Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC

Mercy in Action is a non-profit organization that focuses on the crisis in Maternal/Newborn/Child health care worldwide. We have been establishing and funding free birth centers for poor families in the Philippines since 1992, and to date more than 12,000 babies have been delivered free of charge for the poorest of the poor in Mercy In Action's Birth Centers, and literally tens of thousands of lives have been helped and healed in the medical outreaches. Mercy In Acton also teaches clinical internships, seminars and training retreats to prepare midwives, medics and nurses to meet the global shortage of skilled birth attendants, and to help primary health care workers prevent unnecessary chil...
Apr 3, 2014

Rebuilding in the Disaster Zone

Nerissa in ruins of her birth center, post-storm
Nerissa in ruins of her birth center, post-storm

Nerissa Cumpio is a midwife who worked in a tidy and well-appointed birth center in her hometown, alongside her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, all Licensed Midwives. They had a busy practice, and made sure that women who did not have insurance or enough money to pay still got good care.

On November 8, Super Typhoon Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines) struck a deadly blow to her town. Not only was her birth center and home totally smashed by the waves, but her husband's uncle was washed out to sea and his body has never been recovered.

Thousands of people in Nerissa's hometown died that day. And the community was left without a safe place to deliver the babies being born every day in the region.

This week, Mercy In Action is going to start rebuilding Nerissa's birth center. We are going to take funds raised through Global Giving and being the rebuilding process, not only for one midwife, but for the pregnant women of an entire community.

Nerissa expressed "I was so hopeless in the month after the storm destroyed our lives, until I met Mercy In Action. Now I can see the future again".

Nerissa has been working in the tents set up by Mercy In Action last November, but soon she will be a community midwife again, a valuable and integral part of the recovery for her town, her region, and her country.

In the disaster zone, they have a phrase. Bangon Leyte. It means Rise up, island of Leyte! We will recover! This storm, as terrible as it was, will not keep us down. And now it is the time for Nerissa and her family to Bangon Cumpios! Shine again as partnered together with Mercy In Action you rise again, to rebuild the community birth center and rebuild your lives.

Bangon Leyte sign
Bangon Leyte sign
Nerissa with fellow Philippine Midwives
Nerissa with fellow Philippine Midwives
Nerissa and the Mercy In Action team in tents
Nerissa and the Mercy In Action team in tents

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Feb 6, 2014

What is a life worth?

Loved Child.
Loved Child.

Looking back over the last year there are so many emotions. In 2013 we provided a safe delivery for 272 mothers and their babies. I feel such gratitude when I think about that number as it would not be possible to do this work without the support we receive from individuals. 

And each of those 272 mothers represents a much larger number as she is part of a family and a vital contributor to the community.

Today Mary Grace came into our clinic to give birth to her 5th child. She had delivered her four other children unattended in her home. She lives in a shack along the river. Two years ago she lost two of her daughters in a drowning accident as they tried to cross the swollen river during flood season. My heart aches for her loss. For the difficulty of the life that she was born into. Mary Grace and her husband make a living by planting crops and walking their produce in to town to sell in the local market each day. She has encountered so much loss and heartache in her lifetime. 

Mary Grace gave birth to a healthy baby boy tonight and although she had a few minor complications we were able to immediately respond and provide her with the care she needed. Tomorrow she will be going home with a healthy baby.  I am so thankful we are able to provide her with kind, compassionate, culturally competent care.  

How can you put a value on what one life is worth? Is it worth our time, our attention? Is it worth our effort or even our money? When faced with so many needs, our limitations become all too apparent. Yet, the question remains, what is one life worth? Together, we respond -- that we do have the resources to meet the needs of so many mothers and infants -- together, with all of you who have chosen to give of yourselves selflessly -- that we cannot morally afford to ignore the desperate situation for so many families resigned to a life of neglect -- together, we will continue to provide a safe and loving place for those in need of a place of refuge.

 Our hearts are overwhelmed with appreciation and love for all of you who join us in this journey towards safe motherhood. Thank you!

 

*The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the patients. The women shown in the pictures are not Mary Grace but are women who delivered at our clinic.

New Life.
New Life.
Jan 6, 2014

Report from Ground Zero of the Disaster

Birth Tent
Birth Tent

Maricel went into labor on Christmas Eve. She came riding a motorcycle driven by her husband, from far out in the rice paddies surrounding the small town of Dulag. As she traveled on this uncomfortable mode of transportation, contractions wracking her tired body, she passed scene after scene of mass destruction; piles of rubble that used to be neighbor's homes, other houses with no roofs, make-shift tents and lean-to tarp shelters, twisted metal, cars upsidedown in trees, and other sights that reminded her of the horrible storm that passed by only 46 days before. For Maricel it seemed like a lifetime that she and her family had been deprived of food, clean water, shelter, and any comforts of home. Now she was in labor, heading out to find out if any health centers were open, and free of charge, for she had no money. What pesos they had stored away for a rainy day had literally blown away in the rain and wind of Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolonda within the Philippines. And she and her husband had had no work since the storm. Maricel knew the health centers close to her home had been badly damaged in the storm, and were closed. Yet as they turned onto the highway and headed into the capital, they saw a sign that said "MERCY IN ACTION MATERNITY CENTER FREE DELIVERIES HERE. Almost not daring to hope, Maricel told her husband to pull into the school grounds, where they followed the signs to a broken down classroom. Inside it was bright with lights from a generator, and several cheerful women met her at the door. Yes, the midwives said, you can give birth here, in our safe and clean tent with all the equipment needed for any birth emergency. They lovingly guided her in, gave her a thorough exam, and told her that she and her baby were both handling labor well and birth would happen soon. A few hours later, Maricel, after a gentle and calm delivery, leaned forward off the birth stool and picked up her crying, squirming baby girl and gathered her into her arms. Putting the baby to her breast, she cried with joy and said "Thank you, thank you so much!" The midwives deferred, and murmered "Thanks be to God". And Christmas came once again, in the shattered land left behind by the largest storm to ever make landfall. 

Birth Tent with IV drip hanging
Birth Tent with IV drip hanging

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