"Compassion House" is a Christian birth and midwifery training center in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Casa Compasiva A.C.

Casa Compasiva A.C.
Birth Center

Situation is excellent

General Foch’s report to General Joffre – First World War

My right flank is broken; my left is shattered; my centre is in retreat.  Situation is excellent: I shall attack!

I love the fighting spirit of this general!  The prospects were obviously impossible, yet instead of giving in to discouragement or even despair, General Foch was inspired to attack.  Anyone else might have given up  in defeat, but not him!  To General Foch, an impossible situation was like teasing a dog with a bone…just too good to resist. 

In a way, that’s how we feel at Casa Compasiva.  We know that this whole endeavour is way over our head; we know that humanly speaking it is impossible.  Although God has miraculously opened doors for us, and provided financially for each need over the last eight months of operations, we now face even bigger battles. 

Yesterday we had a meeting with other Oaxacan midwives, and frankly, they are discouraged.  No one so far has been able to successfully challenge the government beurocratic obstacles to opening a birth center.  Some midwives get around this by only doing home births; others “fly under the radar” and operate a birth center without a license; and a couple of Mexican birth institutions have caved into government demands and essentially surrendered their midwifery philosophy in favour of a bio-technical  approach to birth.

The trouble is that the Secretary of Health has only one category of health care facility that can handle births: a hospital.  What that means is that if Casa Compasiva is licensed as a birth facility, then Casa must be a fully equipped hospital with operating room, surgical equipment, hospital staff—and all to government specifications. Instead of a warm, cosy, homey atmosphere where women can feel support and trust from skilled and loving birth attendants, Casa would morph into the exact equivalent of a puke- green government hospital.  That’s right—even the colour scheme has to conform to Secretary of Health specifications!

So where does this leave us? What’s a birth center to do?  Answer: We don’t know yet.  We met with the governor’s wife’s personal assistant last week to explain to her our predicament and enlist the support of the governor’s wife.  We are also looking into another government program for rural birth centers to see if it can be applied to urban centers as well.  We are investigating other options to try to find a loophole in the requirements, but so far no clear direction has presented itself. In the meantime, we are operating legally (because our Mexican doctor is attending all the births) and not in any danger, but at some point in the next year or so we must make a move to become licensed—or not.
Obviously God has a plan—even though we don’t yet know what it is.  Obviously He is sovereign and knows how we should proceed.  Obviously He has not brought Casa Compasiva into existence only to abandon it now.  Obviously He is faithful.

…Which brings us back to General Foch …"Situation is excellent:  I shall attack!”  Prayer is our weapon of choice; prayer is how we overcome overcome-able obstacles; prayer is how we will bring this impossible situation to a successful conclusion!  It is just too good a set-up to resist!   

Let’s go to prayer and ask God how He can best get the glory in this particular battle! 

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