Love > Fear: How One Grant Recipient’s Ministry is Saving Mothers and Babies in a War-torn Country

Students at Hope Africa

It’s unthinkable. 

There are places around the world right now where expectant mothers travel for days in a canoe in desperate search of medical help for their failing pregnancies. Their bodies racked with pain, their health threatened, and their unborn babies in danger, their only option is to risk their lives and set out on a dangerous journey with an uncertain ending. 

There are countries where the government has cut off electricity and modern communication for their own people. There is no internet. There are no phones. The only hope these young women have is in the mercy of their fellow villagers…and healthcare missionaries willing to risk their lives to offer compassionate, quality medical care.  

MedSend Grant Recipient and Physician Assistant MC’s* ministry in Asia saves the lives of women and their unborn children in circumstances like these. When you give to MedSend, you help make her work possible. 

“We are showing God’s love to people displaced by internal conflict by partnering with local leaders to deliver maternity bags and medical checkups to families. These bags give a small measure of comfort, hope, and practical needs to those delivering their children while in hiding,” she tells us. 

 

MC’s Journey into Maternity Care 

In 2016, MC and her husband moved their young family from Southern California to South Asia. They left their six-figure jobs, a community of family and friends, and chose to pursue a ministry that demonstrated their deep commitment to living out love over fear. 

Working in one of the poorest areas of where they decided to settle, MC did healthcare education with women from rural areas while her husband did peacemaking work with leaders of different religious groups who were terrified of each other and couldn’t even sit in the same room.  

“We were doing great work,” MC shares. “Externally our work was going really well. And it was very successful. But internally, everything was falling apart for us. We were experiencing a lot of trauma in the area that we were living in; we had mental and emotional struggles. Our marriage was struggling, and everything was just kind of falling apart internally.” 

Then, in the blink of an eye, the external world fell apart in a mirror collapse of that internal struggle when COVID hit. 

“We found ourselves stuck outside of [the country where we’d been serving], and we couldn’t go home,” she says. Overnight, border and travel restrictions rendered them helpless, powerless, and displaced. “We took everything down to the foundation and said, who are we and what do we do from here?”  

MC and her husband decided to stay and settle in a neighboring country for their family’s stability. Cut off from the work they had been doing, they decided to launch a nonprofit. 

“We had this vision of loving people well, choosing love over fear, listening well, and then taking action. That’s what [our ministry] was founded on – that desire to love others,” MC explains. Even though they had over a decade of experience in their respective fields and masters degrees to back them up professionally, the fear they felt tried to become a barrier to faith. “But we really believed in this vision,” MC says. They chose love over fear. 

 

The Maternity Bag Project is Born 

When civil war broke out in the country next door, a refugee crossed paths with MC and her husband. This woman understood what it took to make an actual difference. She was exactly what the new nonprofit needed, and they quickly joined forces.  

“Over the last few years, she’s delivered more than 650 maternity bags to women who are fleeing war, because for her thoughts and prayers were not enough. We find leaders who are out there making it happen and showing up as Christ for their people. Then, together, we create practical solutions to these horrific problems,” MC’s husband explains. “From what I hear, giving birth is hard enough. Women shouldn’t have to go through it with dodging bullets at the same time. We get the chance to change the story. We’re partnering with a community that refuses to be victims and is choosing love instead. We’re talking with leaders in the Department of Education to find sustainable learning practices, finding ways to get kids back into the classroom whose villages have been burnt down. We’re meeting face to face with real life changemakers who are making a difference for their people,” he declares. 

MC’s program is run by these national leaders. That former refugee has become the primary national leader who trains the future leaders of her people through relationship, discipleship and the maternity bag project to help connect them more deeply to their faith, cultures, and the circumstances of their people. MC and her husband do whatever they can to enable work through them. 

 

Local Leaders Rise 

The story of the woman in the canoe desperately trying to reach medical help amid a civil war is not just an illustration, but a real one. MC tells countless real, true stories like these as she advocates for the help and hope these persecuted, yet courageous people need.  

“The detail that stuck out to me about this whole story was not just the strength of this woman whose pregnancy was in serious trouble and spent five to seven days of traveling, but also how the community came around her and supported her and showed up. They did this all via walkie talkies,” she emphasizes. “There’s no electricity and there hasn’t been for a long time. Communications are completely shut off by the government right now. They used walkie talkies and people literally walking back and forth from village to village to communicate and to support this woman and her survival. It really hit home for us and was just a sobering reminder of the work we’re doing and the importance it has and how much more work there is to be done to help these amazing people.” 

Recently, MC’s team was able to meet with the local Health and Welfare Department who help distribute the maternity bags in the neighboring country. 

“Many of the women they are seeing are living in the jungle under a tarp, without electricity, internet, or running water. One of the things we love about this local partnership is that the women see a healthcare worker when they receive the bags,” MC explains.  

After the meeting, MC walked to her car with one of the women from the local agency. The woman thanked her for the work of her nonprofit. The woman shared that it often feels like the outside world doesn’t care or has forgotten them, and it meant so much that MC and her team care.  

“I cried, knowing the reality is that most people have forgotten and/or don’t care,” MC admits. “It is an honor to partner with these women who are facing much more challenging circumstances than I am, and to offer whatever I can to help, even if it is just showing up so they know they are not forgotten. While donations or offers of help might not seem to do much, they matter immensely to those we are working with. Your interest matters!” 

 

The Impact of MedSend 

MC’s MedSend grant has removed the burden of financial concerns so she can fully invest her time, talent, and finances into serving and loving the people around her. She’s grateful. 

“Thank you for the grant support you have provided! This has made it possible for us to remain on the field and to provide medical education and support to people in need without having to worry about making significant student loan payments,” MC says. “We have been able to be on the field for seven years because of our MedSend grant. Thank you!” 

Will you consider partnering with us through your financial support and sending health and hope to mothers who desperately need both in war-torn countries like those where MC serves? Cross-cultural healthcare missions are fraught with complications and difficult to sustain. MedSend funding helps make work like this possible and available. Help save the lives of at-risk expectant mothers and join us today. 

 

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*Names and locations withheld for safety 

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