a change of plan…

some of our final few days in India

Hello friends! as you may already know or have guessed I am no longer in beautiful India, but rather I am writing this from Perth. As COVID-19 progressed into a pandemic the future of our outreach and school changed daily, so I have waited a little while to give the update so I can be fairly sure that my plans are now solid.

so much changed but I will give you a run-down of what turned out to be our final few weeks in India:( We continued to work in the hospitals as usual, building relationships with women and getting to love on them through all sorts of situations. Every day on the ward is so varied. One day we will be going around the postnatal wards, making friends and educating the mothers on how to care for themselves and their babies postnatally. The next can be spent with a mother in early labour educating her on birth exercises and doing squats to Justin Bieber. Yet another involved staying with one muslim woman as she found out that she had lost her baby, holding her hand, crying with her, speaking value over her and her baby and giving her a baby hat as a promise of new life to come. Yet another day I got dragged into a room by a friendly midwife right as a delivery was happening and supported the mother through contractions and distracted her with small talk while getting stitches. I just love being there through it all. The ups and the downs, the exciting and the mundane. All these women are so precious and getting to be just a small part of their story is an incredible honour.

catching golden hour in an empty delivery room…

One day me and a few others visited a slum area that the school had connections with in the past. It had recently been built up into flat blocks by the government. Our trip there consisted of seeing people wave at us from their windows and then me shouting up and asking if we could come and visit them. This worked surprisingly well and we managed to visit a young muslim girl and shared the gospel with her and we also somehow found the only Christians in the complex and joined her and some of her friends for a prayer meeting.

On our final day in India we visited the government hospital that we had been unable to work in. We had medical supplies that we wanted to donate and they let us go into the postnatal ward to give out hats. It was so fun, although it did make me a little sad that we hadn’t been able to be there more as there was so much need. Right before we left we handed a hat to a particular mother holding her less than a day-old baby. She said ‘last time you delivered my baby you gave me a hat then too’. One of the leaders came to question her further and traced her back to a particular student that helped her when she had a stillbirth in 2011. This woman remembered everything- the students name, that she had prayed for her, that she had stayed with her, that she showed so much compassion. The student then prayed that God would give her another baby and gifted her a hat. This mother had held onto that promise for 9 years. That very day she had delivered the baby that had been prayed for. God’s timing is just so impeccable. We often don’t get to see the impact of our prayers but that day we got a small glimpse into the inheritance that comes from sewing into the nations.

fondly nicknamed ‘goat town’

In mid-march the decision was made that our trip to Bangladesh would not be able to go ahead. We were supposed to have two months there, working at a missions hospital. We were all really looking forward to this as there was lots of opportunity for us to get more practical and hands-on experience, especially as we had been lacking this to some extent when working in India. However the cities are very densely populated and it would have not been wise to visit as this time.

Our plans were then very much in the air as to the possibility of staying in India or returning to Perth. It soon became clear however that with increased lockdown measures that we needed to return home and the decision was made to ‘postpone the school indefinitely’.

Unbeknown to us we landed back in Perth one day before the borders closed to any non-residents which was such perfect timing! The 14 of us on the team, including staff and students had to quarantine by law for 14 days upon return to the country. We rented an Airbnb which we were not allowed to leave, however we had a good garden space with a pool, so life wasn’t all bad! Food was brought to us and we were able to cook for ourselves and just spend time together before everyone was to return to their homes. These final 2 weeks together turned out to be a real blessing as we got to debrief our past 9 months together and look to the future, including how to renter back home to a pandemic!! we had many film nights and took time to just enjoy one another.

my home from home

Most travelled home the day we were released from our house arrest, but a few of us have later flights and so are staying around for a little longer. Flights to Europe are a little harder currently due to layovers but I do have a flight home booked for THIS SATURDAY the 11th of April! wild. I am travelling with a fellow brit and then we will complete another 2-week quarantine near her home in oxford. My 20th birthday will be during this 14 days but at least I will not be alone! After this I will be back in stourbridge- although I may not be seeing any of you for a little while it will be good to be back on home turf and in the same time zone.

This last week in Perth have been really nice. Things are still more relaxed in Australia so I have been making up for being cooped up in one house for 14 days by going on many walks with friends (keeping 1.5m away of course) and just taking some time to rest.

I realise this has been a bit of an information overload but at least now we’re all caught up and I may or may not be able to see of of you again soon…ish…

Finally I have accepted a place to study midwifery at Kings College London so all being well this will work out and is what I’ll be doing from September. I am really going to miss this place and the community I have here but I’m so excited for further training in this area and be back in the uk for some time.

final night in quarantine

A massive THANK YOU to all of you who have stuck with me over these past 15 months. It has been such a crazy journey and the support from everyone has made all the difference. I love you all- can’t wait to share more in person when I can.

Signing out for now… but maybe not forever!

Stay safe. Stay home. Stay sane.

Jessamy x

some of the hardest goodbyes </3

Incredible India

a slightly hazy view of the city of hyderabad

hello folks. I have now completed my 6th week in India and it has super busy and gone by fast.

