Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Momma!

I couldn't get her a card, so I hope this will be ok. I've tried several different ways to email it / post it and none have been successful yet on this internet this is my last resort, I'm praying it works! Happy Birthday to my wonderful sweet Momma! We love you so much!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

I remember her cute little smile in the early days.

How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God!!

I remember her smell.

How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God!!

I remember when breaths were slow coming.

How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God!!

I remember the grimmaces.

How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God!!

I remember the days and nights on end, the waiting.

How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God!!

I remember the quiet Sunday afternoon one month ago today, when God called her home.

How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God!!

I remember peace.


This morning, one month since the day my Pamela flew to Jesus, as we were singing this song in worship and pictures of Pamela were flooding my mind, I wiped the tears away from my eyes praising our truly Great God!

I invite you this day and everyday... to praise Him with me!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Simply a Child of God

For Crazy Love (please read the blog A Place Called Simplicity)
So... here's my story. For those of you who don't know it, here it is. I was born and raised in a Christian family with wonderful Godly parents, the kind that actually love God and seek His will for our lives and taught me the same. My parents always instilled in me that tithing was something that wasn't a question. It was commanded of us, and we give it and above it if we can. God gave his life for us, we are not to be selfish with what He has graciously blessed us in abundance with. I was raised under the teachings and mentors of the wonderful Bullitt Lick Baptist Church. At the age of 8 I became a Christian and at the age of 13, I went with BLBC to Venezuela on my frist every international mission trip. At 14, I knew God was calling me to international missions.

My first trip to the Philippines was June and July of 2009, at age 19, through the International Mission Board to work in Gentle Hands, a special needs orphanage. I fell in love with a country, a people, with the new life that God was calling me to. I returned changed forever...and knowing that I wasn't called to the US anymore, there was a calling to a new place upon my life. I returned to the Philippines in December 2009, after only 4 1/2 months back in the US. I returned home. The days are long, the days are hard, the days are filled with life and death. We do outreach in a local squatter area, where we have rescued several abused and/or neglected children that would've died of starvation without our help. I've held children that we thought were going to die, and have seen the miraculous healing hand of our Great God work. I've also held children that God healed and took away their pain by taking them to be with Him in Heaven. Part of me would like to say, I've seen it all... but I know I haven't. I know this is only the beginning. I know there is much more for me to see, to do, to learn here. So much more that God is going to reveal to, in, and through me.

There are things that I'm unsure of, such as means and supports and details, but that's when I just have to trust God. Trust that He has brought me to this life and He will see me through this life, until I can be joined with Him for eternity.

Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have about me, my life, my ministry, etc. My email is

~To God Be the Glory!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A little shake...

This morning started out like any other day. Woke up, showered via bucket bath, which is normal now that I'm not living at Gentle Hands, was at GH by 7:45 or so. Had some breakfast, checked email real quick before my shift was supposed to start at 9. Had to take some pictures of kids for case studies, then headed off to the hospital to visit Jomar who was taking care of baby Ryan in the hospital, (baby Ryan is very sick in the hospital and they're not really sure what exactly is wrong with him or how to treat him, please be in prayer for God's healing and wisdom in this situation.)

Well we were sitting in the hospital, 6th floor, when everything started shaking! Sure enough, we had an earthquake today. What we felt in Manila was about a 4, the epicenter was about a 6.1. Everyone here is fine, I've not heard of any injuries, praise the Lord!! But.. yea, that added a little bit of excitement to our day here!

~To God Be the Glory!

Friday, March 19, 2010

God is still God, I still have reason to Sing

So yesterday, two girls that were very special to me left GH. Aveline, the little girl I worked with all summer on my first trip, the little girl that I absolutely fell in love with and her little sister Amy went home with their foster family. While this is definately a good thing for the girls, as this family is a very sweet Christian family, it was still very difficult for me to say bye to these girls that I have come to deeply love!
Knowing that they would be leaving soon, I wanted to do something special with Aveline. So about a week ago, me and Aveline had a dinner date to McDonald's!!

Getting ready to go!


Drinking her water like a big girl!

Seriously... stop taking pictures Ate!!

Then the other day, I returned home after doing some late errands to find my boys and some of the other kids sleeping out on the deck, I went out just to look at them and check on them and this was what I found...

So as I was sitting there watching them sleep.. I noticed something... not everyone's here! Where's Em?? and Where's Patrick???? Hmm... Where could they be??

So after a bit.. this is what I find..

Hmm... that looks like a barricade of sorts... hmm.. what's behind the barricade???

