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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Birth Story - Strength By Gracie Sales


Slender, quiet, and composed she labored. As I checked the baby's heart beat the scar on her abdomen was unmistakable. It was large, taking up a long stripe from her lower chest to a few inches under her belly button. You could see the places the stitches used to be and how huge the wound must have been. When she was only 8 years old her brother was playing with a gun and accidentally shot her in her stomach. What pain she must have been in. I wondered how that compared to the pain she felt in her stomach now. She labored for over 25 hours and at 22 years old she had such strength and self control that I have never seen in a first time mom before. She silently cried at times but that was one of the only signs that she was in pain up until the last 15 minutes where she proved her strength even more. She held onto me as we both squatted on the floor and together through lots of blood, sweat, and tears guided her baby out. I wish I had a picture of her as I handed baby Kenji to her as she was still squatting there next to the bed. Pure exhaustion and exhilarating relief as she embraced her baby.
Baby Kenji you are blessed. You have been born to a fighter, a strong strong momma who already adores you. I pray you will know this strength as you grow and will know where it comes from. I pray that the Lord's strength will continuously be made known in your times of weakness. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

STEP UP Basketball Outreach in The Philippines

Reaching the Hungry was able to donate these jerseys for this awesome ministry in Davao City, Philippines where Gracie Sales our Midwife Missionary is serving. Check it out!


Agdao Basketball Outreach new shirts 9 Feb 2017
This weeks basketball outreach to Agdao was another full house with over 100 kids attending and super fun as we were able to show the kids the new clothing donated! Its such an honour to be able to partner with folks from across the USA and Europe that enables us to reach these children with the gospel and discipleship every week. Thank you to all our friends, partners and supporters! #basketball #ministry #agdao #davaocity #philippines
Posted by STEP UP Basketball on Sunday, February 12, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

2016 Year in Review - By Grace Sales

Jan7.jpgWell, here I am in the final stretch of my commitment here in the Philippines. I can hardly believe I have been here for two years now. 2016 was one of the most challenging years of my life: physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Since being here in Davao I have been at over 150 births, hundreds of prenatals, and spent countless hours reading and studying midwifery books.


2016 has been full of surprises, here are a some highlights:
January
I welcomed babies and a visit from my parents and brother Chase :)

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February
I got to welcome my friend’s baby and spent Valentine’s day with big brothers and my roommate Emily <3

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March
I got to visit home for the month where I enjoyed cooler weather, lots of “Chase hugs”, and a ‘Birth Without Fear’ conference with my momma.

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April / May
I was back in the Philippines with this wonderful group of girls and meeting new patients and babies. Throughout April and May we had many power outages sometimes lasting for a majority of the day.
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We drank lots of anything we could find that was cold and tried to stay out of the house as much as possible as no power also meant no water.
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June
June brought more birth room shifts and some farewells as friends returned to the states.

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July
I continued to learn and grow in my care for my patients and I celebrated the 1 year anniversary of my first catch with flowers from a “secret admirer.”  ;)

August
I got to work a crazy busy shift with my roommates and the month wouldn’t be complete in the life of a midwife of course without working a few papsmear clinics ;P
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September
I was able to take a couple weeks to visit home for some much needed rest and filling up from my family. I also got to spend some quality time with my secret admirer.  ;)

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October
I was back to the Philippines and busier than ever with babies popping out left
and right and finding creative ways to practice neonatal resuscitation.

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November
I was busy with more babies, a trip to ER and week of the flu w/bad asthma, and visiting with a patient who had a stillbirth.
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We also said goodbye to more friends who finished their commitments here and are moving on to obtain their midwifery licences.


December
I celebrated my final Christmas in Davao with my lovely roomies, worked a night shift with my favorite classmates, and celebrated my 25th birthday.
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The Lord has blessed me tremendously in 2016, and I wouldn’t be able to be here serving the women in Davao without your support. Thank you all who have generously given to support my ministry and who have faithfully prayed through the storms with me this past year. I am eagerly looking forward to this new year and all the changes it has in store.