India is very busy and noisy. Traffic here is mental and crossing the road is an adrenaline junkie’s dream. We have been staying at a girl’s hostel next to a cathedral along with other Indian students studying in Hyderabad. As the place is Indian run we have been eating lots of really good Indian food and embracing the culture. The food is often super spicy but we are surviving and learning coping strategies!

spot yours truly

We got our visas into India through a private hospital and we have been working as interns there. The doctor who oversees the foundation is Christian and she has built the hospital upon Godly foundations and trains the employees in God’s ways of healthcare, ensuring good care for all and treating patients with respect. This hospital is so nice and very much of a culture shock! The women all have private rooms, with a one to one nurse who stays with them throughout their labour. They are monitored with electrical CTG’s and often the women choose to have an epidural. There are plenty of trained staff and doctors and the women all have good English.

Our original intention in coming to India was to be working in government hospitals alongside the private hospitals as we want to be accessing the poor and the needy and there is a greater need of compassionate healthcare for the women there. However the government is becoming more difficult and restrictive and so far all of our efforts to enter into these hospitals have been unsuccessful. This is disappointing as the BAS has a history of working in these hospitals for the past 17 years and we had been excited to carry on the legacy of the school. We are still really grateful for the favour and access this private hospital has given us and it has been a great place to learn and make connections with women and families in the city.

At first it was very different being in these hospitals. There isn’t the need for us to be there, the women receive amazing healthcare without our input. It was definitely a struggle of finding our place and working out how to be useful among such a well-staffed facility. It took time and investment to find our space, but we have built some great connections with the doctors, nurses and midwives and they are often really keen to teach us new things and let us be involved in what they are doing. I have managed to have my hands in on 2 deliveries which really shows the heart and kindness of the doctors to teach us, as they are under no obligation to involve us in the medical aspects.

I have found the women are mostly really eager for new conversation and really enjoy it when we sit with them for no other purpose than to just be there for them. They have great English so we are able to have normal conversations and make some really good friends. A big difference here compared to Africa is that the women are allowed birth companions such as their mothers or husbands. The husbands are so fun as they often more scared than the women, so being able to reassure them and teach them basic measures in how to comfort their wives has been a new area to grow in.

blurry photo so you can’t see the bags under my eyes 4 hours into a night shift

After the first week we then were onto night shifts for the next 3 weeks. These were 12-hour shifts and although we only did 3 a week, these were very tiring and often very quiet. When there isn’t much to do in the labour room we often go to find mums in the post-natal wards or we go on rounds etc. but this was more difficult at night time so we had to get creative in how to entertain ourselves. We found that we could build greater connection with the nurses as there was lots of free time so that has been great. We are now back onto afternoon shifts which I am thankful for as swapping back and forth between night and day was super hard on my body and sleep patterns!

Although there is not the physical gap and need for us in these labour rooms there is still a big spiritual gap. Most of the women and Hindu or Muslim and although it is more difficult to openly share the gospel we are still able to stand in these gap for these women and pray over their rooms and be carriers for the presence of God. One week in particular I was feeling discouraged and I remembered how I had been in two rooms where potentially serious birth complications and taken place. Both were dealt with well and did not escalate into anything more serious. This is easy to write off with the high standards of care that are provided, however even the best care cannot remove the possibility of any complications. During both these events I was in the room praying over the women and inviting the presence of Jesus over these mums. And this really is the reason we are here. Getting good experiences and improving our skills is great but these are just tools that give us access to the women. These women have everything they need in the material but they still have yet to encounter the personal love of God and know the true freedom life with him can bring.

eating our body weight in rice at home visits

As we have built more connections we often go and visit the families at the their homes which is really fun and gives us a more open space to pray with them. We have followed up with some families met by the BAS in previous years and also with the women me and my friends have met here so far.

We have also had time to explore different coffee shops in the city finding the best Mac and cheese joints and taking time to just relax and watch films together. My cousin came to see me for two nights as she was visiting her parents who moved to New Delhi last year. It was so nice to have a piece of home come to me and I got to explore some more of the city with her. We went to an old fort in the city, a palace and of course ate lots of good food!

when you can’t go home, home can come to you

We are looking into expanding further into partnering with some contacts to do some community healthcare teachings and we are still exploring different avenues to get access into government hospitals. We have 6 more weeks in India before we head off to our next location and so I will keep you posted.

I have been unwell with a bad cough for the past two weeks which I am bored of now so I appreciate any prayers or messages of sympathy my way. I am also in the application process of looking to study midwifery in England from September as my most likely next step so lots is happening.

As ever keep messaging me and letting me know whats going on in your lives

bye byeeeeee

happy belly = happy heart

Peace out Africa

hey hey hey. I’m back sorry for the absence. I know you have all been missing me! I have currently finished my first week in India, but for now I’ll give you a run down of my last two months.

After finishing in Zambia we took a 13-hour bus ride to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. We then had further travel to a remote village, where we stayed at a YWAM base there for 4 weeks. It was fairly basic living, with no electricity or running water but it was a really fun place to be, and the people were very kind.

