Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm drinking water

This is my lovely last one before our baby arrives! Macaria is due June 18 and oddly enough, my belly is closely approaching the size of her belly! Macaria is a wonderful lady who is expecting her first child...she thinks it's a boy! At only 21 years old, she is married and has told me she and her bana have a bright future. I am so excited for her and hope to get to know her well in the coming weeks. :)

Next photo:
Yes, this is a 10-inch round worm....and yes, this was found in the birth room...

and this is where you may want to stop reading.... can bail out now.....

So you were too curious to go to a better blog or find something better to do with your time, eh?'s the scoop...

This worm was delivered by one of Mercy's patients this week just after she delivered her healthy baby! No kidding. After delivery, she just leaned away from the bed, coughed a bit, spit on to the floor and a little while later, one of the midwives was cleaning up and found this guy, still alive, squirming around.
The really odd part about this was that the last time this patient had a baby, she coughed up another one of these pleasant creatures....apparently she has a problem with round worm infestation! And beyond that, her family owns a bakery....she works there. Mmmm, appetizing round worm buns anyone? Needless to say, Mercy is providing worm pills for her and her family ASAP. Nothing ceases to amaze us at Mercy anymore. Next picture...

Remember Weensee? Well, I haven't had a chance to see him since he was discharged from the hospital, but I hear he is coping okay, but still waiting on surgery. Praise the Lord he is slowly healing! God is so good. So here is Weensee and his momma waving goodbye to their visitors....his momma is amazing. Just thought you'd want a face to go with the stories! Keep praying! Next picture:

And here is my dear patient, Helen, and her little lady, Jaz Mea. I delivered this little one just before my back went out, so I didn't get to do any of her baby checks....until yesterday! With our prenatal room without power and the intense heat of midday, us midwives did 78 prenatals and at least 10 baby checks combined. It was a busy day. But I was so thankful to see Helen again and she was even willing to pray for ME and my pregnancy. It was a neat good to be back at the clinic.

This has been a difficult season for me...keeping up with school work and clinic hours has been tough. My day shift on Thursday yielded a close delivery, but my patient, Bel, fought so hard to get her baby out and the baby just needed a bit more help. Then Bel's blood pressure began to rise, her baby's heart tones dipped and she began to swell up....we knew we needed to transport. Twenty minutes later, I had successfully inserted her IV (on the first try!) and got her on oxygen, and sat wearily in the ambulance with my good friend and midwife peer, Laura. We prayed and God was faithful to answer our prayers.

Bel delivered her new baby girl by forceps sporting a 4th degree tear and needing suturing. But she is healthy. She still hasn't seen her baby, yet, but after visiting her, it seems as though she is encouraged that everything will turn out okay. Praise God.

I went home from that shift exhausted, sore and barely making it up the stairs, but God sustained me through the next days' business and while I have to take things incredible slow, I am no longer immobile! So little by little, I am pressing on with our precious baby kicking everyday reminding me what a treasure this short time is. Humbling me. I am thankful.

Tim is still busy with water stuff and things are still going fantastic in his world....I am amazed at God's provision in the water ministry and how Tim is regularly given opportunities to get into places that would seem untouchable.

We've been having a lot of talks about the future, what we want to be as parents, how things might be when Promise doubt any deal of "thinking" will make much difference, but we are trying to trust the Lord's timing and His grace in learning to parent here in the is so different from home and from what we imagined our environment would be....

Please continue to pray for God's mercy over us during this time of doubt we a re on a wild ride! And please begin praying for me...I am nervous about giving birth with my back in the state that it's in and we are planning on having the baby here at home with two midwives and two dear friends. No doubt I will be well supported, but please pray that there will be no complications in the delivery so that I (or our baby) do not need to be transported to the's very different to be transported to a hospital here in the Phils than at home!

Enduring the stares of the Filipinos as I lumber and waddle by....some just think I'm a fat American (they actually tell me so!) and others can't believe that a white lady is pregnant in the Phils...they always ask me, "You have Filipino bana?" The stares get tiring, but I am learning to smile and say, "Buntis-ko, 6 months lang." In other words..."yeah, I'm pregnant, 6 months!"
Praise the Lord....and pass me more food!

