“I saw a woman almost die giving birth in my village …”

10 03 2018

Our clinic in Bugnay has been renovated and re-inspected and re-opened!


This week my friend Kathleen and I drove up to visit the Bugnay extension clinic to say hello and bring encouragement … mostly in the form of ice cream :).


We have been unofficially open for almost a year now but this month we finished the final renovations required by Dept of Health and had our final inspection.

This morning before writing this blog I was talking to Jackie, one of the Bugnay midwives. She shared a story about the time she saw a woman from her village almost die giving birth and how it made her decide to become a midwife.


When Jackie was a teenager, she witnessed a woman in labor with her first baby in her home village of Buscalan. She watched this woman push for almost 24 hours with only the old women in the village attending to her. Jackie was so scared to see this woman already so swollen and exhausted, hanging from a doorway trying with all her strength to deliver her baby. After 24 hours of pushing and no baby, the villagers carried the woman to the road where they waited for a vehicle to take her to the hospital one hour away.

The woman delivered via C-section and both mom and baby survived, but this experience made Jackie realize that her village really needed trained midwives and she was going to become one!

Trained midwives are the most effective way to reduce maternal mortality. More midwives, equipped birth centres and referral systems are needed all over the world to help mothers survive childbirth.

I will leave you with a picture of the beautiful village of Bugnay. Please remember to pray for this clinic and the staff there, that we will be a part of reducing maternal mortality while sharing God’s love with the people of Kalinga.

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Bugnay Stories

10 10 2017

view of Buscalan

We have been busy getting our Bugnay extension clinic up and running since January this year. Finally in June, all of the Bugnay staff moved up to the centre and began setting up, finishing decorating and organizing and visiting patients!

hiiking midwives

The Bugnay clinic staff on their way to visit mothers in a neighbouring village.

Since we opened our doors again in June, we have performed hundreds of Primary Healthy Care check-ups, hiked into 4 different villages bringing prenatal care, and done dozens of emergency hospital transports.

Here is a story about a particularly harrowing transport.

Tribal War!  – by Aisling Lynch (Irish missionary midwife currently serving in Bugnay)

We had just finished up our prenatal day and were tidying up the clinic when we heard that tribal war was declared that afternoon between 2 nearby villages. Less than 30 minutes later an ambulance from the nearby Rural Health Unit (RHU) stops outside the clinic and an armed policeman jumps out calling for help. Inside the ambulance was a midwife friend of ours who works at the RHU. There was a young man in the ambulance who had been shot in the head and was going into shock. Their oxygen tank was broken so we swapped it with ours and as our friend was on her own, I got into the ambulance to help her.

The journey to the hospital takes about an hour and it is a very narrow, windy road through the mountains. Myself and the other midwife took turns keeping pressure on the head wound while keeping the young man’s head stable, all the while checking his pulse and blood pressure. There were no seatbelts in the ambulance so it was no easy task to do this for an hour while being thrown around the back of the ambulance every few minutes. A few times on the journey we could not find his pulse but then he opened his eyes just as we were starting CPR. I have never been so relieved as we passed that final bend in the road and saw the hospital in front of us. It was surreal to start our handover to the hospital staff with “Gunshot wound to the head” all the while with 2 fully armed police officers keeping watch.

The young man was stabilized at the local hospital but as they were not equipped for this kind of injury, he was then transferred 6 hours away to another hospital. The last I heard, he survived his injury and is undergoing treatment for a brain injury.

The journey back to the clinic was just as scary but for different reasons. The lights in the ambulance weren’t working well and then is started raining. Guess what else wasn’t working well? That’s right, the windshield wipers! The driver had to drive with his head out the window so that he could see where we were going. Fair play to the driver though, we made it safely back to the clinic!

We are so excited to have our “Waiting Home” open for mothers hiking from far flung villages to deliver with us. Although we have not had our official “Grand Opening” we have delivered 4 babies so far!