PRAYER REQUESTS
Here are some changes coming up in 2017, and some prayer requests that I’d like to ask you to pray with me:


  • Please pray as I finish my last 6 months here in the Philippines:
    • I have a lot of studying and midwifery assignments to finish up before I can begin my application in the US for my midwifery license.
    • Please pray for the patients the Lord brings my way that they would all be ones who need me, and whom I need as well to further my experience and growth as a midwife.
    • Please pray over my relationships with the girls who I study with and live with as we have all become very close over the last 2 years, and the transition will be hard for us. Pray that the Lord blesses our last few months together!


  • Please pray as I begin my transition back to North America:
    • In June, I will begin my goodbyes here in the Philippines.
    • Re-entry back into the US has always been hard for me in the past even when I’ve only gone on short trips. I usually struggle with feeling confused, out of place, and alone in a 1st world country after experiencing life outside North America.
    • After living as a missionary, fully funded by the support of my fellow Believers and church body, I will be entering back into a fast paced society as a 25 year old with no money, and moving back into my parents house. Please pray for opportunities and blessings as the Lord directs this next season.


  • Please pray with me for what lies ahead with my ministry:
    • Midwifery as my ministry isn’t ending here. As I have expressed before my opportunity to serve in the Philippines is a platform to further prepare me for the long term missions work I feel the Lord calling me to. After, I leave Davao I plan to go up to WA state for the month of July to gain further experience in midwifery, and meet requirements for applying for National Midwifery Cert.  After that, I will return to San Diego hopefully to take a couple classes at the community college to comply with CA state licensing, and my prayer is to have met all my requirements, and write my midwifery board exam by fall/winter of 2017.
    • Please pray with me for all the requirements, and the exam for licensing that I would be able to meet them and pass, and become licensed as a midwife by the end of this year!
    • Please pray with me as the Lord directs me further past my licensing as a midwife. How long to rest and recoup near family and where to serve next?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Mexico Christmas Outreach


I could easily tell you many statistics about the successes of Reaching the Hungry in  2016. However I think a story is a more powerful testament to what God has done.


Hundreds of children received new shoes for Christmas.
1,000 people feed.

On the December Mexico outreach trip while hundreds of volunteers were painting faces, feeding families, doing medical checks ups, dental work, eyeglasses fittings and giving over 500 children new pairs of shoes their was one moment of the day which stood out most. To the side of all the commotion, out of the way of the soccer game and balloons, the volunteers in the prayer tent got to see God's power. 


Hundreds of people got medical care, teeth pulled, fitted for reading glasses, and acupuncture.
Face painting, new shoes, balloon animals, soccer, family pictures, etc. 

One woman who was feeling forgotten, isolated, and buried by heavy stress and oppression came to the group for prayer. She shared that her husband was in jail. She told them that she was in pain. She could not forgive. She was losing hope. And it became apparent that she was spiritually oppressed. The group began praying for her, going to battle for her, they renounced the darkness, and they coaxed her to forgive.




One of the sweet ladies praying for her places her hands on the oppressed woman and when she ran out of words to pray asked God over and over to help her not be afraid. When the woman was finally able to forgive, she coughed and sputtered up blood, and the tension in the prayer tent finally broke. It was like a new feeling had come over all of them. The woman's whole countenance was changed. She was filled with light. Everyone could visibly see the hope returning to her face. By Jesus' name she was delivered from oppression and she began laughing and crying and hugging everyone close enough to touch. 


Isn't God so good?! He orchestrated, planned, and mobilized hundreds of people to get every person where they needed to be so he could reach out and touch this woman in a tangible way and set her free. Going into the new year Reaching the Hungry can't wait to participate in ushering more light and hope into the lives of the forgotten, isolated, stressed, poor, and oppressed with the Gospel. Please continue to pray with us, over and over, that we will not be afraid to do everything God asks as we bring light to dark places. Pray that in 2017 we will tangibly represent Christ well. Thank you for all your support and for helping us see the impossible achieved for his kingdom.