Thank you for your prayers! Be blessed!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm drinking Coke

Bethany worked today. She was with a woman in labor for a long time, but they had to transport the patient eventually, so she didn't get to catch. Bethany is going to go visit the lady at the hospital tomorrow, so maybe she can tell you about that later. She has to work again tomorrow morning, doing prenatal exams, so she is sleeping now. But I'm not sleepy (maybe it's all that Coke), so I thought I would write another blog (and drink some more Coke). Not much to say, but I'll at least give you some pictures, including a few from Bethany's CPR training last week.

Toti and I trained a few guys from Butuan this week. Yesterday we took them for their installation lesson. We somehow crammed all three of them, and five filters, and seven bags of sand, and all the tools into the back of the truck. We had five orders in Santo Tomas, so the trainees got lots of practice. We walked them through the first one, and then let them do the remaining four on their own. Toti and I had a nice time "supervising". I think I was born to supervise. All you have to do is sit around and drink Coke until somebody encounters a problem. Yup, that fits my skill set perfectly.

We had another flat tire yesterday. That was the fourth one in eight days. All of them in Santo Tomas. We're putting the Vulcanizer's kid's through college, one tire repair at a time. The flat left us standing around (I was "supervising") in the hot sun in the middle of nowhere without any shade. I'm afraid I forgot my hat and got a little toasty.

One of the perks of my job is that our customers often feed us lunch. Yesterday was a variation on that theme. One of our customers invited us to join them at a wedding reception that was happening down the street. All five of us men went to some strangers wedding reception, wearing our grubby shorts and t-shirts, just to eat and run. Sometimes life is very peculiar here.

Tomorrow I'm speaking at another Rotary Club. This particular club meets at the most expensive hotel in town, so I'm expecting a pretty good lunch, and hopefully the club is in a position to help us with our project. As I said, Bethany is working again tomorrow. Please be praying for her protection. Her back was starting to feel sore again this evening.

Well, that's all I've got to say about that. I'll leave you with some pictures. I'm going to read and drink Coke for a few minutes before I go to sleep.

My bunny likes graham crackers.B tries to make the plastic man come alive.It doesn't seem to be working.Ray and Rinel's balancing act.Bong is hiding behind the filters!The trainees do the dirty work.Another flat tire. Toti finds the spare.The wedding reception.A young girl observes the filter installation.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thoughts from a white guy.

We sent out our newsletter on the weekend. If you didn't receive it, be sure to email us ( and we'll make sure your name gets on our mailing list. There have been a couple of articles about our water project on that you might want to check out too.

Last night Bethany and I went to see a movie with some friends at a nearby mall. We saw the new Indiana Jones flick. It’s a bit silly, but still lots of fun. After the movie, we left the mall with our friend Stephanie and walked around the corner to catch a ride home (Toti had the truck for work this weekend). We decided to take a tricy-cab home and approached one of the drivers who were lined up waiting for passengers. A tricy-cab is a motorcycle with a rebar constructed side car that can carry about 4 people.

The standard rate for a tricy-cab ride is 6 pesos per person. Unfortunately, many of the drivers see a white person and immediately think they can take advantage of us. I’m not sure if it’s because they think we are so rich that we don’t care about paying extra, or if they assume we are new to town and don’t know any better. Whatever the case, last night was no exception.

Before we had taken our seats, the driver asked, “How much?”. Any time I hear that question, I know we’re going to have a problem. I told him, “The standard rate. Six pesos each.” He tried telling us that he would charge us P30 total, at which point I dug in my heals. I can be a pretty stubborn dude, and I wasn’t going to pay a centavo more than every other Davao citizen pays. Sure, we could have afforded the extra P12. That’s only 28 cents. But that’s not the point. The point is that I am growing tired of being treated different from other people just because I’m white.

This thought has crossed my mind before, but I guess last night was a bit of a tipping point. My reaction was probably stronger than it might have been if I were alone. But I had Bethany with me. She was clearly annoyed too, and said she would rather walk. That’s when I stepped up my attitude a notch or two. Suddenly this man’s prejudice was going to cause my pregnant wife with a bad back to walk the ten blocks to our house. No way that was going to happen. (Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “No Tim, your cheap Scottish blood was going to cause your wife to walk, not the greedy driver.” Perhaps you’re right, but I don’t think Bethany was particularly keen on paying extra either.)

As I said, I’m a stubborn dude, and, as some of you know, I can be a little hot headed at times. I got my way in the end. We got our ride home for the appropriate 6 pesos per person. But the whole thing got me thinking.