It's EM!!! Em fast asleep behind his little self-made prison! HAHA!
But I'm still missing one... Where's Patrick??? I turn and look around and what do I see....

Yes, Patrick fell asleep in a box!!! He was out, sound asleep in his box of a bed!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My 4 boys...

So since I've been back in the Philippines this time around, I've been in charge of the boys and have been doing nightly devotions with the 4 of them. These boys are so precious to me, so I thought I'd share a little about them:


This is Patrick, and this boy, as I tell him many times daily, makes my heart so happy! He is always willing to be my kasama, which means escort, the guy who goes with you to make sure you don't get lost, stolen or hurt. He is so sensitive to those around him and their needs. Every night I put the boys to bed, I always tell them goodnight, I love you and then I give them a hug and kiss the top of their head. Patrick was the first to say, "I love you too." He absolutely blesses my heart every day. This morning just as my alarm was going off, I looked up and he was peering in my door.. seeing that I was awake I saw him mumble 'nuts!'.. my alarm had obviously ruined his plan to surprise me and wake me up! He has recently taken on the position of my body guard and is quick to protect me from the other boys joking around or horse playing! He is absolutely precious!


This is Franz, he is priceless! I started teaching Franz and Patrick in school shortly after Christmas. Because of spending hours a day teaching them... and dealing with their occasional 'fits', these two and I have bonded alot. Franz has such kind heart down deep. He loves to joke, but as soon as he realizes when he's taking a joke too far, he's quick to 'serious up' and show his heart of gold. One example of this is during bedtime devotions with the boys, as I mentioned before after we talk and they say their prayers, I tell them "Goodnight, I love you _______." ( I tell each one of them individually Goodnight and that I love them.) Well, Franz sometimes decides to act all tough and hard and will say, "No you don't!" very seriously or "I don't love you." That one always kinda gets me, but my response is always, "That's ok, I will still love you." And that's the point in which he is able to see that I didn't laugh it off and that I'm still just loving on him... and that's when, every time, he sprints or jumps towards me and wraps his arms around me, giving me the hardest hug he can manage... and every time it follows one of his 'jokes', that hug just remains there for a while. That's his heart of gold coming out, the heart that just melts mine!

Side note on Franz - Franz is the only orphan of the boys, the other 3 have families, but choose to live here and visit their families periodically. Franz may possibly be going to US this summer for 3 weeks, in which time he will spend with a foster (and possible adoptive) family. I already know that I will miss his goofy personality so much!!


This is Em. Em is one smart cookie! He is the oldest of the 4, and he and Gil go to public school, so I don't see them as much during the day. However, on his holidays, Em is usually helping me out, helping teach Patrick and Franz. One of the things I admire most about Em is his respect; he's very respectful and is always willing to help out (as you know since I already told you the boy spends his breaks from school, to help do school for others). He is also becoming quite the artist these days.


This is Gil (pronounced Hill). Gil is a handful, not like constantly going here or there or constantly getting into trouble. But in the fact that Gil has been very guarded with me, doesn't want to get close. However, I'm slowly trying to figure him out and I'm slowly starting to understand. However, as soon as I think I'm in, something happens and we have a severly busy week or I'm not around him for a day or two and just like that, I'm back out. Gil is about complete opposite of Patrick. Whenever I got home from most recently from spending a few days in Subic, Patrick was all over me and hung around and hugged me the whole evening, Gil didn't hug me once. I'm realizing the key is attention and more focus on him. A few weeks ago, I took Em and Gil to McD's (the "MacDow" as they call it here) just to go get some ice cream after dinner in celebration of Em's birthday (actually it was the day before). I took just the 2, because those are the ones that I hardly get time with. Well, just showing him that I still cared and was still trying shifted something in Gil and walking down the street, he grabs my hand and holds my hand...then at evening devotions he gives me a hug! (Though I always tell him goodnight and that I love him, Gil usually never hugs me.) That night, I saw a different side to this boy. I saw the kind and sweet and sensitive Gil, that not many people get to experience. That, rare moments like those, are the wonderful sweet blessings that lift my spirit and encourage me more than a hundred words! I love this boy and slowly I think he may be learning to love me back!