The BAS has never been to Malawi before, and so our team was pioneering. We had some difficulties with permission into the government hospital as they are unfamiliar with the school, and after many long trips to and from the capital we were unable to get into the hospital at that time. We all felt a little discouraged and disappointed as a team. However a contact then informed us of a nearby missions hospital with a maternity unit. They opened their doors and welcomed us in with excitement. it is run by nuns, who start every day with prayer- it felt very call the midwife!

the goorrrrgeous drive to the hospital never got old

The hospital was nice and fairly well resourced, but very understaffed. One midwife does all of the antenatal care for around 400 women every week and she shared with us that she never gets a lunch break. We were able to start a second room to check up on the women and with the help of a translator we made sure that the appointments were always finished before lunch! It was a muslim area, and all of the patients were muslim but we were still able to talk and pray with them which was so fun. The sister in charge was such an amazing midwife who really cared about the women, and she still took the time to educate the mothers and even start the day with a group dance!

we also had the opportunity to help out on the labour, postnatal and antenatal wards. It wasn’t always very busy, and most of the patients had limited English, but we still made some great connections and helped to take some strain off the midwives where there were many many patients. We were only at the hospital for a total of 9 days but it was clear to us a team that that is where God wanted us to be at that time, for those mothers and babies and the midwives too.

managed to catch one lil buba in our time there

Our time in Malawi came to an end, and although I loved my 3 months in Africa I was very much looking forward to a chance to relax and return to normal life for a bit! We came back to Perth summertime and we had one week report back. There was a mix up in housing for the first few days. Long story short me and 3 others ended up staying in a luxury hotel with one of the girls parents who were visiting and being really blessed by an amazing pool and buffet breakfasts! Apart from that, we had class times talking through our time on outreach and also looking to what was next for India. We had 6 girls leave the time during this week for different personal reasons, which was quite a change in team dynamics. We had to adjust but we have definitely grown closer together.

roomm8tes (we lived in room 8 and we were roommates..) thankful for friends who become family!!

The next week was spent in Christmas celebrations which were fun but also felt a little weird being away from home. At least I could take comfort in the beach again! Christmas Day we opened our stockings together over brekky as a school and then had a lunch with 500 people on base. Boxing Day was spent on the beach with BBQ dinner of course!

camping sunsets

We went camping down south of Perth as a school, which was such a great time to rest and relax. The days consisted of early morning beach swims, beach BBQs and beach sunsets! We then had two weeks on class focusing on two more pregnancy complications. The second week we had some guest speakers, a married couple from America who were very kind and fun to be with.

the dude is our guest speaker

At the start of our time in Perth we applied for our visas to India and we were trusting for them to come and allow us to come to India. The wait was getting longer but we were standing in faith to be able to go. Finally our visas arrived on the Wednesday and then our flights were booked and we left for India on the Saturday. It was quite a speedy exit from Perth, with some slightly frantic packing but we were all excited to go and start the next leg of the adventure.

So far India has been amazing and I am loving the food, the culture and the mums and staff we have already connected with! Ill send out more of an update of India once I am more settled, but as always contact me if you just can’t wait that long….

a sneak peak

thanks you to all of you for your continued support. Prayer requests would be appreciated for continued health for myself and the team and also as I have passed there halfway point of the school (crazy huh) I have been starting to think about what the next step is for me, so some more clarity would be awesome.

I miss all of you. If you ever have free time please feel free to phone me and help me hold onto my English accent.

til the next time

Jessamy :p

wait is that Jessamy at a beach sunset??? shocking.

Baby Catching Goodness

hello Friends!

Hope you are doing well. I have just started my 7th and final week in Zambia. It has gone so fast let me tell you! It has been so amazing being here and I have lots of stories and news to update you all with.

what a pretty bunch of birth attendants

We travelled to Zambia without official permission into any of the hospitals we wanted to work in as it has been a few years since the BAS last came to Zambia. We spent the first week settling into the local community while our staff worked on permission. We saw amazing favour and the process was very easy and we were able to get into the hospitals quickly.

We have been rotating between 3 different hospitals. One is a big referral hospital and the other two are smaller clinics that handle normal deliveries. We are always working alongside the midwives and doctors who are in these hospitals long term. Straight from the start the staff have been very welcoming and willing to teach us. They have such a passion and love for their patients and consistently work so hard when under resourced and understaffed. 

The hospitals here are so different to anything at home and the women labour on their own without any birth partners. They are all in one room together with only small partitions or curtains in between. There is not enough staff to be one on one with the women so a lot of what we do has been just staying with one or two women while she labours. We comfort her, give her back massages and monitor her progress on a partograph- which is basically a paper record of all the things such as heart rates and contractions etc that would be electrically monitored at home. 

Our day to day schedule varies a lot but we are always so busy.

We have been in the labour room a lot. We do deliveries alongside our instructors and the midwives and although it was a little scary at first, we have been getting into the routine of hospital life. we always work in pairs with one person delivering the baby and looking after the mother while the other receives the baby to weigh and dress. Being the first hands on a new life and being able to welcome them in Jesus’ name is such a privilege! As a school we have been able to do over 100 deliveries in our 7 weeks and I have personally done 7, and been a part of heaps more!

honestly… I just get to cuddle babies everyday. living. the. dream.

