"Dear ma'am Vicki and Sir Scott,We will not be tired of saying THANK YOU. Love from Alexander and Nerissa"
This is the email I received this morning, as Nerissa and Alexander begin building a second floor onto the clinic and birthing home Mercy In Action rebuilt for them last year with help from Global Giving. This will now be a home for them and their two young girls, who were so horribly traumatized by the destruction of their home in the Super Typhoon over a year ago. Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, and declared to be the world's strongest storm to make landfall ever, smashed their home and their family run clinic and birth center into a pile of rubble last November 8, 2013.
When we offered help last year, Nerissa asked for the clinic first, With your help, we opened the Cumpio Clinic again in September of 2014. Nerissa and her family wanted to be able to serve the community with maternity medical care, before they even began to hope that they themselves would have a house again.
And so they have been living in a tent or crowded temporary housing for the past 15 months.
With your help, Mercy In Action made an immediate disaster response 15 months ago, setting up tents to deliver babies and treat wounds, food programs to get urgently needed nutrition to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and trauma healing ministry to the survivors, especially the young children. Then, again with your help, we began to help rebuild the health care structures damaged or destroyed, and trained and equipped midwives to get back on their feet. In December of last year, we distributed new birth bags to a dozen local area midwives.
But I always felt the disaster work we were called to do was not over yet.
Today we begin building the second floor of the beautiful clinic into a permanent home for the midwife we have come to love and respect so much, Nerissa Cumpio.
It is my turn to say to all of you supporters and donors, "I will not be tired of saying THANK YOU" to you! Thanks be to God for such good friends when the storms of life hit....
Vicki Penwell, LM,CPM, MSM, MAFounder and Executive DirectorMercy In Action Vineyard, Incwww.mercyinaction.org
Dear wonderful supporters,
GlobalGiving has been so very supportive and helpful to those of us working in the disaster zone caused by the world's biggest storm to ever make landfall last November 8th in the Philippines. You are know about Typhoon Haiyan, called Yolanda in our country.
Now they have a donor who is matching all donations 100% while funds last. As of today, there is still $22,000 in this fund, just waiting to go to one of the worthy projects GlobalGiving supports. Mercy In Action qualifies!
Mercy In Action is eligible for this matching money, but we need your help. If you were planning to make a generous year- end donation, would you consider doing it now so that your money can go TWICE AS FAR?
Last November through January, we delivered babies in tents and cared for over 3,000 pateints with wounds. This September, we completed the rebuilting of a clinic and birth center. This coming December, I will be going back down to ground zero to give birth equipment and life-saving supplies to 12 area midwives, who with the help of Mercy In Action are getting back on their feet.
Help us help them even more, by giving a generous donation now that will be matched 100%. God bless you as we again enter the Holiday Season, this year with much more hope for the future.
"Whoever is kind to the needy honors God" Proverbs 14:31
Nine moths after Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda slammed into the Philippines, destroying most of the health centers, Mercy In Action was so very happy to be able to see one Clinic and Birth Center open again. In September, I attended the grand opening of the Cumpio Clinic in the very heart of the disaster zone in the community of Tanauan, Leyte Island.
Through the gifts of Global Giving, we were able to rebuild and stock this Clinic and Birth Center on the site where it was destroyed in last year's typhoon.
Tanauan was one of the hardest hit areas by the storm. In an area where it was needed most, Nerissa Cumpio and her family group practice of Registered Midwives were given a Second Chance to serve their hurting community.
Last November, a local woman named Sheila* experienced an unimaginable nightmare... her small baby was washed out of her arms and drowned during the peak of the storm surge. Months later, Sheila had a dream, and went to Nerissa to say "I had a dream, and saw myself giving birth in your new rebuilt Birth Center" (this was when Nerissa's former clinic was smashed into a big rubble pile.) The dream turned out to be prophetic, because Sheila is pregnant again, and planning to give birth in the newly rebuild Birth Center. She has a Second Chance.
At the grand opening ceremony, I was asked to give a speech and a dedication prayer. I said these words: "Every time a neighbor walks by this beautiful building, every time a pregnant mother has a safe place to come for prenatal check ups, every time a baby is born in this bright, clean, newly rebuilt Birth Center, we will remember the mercy of God."
Thank you for the role you played in this Second Chance for this group of midwives and the pregnant mothers in the disaster zone. Since the grand opening, many babies have already been born in this new Birth Center. The Second Chances are happening, one by one, rebuilding the community with hope and love.
*Names of patients are always changed to protect their privacy and dignity.
The Philippines is no stranger to strong winds and rain. Last November brought the largest Typhoon to ever hit landfall and Mercy In Action responded to the disaster with emergency medical and maternity tents to provide care in the areas hardest hit. Although we have not experienced a typhoon of that magnitude since, we still continue to experience typhoons and storms that are strong enough to wash away roads and homes. This poses a particularly dangerous situation for childbearing women who are most vulnerable if they go into labor during the peak of a storm. Therefore, it is no surprise that our clinic has been unusually busy this last week as Typhoon Henry (Matmo) approached, uprooting trees and flooding roads. Many expectant mothers came to our clinic seeking refuge before either their labor or the storm became too intense. And because our clinic stands, with a strong foundation and many beds, those women were able to receive kind and capable care while the rains came down outside.
It is because of the kind donations of strangers that our clinic is able to be that safe place in the storm. Mercy In Action and the families we serve thank you for your support
One of the most heart touching things that started happening in the disaster zone here in the Philippines last November and December was when survivors started putting up hand-painted signs to thank the international community who responded to the massive disaster caused by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
One of the signs thanked all of the international community who came to help, and then said simply “Please don’t forget us; please do not grow sick and tired of us until we have made a full recovery.”
Mercy In Action is helping in that recovery. We remember the beautiful women we midwifed who gave birth in tents in the immediate aftermath of that terrible storm, and are now raising those babies in the rubble. We remember the brave midwives, nurses and doctors who fought and are still fighting to save lives against incredible odds, and are now going to be receiving training to international standards in updated best practices in maternity care. We remember the smashed buildings, the massive destruction caused by the storm, even as we are helping to rebuild clinics and birth centers.
Our goal now is to make sure every pregnant woman will have a well-trained midwife available to her when she delivers, in a community where clinics, birth centers, and hospitals are again available. We are working toward recovery in the disaster zone; toward restoration in the rebuilding effort. We want the survivors to know that they are not alone, and that there is no way that we could forget them. Please join us in this rebuilding time, a time of recovery, hope, and new life.
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Subic Bay Freeport Zone,