Thursday, April 30, 2015

God's Peace Surrounded Us in the ER

As we transported to the hospital I watched her face as she clung to her bantay (watcher/caretaker), she looked frightened and confused. The attending midwife explained to her that she needed just a check up from a doctor and it was nothing to worry about quite yet. She barely spoke the Visayan language though so her mother-in-law/bantay translated. When we arrived at the hospital it was a stressful and crowded scene of doctors, nurses, and buntis (pregnant mommas) all looking flustered. She turned and walked out. It took some convincing from her bana (husband) and bantay to coax her pack into the crowded room to wait. With a terrified look on her face she nervously sat. I felt overcome with compassion for and asked the midwife if we could pray. We knelt down and put our hands on her knees and I began to pray out loud in the middle of the crowded ER. As I opened my eyes and looked up at her she cracked a faint smile then looked around. I looked around too and noticed all the buntis were watching us and all seemed to quiet and settle down. God's peace like a wave had come and settled the room. Our patient, though still a bit nervous, looked ready to sit there bravely for her baby.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Beginning of Knowledge & Relationship

Hello again! I am doing well and loving the begginings of life here in the Philippines. As some of you may have known and been praying for our VISA process, I'd like to thank you for that. We spent two long long days sitting in immigration and were successful in applying. Now we just wait for approval. So continued prayers would be awesome. Regarding the other aspects of my new adventure here in the Philippines here are some photo updates:
We have successfully completed two months of culture/language learning. We have been studying the Visayan/Cebuano language which is the dialect spoken here in Davao. I wouldn't say we are amazing Visayan speakers yet but they say "the real practice starts outside of the classroom!" So we venture out in hopes that we will grow in our knowledge of the language and culture.
5 days a week we'd travel by Jeepney for almost two hours each way and walk down dusty roads to get to and from the place that we studied language and culture. When we'd get there at about 8:15am we'd begin classes sometimes indoors and sometimes in little huts outdoors. We'd learn until 3-3:30pm and then begin our long journey home.
My team and I and a few of our new friends/teachers crowded on a Jeepney.
My beautiful roommate Hannah and I on one of our many commutes. Also, this is my bed. :) The beginning of making my bed/space more personal and homey. (A picture to come after we finish setting up our room)
Currently there are 7 girls living in the house I am in. (We will get 3 more this summer) We have a wonderful lady who helps us with cooking twice a week and then we all either cook for ourselves, eat leftovers, or someone in the house will cook a big dinner for everyone.
During our language learning phase we got to volunteer in the clinic once a week (on weekends) but now that we are done with that phase we volunteer 3 times a week (8 hour shifts, either Day 6a-2p, Swing 2p-10p, or Night 10p-6a) I am loving being in the clinic. It's such confirmation that God has me exactly where I am supposed to be right now. I truly see God's hand and direction teaching me and molding me daily through my shifts at the clinic and through my relationships that I am building here. As well as our 3 shifts a week we have begun more learning. Learning through lots and lots of reading and writing assignments, and learning through observing and listening to the wisdom of experienced midwives. Please be praying as we enter into this next phase of volunteering and gleaning from the wisdom of the midwives in the clinic.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Campo Gonia Ministries

Reaching the Hungry is partnering with Jaime & Monica Arista to start the Campo Gonia Ministries in Nicaragua.

Please partner with Jaime & Monica as they service God through discipling men for Christ. Just add comment when you donate, or we will contact you when we receive your donation.
You will receive a tax-deducible receipt. Click on the donation button, or write your check & send it to the following 501(c)3 non-profit organization...  Reaching the Hungry755 Vista Canyon Circle; Vista, CA 92084.

If you are interested in joining us on a future trip calling (760) 523-0777, or click HERE

Monday, March 2, 2015

1st Month in the Philippines by Grace Sales

When we arrived in February 1st, we had one week of orientation.  I was able to meet five other girls who came in at the same time as me. First we completed paper work, then we toured the city and the clinic.

I am in a house with 6 other girls and so far I like it a lot. I share a room with one other girl and I love her! She is sweet, spunky, and, in many ways, just like me when I was her age (19yrs). She is a missionary kid from Thailand and very easy going. My other house mates are also really great and so far everyone is getting along really well.

Gracie's Language Class
First Day of Language School 
Gracie walking to school with roommates
Language school 
We began language school our second week. All 6 of us who arrived at the same time will be doing our whole program together.  We travel together to language school on Monday through Friday until the beginning of April.  There are 3 of us who live in my house and we begin our day around 6:40am, walking for about 10-15 minutes to meet the other girls and catch a jeepney. A jeepney is the most common form of public transportation here in the Philippines and is always a challenge: a very crowded and uncomfortable ride! All 6 of us catch our first jeepney around 7am and ride it for about 10 minutes.  Next we wait for a second jeepney, which could be another hour, depending on the driver. The second jeepney drops us off on the main road where we hike down another dirt road to the language school.

Classes are from 8:30am to 3:30pm, but because of the arduous trip back, we aren't home until 5pm. Altogether, the days are long, hot, dusty, and physically and mentally draining. 

My body has had a difficult transition so far but I think I am over the worst of it. Thank you to those who have been praying. I was feeling really exhausted and then began to have bad stomach aches, nausea, headaches and body aches.  Eventually everything I ate made me sick and I just felt weak and dehydrated no matter how much I drank.  Thankfully with a lot of prayer, fluids, and some medication, I am feeling much better. I am regaining my energy, able to eat full meals, and my stomach pains are not quite so bad. 

I really appreciate all the prayers and encouragement;  please keep'em coming!
About to start work.

Clinic observations   
I have now had three shifts observing in the clinic and have enjoyed it so much. Although I am usually exhausted from the week of language school I look forward to my 8 hour shift each weekend. My first two shifts were calm with no births ---just a couple laboring women, postpartum patients, and a few transports. On my last shift, I was able to observe a birth and a newborn bath.

Over all I am so glad that I am here; I feel God's confirmation almost daily.

Prayer requests:
•continued energy and strength to get through the days
•good health/ healing from fibromyalgia
•blessed relationships with the other girls and family and friends back home
•clarity of mind and retention of language 
•continued growth in my relationship with Jesus and desire for remaining in the Word

Praise reports:
•I made it here safe and with ALL of my luggage
•I was pleasantly surprised and blessed at how nice my living situation is and that I get along well with my roommate
•My body is recovering 
•The Lord has given me a joyful and grateful spirit 
•It hasn't been sooo hot yet, so the weather acclimation has been easier 
•The Lord has given me so many opportunities for prayer with and for other people 
•Communication in my relationships with people back home have been clear and blessed 
•I am developing sweet friendships with many different girls of such diverse backgrounds

Thank You For Your Partnership!

Please partner with us in 2015 to make this year the best ever!
You will receive a tax-deducible receipt. Click on the donation button, or write your check & send it to the following 501(c)3 non-profit organization...  Reaching the Hungry755 Vista Canyon Circle; Vista, CA 92084.

If you are interested in joining us on a future trip, please email, calling (760) 523-0777, or click HERE