We also do heaps of antenatal care, caring for the pregnant mum. There are different stations which we rotate around- taking BP and weights in admissions, doing palpations to feel for baby and listen to foetal heart rate, and administering vaccinations. We also use this as opportunities to do teachings about things such as danger signs and nutrition and of course sharing the gospel. 

immunisations… making them babes cry for all the best reasons

We have been doing class and also quizzes about a main complication in labour and delivery that is a leading cause of death in third world nations. Another part of our weeks has been doing home visits to mothers we have previously delivered, to check up on them and fellowship together. 

Class outside in the Zambian sun

In everything we do we aim to share the love of Jesus with these women. we pray for them and we are present with them when no one else is. We share the fathers heart for them and for their baby. I thought I would share with you a few stories from encounters I have had with some women to give you more of an idea of our daily life!

Momma R

At the start of the shift I felt drawn to a particular women and spent the whole day with her. She was a first time mum so she was scared about labour. She said “I don’t want to be alone” and I assured her that she wouldn’t be alone because I had been sent by Jesus to be with her that day. 

She also had lots of questions about what was happening to her body and I was able to talk with her and explain how her body would progress throughout labour and delivery. We prayed together lots and I gave her back rubs and heaps of encouragement, as well as continually monitoring her and keeping the hospital staff informed of her progression. After a long labour I delivered her baby alongside a Zambian midwife. She was so happy and praised God for her beautiful baby girl. In postnatal I was able to educate the mother in how to look after herself and the baby following her delivery and empower her to be a confident and strong mother. It’s such a privilege to come alongside mothers at their most vulnerable and show them the personal love of Jesus in such a tangible way. Me and some friends also later visited her at home and we spent more time with her, encouraging her with feeding and teaching her about having a personal relationship with God and how she can hear His voice. 

look at the eyebrows on this hunny

Momma B

A group were doing an antenatal care clinic and were doing routine checks on mothers. One mother came in with a very high blood pressure which alerted the girls to do further tests and discovered she had some serious pregnancy complications. She was taken to the labour ward where I was working at the same hospital. The mother was being given medication by the midwives to bring down her blood pressure and was waiting to be referred to a bigger hospital. I noticed her looking very scared so I went over to her. She was very worried about her baby and didn’t understand why she was needing to go to be transferred. I was able to comfort and pray for her and explain her condition where the doctors were too busy to do so. 

A few days later we managed to find her at the referral hospital and now she had in her arms a beautiful baby girl. She was singing praises of how God had kept her safe during her pregnancy and delivery. She shared that she wasn’t originally planning on coming to the clinic that day but she felt a prompting to come in and so she did. God is so faithful to fight for every life and care for every need! Before we can do anything as midwives first God has to move. We also visited her later at home which was so much fun.  

team Malawi!

We are off to Malawi this weekend for four weeks and although I am sad to be leaving, as we have made some really good connections here, I am excited for the next adventure.

If you could pray for our team as we transition that would be amazing. And also prayers for me to have energy and strength as we have now passed the halfway mark. Sometimes days at the hospital are full of life and funny funny stories, but there are of course the hard days where we fight for life and see so much injustice with lack of resources and standards of care. It’s not always easy but it’s so worth it to be here alongside these strong mothers who endure so much and still put their faith in God. They are such an inspiration and a joy. 

we went to Victoria falls in the dry season… there wasn’t much water but we still found some elephants and hippos on the Zambezi River!!

To the ends of the earth

The BAS squad

hi friends! Its me again. 11 weeks down and in one week today I’ll be on a plane to Zambia! here’s a catch-up for all you Jessamy fans.

Since my last post we have learnt so many things… We had a week on complications in labour and delivery, which was really just an overview, as we are going to have another 12-week lecture phase just on this starting from January. All the same it is great to get a more of an idea about the things we will encounter on outreach. So many of the complications we learnt about are not even considered or taught about in western nations as they are so easily preventable, but due to lack of education and resources there are still 800 women dying in labour every day!

We had another week on postnatal care, focusing on breastfeeding and caring for the mother and baby for the first 6 weeks after birth. This is a time were both the mother and the newborn are particularly vulnerable so spotting danger signs early is vital. We covered some practical skills including suturing- giving stitches- which is super scary to think about! I have been doing some practise on sponges, which I’m sure will feel very different to real life… Administering local anaesthetic, and we also practised newborn resuscitation and CPR.

breathe 1,2,3

We had a half-week focus on grief. This was a really impacting teaching and it equipped us in how to deal with grief in situations we will encounter with women. How to process things ourselves, individually and as a team and how to come alongside women and families in difficult situations. It has been really inspiring to hear how past generations of the BAS have been able to make an impact on the grief protocols in hospitals in the nations, and educate people in God’s ways.

We also had some time on evangelism and how we can use what we are doing to share the love of Jesus to women, communities and families. We were reminded that we are missionaries first and midwives second. God calls everyone to share the gospel no matter where we are or what we are doing. Delivering babies is simply an amazing access point to families that we may not usually encounter.

