Monday, December 21, 2015

The Lola Florencia Birthing Home


What would you do if you had been praying about starting a clinic for years and suddenly you receive an email from an old missionary friend and she asks you if you would accept her donation of all of the necessary contents for a birthing clinic because she remembered a conversation she had with you about that very topic years earlier?  All we needed to supply was the building.  

Recognizing that God was in the middle of this, we accepted the offer in faith.  Moving quickly was mandatory.   Within a few days we had a plan to drive to Olongapo (about 10 hours away).  

We picked up beds, tables, oxygen tank, a birthing table, chairs for the waiting room,

 boxes of vitamins, birthing supplies, a stainless sink with a foot pump, pictures for the walls,  

information on how to apply for permits, Board of Health approved building specs, and a circular sign to put on the front of the building that we will construct. There was even a generator and an ambulance.  

And there is more!  God even provided us with a midwife and an assistant who will be supported by the donating ministry.  We will be able to offer free births to women in the area.

On the very day that we picked up our donation and gathered all of the necessary information to get certified and approved, a woman who was a midwife in the village for MANY years went to be with the Lord at the age of 101.  God, it appears, had even provided us with the name of the birthing center.  We will name if after Lola Florencia in honor of her years of service to the Aninuan community. 

The midwife's assistant, Meddie, is the sister of the original bracelet maker that the Kuhlows met on the beach in 1997 and the grand daughter of Lola Florencia. The birthing center donation was designed to allow Meddie to return to her family after being away for 5 years.  Her husband was killed several years ago in a motorcycle accident.  After that, Meddie intended to work aboard to be able to support her four children.  (A common thing to do.)  In an effort to keep her safer than working abroad, she was employed by the woman who ran the birthing center in Olongapo, Vicki Penwell.  She wouldn't be home, but at least she would be safe.

Meddie's four children have been living near family in Aninuan during her employment in Olongapo.  Three days before she was to return home, during a typhoon, her eldest son who was 21 was electrocuted after touching a wire on a generator owned by his employer.  He went there to charge his cell phone during the storm. He was the bread winner of the family for years already.  Such a sad beginning for what was to be a long awaited family reunion.  Still her faith is strong and she feels blessed to be home with her children again. 

She will start working with us soon to apply for permits and certifications that we need in order to open the birthing home.  Our next step is to finalize a design for the building.

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