Jul 132014
 

PamiJuly2014

Baby Fever!

April and May were some of the hardest months I’ve ever lived through. Twenty-two babies delivered into my hands in less than 60 days! No delivery was the same…a bathroom birth, postpartum hemorrhages, emergency transports to the hospital, hands and knees delivery, neonatal resuscitation, 23 hour labors, and even three births in fifteen hours…you name it, I experienced it. But God was extremely gracious and gave me the courage, endurance, patience, and stamina to get through it. It also helped to have a supportive environment in which to ride the crazy roller coaster.

Thank you for your faithful prayers that got me through the nail-biting months. The last two mothers that needed to deliver both delivered at 42 weeks, the absolute last day before a required hospital delivery. To say my faith was stretched is an understatement. But praise God, I now have all the required cases in order to qualify to take the exam! I still have to turn in all the paperwork for evaluation, as well as pass a skills exam in the USA before I can take the written exam. I’m hoping to do this next summer/fall when I will already be in North America for leadership meetings. 

I am now back “home” at Shalom and feel like I have jumped from the frying pan and into the fire. In the short weeks I’ve been back, I’ve picked up a summer intern from Canada, managed several critical cases, attended the wake of the mother of a staff member,  and tried to step into the very big shoes of the other missionary nurse at Shalom who has left for a year’s home assignment. Life isn’t slowing down any time soon!

PamiJuly2014b

Passing the Baton

This September, our founder and director, Mavis Orton, is planning to retire back to England at the young age of 81 years. She has served faithfully and tenaciously in the Philippines since 1986. I only hope that I am as young and spry at 81 as she is! Please pray for Mavis as she puts closure on her 28 years of service and says goodbye to what has become her home and adopted people and then adjusts back to life in England.

Part of the reason I prayerfully decided to pursue midwifery certification was so that after Mavis retired, there would still be a missionary leader with midwifery training. However, the job of leading Shalom is now more than any one person can manage, so fellow missionary nurse, Cindy Gingerich and I will assume leadership after Mavis retires. I could not ask for a more qualified or complimentarily gifted coworker than Cindy and I praise God for her daily. At the moment, she is on a year home assignment, so please pray for me during this critical time of transition of leadership and responsibilities.

Helping to Carry the Load Praise God for His provision of others to help me carry the load of Shalom during Mavis’ departure and Cindy’s absence. Bill & Mary Fisher heard one of my presentations in Hawaii last year and were burdened to spend part of their retirement at Shalom. Bill is a retired nurse and has helped tremendously with financial management and in our laboratory. Mary is a health educator and has enjoyed doing home visits with our community nurse and Bible study coordinator. They arrived in May and plan to stay for at least a year.

     I am also praising the Lord for Dr Cecille Esterra, a Christian OB-GYN who has offered her services free of charge for our patients. I have been praying for someone like her to join our team for three years! Already she has been a blessing acting as a second opinion, during emergencies, and with our more complicated high-risk patients. Please pray for her as she learns the ropes of the local healthcare system in our area and advocates for our ladies.

    This July, we will have many visitors, including two teams from California, a couple from Washington, and a visiting OB-GYN from Illinois. Please pray that their time would be beneficial and life-changing for all!

PamiJuly2014c

Prayer Needs

PRAISE

Hallelujah! I have completed all necessary births and clinicals in order to be eligible to take the North American Registry of Midwives examination.

PRAISE

For 27 years of service in the Philippines from Shalom founder, Mavis Orton, MBE. 

PRAISE

For the answered prayers in the addition of the Fishers and Dr Esterra to our team at Shalom.

PRAISE

All of our staff completed the rigorous Experiencing God Bible Study! We ask so much of our staff as they pour into the ladies we serve, I am excited that we can pour back into our staff.

PRAY

Please pray for Mavis’ preparations for retirement and her adjustment back to life in the UK.

PRAY 

Please pray for Cindy and me as we assume leadership of Shalom and all that entails. The responsibility is big, but God is bigger.

PRAY 

Please pray for all the guests and visitors to Shalom this summer. Please also pray for stamina for me as I oversee everything and everyone…from transportation, food, lodging, itinerary, and crisis management. Please pray for good times of rest in between the chaos!

Jun 022014
 

PamiMay2014

Thank you so much for your prayers for my time in Davao. It has been a crazy emotional roller coaster ride and likely one of the most challenging times of my life thus far. It’s amazing how much sleep deprivation can affect one’s outlook on the world!

To say this time has been faith-building is an understatement on so many different levels. My heart has gone through some intense refining as I have had to surrender my all to the Lord, such as fulfilling necessary requirements, others’ perception and respect for me, my autonomy as a practitioner, trying to stay positive during continuous rolling power outages and sweaty sleep, and marathon labors of over 24 hours.

One of the requirements for midwifery certification is taking care of 5 “continuity of care” patients. This means conducting 5 prenatal exams spanned over 2 trimesters, delivering the baby, and providing 2 postnatal checks as well. Knowing that I was under a deadline and getting these cases was a “now or never” situation, I took on 13 patients back in February to make sure I was able to deliver at least 5 of them. However, for various reasons, after delivering 2 of these ladies, I am just down to 3 possibilities. This means that in order to meet the requirements, I MUST deliver all 3 of these ladies by the end of the month. If I do not, it may mean delaying my midwifery certification for years until I am at a place where I can live in the US for at least 6 months up to three years.

Please pray! Pray for God to do His work in my own heart during this pruning time. Pray for the safe deliveries of these three women. Pray for good sleep when I’m not on a 25 hour marathon labor watch. Pray for no power interruptions so sleep is quality in “feels like” 100+ degree temperatures. Pray for discipline over mind and heart and constant reminders that God is in control.

And please praise God with me! Praise for 16 safe deliveries thus far. Praise for provision of a car while I am here. Praise for just enough energy to get through the day. Praise for the spiritual growth and refining.

I appreciate each of you and thank you for your prayers so far. Please keep them coming!

Pami Continue reading »

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

Continue reading »

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.