Another really fun thing we did was making baby hats- or ‘helmets of salvation’. We all got stuck in crocheting, knitting or sewing hats and then we prayed over each one. These are a part of the history of what God has spoken over the BAS. Every baby we deliver will receive one of these hats and are a symbol of spiritual protection over the mind of the bubs.

those high school textiles classes finally came in handy

In other news the weather has picked up!! been solid mid-twenties for the past few weeks so the beach trips have been a go. praise. the. lord. Winter is a no for me, especially when it doesn’t include Christmas so being back in shorts has been a blessing. I have been doings lots of outings including BBQs by beach sunsets and also having some social times with the students and staff from my DTS who are still around, so it is great to keep connected. We have had some base events including a night where all the performing arts ministries gave a showcase which was super fun. And I have still be having homework and other assignments, still working me hard!

just some beach babes

We have been doing outreach preparation learning about the hospitals we will be in and gaining insight into African culture and families. Realistically I don’t think anything is ever going to fully prepare me for outreach, but I am way excited for the adventure ahead. The next few months are going to teach me so much practically but I am also really excited to see how God is going to use us as a team to move in the nations. We have a position standing in the gap between life and death which comes with lots of responsibility but also lots of opportunity for growth and revelation. I am also very excited to be in Africa and to learn some new dance moves! Added bonus- my time difference will only be 1 hour from all you England folk so contact will be much easier.

If you could pray for continued energy, health and strength as I launch into outreach that would be amazing. Also I would love prayer for that first mother and baby that I will be delivering in less than 2 weeks time (wild), for protection and for open doors to share the gospel.

Our whole school saw around £150,000 of finances come in for outreach which is AMAZING and we are all now fully funded. Massive thank you to everyone who supported us in giving and in prayer! This last week has been full off shopping trips to prepare everything I need and there is still lots of packing to sort. and then its time to gooooooooooo. Not sure when i’ll be able to update you on Zambia but I am stoked to share with you as soon as I can.

Thank you guys, your support means everything

enjoy your ever colder weather…

love

Jessamy

ice cream and bananagrams

Midwife in the making

we did a photo shoot for a friend’s fundraising…. even putting on scrubs can’t make me act professional

hello again! I have just finished week 7 of the Birth Attendant School, meaning we only have 5 weeks left of training before we head of to Zambia- eeeekkkk. Just a short update to give you a brief catch-up on everything we have been learning!

We had a week on antenatal care, learning how important this is to spot any issues early on in a women’s pregnancy. We were taught the value of educating women and communities in how they can best care for themselves and their baby during pregnancy. we then had a mock antenatal care clinic with some of the mums on base where we found out their medical background, provided education of danger signs in pregnancy and diseases such as malaria and HIV. We also learnt a lot about nutrition and the different food groups that are essential for the growing baby. It was great to grow in such a practical skill and we will be able to use this to build bonds with mothers in the community and show them their value by the love and care we provide.

This past week our topic was normal labour and delivery. this week made it feel real as we are finally down to the birthing part! however it was a little crazy and I don’t think we will ever be able to fully learn it until we are in the ward. We practised comfort measures on some our very dramatic staff in ‘labour’, giving encouragement, trying different positions and massages, and even trying to prevent them from running away! We have covered lots of practical skills too including filling out a partograph, which is a chart that measures a women’s progression through labour.

taking any opportunity for a quick lie down- hey midwives need a break too

We also had another week on the spiritual dynamics of birth. This was such an AMAZING week and was something that really separates what we are learning here to what would be taught at university. At every birth we need to be aware of more than just the physical battle we see. Lots of people, even non-chrisitians regard birth as a very spiritual time and we learnt about what the bible says about what is happening in the spiritual realm. We looked at how much God loves children as the first command given in Genesis was for mankind to ‘be fruitful and multiply’, followed by God giving humans dominion to rule over all creation. All children were created in the image of God and every life is so precious and valuable to him. At every birth there is a fight for life. The enemy wants to crush the seed of man and has a massive hatred for all children. He has never fought fair and goes after the weak and vulnerable. In revelation 12 it shows the image of how the dragon lurks at each birth waiting to snatch a life. As Godly midwifes we have the privilege to stand in the gap for these vulnerable women and babies, and instead welcome this new life in the name of Jesus! I was struck by the realisation of the position of trust God has extended to me, to be an advocate for the women with no voice. it’s such an honour to go!

We have been doing some fundraisers as a school to raise money for outreach as a school collectively involving some car washes, bake sales and a sponsored run/walk next week (don’t laugh). I haven’t made it to the beach very much this time around- you may recall I was a big beach fan on my DTS but I have been a bit busier with lots of work on weekends, but its all so much fun that I don’t mind too much. I have been continuing to settle in really well with the group of girls on the school, which is good considering we have to last another 9 months.

THANK YOU! to everyone who has been sooo generous in giving to me over the past weeks. I have about £3,300 left to raise and I can cover this with my savings so this is great. However if you had wanted to give and haven’t gotten around to it yet, I’ll attach my link below…

https://www.give.net/20274473

If you could be continuing to keep me in your prayers (as I know lots of you already are) that would be brilliant. Praying for continued strength and gelling with my classmates and for my preparations into outreach.

Sorry its only a short one this time but feel free to message me if you want any more details from my life! I love hearing from you guys!

Jess ❤

one time that we accidentally missed the bus to church so decided to get brunch instead…

Japan to Australia, to home and back again!

BAS 2019

Hello chums. Sorry for how long it has been since my last update, as you can imagine life has been very busy!

