Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
“Was it love of people?' I asked her. 'Of course no,' she snapped sharply. 'How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don't even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people.”
― Jennifer Worth, Call The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
As I think back back to the experiences I've had in my life I am so thankful to see the trace of God’s hand shaping me and preparing me. I've felt called to the mission field since I was 17 years old but even now I can see ways that God was preparing my heart and mind for this calling years before. When I was six years old I was blessed to be at home with my mom as she gave birth, with the assistance of my dad, to my brother Chase. Not many 6 years olds, let alone adults, get the privilege to have such an experience and I believe that excited me and intrigued me in ways that I wouldn't understand until later on in my life.
My point is that I've begun to realize and put together the pieces of my calling. My life is like the beautiful coat of many colors that Joseph in the Bible had. There are so many experiences and desires that only God could have woven into me that would prepare my heart for this next big step in my life.
When and where midwifery?
God has been molding and shaping my heart and experiences to point me towards assisting in childbirth as a midwife cross culturally. The maternal mortality rate in underdeveloped countries is 200 deaths/100,000 live births compared to in a developed country the rate is reduced to 20 deaths/100,000 live births. Most of these deaths of the mother and even in the cases of the infant, can be avoided by having a trained birthing attendant present.
I have been accepted to serve in a midwife program in Davao City, Philippines. The program is called Newlife International and the birthing center is the largest non-profit birthing center in the Philippines, serving approximately 20,000 patients/year. I will have the opportunity to serve families in severe poverty while earning my midwife certifications. In addition, I will be learning how to start and run my own birthing center. The program is 2 and a half years long and the funds raised go towards funding the clinic and the fees necessary for me to serve there.
I will need (the first 6 months fees, plus airfare, plus visa fees, plus supply fees, plus book fees) $13,775 by January 30, 2015. I will need to raise $1,000/month for the entire time I am out on the mission field (2.5 years). This is the biggest amount that I have ever had to trust in the Lord for and it is a huge leap of faith for me. Please pray and consider being a part of my support team in at least one of the ways listed below:
- Prayer support: Please be a part of my prayer support team by praying diligently and following my story on my Blog: http://gracie-kawaiicoconut.blogspot.com/ and Facebook.
- Monthly support ($1,000/month): I will especially and preferably need monthly supporters. I will be in the Philippines a total of 30 months, beginning February 2015.
- 2 supporters at $200/month, and
- 4 supporters at $100/month, and
- 4 supporters at $50/month.
- One time gifts (Needed by the end of Jan.2015): Visas, Airfare, Supplies, Books, & Other Fees: You can support me by helping me pay for one of the things listed below:
- Travel/Airfare*: $1,000
- Immigration Visa Fees*: $800
- Course Books*: $600
- Midwifery Supplies*: $500
- National College Admin Fee: $5,000
Can I count on you to be part of my ministry support team? Let’s make a difference together!
Newlife International is a 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit ministry and donations can be made directly to them, however in an effort to streamline credit to my account I would prefer your monthly support or donations to be sent directly to our 501(c)3 ministry “Reaching the Hungry” with Newlife International in the memo. Please mail to Reaching the Hungry ,755 Vista Canyon Circle, Vista, CA 92084. Or, contact Lisa@ReachingtheHungry.org for setting-up automatic monthly support options.
The next step towards the calling of midwifery.
I am humbled and a bit frightened at the commitment and sacrifice before me, yet I am excited to see how God will be my provision and peace through this next leg of my journey. Many of you have been a part of my support/sending team since my first trip at 17 years old. I pray you will continue with me. I know this is an investment none of us will regret.
Thank you for partnering with me in realizing my calling to serving the Lord and His people.
Together in the journey,
Monday, October 13, 2014
In case you haven’t been following my posts on Facebook or Instagram then let me tell you, I am in Nicaragua!
I haven’t officially given any details on why I am here and to be quite honest that is because I didn’t quite know myself why. Some of you may know that I have applied to a midwife clinic/training program and I have been waiting all summer to hear back from them. More on that later!
During this time of waiting I was working and saving money and going about life but feeling very restless. I felt unsettled about the call I feel on my life and what my next step should be. As fall came around and my sisters and friends began to get back into their regular routines of school and jobs I felt the restlessness even more. I felt like I was “the only one” not doing “anything” with my life. So I began to seek the wise council of others and began to pray and urgently seek God’s direction. The conclusion I feel like I came to was that I was afraid. I “the girl who’s never been afraid to leave the country” was afraid of the commitment and the uncertainty that came with living the life I feel the Lord has called me to.
So, the plan was to weigh my options and JUST GO. To not be afraid of what I was to bring to the table or if it was the right or wrong choice. I have known what I feel God has called me to and I have been afraid for too long about making the wrong choices regarding the details. So in this “just going” I have learned so much about God filling in the details. It says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His “strength is made perfect in weakness” and that’s what I am boasting about it this season. God filled in the areas where I was lacking because I was afraid. He has taken care of all the little details and even though I still don’t know exactly all the reasons why I am here it doesn’t matter. As long as I continue to listen to His word and direction His kingdom will be advanced before, during, and after my time here.
So that’s that! I am in Nicaragua staying with our good friends and missionaries Jaime and Monica Arista for two months. September 25th-November 13th. I am learning about everything that goes into starting a new ministry in a new area, spending intentional time with Monica learning about ministry and the day to day life of a missionary wife, forming friendships with and ministering to the local Nica girls, and most of all refreshing and rejuvenating my walk with the Lord.
With all that being said, thank you to everyone who has been and is praying for me and for what God is doing in my life and in those lives of the people around me. Please don’t stop your prayers! I always need them!
As they say here in Nicaragua, ADIO! (Yup no “S”)
NEXT BLOG POST: More on the midwife clinic/program.