These 4 boys are absolutely precious, all of them with their individual quirks and attitudes. They are constantly bringing me joy and often act as rays of sunshine in my life. Thank you LORD for their lives and the precious bonds you have given us.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Isaiah 41-43

I've spent the last several days taking a 'vacation'. I went away from the orphanage the day after Pamela's cremation to simply get away and process everything. Pamela's death, though I am able to rejoice in it, has been one of, if not the, most difficult times I have ever faced in my life. I truly believe that God brought Pamela into my life for a purpose and that she was in fact my daughter. This past weekend, someone saw her picture on my phone and when they asked who it was, I responded simply, "That's my daughter." Forever more, the name of my first child will always be Pamela. As I said before, I believe that God brought my daughter to me for a reason, and even though I only knew her a short time, God is continually reaffirming her title as my daughter. I realize now that as much as I love the other kids in the orphanage, even my dear Aveline, they/she is not mine. God did not give them to me as He gave Pamela to me. I feel it in my heart and I feel it from God that she was mine. The ache in my heart that I feel now is unlike anything I have ever felt before. Even in the midst of missing the children of GH during my months back in the US... that was different; this new ache is deeper.

I know that many back home are probably wondering, "Ok, so now that you've gone through this tragic point in your life... are you ready to finally give this up and come home? Now that you've seen how hard it can be, have you gotten this out of your system?" My answer is a resounding "NO!"

These last few days, God has started to reveal parts of His plan for my life. Though Pamela's death has been hard, it is only the beginning. God has used her precious little life to teach me so many things! He has opened my eyes to so much through all of this.

This is my life and I love it! There are hard times, as I've mentioned and you've read about, but even in the midst of the hardest times, I know that I belong here and I love it! I love the chaos, the loudness, the crying, and the laughter. I'm in love with this place. I walked in the door today after being gone for nearly 4 days, and got hugged by a group of 6-8 year-olds.. took another step and Patrick, one of my four boys that I'm in charge of, was leaping through the air towards me, attaching to me like a koala bear.. I LOVE THAT!!! I MISSED THAT!!! More hugs followed from Em and Franz, who simply laid down in my lap and just sat there with me! Patrick hugged me all evening! As nice and as necessary as the time away was, I missed them; walking back through the doors, I knew I was home again.

He has reminded me over and over again these past few days of His promises that He will always be with me and never leave me. I have and still am in the process of diving into Isaiah 41-43... these chapters are overflowing with the promises of God's love, protection, faithfulness, and provision! They have been tremendous comfort to me during this time, just to read how much God loves me and cares for me; He will always be with me, always watching over me! He has a plan for my life and is faithful to bring it unto completion in His timing!

Isaiah 41:9b - 10 ~ "'You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:13 - 14 ~ "For I the LORD your God hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I am the one who helps you. Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you', declares the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel."

Isaiah 43: 1b - 2 ~ "'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are min. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

This crazy life is where God has called me. I can't be anywhere else.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I was a Mommy...

..did that really happen?? The ache in my heart leaves no doubt.

I knew Pamela was on her way to heaven and would be leaving her dying earthly body behind soon; that part, as weird as this sounds, I was expecting; knowing that it would be wonderful knowing that Pamela was with Jesus... but what about the parts I wasn't expecting.

What about the part of becoming her mommy?

This little girl was abandoned at birth by her biological mother, rejected by the doctors and hospital staff that referred her to us because they didn't want her, thrown aside by that the social workers of the hospital because in this culture because there was something wrong with her she was considered worthless. And then Gentle Hands got the phone call referal...and we went.

I remember the trip to the hospital, wondering what the baby would be like, wondering if we would take her, knowing we would. I remember walking through the streets leading up to the hospital, I remember walking through the front door of the hospital, I remember being led to the ward, I remember walking into that big room lined with cribs and babies and mommies, and then I remember seeing her, her tiny bed, all by itself off to the side...with no one around. She was just lying there all alone.

I should've known then... but I didn't.

I remember walking up to her with Ate C and Ate M, our social worker, along with the doctors and other 'curious' staff. I remember listening in disbelief as we pieced together through questions that this baby was on powerful drugs. When asked how much... the head nurse was puzzled... they couldn't tell us the dosage she was on; they weren't sure... when asked why... the doctor was silent. The medicine was a drug to prevent seizures...although this baby wasn't having seizures... in her case, it was simply used to keep her drugged and in a quiet stupor. I guess it made them feel better to think she was high and not feeling anything than for them to actually care for her. I remember being angry.. very angry.

I remember gathering her few belongings that she had and watching Ate C. gather her up.

I remember getting her home and getting her settled in. I remember feeding her for the first time that afternoon, holding her in my arms, being so careful with her. I remember watching her and observing her those first few days and reluctantly coming to the conclusion that hydrocephalus had already taken sight and sound from her. I remember thinking how important touch would be.

