Monday, November 11, 2013

Ok faithful friends, its time for the big C word…CHANGE! 
From now on, I will be updating on our website, instead of this blog.

Go to and under the tab "Blog" will be my new writing space!  
I have been struggling with keeping up on facebook, website, email newsletters AND this blog, so I have decided to compact a bit! Hopefully it will inspire me to write more! 

I will come back to this space, often or infrequently, Im not sure yet. But I have been blogging here for years and love it, so it will stick around! 
So please, go check out the website and new blog! 
Thanks for your support! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Catch #1!!

Some days are ones you will never forget. This was one of those days.
 I got the text at 5:30am (I had managed a few hours of sleep during night shift) and quickly dressed, basically running to the clinic. 
I got there in time to check the patient and find her fully dilated. 15 more minutes and she was ready to push! Gloves on, crouched on the bed, with eyes wide, soaking everything in and at the same time, pinching myself to believe this was happening, this beautiful girl was born into my (surprisingly steady!) hands! 
What an amazing miracle birth is. I keep pinching myself, feeling so blessed that I got to be a part of this calm, beautiful birth! God gave me the perfect gift, a perfect birth. Little one weighed a wooping 3700grams (8 lbs 1 oz), huge for around here!

Everyday I am amazed at how God works and His goodness in my life. 

A quick glimpse..

Life here continues on. Clinic shifts have been busy and fulfilling, I am learning so much! The midwifes I volunteer with are amazing and Im so thankful for them! I never bring my camera to shift or when I visit the clinic, but I need to start so that I can capture the faces of the beautiful women I work with! 

We had a small visitor to our "backyard" the other day. This cow trampled its way in, ate our grass, licked my foot and tottered off again. We sure are living a simple life here! 

This is the side of our house. Andrew got me this hammock as a "Yay, you made it to the 2nd trimester" gift and it has been wonderful! 

We had 2 of the girls from Davao come here for 2 weeks, to see what life in Tabuk and working at a smaller clinic looked like. It was such a joy to have them here, they brought laughter and encouragement. They left, back to Davao this morning, and we miss them already! 

We laughed at this sign, but didnt attempt to find out if it was a joke or not! 

Jumping pictures with 4 girls is hard, but we finally got one! Thankfully Andrew is a patient person. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013


The Wiebes are adding another passport to the family! 

Thats right, we are expecting our first child, set to arrive in late April, 2014. 
We are over the moon with this news, and feel so blessed that God is entrusting us with this life.

I (Edolbina) have been doing well. I was sick (all day, every day) for the first 7 weeks, but God had just enough grace to give me, I was able to get through the shifts and assignments. Andrew has been amazing, cooking for me (or rather, making toast, yet again) and taking such good care of me. Life here is not easy. If you need something, you cannot just run to the store to get it, you usually have to go to market, which is such an adventure. I usually love the market, but with my heightened sense of smell (and nausea!) the heat and smells of the market became quite the challenge. Dried fish, fermented guts, rotting buffalo meat (a local delight) and many more smells would assault me, leaving me heaving and dizzy on the sidewalk. All that to say, Andrew has had to make many market runs, bless his heart. 

For those of you wondering, yes, I will be having this baby here in the Philippines. I happen to have access to one of the best midwives in the Philippines, as well as a host of amazing student midwives. I find it to be an incredible privilege to walk through pregnancy at this time, when I am ministering to so many in the same boat! It has given me so much compassion and insight so far! 
Thank you for your prayers so far, we really appreciate them! Please pray for the baby, that it will grow healthy and strong and that I will gain more energy to do the work we came here to do! 

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us"
Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Incredibly grateful for so many things. 

Yesterday Andrew went into the "big city", Tuguegarao. He came back loaded down with some of the things I have been missing: 
Cheese (6 delicious ounces of it!), a jar of black olives, even a small container of sour cream! Things that, in Canada, I would not think twice about being thankful for. But here, in the land of rice 3 times a day and not much else, I deeply appreciate each bite. 