Ill start off with a little Japan round off for you all, although it seems a very long time ago now! We went to Kobe, Japan which was such cool place to go to, although it was very spiritually heavy. Almost everyday we did times of intercession and prayer, scripture reading or worship over different areas and strongholds. We partnered with a long-term YWAM team that originally came out of YWAM Perth and have been based there for a year now. We are able to join them in evangelism times, which involved lots of google translate and also we did many open air presentations on the streets. Japan is a respect-based culture so we were initially very wary about causing offence but we found that people responded really well to what we were saying and it was amazing to speak to people who have never even heard of Jesus before! We also had the opportunity to go into Osaka to do some homeless ministry which was a great time of salvation and healing.

I now feel very cultured as we experienced lots of the local cuisine and I can eat with chopsticks! Kobe was such a clean city and everywhere was very quiet which was a massive contrast to our previous location!

time of worship over the city of Kobe

We returned back to Perth for one week to meet back with all the other outreach teams, share testimonies and prepare to transition to life back home. It was so amazing to see everyone and hear about the countries that had been to and the lives that had been touched by Jesus. However as you probably know I only made it back to England for a grand 12 days before returning back to Perth! Being back home was so good and we managed a very brief family holiday, but of course I would have loved a little more time to meet up with everyone and share more individually with you all.

Young People’s DTS class of 19

So now I am back in Perth and have finished week 4 of the Birth Attendant School. We have done so much learning, its crazy full on but I love it so much! We started off with nature and character of God which was a great foundation to build the rest of our teaching onto. We were reminded how God is always good no matter what and that when we will experience things that seem to contradict that we have to trust that God is who He says He is. We have had other topics including being a godly midwife, anatomy and physiology, global health issues and also fear of the Lord. I can now name all the parts of the pelvic bone (personal life goal achieved) and I have learnt how to take vital signs and have even given someone an injection! It has been so good to learn all the things that I would have done by going to university but having the angle of God’s heart for mothers and children and have a totally different perspective to come into learning. We have also been praying for the first baby we will deliver and the mama who is currently 7 months pregnant!

Outside of class I have settled well into a new group of friends which is so good. I am staying in the same accommodation block as my time in DTS- just one bed over which was initially weird! We do breakfast work duty every morning 6am-8am which was quite a shock to the system but actually gives us the afternoon free which is such a luxury! We still have lots of time of worship and intercession and we have been practising doing ‘healthcare gospels’ where we do a short healthcare teaching and then sneak the gospel in some way or another.

You may have also seen that our outreach locations have been announced! Mega exciting. Right buckle up and see if you can stay with the explanation. First the whole team will go together for 8 weeks in Zambia and then we will split into 2 groups for 4 weeks. I will go to Malawi while another group goes to Uganda. Then we will return to Perth for 4 weeks over the Christmas period and to start our second lecture phase, (called ABAS) which focuses on complications in pregnancy. We will finish our ABAS in India and we will be spending 12 weeks there. Finally the teams split again and I will be going to Bangladesh for another 8 weeks. phew. I am so excited for outreach and everything we learn in class makes me really hyped to go out and start catchin’ some babies!

To go to all these amazing countries and meet all these beautiful mamas and babies I am still trusting for around £5700. This is a big number but any little you can give would bless me massively! By supporting me, you will be supporting all the babies I will deliver, the moms I will bond with and the family’s who will know about Christ and accept them into their lives. Not all of us can go to the nations but all of us can be involved in missions in some way, and we can all have a share in the inheritance of the nations!

I have a link below through which you can donate into through either monthly or one-off support. If you are a taxpayer it also allows me to receive an extra 25% on top of whatever you give! 

http://give.net/20274473

You can also give to me in other ways if this isn’t your style so please feel free to email me at jessamyjclark@gmail.com and or chat to my Dad, Richard if you see him around.

Thank you so much. You are all so appreciated!!

Jess xx

heres a little bubba just so you get the idea. I don’t actually know him but he’s cute so thought you might like

Manila- (Outreach Week 7)

view from the roof of our accommodation!

Greetings from Japan! We left the Philippines a week ago so here is my update from our 25 days that we spent in Manila City. Japan is so different from the Philippines, but Manila was also very different to Cebu, so I have been learning how to adjust to new places and how to adapt ministry styles to different cultures.

We stayed in a church in Manila City, which has some connections to YWAM and we were surrounded 24/7 by the hustle and bustle of city life. There were lots of high rise buildings and soooo much traffic. The temperature was also totally crazy, I don’t understand how people can live in that heat all the time!! We were able to make lots of connections in the local area and became something of celebrities in the community which was fun, but could also make an evening trip to 7-eleven a bit more of an adventure.

We had the opportunity to be involved in lots of different ministries. The church runs a homeless ministry which provides showers, a service and also food. We were able to share skits, testimonies and teachings and also spend time in fellowship with the homeless people which has been so fun. Many of them are so joyful despite their circumstances and still find a reason to praise God.

