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Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines

by Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Founders and Directors of Mercy In Action
Founders and Directors of Mercy In Action

Rose Penwell and I just returned from a two-week whirlwind tour of all our sponsored birth centers and midwives in the Philippines, and what a joy it was to see so many wonderful things happening as babies continue to be born in safe, clean, well stocked and professionally run birth centers. Mercy In Action is making a difference in maternal and newborn survival, one good birth at a time! And you are a big part of that.

Now, looking ahead, we are excited to tell our supporters that two of our graduate students from the Mercy In Action College of Midwifery are heading to the Philippines to serve six months in our birth centers on Leyte and Mindoro islands.  They will be volunteering in the clinics and birth centers, learning from our Filipina midwives, and assisting with all the details and paperwork to get our newest birth center licensed and accredited. 

One of these students, Kluane, represents a first; born herself at the birth center I started in Fairbanks back in the 1980’s,   she is the first baby born there to finish a two-year clinical internship and become a midwife by training in the place where she was born. And Hannah, the other newly graduated student on this adventure,  moved to Alaska with Kluane to intern at Alaska Family Health & Birth Center, and together they represent the first graduates of the Mercy In Action College of Midwifery to graduate from the college I founded while doing their clinical requirements in the birth center I  founded.

Now both of these wonderful young midwives will be going to serve alongside the midwives of Mercy In Action in the Philippines, where their service will make a lasting difference to generations to come. 

Please consider making a special donation toward their trip, or if you find yourself in Alaska next week, please attend a fundraiser we are hosting for them on July 2 at 3 pm at Alaska Family Health & Birth Center.

Blessings and love from the Mercy In Action team!

 

 

 

Kluane attending a birth
Kluane attending a birth
Hannah Brown examining a newborn baby
Hannah Brown examining a newborn baby

Links:

A Mercy In Action Grandbaby !
A Mercy In Action Grandbaby !

This past week something wonderful happened --a baby was born. Not just any baby, but the Great-Great-Grandbaby of the woman who's name and picture graces the front of our newest Birth Center in Mindoro island, Philippines.

Florencia was a midwife who died last year. She had presided over births on her island from the time she was 16 years old until just a few years before her passing at the age of 106. Florencia entered an arranged marriage at 17,  that would become over 70 years of happy marriage, 13 children and more than 100 decendants. 

Florencia lived through the final century of the 2nd millennium, a time that included terrible hardship for Filipinos during World War II, and massive cultural and developmental changes. She experienced grinding poverty most of her life, but reveled in the joys of family, community, church, and her work as a midwife.

On the day Florencia departed this life, we had just finished loading the truck on another island that would carry birth equipment and supplies to start the birth center in her home community of Aninuan. It was almost as if she were waiting for us to get a replacement in place before she could go to heaven.

Meddie, Florencia's granddaughter, is our birth assistant in the Florencia Memorial Birthing Home. Meddie has worked for Mercy In Action for over a decade and she is precious to us. This week she became a grandmother for the first time/ 

Generations. It all reminds me of the old folk song with these lines" And when I'm dead, and when I'm gone, there'll be one child born in this world to carry on...to carry on."

Welcome baby Elliah, you have a rich history as you take your place among the Generations.

In Memoriam-Great-Great-Grandmother Florencia
In Memoriam-Great-Great-Grandmother Florencia
Vicki with Florencia circa 2007
Vicki with Florencia circa 2007
Elliah with Mom and Dad and Gramma Meddie
Elliah with Mom and Dad and Gramma Meddie

Links:

The Midwives with a patient on Mindoro island
The Midwives with a patient on Mindoro island

While we were celebrating Christmas Day in the US, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines  was hit by a deadly typhoon square on on in the community where our Mercy In Action supported clinic was recently built .Thankfully, no lives were lost, and all our staff and their families, and the staff and families of the mission we partner with,  came through the storm ok physically, just frightened.  The  medical building was built strong and withstood the winds, but our head midwife and her assistant both lost the roof off of their home in the typhoon, and subsequently had their small homes flooded with rain water. 

So we go into 2017 rebuilding again, in a country that sees more than its fair share of natural disasters. Thank you for your wonderful support for our mission of bringing safe, respectful maternity care to the poorest of the poor in the Philippines. It makes a big difference.

If you would like to send notes of encouragement and/or prayers to our staff who are temporarily homeless, please send through our email at: info@mercyinaction.com.

And thank you for your donations, which are needed now more than ever. Our doors remain open on Mindoro island, in spite of the typhoons, and our team is ready to welcome any pregnant woman who needs assistance.

Outreach to tribal women to provide prenatal care
Outreach to tribal women to provide prenatal care
Life goes on, even during storms. Welcome new babe
Life goes on, even during storms. Welcome new babe

Links:

Education expands parent
Education expands parent's knowledge on child care

The healthy future of society depends on the health of today's children and their mothers, according to UNICEF. Education improves health, and that is what is needed desperately in the aftermath of the humanitarian disaster Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda on Leyte Island in the Philippines. 

 

Mercy In Action is in the middle of a new building project in the former disaster zone. After rebuilding a clinic, birth center, and the midwife’s home, we are now building an Education Center onto the side of the clinic, so that we can insure that future generations will have a chance to be healthy.

 

This coming November 8th is the third year anniversary of this horrible disaster. It is our goal to be finished with our building projects by that date of the 3rd anniversary.

 

Will you help us with donations toward finishing this Health Education building? Can you imagine the wonderful public health teaching that will occur here? Can you see the joy on pregnant women’s faces as they learn how they can best grow their babies in the womb and insure optimal health by the way they feed them after they are born? Can you imagine all the empowered mothers and fathers who will learn ways to keep their children alive and healthy in the vulnerable first 5 years of life?

 

Please join us in finishing this Education Center. God Bless you.

The new Education Center going up
The new Education Center going up

Links:

Baby Miracle, only a few hours old
Baby Miracle, only a few hours old

Her parents named her Miracle.

What is a miracle? Webster dictionary describes it like this:

: an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God
: a very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement.

Miracle is the first baby born in the new birth center Mercy In Action built and opened recently on the outskirts of Manila, in a community that rose up out of the ashes of a devastating fire that destroyed her parent's home in a slum in Manila.

Miracle is also defined as : 

a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
You must understand that the people in this community on the outskirts of Manila were once a tight-knit group of urban slumdwellers.  In one terrifying night, they all lost their homes to a fire that raged through the shanties destroying all in its path.
Many of them came together again in a resettlement area provided for them. They gradually rebuilt shattered lives and went on living.
A few months ago, the midwife who used to live among them before the fire came back. Cecille was home among them, but had no place to work.  Then, through the efforts of Mercy In Action, supported by Global Giving donors, we were able to build a birth center again for this band of formerly homeless people. A beautiful, well equipped center, with kind compassionate staff, where there are never any fees for service.
And baby girl Miracle was the first baby to be born in this resettlement community birth center built by Mercy In Action.
Her parents named her Miracle.
Maybe you, our donors, are the miracle.
At least we are all a part of the bigger miracle that brings life and health to a community shattered by disaster in a poor urban slum. 
Miracle. Another definition is " a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences."
I would say a healthy baby is indeed a very welcome consequence!
Thank you so much for your generosity to help bring this miracle to pass, not just for baby Miracle, who is the first, but for the thousands of healthy babies that will follow in years to come.  A community birth center that is free to the public is indeed a miracle in a region where most live in abject poverty in the Philippines.  God Bless you! 

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC

Location: Boise, ID - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Vicki Penwell
Boise, ID United States
$81,937 raised of $99,000 goal
 
1,090 donations
$17,063 to go
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