Thursday, December 22, 2011
Tues. we / I made and decorated Christmas cookies, brownies, sweet-rolls, and jam bars ---made some platters to pass out ---many unsaved friends and neighbors. Gave a nice card with 5 different tracts. I'm sure they will read them on their spare time. So, Tues. night we went and passed those all out --it has been busy. We usually do Christmas caroling ---but decided to skip that and pass out goodies and tracts instead.
Now I am on sort and clean-up projects for today --made a shell mirror for Nadege with Rebekah ----take a mirror and glue sea shells to the frame --very nice. Today is a breather before the weekend starts. Made a mirror for us --"May the faces I see see Jesus in Me."
I've been able to witness well to Fatiah and Sophia. They now all know, believe they say, no decision yet. No blood on my hands. They are now somewhat friends ---as good a friends as you can have with the unsaved. Susanna and Lydia went to spend the day with Sophia today. We will invite them to the Sat. night time --will be very good and evangelistic. Seth is great for that. I don't know if they will come --they want to come to our church; our church is not geared to the wealthy. We will see. So, we keep praying and witnessing to all the lost that we can.
Lately I've been focusing on prophecy. Since you see all the prophecy coming true --Jesus is coming soon --get saved NOW. In the days of Noah --when the ark was finished - the people should have known the time was near. When they saw the animals getting in the ark --they should have known - something is up, time is running out. That is how it is these days. Time is running out ---get saved now.
Well, off I go. Have a Merry Christmas. Sunday morning we are only doing a breakfast ---boiled eggs, bread and chocolate spread, and popcorn --more simple. -- We are just tired a bit ---want a good time, but focus on the gospel getting out.
Have a happy new year too.
Joan and Dan
PS. Ruth and Hannah were supposed to have a break in the Philippines ---it was cancelled. They work at the clinic on Sat. night ---they don't mind that and love to catch babies. It is good for them to be busy - -less chance of being homesick.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
As for news ---God has been so great as usual. Dan was in a minor motorcycle accident. The problem was that the other man had a gas bottle (like a propane gas bottle - the size of two basketballs) on the front of his motorcycle, which flew off and hit Dan in the collarbone and ribs thereby fracturing them. From the swelling, discoloration and pain; I figured he had fractured them and since there is no treatment plan (I had already checked to see if things seemed straight) -on we went. He has his arm in a sling and is taking it easy. Meanwhile we have two heads working and only one body - smile. The body needs a rest. Praise God that it wasn't worse.
Meanwhile, Micheline's husband got saved, and Claudia got saved tonight. Wow, she prayed a beautiful prayer all on her own ---the young girl who is staying with us while her mother is trying to find them a place to live --a very long story. I just love it when someone gets saved!! I pray so much for Sophia and her mother to get saved ---we talk with them every weekend; Fatiha seems very close. Pray much and for us to have boldness and a Word from God.
Have a wonderful Christmas vacation ---that is what we like best. Just rescue us from school ---we are ready for a break. In all the activities, remember - He had the birthday ---he suffered and died and rose again, so that we could have the gifts.
With lots of love,
Joan and Dan
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
We love you. THANKS TO GOD for all His Blessings. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
Dan and Joan
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The best thing is the people getting saved and the growth in the churches. One man to whom we have been witnessing and praying for finally "got it." Dan and he were out in a village where there is no electricity or running water, working on a future church site. The man noticed the huge electric towers overhead and commented, "It is a shame that the cable goes right over this town, and yet they are still in darkness." Dan said, "That is just like you. You have been coming to church and hearing the Gospel, and yet you are still on the road to hell." He came and prayed with Dan the next day. Hallelujah! Not only is there rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents - I get excited too. Now we have more who are ready to get baptized. That is always encouraging.
