What does that really mean? I suspect it does not mean what the Occupy Wall Street participants are doing… throwing a mass temper tantrum in their demand for “rights” and undeserved privileges for all. It probably also bears little resemblance to our frequent Oaxacan version of protesters occupying the city square or blocking major arteries in an attempt to garner attention for their particular complaint. So if an infuriating protest movement is not what Jesus had in mind in this parable, then what does “occupy” mean? My Bible version states it as: “Engage in business till I come”. Given the imminent return of Christ, how should we at Casa Compasiva be “engaged in business” till He comes? Let me answer that by recapping some of this past month’s activities:
Sherry Bushnell, our long-distance midwife mentor and teacher, came for a visit and worked with our doulas in hands-on sessions attending patients, as well as informal teaching sessions. As always when Sherry visits, everyone learned a lot, taking their knowledge of birth and midwifery up several notches. We are grateful for Sherry’s investment in Casa Compasiva!
Three of our doulas were promoted to “monitrice” status, having shown great initiative and responsibility in their work, and having mastered sufficient medical skills to be competent birth assistants to any doctor or midwife. We are very proud of these ladies!
These same three women began their preparations for the midwifery course which is to start in January, Lord-willing. Two of them will be studying in a distance-ed format in English through the U.S-based National College of Midwifery, while doing their clinical work through Casa Compasiva. Upon completion of their work (in approximately two years), they will receive Associate’s Degrees in Midwifery.
The other monitrice will study in Spanish, following our own Casa Compasiva track to certification as a fully-qualified midwife. Our Casa course will, of necessity, be slightly less intensive than the English course, although no less excellent. (We face a lack of midwifery textbooks in Spanish and are having to develop many of our own materials. Please let us know if you encounter good-quality birth texts in Spanish!)
Greg and Jenny Norris made huge strides forward in their cross-cultural adjustment to Oaxaca by attending Spanish school, visiting friends in a remote village, and supporting other missionaries by providing childcare at a spiritual retreat. Jenny was also called upon frequently to do lactation consultation for our postpartum mamas. They are proving to be invaluable members of our team here!
We had our usual line-up of prenatal and postpartum clients, along with the normal births on the docket. However, in November we sent an unusual number of high-risk patients to the hospital for C-sections. (Three!) The most dramatic case was a mama with a breech baby whose water broke four-to-five weeks early, and whose entire cord was wrapped tightly four times around his neck. We praise the Lord for sparing his life and for giving us good relationships with the operating gynaecologist and hospital so that one of our doulas could accompany her in the operation.
Those parents are so very grateful for Casa Compasiva’s ministry to them throughout their pregnancy and now postpartum, even though they did not end up with a cozy Casa Compasiva birth. We are encouraged to see their spiritual growth as the mama gave her life to Jesus with us several months ago. It is a good reminder to us that the goal is not to ensure a natural birth for each client at all costs, but to support the family in whatever situation God ordains as best for their baby.
We continued to provide prenatal classes each week this past month, including snacks, crafts, and a devotional/gospel presentation. Every Wednesday we also sent two of our doulas to do volounteer service as labour attendants at the local government hospital.
All in all, November was a busy month as each member of the Casa Compasiva team explored more fully what it means to “occupy till He comes.” Study. Service. Sacrifice. Smiles. Engaging in kingdom business by cheerfully serving the women and families of Oaxaca with the love of Christ.
Would you like to join us? You can support the ministry of Casa Compasiva through your prayers and your financial gifts sent to the Missionary Ventures address below. Thank you!
Contribute to Casa Compasiva:
P.O. Box 593550
Orlando, FL 32859
Missionary Ventures Canada
336-H Speedvale Avenue West
Guelph, Ontario N1H-7M7
Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Missionary Ventures with a note preferencing it for Birth Center / Oaxaca
For Online Giving:
From the U.S.A. click here and go to Donation Areas, scroll down to Special Projects, and specify Birth Center - Oaxaca