children in the Philippines. What a way to celebrate a birthday by witnessing the realization of a dream held for so many years! The day was topped off by the presentation of a special watercolor portrait of Mavis by renowned Filipino artist and neighbor, Fred Liongoren.

The building is not yet finished. We still need to put in the windows and plumbing fixtures, as well as much of the furnishing. We trust the Lord for the remaining $35,000 needed to meet our original budget and be able to move in. We are praying to be able to open our doors sometime in March, 2013. Would you join us?

PamiJan2013c

WHO HOLDS 2013?

This year promises to be busier than last as we hope to open our new building…so we are planning, praying, revising, and praying again. In the last few weeks, God has provided in some fun ways, such as a donation of 20 wall fans!

2013 is also a year of travel for me. I will be attending the Christian Medical and Dental Assc conference in Thailand in February, speaking several times at the Hawaiian Islands Ministries conference in March, and taking a furlough August-October, including a trip to the UK for partnership development. Through the midst of it all, I am also trying to focus on midwifery school, which isn’t going as fast as I had hoped.

SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

I enjoyed hosting several interns last year, including a couple of young nurses wanting experience as they consider a life of missions. The midwives also enjoyed the extra set of hands as we are bursting at the seams! We would like to open up the opportunity to intern and volunteer at Shalom to others. If you know of a young woman interested in medical missions or data entry, please havethem contact me. We’d love to have them join us for a short-term experience of a lifetime!

We are also looking for a retired couple who may be interested in helping us maintain our new building.

NEW MINISTRY

Thanks to a grant, we have been able to start a prenatal teaching program, off-site Bible studies through partnerships with local churches, and post-natal follow-up. This was my goal when I joined the Shalom team so it has been so exciting to see God leading in this! I have hired two wonderful nurses who are helping me develop the material in Tagalog from scratch, which we hope to share with other ministries without copyright. By weaving Biblical principles throughout the teaching materials, women who may not normally be exposed to the Gospel can be reached. The response so far has been very positive!

PamiJan2013d

Oct 312012
 

 

Stenciling in our main delivery room

I’ve just had a marathon of a week, beginning with sitting through horrific traffic for over 4 hours on Monday to pick up a team from my home church from the airport during their 10 hour layover back to the US, show them Shalom, and take them back to the airport to catch their flight. One of the team members, Jane, stayed to stencil Tagalog Bible verses on the wall of our new clinic. It’s GORGEOUS! I dropped her off at the airport last night.

But one of the things short term visitors like to do is take a walk through one of the local communities we serve. You see, Shalom is actually located in a rather quiet area. We have a cock-fighting farm on one side, a farm/overgrown jungle on another side, and a subdivision on the other sides. Looking around, you really don’t see too much poverty if you don’t look too closely. However, just a 3 minute walk up the hill leads you to a very densely populated squatter community.

Touching up in our alternative delivery room

So, when Jane asked if we could go, off we went! As soon as we stepped off the road, we were inundated with children following us, asking for us to take their picture so they could see it on the digital camera. We stopped and bought a P1 (2c) miniscule bag of chips for a snack and continued on. When we stepped into a new area, a group of 8 kids went running up to me, “Ate,” (“ah-tay,” which means “big sister”), they cried, “I was born at Shalom!” All the other kids parroted the first kid. Of course, I had to get a picture with them…these kids, our legacy. These beautiful laughing children.

Later on during our walk after dozens of high-fives and spontaneous hugs, a young lady with a baby in her arms came running (literally, running!) up to me, “Maraming salamat, Ate Pami!” (thank you, Pami), “My baby was born at Shalom!” The little dude is 10 months old and an adorable chub. The mom was beaming and so excited to show off her son.

The awesome, photo-loving kids, doing our “wacky” shot

And this folks, is why I love my job.

Pami

Because no trip to the barrio is complete without pop-in-a-bag

 

Taken from Pami’s Blog.

Oct 272012
 

I was already in a grumpy mood on Saturday morning. I found out on Friday night that we were going to have a meeting with our cabinet maker the following morning at 8am to discuss the plans. Now for most people this is no problem, the day’s practically half over for them. But for me who needs one morning a week to sleep until my body naturally wakes up (nope, no kids yet!), I grudgingly agreed…

I woke up at 7:45, skipped the shower and make-up routine, threw on some clothes, and walked over to the clinic sans breakfast and coffee. I wanted to be able to go back to bed when I got back. Shortly after I arrived, Mavis finds me and says, “Did you get my text? I need you to take a post-partum patient with a large hematoma to the hospital.” I was later disappointed in myself with how UNexcited I was to be able to serve in this way, but I knew that the other nurse had a volleyball tournament to go to (which her daughter was a player for)…

I walked back home to get my SUV and cracked a few yawns in the process. I pulled up to Shalom and saw the young mom, her mother, and two younger brothers, along with the sweet baby boy. The mom was obviously uncomfortable and very unhappy. Normally they are very grateful, but this mom was sullen and clearly miserable. We all piled in my car and after getting directions to the nearest public hospital that could help her, took off.

As we cruised down the road (I was so thankful this was not an emergency!), I started talking with the grandmother who was holding the baby. This was the first baby for the 19 year-old mom. She was worried about getting home, because her older daughter was there with her two little ones. The father of this other daughter was unemployed and out with his “barkada,” or group of guy friends, drinking. He had left her and now her older daughter was a single mom with no source of income. She was worried the same was going to happen to the daughter laying on my back seat. The boyfriend was a lazy bum with no trade and frequently drunk. I glanced back at the daughter and she just glared at me.

We arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes later and I stayed in the car while the family helped get the patient out of the car. (Note – I would have liked to have helped, but as soon as they see a foreigner, the prices sky-rocket as the foreigner usually equals money)

My heart breaks for this new little baby. When I mentioned her attitude to the other midwives, they all agreed that she was very “suplada,” Tagalog for snobbish or stuck-up. I have a feeling the grandmother will be raising this little boy, along with his two older cousins. Please pray for Nene, that her hematoma will resolve with no problems, that she will wake up and mature into an amazing mother, and for the new little one born into such tough circumstances.

Taken from Pami’s Blog.