I wrote of deliveries that have come my way - another one came. This time the lady was in early labor, and it was 8:30 p.m. I knew it was going to be a long night, but no one was there with her, so I didn't feel like I could just leave. (Meanwhile, the girls called, saying the cat was having her kittens and what should they do? Watch - smile. Call me if you need anything.) The hours stretched on as I sat in a dark room lit by a kerosene lamp and swatting mosquitoes ---there was to be no relaxing. I asked at one point, "Do you have a dog over there in the corner?" Half the room was taken up by wood, buckets, cement bags, dishes, etc. "No," she said, "that is just the rats." Okay, so now I watched as the mice went back and forth - I had a flashlight. I noticed that they kept their blankets and clothes in a metal drum to keep out the rats. I did use the time to pray for you ALL. I prayed for all our churches, friends, concerns, and anything that came to my mind. So, maybe God was just telling me, "Come over here and talk with Me for a while." Finally a sister-in-law came at 3:30 a.m., so I felt I could leave. I figured the baby was coming the next afternoon. I got to bed by 4:30 and was extra appreciative of my nice, clean house and bed.
It was the woman's second baby, but the first child is 16 years old, so just the same as a first delivery. She had a healthy baby boy that afternoon at 4 p.m. at the hospital. Her house was not suitable for a delivery --lots of traffic during the day; and my house surely has lots of traffic during the day; so I was happy she had a safe delivery and a healthy baby - without me, smile. It was Stephen's birthday, and I already had the day fully filled. God held me up, and I was not even that tired.
On Sunday we were all singing away when some kids in the middle aisle at church noticed a snake above their heads on the crossbeam. We all filed out to let the men kill it - a long green snake. Dan says it was not poisonous - better dead anyway. Then we came back in and finished the service. Dan had just been teaching Sunday school about the devil and his attacks, Eph. 6. Satan is planning an evil day for you. He is smart and is trying to plan your downfall. Anyway, the snake was a good illustration and also woke everyone up for the morning message.
Twice, a pastor from Canada has sent money for some Liberian refugees who are here, and Dan has been willing to receive the money, buy the food, divide it up, and distribute it. That was a huge job, but greatly appreciated. Imagine doing that for 168 families. It was a joy to be of help to such needy people and to be able to encourage them in the Lord in English. Seth has had some of them come to his services recently. There is so much that could be done!! TIME. A ten-year-old girl there at the refugee camp (They are living in tents made of palm branches; you can't even stand up in them.) just drowned last week when she was at the river drawing water. I could send pictures, but it would be too gruesome. They have killed so many snakes, seven in one day last week. A man was also bitten but is doing quite well, and a pregnant woman rolled over on one, but it didn't bite her. We need so much prayer and strength as we live life here.
The next Sunday Andy and Becky's water heater shot out flames while David was trying to light the pilot light. The pilot light was out, but the gas was still on; so when David tried to light it, flames engulfed him. He got 1st and 2nd degree burns on his hands, arms, legs, and feet. His face and hair also were singed. Becky, who was back in the doorway, was even burned on her face, one arm, hand, and foot. They were able to get into cool water right away, and between us we had "good stuff" for burns; a product called "Ice," and the main good thing was egg whites. (Yes, I've told a few people about that, though I never thought we'd have to use it like we did.) The egg whites work really well - coat the skin, seal, and sooth. I pray for discernment and wisdom every day. God has to give wisdom for each step of the way. It has now been a week, and they are healing fairly well. There are quite a few raw patches, swelling, and discoloration, but we are praying that all this will heal quickly and with no complications. (If you want to see pictures, go to Andy Messer's facebook.) Praise the Lord for His mercy ---it could have been a lot worse if their clothes had caught fire. A burn will for sure remind you that you don't want any of your friends to go to hell.
Dan has been able to buy two properties in different villages to start churches. In one of the villages, we already had a group going - preaching done by Pastor Paul, the one who was here at this church while we were in America. Now Paul is back there preaching full time. The other village is a brand new work. Pray that many people will get saved. That is the goal - reach people for Christ and help them grow. We live in exciting times. The more we pray and see Satan kick, the more we know God is blessing. Pray much.
Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Many happy wishes and prayers to you! Giving thanks will surely start the day out right. All of us are well. Here are pictures of Gideon, Esther and Joseph who change the most. We thank God for each of these precious ones He has entrusted to us. We thank God for you, too, and for your prayers, which make it possible for us to be here!
With lots of love,
Dan and JoanRuth and Hannah (in the Philippines), Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I guess that this letter isn’t late because it is coming just as frequently as any other letters that we sent. I am very sorry for the lack of correspondence. As you know we are very busy here. It is sort of hard to write letters to you all because of the nature of what we do here. We study textbooks and learn about midwifery – that is not interesting and you don’t want to hear about that; and we work in the clinic and catch/deliver babies – how can I tell about birth? Can’t describe it!
It started with night shift. When I arrived at 10 pm I got a patient. She was in strong labor and I stayed up all night with her. I had seen her previously in prenatals and we really had a connection. She did not deliver till 6:54 am. Shift ends at 6 am, but I stayed with my patient because if I didn't she probably would have gotten transported to the hospital because she was exhausted and the midwives coming on shift did not know her story, etc. (and also I liked her). As soon as the new supervisor arrived on shift (she is also one of my favorites) she want to transport. Heather (the supervisor from night shift. An American) stayed over just to be there for my patient. It was special. She helped coach my patient to push. You should have seen her. She was SO exhausted and had NO energy. Her husband was taller than I, and super sweet and supportive of his wife. He did not want to have to go to the hospital. The patient was sobbing because she was so happy after the baby came out. Heather was also teary eyed. The birth affected all of us. It did not seem like the baby would ever come out and when it did we were all soo… It is hard to describe the feelings after a baby is born!
So.... I got home at 10:30 am from staying awake all night. I went straight to bed and got up at 3 pm because I had a postpartum check-up for another one of my patients. After I did two postpartum checks, my continuity (a patient that is my patient from prenatals all the way through) came to the clinic -- that was at 4 pm. I then stayed for all of swing shift and stayed awake all night again. My continuity delivered at 3:19am, plus another of my continuities came in and delivered at 2:12 am. I delivered two babies only 1 hour and 7 minutes apart!! And I delivered 3 babies in 24 hours. I came home and slept from 10am to 7 pm. I was SO tired but very happy that both of the women were able to deliver at our clinic and that I was able to partake in their birth.
The one continuity really has a sad story. She is only 17 years old and was raised by her grandmother. She is not grown up. She really is a baby herself. Labor was very painful for her and, on top of that, it was really long. She would say, "Ruth, help me. Ruth, help me." Then she would have a contraction. She was pleading with me, but there really was nothing I could do. She had to be the one to deliver her baby. Afterwards she said, "I am never having another baby." She had a baby boy that was 8 lb. 4 oz.!!
Yesterday I printed my assignment and cooked dinner for our house. I made chili, cornbread, salad and rice. It was delicious. We have a cook that cooks on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It is SO great even though it is not exactly what we would like (she uses things like pig fat and corn starch and MSG, but she does not use them all the time). It takes off a large burden to have her come and she is so sweet and really wants to help us. We are still in the adjustment phase, but we would much rather have her than have to do without her. Imagine having a full time job with over time, being in full time school, having to shop and cook for 20 some people, and trying to have relationships and get along with people while maintaining a relationship with God. It is not easy.
We appreciate your prayers for us tremendously. There are times when I can feel like someone must be praying for me. I feel so blessed to be able to serve here and learn to be a midwife and be supported by you.
I know without a doubt that I am so blessed to be able to learn midwifery in a Christian setting on the mission field in a foreign country and have so much clinical experience!! I have done over 300 prenatal check-ups and have caught 45 babies – not to mention the number of births that I have been able to be involved in and observe. I am learning so much!
