Monday, August 18, 2008

Midwifery in Davao, Philippines

I have been back from Davao City for exactly one month almost to the day now. Throughout my trip and since I've been home, Pete and I have been seeking the Lord and talking about the next step our family should take in regards of moving or not to Davao City. We wanted to share our thoughts with you.

My first-hand experience of observing and learning at Mercy Maternity Clinic was amazing! While I was in Davao learning from the midwives, the students, and the expectant mothers who walked in to Mercy each day, God really confirmed that He is calling me to be a midwife. I loved every moment I spent at the clinic. Even though I saw some very difficult births, I loved learning everything I could possibly learn and I treasured each moment in my heart. Aside from being a wife and a mother to our two beautiful girls, there is nothing more that I want to do than to be able to serve women in such a special and delicate time in their lives. I feel so blessed having had the opportunity to visit Mercy Maternity and serve while getting to know these amazing Filipina women. Through my visit I had a taste of what it was like to really be serving the poor through an amazing ministry at Mercy Maternity Center. These women, have access to quality prenatal, labor and delivery, and postnatal care which they would normally not have because of their economic level. In addition, the care is personalized and the women are prayed for during each prental visit...God's love abounds through each midwife as she extends her heart and hands to help these women who are with child.

I know some of you who are receiving this letter still have concerns about the possibility of us living in the Philippines. Davao is a very interesting city. It’s incredibly safe (very different from the rest of Mindanao Island and the people have very simple ways of living. It is very much a developing country, yet Davao still has malls, coffee shops, great medical care and doctors. All of my encounters with Filipinos were very positive! Everyone I met was very kind, respectful and helpful. So much so, that overall, I felt more welcomed in Davao than in my own country at times! There are still downfalls, of course. The pollution within the city is really bad. However, the city still gets a lot of ocean air just by its nature of being surrounded by the sea. There are mosquitoes everywhere! I had to wear bug spray almost all the time. Except for the malls and the coffee shops, air conditioning is a rarity in the tropical climate, but I became used to no AC fairly quickly. You really have to go and visit Davao for yourself to really understand what a beautiful, unique, and interesting place it really is!

I must say, that the thought of moving to Davao City for 2.5 years seems nearly impossible. Of course, we all know that with God all things indeed ARE possible, but everything that must happen in order for our family to move there seems like a wall that is before us that is too difficult to climb.

With all of this being said, deep in our hearts we feel like God still wants us in Davao. Every time we think about saying "no," we read something in Scripture, hear a message in church, or just feel a nudging of the Holy Spirit that makes us VERY uncomfortable with "no" for an answer.

So, we are sharing with you, dear friends, and asking you to please pray for us. We know that if the Lord wants our family in Davao, He will continue to open up the doors and meet our needs along the way. Below is a list of everything that will need to work out in order for us to make this move. We are asking you to join us in prayer for these needs to be met in God's perfect time for us to leave.

  • We accumulated some debt, after being debt-free in Los Angeles, while moving across the country one year ago. Then Pete’s teaching license did not get recognized in NC until months after he began working. This put an incredible strain on us financially that we are still recovering from. We need to pay our debt before we move as missionaries to Davao. Please pray that the Lord would give us the means to pay it off. Please pray for photography work and tutoring for Pete and for Sarah’s work as a Bradley childbirth teacher and Doula.
  • We will need to either sell or rent our home before we move. As we all know, the housing market isn't doing that great. Please pray for wisdom in the steps to take about whether to rent it out or sell.
  • Please pray that Avery's eczema will be healed. We are so thankful that her eczema is already 100 times better than what it was 6 months ago! The air is so damp in the Philippines that several girls who are student midwives told me they had eczema in the US and Canada and it has cleared up in Davao City because of the "wet" air. So, I do not believe she would have a hard time in the least no worse than she does here. But it would be nice to have her completely healed if we move there. She also seems to be having less problems with her allergies as she got a hold of a small piece of cheese the other day and had no reaction to it whatsoever! Also, she ate an egg yoke for the first time the other day with no problem.
  • We would need to have approximately $15,000 (minimum) before we move to Davao and then once we are there, about $1500 a month.
  • I am training to become a Doula. Please pray I will be able to get the training done in an efficient and timely manner so that I may begin attending births soon and using that money to put towards savings and debt.


MissionaryMassala said...

Hi Sarah,
it's wonderful to read how your heart is to serve women and children. My husband and I are also praying about going to Davao for me to become a midwife. We are living in India at present serving HIV/AIDS victims, but long to see a ministry that will support and help women and children through a birth centre here in India....
Maybe we will see each other in Davao soon?
Hope all obstacles will be removed- God is an expert in that! :)
All the best
Johanna and Simon with SHiloh

Katie Murrey said...

Hey Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your plans and dreams to move to the Philippines. My husband and I too are looking at moving there after I finish my apprenticeship to become a Midwife. Maybe one we'll be there together, serving these precious women! I can't wait to see what God is going to do! I'll be praying for you in hopes you get to go.

Katie Murrey

Danilo said...

Hi Sarah,

My wife is currently applying to the school (I guess I could say I'm applying too : ).
I noticed that your post is from 2008. Did you end up going to the Philippines?
If so, do you feel like it's worth it?
If not, why didn't you?
I'm in process of figuring everything out about this possible journey and am trying to collect every bit of information I can get.

Dan Dias
- a husband