It does grow tiresome being treated different because of my nationality. The “white guy price” extends beyond tricy-cabs to most modes of transportation, the market, the tourist traps, and certainly big-ticket items such as car purchases and property rentals.

It may surprise you to know how often I get laughed at. They laugh for different reasons. Sometimes it’s just good natured fun. Perhaps my beard amuses them (there are very few Filipinos with a beard), or my relative size strikes them as humorous. Groups of women will sometimes giggle to themselves before one of them gains the courage to ask me if I’m married. At times, the laughter is a little more mean spirited. Often people will have a good belly laugh at my expense when I attempt to speak their language. Admittedly, my Visayan sucks. The laughter doesn't upset me or offend me at all. I guess it just wears me down after a while.

Of course the prejudice works to my advantage too. I am rarely allowed to do physical labour. A couple of months ago, when buying sand from a local shop I attempted to take the shovel from a female employee who was loading the sand. I was trying to be chivalrous, but she refused to let me help. When I asked her why, she replied that my hands were “too pink”. What does that mean?

Even my good friend Toti has trouble letting me do physical labour. When we are out delivering and installing filters (which is several times a week), he is always trying to take heavy items like bags of sand and gravel from me and giving me empty buckets or something to that effect. “Isn’t that nice,” you’re thinking. No, it isn’t nice. For starters, it leaves me wondering if people think I am too weak to handle such heavy items. Secondly, it makes me feel like a lazy fool as I am left to stand around and watch as others do my work for me.

Sometimes I get more respect than I deserve because I am white. I have received invitations to preach, when the person inviting me doesn’t even know if I’m a preacher. Why do they do that? I’m just a guy that installs water filters. They seem to think that just because I’m white, I’ve got some special anointing. When I go into villages to introduce the filter technology, I usually ask Toti to give them the speech. More often than not, he replies that they want to hear it from me. Now, Toti knows the speech just as well as I do, perhaps better. And he’s just going to have to translate it for me anyways. So what’s the point? I guess their curiosity about the white guy is natural, but it still strikes me as odd. Toti says that when we talk about their need for clean water they are more likely to believe me than they are to believe him. That hardly seems fair.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. I love living in the Philippines and the people here are wonderful. But part of the point of this blog is to help give you a better idea of what life is like for us here. When we arrived in this country and received our culture briefing we were told that we would reach points of “cultural fatigue”. Perhaps that is what I’m feeling today.

Those of you who have lived in other countries can probably relate very well to what I have been saying. In fact, I’m sure those who emigrate to North America have similar experiences.

At first these things didn’t bother me at all. But after ten months, I guess they are starting to affect me somewhat. The Lord continues to give me grace, and I’m sure I will notice these things less and less over the next couple of years. I’ve certainly stopped noticing the calls of “Hey Joe!” that I often leave in my wake.


This is the only picture I have of a tricy-cab.
This is a tricycle. Similar idea, but pedals instead of a motor.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Late Night Musings

Before you read on, I must warn you that today's blog involves a touchy subject that may offend some readers. The subject I am referring to is none other than gaseous emissions emanating from the hind quarters of a mammal. If this is the sort of thing that is likely to upset you, I kindly request that you abstain from this literature and read something that is less likely to ruffle your proverbial feathers. The phone book is rather innocuous and might prove to be a very pleasant read.

I'm going to make this short because we've been having a lot of problems with our internet connection, and I'm not sure when we'll be cut off again. Sorry we haven't been writing much these days. Nothing much happened last week, so there wasn't anything to write about. I took most of the week off to be with Bethany while she was confined to the house. We had a nice time together, though by the end of the week I think we were both anxious to get back to work.

We were excited to hear news about Weensee, the little boy we have been visiting at the hospital. The doctors sent him home last Thursday because there has been a significant improvement in his breathing. The swelling in his spleen has decreased some, though he will most likely need surgery at some point. He is now on medication that is administered at home. Weensee's family was very concerned about their hospital bill, but when they checked out last week they discovered that the Mayor of Davao City had compassion on them and paid their bill. We're hoping to go visit Weensee and his family at home, though they seem very shy about letting us see their humble house.

