Faith, fitness and birth: those are the 3 passions of Fit2B Studio founder, Beth Learn, and that’s one reason why Fit2B Studio is so involved in diastasis awareness and core health. We truly want to help people where it matters: their center! So when Kristen Benoit, a member of Fit2B, certified midwife, and servant with Mercy in Action, contacted us about helping their efforts to provide safe, free births in the Typhoon-ravaged Phillipines, they had our full attention. What a great “fit” for us! We raised over $500 for them with our Cyber Monday sale, and we invited Kirsten to tell our fans more! Kristen writes…

“On November 8, Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as it is called in the Philippines, tore through the central Philippines, leaving a wake of mass destruction in its path. The aftermath of the storm is no longer making US headlines, but the lives of the people of the Philippines will never be the same.

Mercy Midwives provide prenatal and postpartum care for free to storm-devastated Phillipines! You can help by sending supplies, donating or simply praying!

“When the disaster struck in the central Philippines last month, God impressed upon Mercy In Action to set up a birth tent in the devastated areas of the Visayan islands. Mercy In Action is an organization founded over 25 years ago by midwife Vicki Penwell, and exists to provide mercy ministry among the poor around the world. Our focus, and greatest passion, is maternal and newborn health, as well as child health under age five, because these are the most vulnerable populations in the poor areas of the world. We have been working in the Philippines for over two decades, and to date, Mercy In Action has helped over 12,000 babies into the world, free of charge, among the poorest of the poor.

Born After a Storm: A new mother going home to a tent after giving birth under the care of Mercy in Action’s free birth center.

“It is estimated that a baby is born every 2 minutes in the central Philippines, so the government was calling for mobile birth units as a huge need. Only a week after arriving and setting up our mobile birth tent in Dulag, Leyte, Philippines (in a roofless school where the local government put us as it is the best location with tile floors and walls), we already have over 400 women in our care, and last night 3 babies were born in the same night! We are also handing out food and high-protein biscuits, and partnering with other organizations to provide much-needed medical care. Many, if not most, of the people we encounter are homeless, and nearly all have lost one or more loved ones.

“Just after Thanksgiving, I contacted Beth Learn, owner of Fit2B, to ask if she would be interested in sharing on Facebook about the work of Mercy In Action to help raise awareness. You see, our regular donations are enough to fund our ‘regular’ clinic in Olangapo, Philippines, and we don’t have the funding in place to support this mobile birth tent without the generosity of people who care! Beth went above and beyond what I was hoping for when she not only donated personally, but gave half of Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday sales to Mercy In Action! A huge thank you to Beth and Chris at Fit2B for truly reaching moms at their ‘core’ – the basic and yet essential need for safe, compassionate midwifery care.

Learn about "Mercy in Action" midwives who are bringing hope to birthing women in the devasted Phillipines! Please share!

Beth also asked me to write this blog post to further share about Mercy In Action. On a personal note, I have been involved with Mercy In Action since 1999. I completed my midwifery training with them, after which time my husband and I served three years full time working with them, and have since served on the board and currently as the director of Distance Midwifery Academics in a US-based location.

Family getting ready to go home... notice the improvised sign in the background. Mercy's founder, Vicki Penwell in rainbow shirt.

Family getting ready to go home… notice the improvised sign in the background. Mercy’s founder, Vicki Penwell in rainbow shirt.

“If you are interested in following us, please find us on Facebook, and read more about us on Please consider giving generously to support moms and babies in the Philippines this Christmas season, either through a one-time or regular monthly donation. Thank you and God bless!”

Kristen Benoit, LM, CPM, Distance Academic Director for Mercy In Action

Note from Beth: Can you imagine birthing in a situation like that? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such a lovely group of trained midwives to love you, comfort you, care for you and even take you home and be sure you have what you need? I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve to support this group more, so stay tuned for that, but meanwhile, please consider clicking on their page and donating to them! Or gather some friends and put together a box of supplies to mail them! So many ways to help! Thank you so much, Kristen, for writing that for our readers to learn more. May our Creator who weaves those babies together in their mothers’ wombs – even in the midst of such desolation – continue to equip and empower you and your ministry to save those precious lives. Selah! This last picture I’ll leave you with really gripped me… her head on a satchel {fights back tears}

Newborn Check... one of 7 in one night. I wish I could reach through the picture and lay my hand on her head.