Midwifery is really one of the best tools to be able to get into a woman’s life (and therefore the life of her family) and transcend any and all barriers to the gospel. When you are a woman’s midwife there are no barriers. For a woman to trust you and allow you to deliver her baby, she really can’t have any barriers, and what kind of gratitude will she feel toward you after you have assisted her in bringing a new life safely into the world and supporting her in her time of need. I have seen it happen, women are so open and accepting to a woman who has gone through something like birth with her.
I am planning (in God’s will) to use my midwifery and whatever training I get, on the mission field. There are so many open doors and so many needs that have presented themselves. There are many missionaries who have specifically asked for a Christian midwife to come and work in their area. As of now, I don’t have a certain place that I feel “called” to, but I really would like to work in the Ivory Coast alongside of my family. Our dreams of what we could do are so many that it would be impossible to do them alone. We have thought of starting a maternity clinic and a girl’s home/center.
Things that it would be wonderful if you would pray with us about:
v God’s leading and direction in what He would have for the future.
v For our health (Of course, this is a constant. Without good health, it is hard to function).
v For relationships with people. God would lead us to give Biblical advice when the situation arises.
v Our schooling/learning. We would be able to keep up with the academics.
There are more things that I could think of, but that is enough for now.
Thank you so much,
“Not that I speak in regard to need for I have learned in whatsoever state I am to be content. I know how to be abased and I know how to abound, everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
~ Philippians 4:11-12
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Okay, finally on here to write a bit. If you don't want details of deliveries - just delete. Two deliveries came my way in three days - was fun, stressful, and gives glory to God.
She, our neighbor, knocked on our gate around 9:30 PM Sunday in labor. I went over there, watched a few contractions and figured it wasn't going to be long ---got my stuff together. It was handy that it was right across the street. Things progressed slowly --I had on mosquito repellent - doing a deliver by flashlight out on their porch - very nice cool breeze going. (I had collected some of those disposable plastic table-clothes from American get togethers; I like to use for deliveries.) So, she delivered at 11:10 and then started bleeding and bleeding. I was waiting for the placenta --too much blood. Got the placenta out and did uterine massage ---for an hour, meanwhile taking quick breaks to try to find my oxytocin. I had the sister looking through my bags with my flashlight and "please shine it here so I can see if the bleeding has let up." So, as long as I was holding the uterus, the bleeding let up. Finally I ran back to the house - praying the whole time that I would fine the pit. Didn't find it there - had to be with me as it should have been. Got back - there it was - gave the shot - massaged uterus - bleeding stopped. Now it was 12:30. I even thought about the hospital (very unusual for me - praying so much of course all the time. ---and what could the hospital do? find blood for a transfusion? - not. take a long time and she'd end up dead.) So, after all that the Lord stopped the bleeding. I had her lying there for a while --told the sister "she's going to be dizzy if she gets up" --up for a bath is the idea. So, after a while - up she got - cleaned up - almost passed out and not making it, throwing up and looking to go into shock. "Let's get her back lying down fast!" - got a mattress out there and there she lay down ---a bit better after that. Anything here to drink? juice of any sort? --not a chance. Uterus was doing fine - I ran home for barley life, apple juice and bread and butter. I never feel like eating much after my deliveries. Well, when I got back - hadn't been long, she liked all that and was ready for a meal ---back to make egg sandwiches and tea. Their culture is so different than ours ---after deliveries it is almost prescribed ---get some coffee, and theirs is strong and black --maybe think the caffeine will get the woman going again. Anyway, she ate all that and I checked on her the next few days and did baby care ---all is good with them.