I made a particular bond with one homeless women called Christina. I was able to share the gospel and my testimony with her, and then invite her to attend the homeless service. We have SD card bibles which we often hand out to people for their phones, but she didn’t have a phone so I bought her a bible in Tagalog and gave it to her before we left. She was so grateful, and now she has a church and a bible to help disciple her in her faith!

dream team

Similar to Cebu, we did lots of time of evangelism. Chatting to people we pass in the streets and also handing out fruit or flowers. I had the weird experience of sharing the gospel on a Jeepney (which is like a truck thing they use as public transport) and then jumping off, I assume leaving everyone awestruck. We did multiple open air presentations, on street corners or in parks. These include performing skit dramas, sharing testimonies and also sharing the gospel. Our open airs have been super popular as people are always fascinated by what the crazy foreigners are up to now. These times of ministry have been so fruitful, and God has been really faithful to use us and work through us. I spoke to one particular women who told us a heartbreaking story of how her daughter had moved to America and broken off contact with her. She said that she prayed and cried each night to God and we were able to bring her hope and give her a bible so she can find comfort in God’s word.

repping the gap year trousers

Being in Manila, a large majority of our ministry was discipling people in their faith. Reminding people how important it is to live out what they believe and how that all comes out of a personal and intimate relationship with God. We have been sharing with people how they can read the bible and we attended a women’s bible study where we encouraged them in this. We also prayed over a large number of them and witnessed healings!

We helped at a number of Vacation Bible Schools, like in Cebu and also a Sports camp ran by a local pastor. It was great to be involved in more kid’s ministry and to build bonds with them. We learnt that you can never plan on outreach as there are always new situations and complications such as the basketball court you thought you had reserved for a sports camp gets filled with 100 school students, along with and their staging and props, practicing for a show!

Our time in Manila was also a great time of growing and bonding with the team. Thank you to everyone who prayed over us, as I really love my team and we have so much fun together. We have been cooking together and having lots of fun social nights! A particularly fun night involved finding a mouse in our room which caused so. much. screaming.

the crazy foreigners are at it again…

If you saw the articles I wrote in the church newsletter then you will be fully briefed on my plans after DTS. If you didn’t read them…. go read them. I am coming home for two weeks (eek!) and then returning to Perth for 11 months (yikes!) to do another school called the Birth Attendant School. I will be training in the skills of midwifery in Perth for 3 months and then going to the nations for 8 months to deliver healthcare to mothers and babies. I am very excited for this but I would love it if you could come alongside me in prayer. I am trusting for quite a lot of finances for this trip, probably around £9,000 in total. This is quite a lot of money, but I have seen first-hand the amazing provision of God when he calls people somewhere, both through my own experiences and also the testimonies of others on my DTS. Loads of you were so amazingly generous to me the first-time round and I am forever grateful to everyone who gave where they could and really supported me in God’s call for me. I have some savings that I feel would be right for me to use for my year away. But if you guys would also consider praying and seeing if you think it is right for you to give then that would be massively appreciated. One-off donations or monthly sponsorship, no matter how small would really go a long way towards blessing me! 

I would also massively appreciate prayer for complete strength and also to find rest for my last few weeks while I am in Japan. I have been struggling a little with maintaining the energy levels and I have lots of practical things that need to be sorted before I return back to Perth. Japan is so so quiet and so so different, I’ll let you know how its going soon. ish.

Home June 22nd gang. Its official. Save the date. Pop it in your calendars. Start the countdown.

xxx

sorry if this post doesn’t flow v well. Your girl is so tired.

From Perth to Cebu!- (Outreach Week 3)

the traffic here is so scary

Greetings from the Philippines! I have been here nearly 4 weeks already and so much has happened, but I’ll just catch you up on my final week in Perth first!

Our last topic was Holy Spirit week which was a really inspiring way to prepare for everything thats going to happen on outreach and created a real expectancy for God to move. It was a very full on week, involving lots of packing and also team meetings and trainings in preparation for outreach. We also had a commissioning night where people shared some testimonies from lecture phase and we were prayed for and sent off in our teams.

I also learnt a Hakka this week from one of the New Zealanders in my class. It was used as an act of spiritual warfare but it was super fun to learn especially with the scary faces! On our final morning we had a breakfast together as a class and shared some memories which was really nice. I did lunch dishes for the final time, what a shame.

im so small:(

On Saturday evening we drove to Perth airport and got a plane to Cebu, Philippines via Singapore. We arrived at the YWAM Cebu base the Sunday afternoon. The base and all the staff are so nice and the food was amazing! The base has lots of different connections and ministries within the local community that we were able to get involved with. They have connections with some islands neighbouring Cebu. We had the opportunity to join with the current YWAM Cebu DTS students on one of these islands for the night. Its a very small island, it only takes about 20 mins to walk the perimeter, and apparently we were the biggest group of foreigners ever to visit. As a small group of us walked around masses of children would follow us- it was a very surreal experience to be seen as such celebrities! It was also so heart-breaking to see how much the kids all wanted to look like us and they would always say how much they loved our skin and our hair, when they were so beautiful too! We did an open air presentation in the evening which was very highly attended and we had opportunities to share testimonies and lead people to give their lives to Jesus. Me and a partner also had lots of people come forward for prayer for healing too.

We tried to swim here, on the island, but it was very shallow so it was more like crawling..

