Please login to continue
Forgot your password?
Recover it here.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up Now!
Sign Up for Free
Name
Email
Choose Password
Confirm Password

A Short-Termers Perspective on Ministering at Shalom Birthing Center

A Short-Termers Perspective on Ministering at Shalom Birthing Center

In July of 2022, the summer right after my graduation from nursing school and after obtaining my RN license, I finally got the opportunity to go serve at Shalom Birthing Center in Antipolo, Philippines. I had the chance of working as a nurse and midwife intern for a little over 3 weeks and I am beyond amazed at how the Lord has worked during that time. Going to serve at Shalom had been one of my dreams since the beginning of nursing school because of how many wonderful experiences I had heard about from previous interns and for all of the different ways I knew I would be able to learn and grow through these experiences on my path to become a nurse midwife. The story of Shalom is pretty incredible as it was founded by a midwife from England, Mavis, who saw the desperate need for affordable midwifery care in a poor area of Antipolo and it was the sweetest experience to be able to hear it from the mouths of midwives who had been there from the very beginning. 

It goes without saying that the stories that stand out the most from this trip for me have to do with the births that I got to be a part of. It was so amazing to work alongside midwives who are so dedicated to their craft and to passing it onto the next generation. One of the stories that was most significant for me, is the time I was able to deliver three babies in one day! I admired the midwives' calmness and expertise as they were taking such good care of this new family but also their trust in letting me be a part of each of these births. I think that what struck me most too is that each of these births were different in their own way, with no complications, but each time the awe I experienced was still there. I realized that day that I had had the privilege of being the first person to hold these lives who had just entered the world and to place them in their mother’s arms. What a treasure it is to have been a part of the wonderful gift of life that our Father in Heaven grants us! He allowed me to have many more opportunities to reflect on this very truth, but one of the times that stands out was the day I delivered the child of a mom on her due date which also happened to be her birthday. The head was already out and I was holding it gently just as the midwife standing nearby was instructing me, I checked and there was no cord around the neck, then without even realizing it, the next contraction had come and the mom gave a final push with all the strength left in her. The beautiful little girl came quickly into my arms and before I knew it, I heard three beautiful voices behind me; “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear …” Wow, this moment felt sacred, a celebration of two lives and God’s goodness and faithfulness in carrying them through the hardest and most incredible experience a woman goes through. I joined them quietly in their singing and watched a small tear roll down the mom’s eye as she was smiling at the new most precious treasure that had been placed under her care.

In addition to all the wonderful experiences I had to practice nursing and provide care to pregnant women, one experience that stands out as I reflect on the entirety of this trip is the privilege I had to be invited to stay at one of the midwives' homes for a weekend. She took care of me so diligently, brought me into her family and showed me the love of Christ in sacrificing her time, resources, energy which are scarce due to her dedication to her work at Shalom, but also in sharing her testimony and how God brought her to her knees before Him through the work of Mavis at the beginning of her ministry in Antipolo. This touched my heart and made me realize that this is how I pray the Lord would use me and the skills I will learn as a midwife to not only provide physical care to women but to be an instrument for more people to come to know Him! The ways this midwife trusted God fully, especially in circumstances where nothing seemed certain, in the humble life she lives on top of how she has to travel from very far for a very long time to come to work because of her faith in the work that is being done at Shalom, were a huge example for me. I was able to learn that I need to see myself more in light of God’s mission for the world and as an instrument of the work that is going on where He has placed me.This impacted my spiritual life deeply, as I was able to draw nearer to the Lord and experience what it really means to depend on Him in light of my own uncertain circumstances. However, despite the uncertainty I was facing in my own life when I would return back to the US, I knew God clearly wanted me to come to Shalom. He made that evident through how smoothly the trip went, how I was able to connect with the culture quickly and adapt to a different environment as well as through the different people I got to meet. God’s timing is perfect, every time and I have really been able to see that through this internship as He allowed me to go right before starting my work as a nurse. It also really made the needs there are in maternal child health in under developed countries evident in my eyes which reinforced the desire in my heart to be involved in missions in the future.