We've had a bit of a discouraging couple of days. Bethany had been feeling much better and she was able to get lots of homework done this week. Unfortunately she went to bed tonight in a lot of pain and discomfort. She's supposed to start work again on Friday, so please pray that her back will be completely healed this week. She will be working only half of her normal shifts for a while until she is feeling better. That's probably a good thing, but she's feeling frustrated because she doesn't want to fall behind the rest of her class in regards to work experience.

I've had a couple of strange days at work. On Monday, Toti and I went out to the mountains to do 5 installations. We hiked for an hour or so to our first 'customer', only to discover that there had been a miscommunication and some of the necessary materials were not yet available. We had enough materials for one install, but the rest will have to be done at a later time. I'm not going to go into the details, but it was a comedy of errors. Our communication was a big confusing mess, but by the grace of God we were able to keep smiling.

After our one installation we drank from coconuts under a tree and played a homemade Filipino board game. I suppose our host was feeling bad about the confusion because they arranged for Toti and I to each ride a horse back to the highway. The horse was a nice idea in theory, but a small calamity in practice. I was made to share my horse with our guide, which left me hugging a stranger and holding on for dear life while being slowly edged off the back of the animal. Oh, and the horse had gas. Really bad gas. He farted the entire trip up the mountain. My guide didn't speak English, but since farting is the universal language we were able to have a good laugh together. The laughing stopped when the horse stood still because breathing was no long advisable.

Yesterday was a better day, though it certainly had its moments. Toti and I started the day by visiting the federal prison which is located about an hour north of Davao. I was able to do my water filter presentation for the prison superintendent and several members of his staff. It's funny how I had built up expectations about the prison warden without realizing it. I guess I've seen too many prison movies (I recommend Shawshank Redemption or The Castle), because I was expecting the warden to be a mean and vindictive man of imposing proportions. In truth, he was a lovely man who seemed to genuinely want to provide the best conditions he could for the inmates. He expressed a great interest in our project and even proposed that we use prisoners to build the filters.

The superintendent gave us complete access to the prison facilities and told us that we were free to take a tour and inspect some of the water sources. The guides seemed a little surprised that I was so eager to be among the prisoners. I told them that it was important for me to get a good feel for the place so that I could better understand how we could use the water filters in their facilities. In part, however, I think I was just looking for adventure. Whatever the case, I was able to get a tour of the kitchen facilities (they cook 1850kg of rice every day!) and I had access to the medium security camp, which houses nearly 3000 men. They also took me to see the much smaller women's correctional facility.

During my tour of the prison, I grew increasingly frustrated with the contradictions between various staff members. As I asked my routine questions about the water, I was getting a great variety of answers. One person would tell me that the water was safe, while another would tell me that it was not. One person would tell me that the water was chlorinated, while another would tell me that it was not. One person would tell me that all the water came from a 200 foot well to the south, while another would tell me that it came from a 60 foot well from the north. At the end of the day, I feel I must trust the superintendent. He seemed to indicate that their water quality has been a concern for a long time. I think we will do a pilot project at the women's facility where we can service all 120 inmates with as few as 6 filters.

After spending over 4 hours at the prison, Toti and I continued our travels. We went to Santo Tomas, where we were to install 3 filters. When we pulled into town, we got a flat tire and quickly remembered that we were without a jack and lug wrench (both were stolen earlier this year). We were left with no choice but to unload the three filters and make haste to the nearest vulcanizing shop. We arrived at the shop (some dude's front yard) and woke the tire specialist from his nap. It turns out he didn't have a jack either. Toti and I had to lift the back of the truck up while the man proceeded to stack up logs and rocks under the car until it was high enough to remove the tire. He found several holes in the innertube, so it took the better part of an hour to get the tire fixed. By this point it was already after 2pm and we still hadn't installed a single filter.

We decided to install only one filter because it was getting late and we were two hours from home. Just as we began to drive home, we realized that the windshield wipers had stopped working. How did we discover this? Well it started raining of course. And not a nice little pacific northwest sprinkle. I'm talking about a Mindanao special. Poor Toti had to drive for two hours through the rain at dusk without any wipers. "No problem" he told me, "I once drove for three hours through a rainstorm at night without any windshield!"

We had a good time on Monday and Tuesday, but I am certainly feeling a little discouraged. We were supposed to have installed 8 filters, but instead we were limited to two. Toti is going back to Santo Tomas tomorrow to install the two filters that we didn't get to. He's also bringing another two filters that have been ordered as a result of yesterday's visit.

