We just wrapped up an incredible 10-day Medical Mission to the mountains of Kalinga.
Samaritan’s Purse Canada put together an amazing team of doctors, nurses, construction workers and support workers who came and served with us in one of the most remote areas of Kalinga. From March 18-28 we served over 1000 people from 7 villages with medical check-ups, medicines, vitamins and eyeglasses. Most of these villages can only be reached on foot – so we had a lot of exercise over these 10 days.
At the same time as this outreach, I had my best friend from Canada visiting with her 14-year old daughter. Becky and Emma Wiebe joined right in and were an amazing addition to the team. From fitting eyeglasses to giving lice-shampoo spas for the kids – they did it all!
The wonderful construction crew worked tirelessly on renovations for the new Bugnay clinic. They put up a ceiling throughout almost the whole building. Ken, Ken, Wade, Rick and Matt (the construction guys!) stayed behind in Bugnay while the rest of the team hiked into the mountains. I hear that it looks wonderful though and I can’t wait to see it next month!
What an amazing experience! Thank you to everyone who gave, donated, prayed and came. I hope there will be many more teams to come.
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.
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!
We have an exciting announcement to make! No, we aren’t expecting baby number three – yet!
We are officially opening a sister clinic in the mountains of Kalinga! Adhering to our vision of ‘Sharing God’s love through competent midwifery services’, we at Abundant Grace of God Maternity Center will extend our services to the mountains of Tinglayan with a new maternity center located in the village of Bugnay (about 5 hours from our Tabuk site).
After reaching out to the villages in the mountains of upper Tinglayan, Kalinga in March and April 2011, we were trying to come up with a plan to reach out more in this remote and needy that area. After many discussions and much prayer we decided that in order to be successful in affecting any sort of lasting change, we needed to maintain a constant presence. But how would we do it? We began to pray some more.
Then in May, our good friends from Geschenke der Hoffnung e.V. (http://www.geschenke-der-hoffnung.org- a German organization who has funded our new clinic facility in Tabuk) asked us if we would be interested in multiplying the work that we were doing in order reach more people with the love of God! Of course our answer was an excited “Yes!”
We have chosen to locate this sister clinic in the village of Bugnay. We feel this is the ideal site because we have already formed a wonderful relationship with the people through regular visits in the last five years. Bugnay is also the most easily accessible of the five Butbut villages in Upper Tinglayan. Being so close to the National Highway will make it easier to ship in the needed supplies as well as to get to the local hospital in a hurry if and when emergencies arise. The clinic will serve the five Butbut villages of Upper Tinglayan, as well as other surrounding villages in the area. We are eager to reach out and establish deeper relationships with a population of approximately 5,000 people.
This February we will begin renovating a rented home with the intentions of opening The Bugnay Birthing Home in May of this year. Crystal Meeks, CPM from North Carolina will be directing the clinic, and Evelyn Dungoc, a Filipino Registered Midwife will train the the local midwives and run the clinic. We are excited about this new facility and can’t wait to share with you all the amazing things that God does with us at Abundant Grace of God in 2012.
Yesterday we had a Christmas party for our Well-Baby seminar attendees. Since February this year we have been hosting once a month seminars for parents on different topics surrounding infant and child care. We have had all types of guest speakers -doctors, dentists, health-care workers – donating their time to teach parents how to take the best care of their children possible.
For the party, our staff put on a seminar including skits, posters, songs and demonstrations on the topic of “Nutrition”. We had a great turn out with over 30 people attending. After the seminar we shared a gospel message and gave out a simple gift to each mother in attendance.
At the same time as our seminar was going on, we had a very special delivery going on in the birth room.
We met Maryann in April of this year while on outreach to her village of Loccong. Loccong is a village high in the mountains of Tinglayan, a three hour hike plus a three jour jeep ride to Tabuk. We had encouraged her to come and deliver at our clinic as there are no midwives working in her village doing deliveries and it would be dangerous for her to deliver so far from a hospital if she ran into complications. Well, she took us up on the offer! She and her family have been staying about 3o minutes from Tabuk for the past month awaiting her labor and delivery. We were so excited to see her come in on Saturday morning. She had a difficult labor and worked very hard to deliver her beautiful baby boy. She and her family were happy to hear of our plans to open another clinic closer to their home this Spring. More details on that to come!
We were so blessed by a group of friends that came from Manila last month. Karen, Calyn (my new favorite name!), Jehan and Jay travelled for more than 16 hours on the bus in order to serve the people in the village of Pakak. Richel had an idea to get some artist friends together to paint the little elementary school in Pakak. (The school had been damaged in one of the typhoons last year and still had not been completely restored.) Not only did they spend 2 days painting beautiful murals, but they brought with them boxes and boxes of clothes and household items that were badly needed by the families. This time of year, before the harvest, is a very lean time for rice-farming families. They say that this is the “crisis” time.
I know that the families of Pakak were so thankful for this little group of Manila “movie stars” and their donations and acts of service will not be forgotten. Thank you guys for being Jesus to the families of Kalinga. You blessed all of us at Abundant Grace of God as well!
This past week has been one filled with sorrow. Last Friday we got word that Dessa, a good friend of ours from Bugnay, passed away suddenly from what looked like Typhoid fever. She left behind her husband and three small children; her first born here in 2007 and the youngest only nine months old. We miss her greatly and our hearts ache for her family. Then yesterday morning we got news that one of our patients from the village of Lacnog died suddenly from eclampsia. Caryang was only 17 years old and pregnant with twins. Because of her age and the fact that she was pregnant with twins she was at high risk for eclampsia, but up until she was rushed to the hospital she had had no symptoms. Sometimes it can get overwhelming how quickly loved ones can be taken away, especially living in a country where healthcare is so lacking. On the other hand, I know that God has used the clinic to bring more than 800 babies safely into the world – so for that I am thankful. If you think of it, please keep Dessa and Caryang’s family in your prayers.
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!
This past week I went to visit Baby Jobelyn in Pakak to see how she was doing. Her parents have been faithful to take her to the rehabilitation center in Tabuk as often as they can. She has been improving slowly. She isn’t yet able to hold up her head but she can reach for things and grasp them with her hands. Chel brought some brightly colored toys to give Jobi so that she can practice reaching, even when she is at home. Jobi was very excited about her new toys and gave us a big toothy smile.
Please continue to pray for Jobelyn and her family. It is a big sacrifice for her parents to travel to the rehab center every week, especially now that it is planting season. Pray for some encouraging improvements in Jobi’s development and for a good rice crop for the family this next season.
The Macad Family arrived back in Tabuk on August 5. We are so happy to be home! In our absence the clinic was run by our Filipina staff and our American volunteer, Crystal Meeks. They did an amazing job delivering babies, reaching out into the community, hosting seminars and even creatively dealing with broken vehicles. I am so proud of my staff for taking such good care of our patients and the clinic in our absence.
I have to say that I really missed being a midwife while away in Canada. Since being back I have already attended four births; one of which I caught 🙂
Here is a picture of me and my patient Arcel just before she and her family headed home with their new baby boy in arms.
I am so blessed to be doing what I am doing and to be working with such competent and compassionate midwives.