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2016 Year in Review - By Grace Sales

Jan7.jpgWell, here I am in the final stretch of my commitment here in the Philippines. I can hardly believe I have been here for two years now. 2016 was one of the most challenging years of my life: physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Since being here in Davao I have been at over 150 births, hundreds of prenatals, and spent countless hours reading and studying midwifery books.


2016 has been full of surprises, here are a some highlights:
January
I welcomed babies and a visit from my parents and brother Chase :)

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February
I got to welcome my friend’s baby and spent Valentine’s day with big brothers and my roommate Emily <3

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March
I got to visit home for the month where I enjoyed cooler weather, lots of “Chase hugs”, and a ‘Birth Without Fear’ conference with my momma.

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April / May
I was back in the Philippines with this wonderful group of girls and meeting new patients and babies. Throughout April and May we had many power outages sometimes lasting for a majority of the day.
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We drank lots of anything we could find that was cold and tried to stay out of the house as much as possible as no power also meant no water.
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June
June brought more birth room shifts and some farewells as friends returned to the states.

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July
I continued to learn and grow in my care for my patients and I celebrated the 1 year anniversary of my first catch with flowers from a “secret admirer.”  ;)

August
I got to work a crazy busy shift with my roommates and the month wouldn’t be complete in the life of a midwife of course without working a few papsmear clinics ;P
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September
I was able to take a couple weeks to visit home for some much needed rest and filling up from my family. I also got to spend some quality time with my secret admirer.  ;)

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October
I was back to the Philippines and busier than ever with babies popping out left and right and finding creative ways to practice neonatal resuscitation.

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November
I was busy with more babies, a trip to ER and week of the flu w/bad asthma, and visiting with a patient who had a stillbirth.
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We also said goodbye to more friends who finished their commitments here and are moving on to obtain their midwifery licences.


December
I celebrated my final Christmas in Davao with my lovely roomies, worked a night shift with my favorite classmates, and celebrated my 25th birthday.
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The Lord has blessed me tremendously in 2016, and I wouldn’t be able to be here serving the women in Davao without your support. Thank you all who have generously given to support my ministry and who have faithfully prayed through the storms with me this past year. I am eagerly looking forward to this new year and all the changes it has in store.


PRAYER REQUESTS
Here are some changes coming up in 2017, and some prayer requests that I’d like to ask you to pray with me:


  • Please pray as I finish my last 6 months here in the Philippines:
    • I have a lot of studying and midwifery assignments to finish up before I can begin my application in the US for my midwifery license.
    • Please pray for the patients the Lord brings my way that they would all be ones who need me, and whom I need as well to further my experience and growth as a midwife.
    • Please pray over my relationships with the girls who I study with and live with as we have all become very close over the last 2 years, and the transition will be hard for us. Pray that the Lord blesses our last few months together!


  • Please pray as I begin my transition back to North America:
    • In June, I will begin my goodbyes here in the Philippines.
    • Re-entry back into the US has always been hard for me in the past even when I’ve only gone on short trips. I usually struggle with feeling confused, out of place, and alone in a 1st world country after experiencing life outside North America.
    • After living as a missionary, fully funded by the support of my fellow Believers and church body, I will be entering back into a fast paced society as a 25 year old with no money, and moving back into my parents house. Please pray for opportunities and blessings as the Lord directs this next season.


  • Please pray with me for what lies ahead with my ministry:
    • Midwifery as my ministry isn’t ending here. As I have expressed before my opportunity to serve in the Philippines is a platform to further prepare me for the long term missions work I feel the Lord calling me to. After, I leave Davao I plan to go up to WA state for the month of July to gain further experience in midwifery, and meet requirements for applying for National Midwifery Cert.  After that, I will return to San Diego hopefully to take a couple classes at the community college to comply with CA state licensing, and my prayer is to have met all my requirements, and write my midwifery board exam by fall/winter of 2017.
    • Please pray with me for all the requirements, and the exam for licensing that I would be able to meet them and pass, and become licensed as a midwife by the end of this year!
    • Please pray with me as the Lord directs me further past my licensing as a midwife. How long to rest and recoup near family and where to serve next?