We are so rich, really. I am reminded of that every day, as I fill my belly, as I love my husband and serve the women here. God has blessed us, abundantly. 
Sometimes I forget. 
Sometimes, when Im not feeling well, or its 45 degrees in our house, or we have "nothing" to eat but rice, again, I forget about Gods blessings. I, instead, recognize whats missing. "Life in canada was so easy! Look, there's cheese, bread, easy shopping! Im sick of rice, Im sick of being so hot!" and these thoughts, this loss of grateful, is like poison. It takes away my ability to see God in all things, to honour Him with all of my life, including my attitude. It gives power to darkness, to feeling sorry for myself, to ungratefulness. 
But then, when He finds me again, when He pulls me out of this dark place, when He meets me in my jealousy and pride, when I ask for forgiveness, and He so freely gives it, theres is beauty and new sight. 
And again, always again, His grace overwhelms me, and how can I be anything but grateful?
My life and everything in it, is His. 
How could I, even for one second, stop thanking Him for that? So today, I think on the many blessings I have been given, starting first with salvation. 

Tonight we celebrate canadian thanksgiving with a dinner of roasted chicken.  Each of us is bringing something to contribute, and, as most of the bases were covered (or unavailable, such as brussel sprouts!) I decided to make coleslaw. As I made the sauce, I thanked God for each ingredient. For the mayonnaise, and the cane sugar. For the lemon powder that I sent from canada (no lemon/limes found here!) and the spoon of sour cream that I added (purely out of love!), even for the salt. I said a prayer for those around us who have less, and asked for opportunities to share what we have. 

Im grateful for our family here, as modge-podge and international it is. Each person is unique, with giftings to share. It is our community, one that God has blessed us with. I also think on all those at home, who love and support us from afar, who allow us to continue our work here. 
Our prayer, for you and us, is that we would see God in the little things, that we would never cease to be grateful for what God has blessed us with, and that we would share the love of God through how we live our life. 

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. 
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."
Psalm 28:7 

Happy thanksgiving. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I have not been blogging enough lately. 
(Can I get a "Hello Captain Obvious!)

In my defence...
nope. I dont have one. 
So I thought I would try a fun one today.

"Things I have learned about the Philippines (or, at least Tabuk!)"

1. Women do not shave their leg hairs. They do, however, pluck their underarm hair. This has made my already rare leg-shaving habit pretty hard to break. Not that I was trying to break it, but Im sure my husband would not be against smoother legs. 
(too bad baby, you knew this when you married me!)

2. Dogs are protectors, alarms, friends and dinner. All 4. At the same time. Sorry for you dog-lovers out there. They love dog here too, they just love to eat them as well as own them. 

3. The most common phrase I have heard here is "Lets eat!" This is said whenever anyone is eating. This is said even if they don't have food for you and really don't want you to eat with them. It is said when you are at the market, buying fruit and your mango guy is eating rice behind the counter. It is said when you are driving passed someone who is eating. We were driving passed a group of construction workers, eating their lunches and as we passed, they shouted "Let's eat! Come on and eat with us!" 

4. If you are white (or not-filipino), you are "americano" so don't bother saying "Actually Im canadian!" They don't know, don't care. You are americano whether you are american, british, irish, swiss or african. Americano. Embrace it.  

5. If you are buying something from the store and the till does not have enough change, they will pay you in gum. Or candy. Or cough drops. Smile and accept it. 

6. Filipinos love to laugh, dance and sing. Any reason, any occasion, and they are all over it. In Davao city, theres a store where, every hour, on the hour, the staff pause what they are doing to dance to a song that gets blasted. They have a new song/dance combo that they learn every day. I'm telling you, they are committed! 

7. Sept 1st is the start of the Christmas season. Christmas songs play on the radio, decorations start getting put up and I was greeted with "Merry Christmas and a happy new year ma'am!" at the store. This is totally acceptable here! 

8. When in doubt, bring treats and coke and you will have friends. 

9. You do not speak ill of filipino food. Whether or not you are a fan of fermented buffalo meat or balut (hardboiled, fertilized duck egg) you smile and say "Mmm, interesting". Just don't be too enthusiastic, they may give you a 2nd portion if you are! 

10. Water buffalos are a totally acceptable mode of transportation. 

So there you go, 10 things I have learned. Now, this list could probably go on for days, but I will save some. To be honest, most things are starting to seem normal, so its harder to point out things that are not canadian in culture! Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised 
Psalm 113:3