“Itess” and her new baby girl!

We are hoping to combine the “Grand Opening” with our Christmas party so we will hope that the Dept. of Health will expedite our applications!

I will also try to post more regularly!


“In my day, we gave birth in the rice fields!”

2 03 2014

by Crystal Meeks

The other day I met an elderly lady in her 70s from Bugnay who explained to me how times are changing.

Old lady in Bugnay with Zion.

Old lady in Bugnay with Zion.


She said in her day, the women were strong and they would give birth in the rice fields, tie the babies to their backs and keep on working. She stated that now-a-days the women are lazy.  She said that now, when the women get pregnant they stop working.  I needed her to define “work” because I have never seen any Butbut sitting idly.  They are always cooking, washing clothes and dishes, pounding rice and chasing after their children.  According to the old lady, in her day, women worked much harder.

So I asked,  “Do you think it was better in your time and the clinic here is not effective because the women should be strong enough to deliver without a midwife?”  She grabbed my arm and prepared to correct me, “Oh no Crystal! We thank God for the clinic!”  She continued to explain that before, they didn’t cut a woman’s stomach to get a baby out and that she didn’t like that many women do that now.  I agreed with her that I didn’t like that either.  She continued, “But at the clinic you let them try to deliver normal and if you think it’s better, you take them to the hospital to have their stomach’s cut and Crystal, even if they have to cut their stomachs when they come home they still have a live baby.”

The next statement I asked a few times to make sure I’d translated it properly.  My mouth gaped open when she informed me that she gave birth to 13 children but only three lived past their first year of life.  She shared she would have been willing to have her stomach cut also if it meant more of her children would have lived.  Our conversation was a reminder of our effectiveness here in Bugnay.  My favorite part of the conversation was that she didn’t thank me or the other midwives but rather expressed all her gratitude to the one that deserved all the credit…Our Heavenly Father.


Life and Death in the Mountains of Kalinga

23 02 2014

Did that title get your attention?

I hope so!

The truth is that our sister clinic in the village of Bugnay is the difference between life and death for many in the remote mountains of Tinglayan, Kalinga.

Have you heard the story about the baby that suddenly stopped breathing?



The parents noticed she was having difficulty breathing and by the time they brought her to the clinic she had stopped completely. The parents were about to turn around and take her home to bury her when midwife B-lyn grabbed the baby and started to resuscitate her. That baby is running around the village of Bugnay today.




How about the story of the woman who began hemorrhaging seconds after her baby was born?




If she had been at home without midwives attending her, like she had been for all of her other babies, she would have died. For this delivery she decided to come to the clinic and have trained midwives attend to her. They were able to stop the bleeding immediately. You can meet her in the village of Bugnay as she takes care of her five young children.


Did you hear about the girl who found herself pregnant and married before her sixteenth birthday?



She was scared and confused when in her eighth month of pregnancy she began having terrible headaches and dizziness. Her mother and aunties told her it was because she was lazy that her legs and face had swollen up; if she would only exercise more, she would feel better. This girl came for a check up at the clinic instead and was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. She was referred to the closest hospital two hours away and delivered her baby via C-section. Both of their lives were saved.





Our midwives in the clinic in Bugnay are literally the difference between life and death for those living in the mountains of Upper Tinglayan.

Yet it is one of the most difficult parts of our ministry to keep going. We are challenged to keep the clinic appropriately staffed because it is such a remote area and it is a sacrifice for midwives to work so far from their families.

We are in the midst of such a struggle right now as we are down to one staff midwife and one volunteer. Neither of them trained to do deliveries without supervision.


These are the three things we see that need to happen:

1)  Missionary midwife Suzie Campana is willing and able to come and help at the Bugnay clinic but is still needing financial support to get here. We need her to receive all the necessary support to come immediately and help with the work in Bugnay.     (http://philippines.eaglemissions.org/suzie-campana/)

2) We need more experienced Filipina midwives who are willing to work and live in such a the remote area until more local midwives ready to take over.