Today was not without disappointment. The dashboard fell off the truck. Yes, you read that correctly. I went to the Department of Health to pick up the lab tests that they had done on some of our water (before and after the filter). Unfortunately, after waiting two weeks for the results, they proved to be very vague and unhelpful. I will need to study them further tomorrow, but it looks like I will have to find a different lab to do our testing next time. I did have a very encouraging meeting this morning with a man who can connect me with some people that can train me to do a simple 20 minute water test in the field. This would be extremely helpful for me, especially in situations such as the prison, where nobody seems to know what's going on.

Well, so much for this being a short post. It would seem the horse and I have something in common: we are both long winded. I leave you with a few photos. I was able to bring my camera only so far at the prison, so I only got a couple of quick pics before I had to turn in my camera. At the women's prison I kept my camera, but there wasn't much to take pictures of. Everybody wanted their picture taken with me, so Toti took a couple of group photos. I also took a couple of pictures of the tire repair just 'cause I was bored.

Peace out.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Another Ridiculous Opus

Okay, I've been back in Davao for two weeks, but I've been too busy to blog. Today I took a day off to be with Bethany. For those who didn't know, Bethany injured her back (herniated disc?) this week and has been prescribed 2 weeks of bed rest. She is in so much discomfort that she can't really sit up and do her homework. She's feeling very bummed out, so please pray for her rapid recovery.

So I'm told that I should tell you about all the stuff that has been happening in my life since I last wrote to you in April. Google might not have that much data storage available, so I'll just give you the Readers Digest condensed version.

April 16: Flew to Manila and met Dad. Flew to Dipolog with Dad.
April 16-18: Spent three days in Dipolog with Dad, teaching pastors, mostly about healing the sick and cool stuff like that. Had a great time spending time with my Father. While preaching on the 17th, I spent a few minutes talking about saying "yes" to God every morning, even when we don't know what we are saying yes to.
April 18: Woke up and said "yes" to God's will for me that day. Oops. No, I take that back. Not oops. I'm glad I said "yes", but my response might have been different if I'd known what He had in store for me. I thought we were spending the day chilling out, flying to Manila and spending the evening having a nice meal and watching a movie. We were due to fly from Manila to Butuan the next day. Things didn't quite go as planned. I'll give you a quick run down of that fateful Friday:
  • At breakfast our host asks me when I want to do the baptism. "Baptism?" I ask smiling, all the while thinking, I've never done a baptism. How do you do a baptism? What is he talking about? I didn't sign up to do a baptism. Why is he looking at me instead of my old man? Dad's the pastor, not me. I don't do baptisms.
  • Baptized four young ladies. Nobody drowned. Now I do baptisms.
  • Dad and I are taken to see the "poorest among the poor." They live a little out of the way. Specifically, they live on the wrong side of a river without a bridge. No problem, that's what bamboo rafts are for.
  • Two bamboo raft rides, a couple of short hikes, one brief interview on the water situation, and two glasses of fresh buko juice later, we are in the car rushing back to town suddenly aware that we are due to fly to Manila very soon.
  • Arrive back at the house to grab our bags, only to discover that our host has made lunch for us.
  • Eat a very fast lunch while our host assures us that we have plenty of time and the airport is so small that we could arrive very late and still get on the plane without trouble.
  • Trouble.
  • Check-in desk is closed. A sign states their policy that passengers must check in no later than 45 minutes before the scheduled flight time.
  • I nearly get into a fist fight with a very rude airline employee who I'm pretty sure just sold our seats to somebody else for cash.
  • Avoided violence and subsequent jail time, but we're not getting on the plane. Next plane doesn't leave for another 24 hours.
  • Decide to take a bus across Mindanao to Butuan.
  • Arrive at bus depot. The bus just left.
  • Our host asks his driver to catch up to the bus. Nut job driver is very obedient. Seatbelts are good, and now I know why they put those handles above the door in the interior of a car.
  • After a half hour of successive near death experiences, we catch up with the bus. Non aircon.
  • 4 buses, 18 thousand blasts of the horn, one ferry boat, and 14 hours later, we arrive in Butuan.
  • Can't find a taxi at the bus depot. Of course not, it's 4am.
  • Somehow manage to fit two big white men and their luggage onto a tri-c-cab.
  • Stumble into Mom's hotel room at around 4:30am.
That was our Friday.

