As most of you know, we have been reminiscing the amazing times we had with our dear friend "uncle" Bob. We are still experiencing many weepy days missing our friend, but have been greatly encouraged by the legacy he has left and the response of his family. If you read the comments from the last post, you will know what I mean! :)
As our third Christmas in the Philippines approaches, I am reminded of God's unwavering faithfulness in our life here. To give you just a tiny example of a recent "faithful God sighting"....you know all the prayers I was asking for regarding taking my certification NARM exam in February....well, just two days after posting that prayer request, my plane ticket was paid for! AND, the National College of Midwifery and the North American Registry of Midwives approved my application to take the certification exam! OREGON EXAM, HERE I COME!! God is sooo good.
So February 3rd, Promise and I will leave our precious Tim and board a plane headed for Portland to stay with my parents, take the exam and head back to the Philippines February 24th. I am looking forward to Promise getting some time with her cousins and me having a latte with my mom and dad. :) I miss our morning coffee talks. Tim will be hard at work here getting the water project set for the future....I have asked a few local friends to take care of him while I am gone. :)
In Philippine news, I have delivered more babies....sutured more, inserted more IVs, did more baby check-ups....not that all this is getting old, but it has almost become somewhat routine now. Each patient and her situation is uniquely different from the last and I love hearing their stories...but what has stood out to me these last few weeks are my Bible Study patients.
Still we have had only two show up each time. I have to laugh at that....out of the 300 patients we have at Mercy per month and then some, we have just two that show up to Bible study and they are just so hand-picked by God.
One in particular tugged at my heart this week. Ann just had a baby two weeks ago and came to Bible study 90 minutes late this week to show off her precious baby girl and to tell us that she was applying to work overseas giving her baby to her extended family to care for. My heart sank. Her family was pressuring her to look to her baby's future because she has no husband and no one to provided long-term for her and her baby. Her only option seemed to be to head off to another country (most likely a middle-eastern country) to work, make big money, and come back home after two years.
This precious baby girl was bathed in prayer in our Bible study long before she was born....we prayed at length for the relationship with Ann and her ex-boyfriend....it seemed just so wrong for her to leave this beautiful baby girl to work in an unknown land with unknown scenarios and for unknown employers. I asked her if she wanted to go and her response was not surprising....like many women here who have just given birth, she shook her head no, but her mouth said, "It is for my baby's future." But what if her baby's future looks bright with money, but without a mother or father?
People live well here on a very small amount....is it better for her to mother her daughter and raise her up in God, though not wealthy or is it better for her to leave her baby to be raised by family, but have money....more money here in the Philippines means greater responsibility and added pressure from family....less money...well, depending on how much less, can mean daily reliance on God and a family working together to make ends meet. I don't know what is better....but I do know that her choice is based on fear and not on wisdom. She is fearful that her daughter will never go to school and will never have the clothes and supplies all the wealthier families have....and yet, there are soooo many Filipinos here who work somewhat low-paying jobs who are quite able to send their kids to school and they may not have the most fashionable clothes, but they are clothed and they are fed well.
I don't know which decision is best for her, but I am concerned that her fear may take over her ability to hear God....He is always faithful...and not just to me...or to the wealthy.
If you think of her, please pray that God will give her wisdom and her decision will not be based on her fear of having little and that she will see just how much she truly has.