Newborn Check… one of 7 in one night. I wish I could reach through the picture and lay my hand on her head and tell her how beautiful she is.


  1. Christine T.

    December 31, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I think it’s wonderful you’re doing this. Please keep up the good work out there! Wish I could go out there and help <3

  2. Taryn Kost

    December 31, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Blessings to you on your wonderful ministry!

  3. Cathy S.

    December 31, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Beautiful! Such a blessing!

  4. Jessica

    December 31, 2013 at 7:13 am

    This is wonderful! Blessings!!

  5. Bonnie

    December 31, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I used a midwife for my delivery and loved the experience. I think it is amazing what you are doing! Thank you!

  6. Susan Broughton

    December 31, 2013 at 7:55 am

    This is a really helpful thing! I lived in the Philippines when I was a teen and my Dad was in the military. My step mother in from the Philippines. She was able to take us to places I’m sure the regular American wouldn’t have seen. So I have seen a lot of poverty over there and any help they get I am sure they are very happy about.

  7. Carrie

    December 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Amazing ministry. :)

  8. Cherie R

    December 31, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Blessings on your ministry!

  9. lana simanovicki

    December 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

    there are no words to say except amazing

  10. Kristin W.

    December 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I’m almost embarrassed to say that when hearing about the typhoon, it never even entered my mind that ladies would be giving birth in the midst of the disaster. I thought about losing family members, about hospitals being destroyed, and a lack of food and water, but I never thought deeper than that. I mean, babies don’t wait for hospitals to be rebuilt or things to be sanitized. I especially didn’t think about the number of women needing a safe place to give birth and how scary it would be to wonder if you would find someone to help you. Thank you for your work and for sharing this story of how God is using you. It opened my sheltered, comfortable eyes a bit.

  11. Brenda

    December 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Blessings beget blessings

  12. Reagan G.

    December 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Amazing. Such a ministry!

  13. Cynthia

    December 31, 2013 at 10:53 am

    This is so wonderful!!

  14. Michelle Proper

    December 31, 2013 at 11:38 am

    The women of the Philippines are truly blessed to have such wonderful folks helping with their births. Wonderful & heartwarming!

  15. martine

    December 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Awesome post

  16. Barrie

    December 31, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    How wonderful for you to support this cause!

  17. David Smith

    December 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    That is great that you are able to help out with people that need the help. Happy New Year.

  18. Peggy

    December 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Great work!

  19. Katie

    December 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    So wonderful what you are doing! Keep up the good work!

  20. Candy McDonald

    December 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    What a great way to help those who need assistance. This is the first I have heard of this. Thank you!

  21. Susan C.

    December 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    What an awesome ministry! We have several friends who have been missionaries in the Philippines, and so that country is special to use because we’ve lived a bit vicariously through them. Thank you for the work there!

  22. sara

    December 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Great cause, hadn’t heard about it before this.

  23. Kelly

    December 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    What a great story of an amazing ministry. We take so much for granted, I cannot imagine how different life would be living elsewhere. God Bless.

  24. Victoria Dunbar

    December 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    How wonderful! Feeling grateful.

  25. Kim Campbell

    December 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I think this is a great service and ministry you are providing. I hope they, in turn, learn to help others! Pay it forward! :)

  26. Sara Mandal-Joy

    December 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Wow, this is amazing work…. Thank you for all you are doing. Blessings, Sara Joy

  27. Judy M.

    December 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Thank you for all your sacrifice to help these mothers and babies. God bless you for helping others in this way.

  28. Diana Cote

    December 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    This is a wonderful thing, it’s a beautiful thing you guys are doing. :)

  29. Stacey Hankel

    December 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    What a great ministry!

  30. Melissa Szpala

    December 31, 2013 at 6:14 pm


  31. Cynthia

    December 31, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you for providing nourishment and other help for these young mothers and families. Are you also conducting Bible studies highlighting the good news about God’s Kingdom (as prophesied & commanded by Jesus) with them while you are there? Hope so! Matthew 24:14; 28:19,20; Proverbs 2:20-22; Revelation 21:4,5

  32. Candice

    December 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Wonderful work!

  33. Cindy Freeman

    December 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Wow, this is awesome!

  34. Molly

    December 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    what a wonderful ministry!

  35. Lori Barrett

    December 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    What a ministry to bless these new moms!

  36. Sherilyn Nelson

    December 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    What an blessing you are to these people!

  37. sarah

    December 31, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    so cool…keep up the good work!