I remember the first few nights when I slept right beside her crib, getting up every couple hours to try and feed her...remembering the anger return as we pieced together.. she didn't eat at night, she wasn't used to being fed at night...the hospital only fed her during the day, leaving her to go all night with no food..

I remember thinking.. Oh my, she's not going to live long! That was when I knew that she would most likely be my first death that I would experience in ministry. That's when I started to expect death at some distant point. But again...what about the part that I didn't expect...

Now that she's gone, I'm left to think about what happened... what really happened. I referred to her as my baby. She was mine to care for. Yes, others helped out and cared for her while I was away teaching or doing hospital duty, they were her caregivers as well... but I ... I was her mommy. I was the closest thing she ever had to a Mommy. That realization has hit me like a ton of bricks these last few weeks, especially these last few days.

I became the first person who wanted her, who loved her, who would've taken her as my own. As I told her over and over again, for the last week and a half of her life when I never left her side, my releasing her to heaven wasn't my way of getting rid of her or rejecting her, but it was the only way I knew how to show her just how much I loved her. I loved her even to the point that I wanted what was best for her.. though it would cause me pain to say goodbye. I told her again and again how I would've loved her forever, and I meant it. I would've loved and wanted her for the rest of my life, I would be the first person to feel this way towards this precious baby. The realization of my new position in her life started to dawn on me it appeared to those around me.

Certainly in my heart, she was my baby girl, but as others noted it, I was awakened to the possibility that maybe this wasn't just all in my head...maybe I really was becoming her mother. I will never forget one night about two weeks ago, when talking to Ate C, about everything that would eventually happen, when she made the comment, "well, what I tell most mothers, and at this point that's what you are, you've moved past the role of caregiver, you're now in the role of mother..." It was then, in the middle of the sentence, that my place was set. Ate has been down this road before, plenty of times to be honest; and for her, who has seen people, mothers and visitors alike, come and care for dying children before, say that I have moved beyond the role of caregiver and was now in the role of mother... that's when I knew it was no longer in my head, I was a mother now.

Even now as I write that, it takes my breath away and rushes tears to my eyes. Is it truly possible?? At 20 years old, is it truly possible for me to have been a mother for only about a month? Is it possible, that I was a mother for such a short time and now its gone?

Does it 'really count'??

This last question has been going over and over in my head for the last few days. Of course it counted while she was alive... but does it still count now..?? How much of a mother am I allowed to remain?? How much of a claim to her do I still have? There is no doubt that I was her mother here on earth...then wouldn't that mean she was my child?? Does her title as my child and my title as mother vanish now that her life here on Earth has ended? It doesn't seem as though it should... then, in years to come.. is my first child's name still to be Pamela? I know what you're thinking... Whoa now Brittany...doesn't that sound a little extreme??

Can something that lasted such a short time have such lasting effects?

But then I think.. I will never be the same. Knowing and loving this little girl has changed me forever. It's not as though I will ever forget about her or love her less.

I don't pretend to be on the same plane as other mothers who have lost children; there are so many situations that are completely different than what I have gone through, and I don't pretend to know the anguish that many mothers I know have gone through. I knew the day I met my little girl that she would most likely fly to Jesus before her first birthday. But, I also know that I loved her, cared for her and viewed her as my own.

So now, as I try to find my way back to some type of schedule, (I don't remember what I did before caring for my little girl became my life), as I try to reaquaint myself with this life and lose feeling of being lost without mind will continue to be like a pinball machine, with question after question arising, flashback after flashback, never ceasing. I will seek the LORD in trying to sort this web of questions, figuring out just how permanent my title was... and whatever the answer is in end ...

~ To God Be the Glory!

The Final Farewell...

Today I said my final farewell to Pamela. I can't wait till I see her again, never to say farewell again! I can't wait till I see her again, to worship our Maker and Heavenly Father side by side for all of eternity.

Oh my dear Pamela, you will always be with me as long as I live, until the day I finally see you again.

Thank you Lord, for the precious time you gave me with Pamela. Thank you for working her into my heart for the rest of my life, thank you for allowing me to be her Mommy! Thank you for privelage to be able to love her and care for her during her short time on Earth. Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace in taking her to heaven and relieving her pain forever! Thank you for the love and compassion you have shown both me and my little girl that you blessed me with! May I live every moment of my life to bring glory to you. May I worship you in every situation You bring me to!

~ To God Be the Glory!