April 19: We joined the Impact Nations Journey of Compassion. Dad taught more pastors, while I went to the medical clinic and watched the dentist pull teeth. I didn't throw up, which surprised me a little.
April 20-23: The rest of our days in Butuan were spent much the same way, though on Sunday I preached at a church, and on Monday I had an incredible time presenting the water filter project to about 25 very interested leaders.

April 24: Arrived back home, though I nearly missed my connecting flight in Manila which most certainly would have led to violence. I was pretty eager to see my wife. My time in Butuan was amazing. I made lots of new connections that will be very important to the water project. I had an awesome time with my parents and the rest of our Impact family, though my roommate's 4am daily wake-up call was mildly irksome.

April 28-May 3: Last week was a rather busy time. Bethany and I hosted our new friend Adam. He was here to get training on the water filter stuff so that he can go and train others around the world. We had an awesome time in the mountains last Wednesday. My friend Murly and I tag-teamed a hygiene/clean water presentation, then took 15 orders for water filters. We delivered those filters this week, and we've already had a bunch more orders for next week. In fact, by the end of next week, we will have 40 filters in that region, and a total of more than 65 filters throughout Davao. By my estimation, we have already provided clean water for nearly 1000 people!

May 5-May 10: This week has been incredibly busy too. On Tuesday I went with Toti for a bit of a 4x4 trip to a village called San Miguel. We spoke to them about water filters and I'm sure that we will be doing lots of work in that area. On Thursday I was the guest speaker at the local Rotary Club. It was an excellent opportunity and I made some very good connections. In fact, one of the Rotarians wants to take me to meet the Governor. Yesterday, Toti and I traveled to a place called Santo Thomas. We installed a filter at the Barangay Captain's house. It was a bit of a gong show (I nearly broke their filter, and Toti left some of the tools at another house), but I think the man was very interested in what we're doing. We'll be going back to investigate further in a couple weeks.

Wow, that was long and probably not very interesting. If you've read this far, I'm afraid you are probably in need of something better to do with your time. I assure you, my month has been far more exciting than I just made it sound. But Bethany told me that all y'all wanted to know about what I've been up to. Now you know. I'll try to update you more often now, so that you don't have to put up with another ridiculous opus in the future. I'll leave you with a bunch of photos that may or may not have much to do with this particular ridiculous opus. I'm sure you will particularly enjoy the "Hippybomb" photo of me in the yellow shirt (that's not my shirt!).

Peace out.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Just a quickie 'cuz Tim's still a-busy!

Greetings! Yes, it's true...Tim is still busy kaayo trying to finish up some stuff for the water project....soon, I promise, he will post....

But I just wanted to update you on some answered prayers! 

Firstly...I had a patient in prenatals that always had +2-+4 edema and was approaching her due date....then she went WAY over her due date, so I tried to induce her with Evening Primrose Oil on Friday. She was told that if she didn't go into labor by Tuesday, that she would have to be transported to DMC. I told her I would pray that God would allow her to go into labor by Monday so that she could deliver at MMC...well, I showed up for prenatal exams this morning and there was my dear patient, labor! YIPPPEEE! With one day to spare, it looks like God provided for her just what she asked! Please continue to pray for her as her blood pressure is abnormally high...

Then, Ate Melody, who works in the prenatal room and does a FABULOUS job, got very sick with a kidney disorder. She developed high blood pressure, edema, excruciating pain and was severely low in energy. She missed quite a few days of work sacrificing her vacation time in order to pay her bills...her Blood pressure medicine alone was costing her over P300 a day...which is HUGE. She was very concerned, but knew the Lord would have to do a miracle.

Well, on Saturday, Ate An-An and I went to her house to see how she was feeling and to pray. She was pretty embarrassed by her appearance as she was pretty puffy from the edema...but she still looked beautiful to me! We prayed that the Lord would heal her miraculously...that she would not have to buy medication anymore and that she would be healthy enough to go back to work on Monday so she could keep her vacation time....

So this morning, at prenatals....Melody walked in TOTALLY AGLOW! Healthy...not at all puffy or fighting edema! The pain was gone and she said she felt healed! Praise the Lord! She was so grateful and encouraged! God is soooo good! She was in such a good mood all day! Please continue to pray for her continued healing! 