  38. Karen Jerread

    December 31, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    So sad. Thank you for helping.

  39. Bonnie B.

    January 1, 2014 at 1:14 am

    What a blessing you are!

  40. Katherine

    January 1, 2014 at 3:16 am

    It’s always amazing to me how our Lord does what He does. I doubt seriously that I would have ever, on my own, come across this website. And I completely see His hand in bringing me here.

    Thank you so very much for doing the Lord’s work there in the Philippines. What an honor to be so very close to the beginning of so much life!

  41. Ruth Meacham

    January 1, 2014 at 11:09 am

    This is incredible! I am praying for you guys!

  42. Kerri

    January 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I’m sure it’s not easy, but I can only imagine how thankful the new moms must be.

  43. Brittney Landis

    January 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    What a great story! Thank you for sharing. Praying for you guys!

  44. Caroline

    January 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Best luck, and stay safe

  45. Julieanne M.

    January 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Amazing work that you are doing!

  46. Jasmine P

    January 1, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    What a great thing to help these moms!

  47. Carma

    January 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Wow, what a ministry!

  48. Ivy Richards

    January 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    What an awesome ministry! May God bless you as He uses you to bless others!

  49. Trish F

    January 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    What a beautiful thing they are doing in the Phillipines. With destruction comes life. This is very heartwarming to see.

  50. Sally

    January 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    WOW! I love how God works through His people!

  51. Kathleen T

    January 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Great ministry!

  52. Lorina

    January 2, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Wow, what a blessing to these families!

  53. Tammy

    January 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

    God bless everyone that is helping through this destruction!

  54. Liberty Thompson

    January 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

    What wonderful acts of mercy, so beautiful!

  55. Laura

    January 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Great post! Very moving…

  56. Kadonna

    January 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    This is awesome. May God continue to bless this ministry.

  57. Francesca

    January 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Perfect post for this time of year :)

  58. tammy cordery

    January 2, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    great cause

  59. Jessica Sharma

    January 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    This is wonderful. You have a great ministry, and I hope many blessings come to you!

  60. abdi

    January 4, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Thank you for your work in an area that is truly in need of it.
    God bless!

  61. Melanie Hawk

    January 4, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Thank you for all that you do! :-)

  62. Danielle F

    January 4, 2014 at 11:53 am

    WOW! What an incredible life giving blessing these women are giving! Inspiring in the midst of agony.

  63. AdenaF

    January 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    What a great work!

  64. Shelly Smith

    January 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Beautiful! God bless you!

  65. Karen D

    January 5, 2014 at 10:01 am

    It is so important to have midwives to support mothers a the time of birth, especially in the time of a disaster of this magnitude!

  66. Tina

    January 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Awesome ministry! Thank you for sharing. :)

  67. Ann Cluck

    January 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Bless you for your ministry to this women in need.

  68. Angela @ Joy Focused Learning

    January 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    This is such a wonderful outreach! So glad to know that there are people meeting the needs of new mothers in situations like this.

  69. Candice Meadows

    January 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    This is a wonderful ministry. Thankful for people who are willing to help and minister to others!

  70. Beth H

    January 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    What a beautiful ministry! Thank you for all you do.

  71. rose

    January 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    What a wonderful ministry. It’s amazing how things, people, and places that are top news one day, are completely out of peoples’ minds as soon as the next story comes along. We often don’t think about how long people struggle to rebuild their lives after the headlines are gone.

  72. Debi H.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Have to admit this is a need that never occurred to me. What an awesome ministry.

  73. Betsy

    January 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    What an amazing ministry! As all moms know – babies don’t always wait for hospitals, a bed or even working lights!

  74. MaryAnn Grace

    January 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Prayers and love for you all, and for all that is being done

  75. Debbie D.

    January 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    What a terrific ministry. I will be praying for your efforts.

  76. Kari Johnson

    January 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    What a wonderful thing you are doing. That is fantastic.

  77. Carrie

    January 6, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    What a precious ministry. Thank you for sharing with us.

  78. Judith Martinez

    January 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Wonderful! We don’t think about childbirth in the aftermath of a devastating storm but it’s so important to have appropriate facilities and care. It’s not as if babies just wait a storm out before being born. When they’re ready, they’re ready.

  79. Nikki

    January 7, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    What a wonderful ministry. Your work is needed.

  80. Ziarre

    August 31, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I’m imedssper. You’ve really raised the bar with that.


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