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 www.mercyinaction.com 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.


80 comments:

  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

    Reply
  2. Taryn Kost

    December 31, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Blessings to you on your wonderful ministry!

    Reply
  3. Cathy S.

    December 31, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Beautiful! Such a blessing!

    Reply
  4. Avatar of mrspoch98
    Jessica

    December 31, 2013 at 7:13 am

    This is wonderful! Blessings!!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  7. Carrie

    December 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Amazing ministry. :)

    Reply
  8. Cherie R

    December 31, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Blessings on your ministry!

    Reply
  9. lana simanovicki

    December 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

    there are no words to say except amazing

    Reply
  10. Avatar of crowe.kristin
    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.

    Reply
  11. Brenda

    December 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Blessings beget blessings

    Reply
  12. Reagan G.

    December 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Amazing. Such a ministry!

    Reply
  13. Cynthia

    December 31, 2013 at 10:53 am

    This is so wonderful!!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  15. martine

    December 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Awesome post

    Reply
  16. Avatar of Barrie MacLauchlin
    Barrie

    December 31, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    How wonderful for you to support this cause!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  18. Peggy

    December 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Great work!

    Reply
  19. Avatar of Katie Updike
    Katie

    December 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm

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

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  22. sara

    December 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  24. Victoria Dunbar

    December 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    How wonderful! Feeling grateful.

    Reply
  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! :)

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  28. Diana Cote

    December 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm

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

    Reply
  29. Stacey Hankel

    December 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    What a great ministry!

    Reply
  30. Melissa Szpala

    December 31, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Blessings!!xo

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  32. Candice

    December 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Wonderful work!

    Reply
  33. Cindy Freeman

    December 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Wow, this is awesome!

    Reply
  34. Molly

    December 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    what a wonderful ministry!

    Reply
  35. Lori Barrett

    December 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    What a ministry to bless these new moms!

    Reply
  36. Sherilyn Nelson

    December 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    What an blessing you are to these people!

    Reply
  37. Avatar of Sarah Poole
    sarah

    December 31, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    so cool…keep up the good work!

    Reply
  38. Karen Jerread

    December 31, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    So sad. Thank you for helping.

    Reply
  39. Bonnie B.

    January 1, 2014 at 1:14 am

    What a blessing you are!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  41. Avatar of Ruth Meacham
    Ruth Meacham

    January 1, 2014 at 11:09 am

    This is incredible! I am praying for you guys!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  43. Brittney Landis

    January 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

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

    Reply
  44. Caroline

    January 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Best luck, and stay safe

    Reply
  45. Julieanne M.

    January 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Amazing work that you are doing!

    Reply
  46. Jasmine P

    January 1, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    What a great thing to help these moms!

    Reply
  47. Avatar of Carma Hering
    Carma

    January 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Wow, what a ministry!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  50. Sally

    January 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    WOW! I love how God works through His people!

    Reply
  51. Kathleen T

    January 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Great ministry!

    Reply
  52. Lorina

    January 2, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Wow, what a blessing to these families!

    Reply
  53. Tammy

    January 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

    God bless everyone that is helping through this destruction!

    Reply
  54. Liberty Thompson

    January 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

    What wonderful acts of mercy, so beautiful!

    Reply
  55. Laura

    January 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Great post! Very moving…

    Reply
  56. Avatar of Kadonna Bailey
    Kadonna

    January 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm

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

    Reply
  57. Francesca

    January 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Perfect post for this time of year :)

    Reply
  58. tammy cordery

    January 2, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    great cause

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  61. Avatar of Melanie Hawk
    Melanie Hawk

    January 4, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Thank you for all that you do! :-)

    Reply
  62. Avatar of javcatone
    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.

    Reply
  63. Avatar of Adena Foster
    AdenaF

    January 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    What a great work!

    Reply
  64. Shelly Smith

    January 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Beautiful! God bless you!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  66. Tina

    January 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Awesome ministry! Thank you for sharing. :)

    Reply
  67. Ann Cluck

    January 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Bless you for your ministry to this women in need.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  70. Beth H

    January 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  74. MaryAnn Grace

    January 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm

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

    Reply
  75. Debbie D.

    January 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm

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

    Reply
  76. Avatar of Kari Johnson
    Kari Johnson

    January 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm

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

    Reply
  77. Carrie

    January 6, 2014 at 8:15 pm

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  79. Nikki

    January 7, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    What a wonderful ministry. Your work is needed.

    Reply
  80. Ziarre

    August 31, 2014 at 6:33 am

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

    Reply

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