The next case was a lady on her 10th month!! She had a carnet (little record book) that showed when they first heard the heartbeat. Still not going into labor. (This one is really a great miracle story.) I was getting concerned - being a midwife; though not lined up to do her delivery (I wasn't lined up to do either of them), neither a member of our church - how much of my nose do I put in? Still preg. on Sun., Mon. is always very hectic, Tues. morning our phone rang at 6 AM. - no one there. It rang again - no one there. Now you see, we usually leave the phone downstairs so it won't wake us or Gideon up --it was in our bathroom. Since I was up, I figured it might be from God that I go over there and check on her and talk a bit before I had to start school --so off I went. She was already dressed and ready to go to the hospital as if she were expecting me ---though no one had called - wow. She just wanted to be dropped off - which I did; then went and taught school. When I picked her up I wanted to give her a shot of oxy. myself ---I probably should have and probably would next time, wasn't thinking that early in the morning ----like, "go to the hospital as a very last resort and I know the person needs a C sec. I had listened to the heart-rate, good. But ---it would have meant my whole day gone (selfish) and staying at their hut --not good for a delivery --no water or electricity ---our house full and jamming during the day. So when I dropped her off, I was thinking it was all out of my hands. Around lunch they got a prescription to induce labor, (I had to go to four pharmacies before I found some pit to buy though I have some at the house.) then at 3:30 PM they (the man and a friend of hers) came back to my house with a prescription for medicines for a C-sec. I borrowed $100 from Momma and off we went. They said the baby was going to be too big - failure to progress. If you know midwives ---we do not like that diagnosis at all - never seen it in all of my time as a midwife.
Back we went to the hospital ---she was having some strong labor - no progress. I'm saying - move around a bit....she is saying, "I'm tired." okay, off we go for the supplies. Out here --you pay for it, you've got it --no returns at all, ever. (I'm thinking that she can have this baby and I will be stuck with all this medicine.) Out here if you are going to have any procedure or anything - off you go to the pharmacies to fine the supplies. At the pharmacy the medicine came up to over $200!! I said, "Look, I have this $100 --just get me the medicine and I'll owe you the rest." not going to happen right then. "Okay, take off what you can, give us what we need to get started and get it down to $100." So, that is what they did. Back to the hospital (I have my delivery bag with me all this time). The woman is in serious labor and the woman in charge said the baby had moved down a little to an 8 cm. I am telling the woman --you can do this. Just a little bit more. Well, the midwife on shift was very nice --we hit it off right away, was also busy with the other people and staying at her desk and was also tired with our lady who had been there since early morning and not doing much. I had all my stuff with me and got to do the delivery in the hospital right there on the FLOOR (I figured, okay, they have people here to clean up this mess -smile) - the other midwife still over at her desk. Our woman had to push every bit out - big baby, shoulder dystocia, lot of work. I was pulling and cork-screwing the baby out being very careful for the head and neck and was glad I was there to help - praying the whole while - lot of meconium in the fluid, tired baby, but came around fast. I had a blanket with me to hold the baby in so it wouldn't be on the hard, cold floor--she had the baby at 4:45 PM - nice big 9 1/4 lb. baby girl --she and baby all fine. God took care of that one ---is He wanting me to do this more? Pray for me. Next great miracle ---another woman in serious condition - seizures and eclampsia - needed surgery, and that family was able to buy all that medicine from me ---saved them some run around and got our money back. Our woman was discharged at 6:30 PM - eating, drinking and everything fine. I've also been checking up on them --all fine, no complications at all. Praise the Lord. We have been praising Him for His mercies and power in all of this and shouting hallelujah and glory to God.
Okay, off I go again. Praise God for new life. Pray that we use these contacts to help people get saved and walk with God. That is our goal. We are reading a good book --biographies of great saints ---They Found the Secret. --Hudson Taylor, John Bunyan, Oswald Chambers, Amy Carmichael,....Abide IN HIm, the great Exchange, PRAY. We sure don't pray enough.
