Friday, October 13, 2006


I hate waiting. Patience is a virtue, and one I don't have.
My application is in to the school and now I just have to wait. I have only had a couple of emails in a month's time from the director. I have so many questions and they have so little time to answer them. They run such a big operation with so few people. They are planning to deliver around 300 babies there this month in a facility that normally does about half that in 6 labor and 2 pospartum rooms.

We have had lots of conversations with people over here and over there - Missions gurus, current and former missionaries, students, family, friends, wise people.

I've found a few current students and 1 who is enrolled for the Sept semester to chat with online. There is 1 student, Heather, who is a current student with a family. I asked her for some of her honest feelings about the program and most of all balancing the workload with family life. She said that Davao is a wonderful place to live and on some days she feels it's a great experience for her family and on others, she would tell me I'm crazy for considering it. She said that the school is sensitive to students with families and allows a lighter load with just 2 birth room shifts (just changed from 12 hour to 8 hour shifts) a week, one 4-hour prenatal day and then there's the homework, sometimes requiring 10 hour days away from the house to complete assignments. So, my goal would be to complete book reports and get ahead as much as possible before going down there. It's encouraging to know of their sensitivity to families as one of my main concerns is not being able to see them enough. Though, as busy as I am here, especially when you add midwifery school to my current responsibilities, it doesn't really look much different, and sometimes even seems like less.
The other person I've been emailing with is Jennifer. She's been an answer to prayer. Her and her family are selling all they own and moving there in May. She's from Alaska and has 7 kids, 2 of which are adopted from Sierra Leone. They've been talking with the school/directors for 3 years and have a bit of inside information that is helping me with the lack of details from the school. She says to be prepared for them to talk us out of coming, as it is difficult with a family. The main issues are usually that dads/husbands struggle with not being the breadwinner as there is really no source of work or income for foreigners. The 2nd is for the moms/wives to not be the sole care provider. I think this is something I would have a harder time adjusting to than Caleb, as he looks forward to the change and can't wait to spend more time with our kids. When I think of how hard it will be for me, I remember that he's had to leave home and be away from us every day for 3 1/2 years and he deserves a turn.
Jennifer's family is going to be meeting with the director in November or December in Portland and suggested we might want to do the same. This is good and bad, as we've been strongly considering visiting the Philippines around that same time, but feel it wouldn't be advantageous to go if the director isn't there. On the other hand, it would be nice to not have to spend the money to go all the way over there. Our concern is not having the first hand experience of Davao, the Philippines and the clinic/school. But, as I said, we wait.
We had a meeting with our pastor and I asked him to just tell us what to do. He just laughed at me. He said, "Angela, you will serve the Lord whether you are here or there and they will both be good. Now you just have to decide which one is best."
Some days I feel as Heather said, this could be a great experience, and on others I think we're crazy for considering it. What I keep coming back to though is that as much as my ministry here is needed and valued, people are not dying here because of lack of care.
I told Caleb last night that what strikes me is that if we go and it is the best thing, we'll know it and we may have a hard time coming back. If it's not the best thing, we come home, and how much will we really miss or be missed for such a short period of time? And, if we don't go, we will always wonder if we should have.
There is still much to consider and in time I know the answer will be made known to us. Meanwhile, all I can think of is how much needs to be done in a window of time that is growing increasingly smaller (selling all we own including our house and cars and raising support, just to name a few).


Blogger petra said...

I think your ability/desire to network (as you did with the Utah adventure) makes you a fabulous candidate for this kind of living by faith. You make the most of the resources provided and don't just stick to yourself like it's just you and God on the island. I admire that in you. I notice it particularly because I am Not like that and would approach it like an island...and would have to learn to build a support network after-the-fact.

If this all works our, I think you guys are going to do great. Thanks for writing about the process.

love you!!

8:19 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home