Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It’s April--- how did that happen?

We have been living fast and furious this spring and have been adjusting to our new normal. Phoebe Kate struggled with this change in schedule and me being away for longer hours but thank goodness for our village who has stepped in to fill the gap! You know who you are and I know I don’t tell you often enough that we could never do this without you. Our village has been Jesus with skin on to us.

As for me, the transition to midwifery clincials has been challenging but everything I hoped it would be and more! Naturally the change in schedule has been difficult but I am learning so much and truly enjoying my time learning from the nurse midwives at Ochsner. I’m still working per diem at Lafayette General taking care of the beautiful women of Acadiana on the weekends --- so along with Phoebe Kate’s school schedule, soccer practices & games, French tutoring, and the happenings of life… our days are full. Even in the midst of the chaos and crazy, I have a deep sense of knowing that we are exactly where we are supposed to be in this season. Phoebe seems to be settling in as well, which puts my mama’s heart at ease. We have so much to be thankful for!

Phoebe and I made a quick trip to Haiti over the first week of March--- to say that this visit was good for our souls is an understatement! Just to be with dear friends, soak our feet in the Caribbean Sea, driving through the mountains that feel so much like home, visiting family, and dreaming about our upcoming move was exactly what we needed! We have both been sacrificing and working hard for this dream to return to serve families in Haiti, so to have a little piece of what we are working so hard for was great.

There is not a shortage of need for my skills as a nurse midwife on the little island with a big discrepancy in maternal health --- there is no possibility to choose a location with a lack of need. We have been praying and seeking God to show us where He would have us to serve. As of now, I have been in an active dialogue with 2 incredible missions/organizations who are looking to add a midwife to their practice. While we were in Haiti, I met with both of them and am looking forward to doing a trial period with each organization to see what is the best fit.  It is possible that I could end up working with both of them. Thankfully, they both understand that Phoebe is my priority and they seem to be willing to work with me. Will you join us in prayer that as we do a trial period with each of these organizations/missions that God will make it clear in the way we should go? We are excited about these opportunities and look forward to working alongside of some amazing advocates for maternal health in Haiti!

I was also able to attend the birth symposium while in country (for the 2nd year in a row!!) and was so encouraged by the efforts being made by Haitians and expats alike to improve maternal health.  It is an exciting time to be joining this fight on the little island that has our hearts! All of the connections made at this yearly meeting continues to affirm that this is the right move for us. We thank God for continually proving Himself faithful even when I find myself doubting or lacking faith.

Fundraising update:
-       Friends, family, and even total strangers have generously donated $4,095 towards our getting there costs. I find myself constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of others!
-       We have $20,905 to raise by the end of July! That’s 15 weeks ---- eeeeek!!!
-       Also, we are praying for people to join us monthly in prayer and support as we return to love+ live in Haiti. If you are interested in joining us, feel free to reach out! I would be happy to answer any questions that you have about our life and what your support would be going towards.
-       WE WANT TO SHARE OUR VISION WITH YOU!!!! If you, a small group, your church, or a group of friends would be willing to hear about the beautiful people and country of Haiti, we would love to meet with you!

We would also love for you to join us in prayer as we continue to live+ love where we are right now in Lafayette, Louisiana. And also as we prepare to make Haiti home again. Here are some specifics:
-       Pray for my Phoebe’s heart. Tuesday’s are difficult all around for her. Thankfully this seems to be improving but would you please pray for her focus and strength to mentally be where she is when I have to be away for clinicals?
-       April & May are super busy months for me now that I have added my last didactic course to my clinical workload.
-       Pray for us as we continue to seek wisdom and guidance as we prepare to transition to Haiti in August.
-       Pray for us as we raise the remaining $20, 905 in “Getting There” costs and grow a team of monthly partners who believe in the work that we will devote our lives to in Haiti. I trust that God provides the resources for the work that He calls us to and that it’s all His anyways :) We just get to be good stewards of it!

                                                                             Jessica & Phoebe Kate 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Update

Someone brought to my attention that I haven’t continued to be very verbal about our move to Haiti later this year since our original announcement. And honestly, I feel like that was just a few days ago! We have been living life in our little corner of the world here in Lafayette, Louisiana and seem to stay busy just trying to keep our head above water. Sometimes we are living so fast and so furious that I forget to stop to reflect and update you all on what is going on and how these days are preparing us for what is ahead.  While this season of transition is difficult and overwhelming… exciting and terrifying… lonely and uncomfortable…. without it we would be ill-equipped to follow through with the call to live + love in Haiti. 

The first of our transitions has been my transition from a full-time Labor & Delivery nurse guaranteed 36 hours a week and benefits to a per diem position so that I can pursue my clinical practicum for nurse midwifery full-time! This transition happened this week as I am preparing to spend a week in Kentucky at Frontier Nursing University! I will be joining some amazing women from around the country to learn/perfect skills that I will use in the clinical setting.  Once I return from Kentucky, I will start my clinical rotation at Oschner Medical Center in Baton Rouge. I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity to learn from seasoned nurse midwives!

Up until now, we have been cramming our heads full of knowledge in hopes that we will retain it for the days that we will be in our clinical settings putting this knowledge into action! All of this coming together is what will equip me to care for women, babies, and their families safely.  So to say that I am excited to have made it this far is an understatement!!!! 

Phoebe and I will also be making a quick trip to Haiti the first week of March!!! :) We will be making some decisions regarding where Phoebe will go to school, visiting with dear friends and family, and I will be attending a birth conference in Petion-Ville. I attended this conference last year and am excited to be a continued part of the conversation surrounding maternal health in Haiti.

Financial Update: Thanks to your generosity, we have raised $1,955 that will go towards our “Getting There” costs!!!  I am continually blown away at the generosity of our family and friends--we could never dream of living + loving + serving in Haiti without your support.  Thank you!!!

We would appreciate your prayers as we get ready for a very busy month! Some specifics:
-       Pray for Phoebe’s heart (and mine too) as we are separated for 8 days as I travel to Kentucky
-       Pray for a clear mind and understanding as I practice skills that will be essential to my practice as a nurse midwife
-       Pray for us as we adjust to a new schedule (school drop-off & pick-up, my new clinical schedule, and changes to our daily routine in general)
-       Pray for us as we continue to seek wisdom and guidance for our transition to Haiti later this year
-       Pray for us as we raise the remaining $23,045 in “Getting There” costs and grow a team of monthly partners who believe in the work we will be doing in Haiti.

Grace & Peace,

Jessica & Phoebe Kate