3) We need funding to build appropriate staff housing for missionaries and Filipino midwives to live nearby the clinic.

Please pray with us for these things. If you feel you want to help in a more practical way please consider helping fund Suzie Campana to be a missionary here (see her information above), or help with local midwives and staff housing by sending a donation to us specifically designated for Bugnay.

(Specify Bugnay- no tax-deductible receipt available through this method)



(Specify Georgia Macad, Bugnay – tax-deductible receipts available here)

We will keep you updated on how things progress!

(All stories are true however those pictured above are not actually the individuals written about)

Our Completed Clinic Facility!

21 01 2013


The Grand Opening and Five-Year Anniversary

16 02 2012

On Saturday February 11 we hosted our Grand Opening of the new clinic building as well as our Five-Year Anniversary celebration!

The mothers from Pakak welcomed the attendees with a beautiful tribal song and dance.

Reinhard Scheumann from “Geshenke der Hoffnung” was even able to come all the way from Germany to help us celebrate.

Here are a few pictures of the day and I will post more as I get them.

Cutting of the Ribbon with Vice-Mayor Estranero and Reinhard Scheumann.

Our New Clinic!

4 02 2012

Well, here it is!

The beautiful admitting area

We finally made the long awaited move into our new clinic on February 1!

There are still lots of finishing touches to be made (ie: exterior paint, roof-deck office, terrace cover) but we are in and have already delivered three babies in the new building.

A rear-view of the clinic.

We will be having our Grand Opening and Five-Year Anniversary next Saturday February 11. At the same, Reinhard from Geshenke Der Hoffnung, Germany will be coming for a visit to see the building they have funded. We are excited to meet him and say THANK YOU!

We also had our first Well-Baby Seminar at the new facility and had 25 attendees. My good friend Joy, and RN and CPM from New Mexico, taught on what to do in emergency situations.

I will be posting pictures of our party next week!

The Gangs All Here!

4 09 2011

Yesterday we was an amazing example of the sense of community that we so often experience here in Kalinga.
We were at the point in the construction of our new clinic that we needed to pour the cement for the second floor. Now here in Tabuk we don’t have big fancy concrete mixers that are able to pour cement 50 feet above ground- it is all done by hand! Individuals hauling bucket fulls of cement up ladders and onto a platform. Also, it all has to be finished at one time.
So I’m sure you can imagine our delight when a jeep load full of men arrived from the village of Pakak. 18 men volunteered for the day to get all of the cement poured in one shot.

Thank you guys! We couldn’t have done it without you!



Ground Breaking News

28 04 2011

We started construction on the new Abundant Grace of God Maternity Center! I am in amazement at God. When we opened five years ago I never would have dreamed that we’d be able to build our very own clinic. We are so thankful for GDH (Samaritan’s Purse Germany) partnering with us to make this happen. We are still raising money to finish the purchase of the adjacent lot (where we dream of putting a seminar hall). We hope to have the new clinic up and running by Christmas. Keep checking back here for details on how it is all going.


A New Clinic – Could It Be True?

1 04 2011

Since opening in February 2007 we have delivered almost 800 babies free-of-charge. We have outgrown our current location and are planning the building of our very own clinic. We have found a piece of land that is 5 minutes down the road and have put a down payment on it. It is in a beautiful spot just off the main road and surrounded by rice-fields. In an amazing turn of events Samaritan’s Purse Germany who sent Claudia to visit us in November of last year, has agreed to help us with the building costs! Now all we need to do before we can begin construction is to complete the purchase of the land.

The total cost of the 700 square meter lot is $22,000USD. We have already raised $12,000USD. We need another $10,000USD. If you are interested in being a part of this building project please email me directly for more details at gthemidwife@yahoo.com.

I will keep you updated here on how the fund raising is going. Please keep this project in your prayers.