This is from Hannah:
Hi there! We just had Care Group -where we get together and sing and have a snack and sometimes have a message or read verses and pray. Well, before we used to lead them. Our classes would take turns being in charge of the program. It was a little bit stressful. But now Joy talked to Krys and they changed the program--smile. Joy is so nice. So now the men are in charge of the care groups. Because we have 3 married students and Manny and Matt. So there are 5 guys and they are leading Care group now. It was really fun. Matt is so funny. He likes to talk. And he talks quite slow :) The big thing that he likes to say everytime we're all together is about how much he likes midwives and how he thinks that they are going to be in high demand once mission boards realize how effective they are. Because midwives are welcome in almost every country of the world and they can pass through all barriers. Anyway, he likes to say that over and over. And it's so true. It just made me want to be there now. I want to be working as a midwife now. There! Now! :) So I'm on a mission. Rather than just getting through this school, I'm on a mission to get there! I didn't used to know which country I wanted to go to, but I think I now know. I want to be there! Unless something changes. Anyway, just thought I would let you know :)
I finished my Well Woman assignment last night. I went and printed this morning. I was going to take the test today, but now I'm going to take it tomorrow. So that's nice. It gives me a little more time to study. And I'll be more relaxed because I won't be rushing around trying to go take a test right after printing. So I'm going to work on my midterm and make those corrections tonight so I can turn that in tomorrow too. Then I'll be all caught up. :) Oh, and I went for a walk today. So I feel good. Life is good. I'm happy!
Love you guys! Hope you are doing well.
Dear Mommy and Daddy and family,
I just want to talk to you. I miss you. I am starting to enjoy shift more and like to catch babies. I have caught 45 babies now. I can suture, insert IVs, do newborn screening, pap smears (I am not so confident on this one), stay awake all night, and do assignments.
It started with night shift. When I arrived I got a patient. She was in strong labor and I stayed up all night with her. She did not deliver till 6:54 am. Shift ends at 6 am, but I stayed with my patient because if I didn't she probably would have gotten transported to the hospital and also I liked her. As soon as the new supervisor arrived on shift (she is also one of my favorites) she wanted to transport. Heather (the supervisor from night shift. An American) stayed over just to be there for my patient. It was special. She helped coach my patient to push. You should have seen her. She was SO exhausted and had NO energy. Her husband was taller than me and super sweet. He did not want to have to go to the hospital. The patient was sobbing because she was so happy after the baby came out. Heather was also teary eyed.
So.... I got home at 10:30 am from staying awake all night. I went straight to bed and got up at 3 pm because I had a baby check-up. After I did two baby checks, my continuity (personal client that you are to deliver) came to the clinic -- that was at 4 pm. I then stayed for all of swing and stayed awake all night again. My continuity delivered at 3:19, plus another of my continuities came in and delivered at 2:12 am. I delivered two babies only 1 hour and 7 minutes apart!! And I delivered 3 babies in 24 hours. I came home and slept from 10am to 7 pm.
The one continuity really has a sad story. She is only 17 years old and was raised by her grandmother. She is not grown up. She really is a baby herself. Labor was very painful for her and, on top of that, it was really long. She would say, "Ruth, help me. Ruth, help me." Then she would have a contraction. She was pleading with me, but there really was nothing I could do. She had to be the one to deliver her baby. Afterwards she said, "I am never having another baby." She had a baby boy that was 8 lb. 4 oz!!
The other continuity was SO funny. She just made funny comments. She was 2-3 cm at 12:30 am and delivered her baby at 2:12 am!!
Yesterday I printed my assignment and cooked dinner for our house. I made chili, cornbread, salad and rice. It was delicious. We have a cook that cooks on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It is SO great even though it is not exactly what we would like (she uses things like pig fat and corn starch and MSG, but she does not use them all the time). It takes off a large burden to have her come and she is so sweet and really wants to help us. Sometimes she doesn't cook enough food, but I made lots of chili. Ate Maricelle (the cook) needs to watch me cook so she can see what cooking a lot really means.
It rained earlier, Hannah and I played in the rain. We got soaked. It was lots of fun. I was hot and sweaty. Well, I am going to go to bed now. I love you all.
P.S. The new girls are interesting. Some of them are a little bit irritating and some of them are great. Some of them just need a little more attention. Smile. I do my best to understand them and love on them.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011