And last, but certainly not least! Weensee...remember him? He's been in DMC for over a month now with an unknown disease that is slowly killing him. He is only 4 years old and his mother never leaves his side except to get his medication. He is on IVs, hooked up to machines, jaundice, and in pain. He smiles every so often...especially if a guy visits him...and the doctors have said they have no idea what's wrong.

Well, last week we headed to was my dear friend, Laura, her awesome parents (visiting from New York!), Joe, Tim and myself....we were only allowed to visit him one-by-one as he was in the pediatric ICU. So one-by-one, we went inside the pediatric room to the corner bed and prayed over little Weensee's skinny, yellow, lifeless body....His mother cried with us, was so thankful for the company, and grateful for the prayers...

And then Sunday, Tim, Jenn, and myself headed over to see him as we had heard his heart rate was better and he was eating!
So we got there and his mother was crying saying that the doctors are no longer concerned about his liver, his heart rate is better, his fever has dropped, he's eating the "snack bits" I'd brought for him (It's Capt. Crunch!) and he is sitting up on his own! WHOOOPPPPEEEE! We all cried!

His momma shared that he needs surgery on his spleen which is infected and swollen and medication for the hole in his heart formed by the intense infection. He looked less yellow and even had clothing on! This is impressive as he could not stand to have clothing on before...his skin was just too irritable. He looked way better.....but he has a long way to go...BUT GOD!

Anyways, please continue to keep Weensee and his family in your prayers as we are believing for TOTAL healing of this sweet 4 year old and that his family will have enough money and energy to continue the amazing care they are giving him. His mother has three other children at home that she only gets to see once a week as her bana works to pay the hospital bills and she must stay with Weensee.

God is moving...things are changing...and we are so excited to see God work through the prayers of His people! What an encouragement!
Be blessed and stay tuned!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Filling in for Tim....

Greetings! Tim arrived home safely and had an incredible journey! Unfortunately, he is a bit preoccupied training an Impact Nations guy named, Adam, who is staying with us for a few days, so he is quite busy. He promises to update you when  he has a bit of time...sometime next year? Just kidding. :)

Pictured above is the Mercy Midwives class of 2009! Yup, my class! All 12 of us! We got our class pictures this passed week so we would never forget our time together....

Especially the times below....IV insertion class....yes, we all got poked and we all got to poke. 
Here's Serena with her successful insertion poke on me! OUCH! Good thing I'm pregnant...I have fat veins! She got it on the first try!

And then below....there's my patient, Tiffany....who was also my supervisor for the insertion....I did not get it on the first try. She endured many pokes. But, eventually I got it in!

Here's the one that managed to go in....OUCH!
And then, below, my latest arrival, Kyle Cyrel. All 6 pounds of him are cuteness. His momma came in fully dilated with head visible! We raced her to the bed and one minute later, her new baby boy arrived! Then she started to lose A LOT of I had to hurry up and get her placenta out....then INSERT MY FIRST IV! AHHHH! Supervised by my friend, Jenna, I managed to get the IV in successfully with only a little pain for the patient....I was so thankful for that! I am catching on! But I must say, I DO NOT enjoy inserting IVs. The veins are so unpredictable....they roll, they move, they collapse! Crazy. But I am learning! And my patient was so gracious...and a LOT of fun throughout the whole scary process! What a joy to be with her!

And in the end, her precious boy was born....healthy.

Speaking of precious things....Tim and I waited over two hours last Friday to get a long-awaited ultrasound for our precious one!
I will post pictures soon...but it appears as though we will be having a girl! Now of course, they can only be 50% sure...ha ha ha...but they are pretty sure it's a Promise Grace McClellan Stewart will be born around September 15th, 2008. She is currently moving a TON...which I LOVE. Tim has even felt her move now! And she is healthy kaayo. Strong heartbeat....LONG legs and arms....breech position for now which means she's always kicking my bladder and then I think I have to pee....but then I try and nothing comes....already she is making quite the impression! 
Momma's bladder = trampoline of fun!

Had a busy week this week, passed another exam....started another assignment....feeling tired and worn. But happy Tim is home, grateful God is near...thankful my brains still function despite the tiredness.....looking forward to meeting Promise Grace OUTSIDE my belly....joyful in pregnancy....enjoying the patients and seeing the Lord work through them....truly blessed.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragements....we need 'em! I am so excited for Tim to share with you all that God is doing in the water project....stay tuned, IT'S SOOO EXCITING!
Be blessed.