The base here is also involved in kids ministry in 10 different slum locations, so we went to one of these pretty much everyday. We played games, sang songs, performed skits and gave teachings. One week we did a week course DVBS- Daily Vacation Bible School in one slum area. The kids were so lovely and I helped with a group aged 10-12. I was able to do some teachings for them, and also help them to say a prayer to accept Jesus into their hearts. Its such a good opportunity to disciple these kids who have no other connections to church or the gospel but they are so open and eager to learn.

am forever gutted when it turns out you aren’t actually supposed to keep the babies that people hand you

We also went and did prison ministry one morning. It was a little intimidating at first, but the people there were already Christian and were so responsive to our drama skit and messages which was really encouraging to see! We had the opportunity to pray for some of them afterwards.

Our stay also included lots of one-on-one evangelism, in the markets, beach front or going around door to door in slum areas. Everyone here is super friendly and eager to speak to us. The Philippines is a very catholic nation so most people have heard the gospel but a lot of them don’t have a personal relationship with God and don’t know how to. A lot of our evangelism has involved discipleship and handing out Christian bibles, in their language, to help people grow in their faith. On Good Friday we showed the Jesus Film for local people and invited them to know God on a deeper level.

We have been doing lots of fun things in our free time and have times together as a team to play games and catch up on how we are doing. We were invited to a wedding of two of the base staff which was super exciting. On an off-day we also visited the Kawasan falls which was a place that had some waterfalls which were great for swimming in and exploring. During our time staying at the base we got to know the staff so well and they really made us feel so at home. They cooked a ‘love feast’ for us before we left which was amazing and we have had many opportunities to try lots of filipino foods. My fave has been mango float which is like a trifle mango thing. We have also spent off-days in malls, enjoying free wifi, western food and trips to the cinema.

there was another place that had a waterfall slide into the water. so fun!

This week was also my birthday! It was a little disrupted due to it being a travelling day but everyone did a great job of making it feel special for me. We went out for dessert the evening before which was yummy. We are now in our second location in the Philippines, in Manila and we also went out for a birthday dinner as a team.

Ill send an update on Manila in a few weeks, but so far we are finding the city life very different to Cebu but I am sure we will get settled soon! If you could all continue to pray for good health for me and the rest of the team as we adjust to the new food and the new climates that would be great. I also have some plans shaping up for my next steps after DTS which I will try and update you on very soon, but prayer for that would still be appreciated. Sorry to keep you all waiting for this post, my time and internet connection is limited- I know you must have missed me lots:(

til then

love, peace etc

hope you had a good Easter and had more chocolate than I did:(:(

Jess xx

Here’s a pic of me crying at my mash potato cake. your welcome.

Yet more beaches- (Week 12)

this is a quokka. he is cute. I am cuter.

elloooooo. This time next week I will landing in Cebu, Philippines so here is my final instalment in the series of my Perth life. Lots of exciting things have been going on and I have been very busy madly trying to sort out buying and packing everything that I am going to need for life during the next 3 months.

Last week focused on the Father Heart of God and we had a speaker, who was originally from Samoa, come to speak to us on this topic. He was very funny and loved telling lots of stories. The topic looked a little different to how I expected, as it mainly focused on how our identity is based in God as our creator and father, rather than in earthly relationships or material things. Understanding that we were made in his image gives us our purpose and value and we need to correct where we have wrong views of character. I have learnt how we are never lacking in love in any area because God is big enough to cover it all!

yummy beach

I have been trying to cram in as many beach trips as possible before we have to leave. A group of us went out for meal at a restaurant overlooking the sea which was totally lush. I also tried some kangaroo which was surprisingly chewy. I have also enjoyed a sunset swim in the sea which left us all awe-struck, despite the evening being slightly marred by some friends getting stung by jellyfish! We also had a yummy brunch date to say goodbye to some of my crew.

I also made a trip to Rottnest Island last weekend. It is quite a small island but there are sooo many beautiful beaches. You can take a bus around and stop off if you fancy the look of the sand! There are very friendly quokkas everywhere and I enjoyed lots of swimming opportunities. I also learnt an important lesson in how quickly ice-cream melts in the Australian sun.

honestly its so peng

This week’s topic has been authority and submission. I haven’t really enjoyed this topic to be honest. We have been learning about God’s logical, loving limits and how all authority on earth is God-appointed. We also learnt how obedience is an action but submission is a heart attitude and that we need to have the right attitude towards authority figures. If we don’t have submissive hearts our prayers will not be effective. We also talked about accountability and how to practically find our calling. hefty stuff.

We have also been doing more preparation for outreach. We had some cross-cultural training about how to enter into other people’s cultures respectfully and we also had some specific information on the cultural norms for the Philippines and Japan. We were given some training in kids ministry and we learnt some skits to perform while we are on outreach.

team Japhil

I helped to organise an 80s dance party last night which was super fun and felt lots like being back at home!

Would still appreciate all of your prayer support as I go into my final week here of lectures before leaving for outreach. I don’t feel too worried about outreach yet but I’m sure that it will be quite a big culture shock when I get there! Feeling totes emosh about leaving Perth and my friends, as I really do love it here but I am feeling ready for my next adventure!

Have a blessed few weeks.

Til next time

Jessamy

a photo doesn’t quite do it justice. but still pretty cool.