Hello all! long tome no wright! Nine months ago I said "here we go!" and off we went. so much so that I have not gotten around to posting a blog post since. To think... 9 months....that's a whole pregnancy! aaand....that's my midwife brain working, I have sent out Newsletters for the ministry I am trying to keep the blog going as my more personal perspective.
Just as a note I have to be extra careful with pictures names and detailed concerning out residents at the shelter since this is a much less private platform than our Newsletters.
Obviously I cannot go into every event in the last 9 months as that would then become a full length narrative. so I will strive to just hit the highlights.
We opened June first. I remembered the night before feeling disbelief that it was really happening, I could only think of everything that could go wrong. The day came and our first two lambs arrived, the day went smoothly, we did everything according to our protocols and in the evening we left our house parents in charge, emphasizing they could call for anything! coming home that night I wondered if we had done everything right
Soon a rhythm started to develop and two months later our next two arrived, then not long after than three more. mostly children, this seems to be who God wants us to serve at this point. Since I have always loved children this is fine by me :) some of our little ones came with intense emotions that came out through fighting with one another, For awhile a day rarely went by without the young ones fighting and arguing with their siblings. There were days we wondered if it was ever going to get easier. but then all the sudden we realized we weren't breaking up fights as much, the children were apologizing to each other with more ease and saying less hateful things to each other. Any parent will agree what an amazing feeling it is when you see your children actually put the lessons you teach into action and improve because of it. THANK YOU JESUS! The main part of our minsitry is really just creating a normal family environment, teaching Godly principles and parenting.
Bible studies and stories are a normal weekly event. Some of them did not even know the true meaning of Christmas and about the Birth of Jesus
November brought another young woman to us, and December brought our 9th. Days are busier, especially with school. Here in the Philippines all school have remained closed during the Pandemic which means everything has either gone online or in module form, which is printed off lessons and worksheets that we pick up from the school each week and then drop off the completed work. I have always wanted to homeschool and here we are....Although due to the language barrier there is only so much I can help with, but we have a great staff team and everyone pitches in, the girls even help one another sometimes even the younger grades helping the older.
We try to keep them busy when they are not doing school so they don't get bored. we got lots of craft supplies from Canada, they are all very creative and love to make cards, crafts and colouring.
Just like when I was at Safe we try and make Birthdays a special event, for many of our girls its their first time to have such an experience
I am learning lots about treasury work, have made mistakes but then learned from them. When one feels called to the mission field they typically don't think "I just feel like God is calling me to do paperwork and money managing on the mission field" but it does come with the territory
There have certainly been some hard times in this new ministry but here sure has been a lot of joy as well, there is never a dull moment in this kind of ministry.
Here are a few more photos of fun times
BBQ newYears Eve Smores Christmas day
Christmas cookies decorating with ate Cheryl's daughters
out reach with the church
Midwifery is also still been happening, I volunteer for one shift per week, it helps to maintain my skill and gives me another life outside of Refuge of Hope. I also got to deliver a baby who was the younger sibling of one of our residents. there is nothing quite like being there for a pregnant mom or delivering a brand new baby, That kind of work just never gets old. the picture below is of a baby I delivered in October.
A big prayer request I want to mentions is that as of this writing, ate Chery's husband Pastor Rod, has been sick, we are still waiting for results from his liver biopsy, but the initial diagnoses was abdominal TB. We are praying fervently for his healing, and that the biopsy doesn't show anything even more serious. I will try and update more about this once we know more.
I want to take a moment and share with you the other reason that I have not written in awhile. I have been debating whether or not to share this in too much details as it may not paint me in the best missionary glow. But I also think its good for Missionaries to be honest about the struggles. So here we go. Not long after we started I began to experience attacks on my faith, and with that came a horrid dark despair. I know that sounds extreme but it was honestly the lowest I have ever felt. Thankfully I knew enough to know to not try and go through that alone, so I contacted my prayer team and they started praying,
I talked to my mom a lot on the phone, I reached out to other strong Christians I knew and asked the hard questions, I listened to some podcasts and started listening through " Evidence that Demands a Verdict". I would have parts of days I would feel stronger then I would feel But during the intense anxiety hopelessness again. But slowly I felt light come into my soul, my all the different questions I was studying began to form a picture, a picture of truth, I realized that the questions I was asking were not new, and that there were actually really good logical and reasonable answers to them. This I had always known but I had never delved into it. I found that I needed stop (for a time) watching a lot of secular shows and movies , almost like I needed to heal my soul, as if I had been going to battle day in and day out, it honestly felt like a battle for my soul. As more light was shed on my questions more joy came, more peace and a desperate feeling to never be far from God ever again, its too dark away from the Son. My mantra became "I only want you Jesus...I only want you". It didn't get all better over night but the darkness became a little less thick each time I fell back into it, and it became a little easier to find my way out Because my studying had equipped me with tools to help navigate the darkness. Some other things that helped me during this time was the recent Online T.V. show "The Chosen" and even watching the Christian cartoon "The Storykeepers" they had a massive comforting effect and re-affirmed a lot of things that I was learning. My Faith is building in strength now and I cling to it not so much out of desperation but in Love.
I wanted to share this because I know I am not the only one who has gone through this or is going to go through this. I think I was hit out of the blue because of being in the Mission field and we are taking territory back from the enemy and so he has been attacking me hard, and honestly I was mentally un-prepared. I think the enemy had a bit of foot hold as well because I was feeling weak, In January 2021 after the Taal Eruption I had not been spending as much time with God due to the change of routine. My energy was zapped and I arrived in Tabuk Exhausted, other things hit me and even though I had resumed my daily devotions I was malnourished Spiritually and mentally.
The Lesson is, Never sacrifice daily devotions, the older I get the more I realize how vital they are, you cannot grow in your faith without it and without Spiritual growth what's the point? I guarantee you will miss out on the abundant life. But the other lesson, is if you have questions about your Faith...the Bible ect. ok ask them, but don't just ask. and then give up .Seek...Seek...Seek, Read, learn, talk to people oh my goodness so much resources out there, good resources. In the end, my Faith is more grounded and it has made me hungry to know Jesus more.
So I just want to thank you all for your prayers even if you didn't know I was struggling because God heard you and answered. Now I know it won't be the last struggle, my goodness there are struggles occurring before I can even finish this post...that is just life. But I would sure rather struggle in the Valley of the Shadow of Death Knowing God is my Shepherd rather than Struggle without him in an endless dark void
God Bless you all
-Vienna Moilliet a.k.a. thesheepishmidwife