From the monthly archives:

October 2004

A Message from Mom Betty

by Original Author on October 29, 2004

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

I want you to have the new brochures I made for the clinic, Beauty for Ashes. I tried to simplify the wording for the services we offer. I needed to clarify the many free services we give to the patients and their “Bantays” (caregiver) and make clearer the participation we expect from them.

Malnutrition is the leading cause of death to children under two years old in the Philippines. Many, many children just survive malnutrition while others never make it to two years old. We have been blessed by God’s grace to save over 200 of these fragile children since opening the clinic three years ago this month. I would love to be able to report that all the patients we restored to health returned to their home and remained well, but that is not the case with some. Most of them have continued to thrive, however, a very small number slip back into the same state of malnutrition in a few months. You have to keep into focus that all of them probably would have died had they not come to the clinic in the first place.

You see, the malnutrition that ravages the body is like an iceberg. Twenty percent is seen on the outside, eighty percent of the damage is on the inside of the body. Malnutrition has such long term effects – stunted growth, mental and developmental delays, tuberculosis, and damage to the heart. These are just a few of the life term effects. I have had one question frequently asked of me. “Why do we continue to treat patients knowing that the treatment is expensive and only to have them return home to end up in the same condition again?” I am always saddened by the question. I don’t think it is any different than asking why does the physician in the emergency room save the life of the patient having a heart attack, when the physician knows that the heart attack victim will probably just return home to eat the same fatty food, won’t take care of himself anyway, so why bother to save his life this time? He does, and we do, because of the value of life!

There are no other programs that offer the same care we do. The government hospital cannot treat the third degree malnourished patients simply because the care of the hospital is basically free of charge and they have to spend their efforts on those they think will live. So… they refer them to us. I know that some of the children may slip backwards, however, God has blessed us to save the lives of many children. We are very blessed and grateful to be able to do so. That’s all we can do! During the 45 to 60 days they stay in our clinic, we nurture them spiritually, care for all their medical needs, and teach the bantay better methods of caring for their children.

Right now we are in need of two more Filipino nurses. Please pray that God will send us just the right ones. We have had nurses and also midwives in the past. I am strongly burdened only to hire registered nurses now. The care we give is very critical to the care of the malnourished child. The child is medically very fragile when admitted. We could mistakenly overload his fragile body and his system could not be ready to tolerate it. The child is admitted with so many immediate emergencies. Such as hypothermia, hypoglycemia, possible blindness because of the lack of vitamin A, tuberculosis, pneumonia, heart trouble, and these are just a few. Many times we have to insert an NGT tube to allow us to nourish the child in his weakened condition. I dare not have someone care for the children who has not been trained in the medical field.

We will be so thankful when Beatriz graduates next year as a Registered Nurse. She has worked very hard. She is responsible, dedicated and compassionate. She will supervise the care of the children in the clinic upon her graduation. Hope still has medical school in front of her. Four years almost completed now at Davao Doctors College. She will be our resident pediatrician when she graduates. She is now but will also be a God send when she graduates. Laura will attend Davao Doctors College in June. She wants to major in Occupational Therapy. This is a need we continually use in the clinic with our children. Most of them are unable to walk or to perform even small motor skills at the time of their admission. We are so blessed to know these girls are burdened to help in the ministry here. Gus and I are in awe that their true focus is on their studies, the family, and the ministry to the children.

God bless you again for your support. Most of all your prayers for us, our many children, and the ministry here in the Philippines. You are a vital part of the care of the children. I do long to see your faces, however I truly don’t see that happening any time soon. Maybe not in this lifetime. I have to structure my days now so as not to exhaust my energy level.

I am humbly encouraged and energized by your prayers, gifts, emails and letters. Thank you.

May God Uphold You Always,
Mom Betty
Brochures, Photos of Giovanni, John Mark & Lydia


Update of theWork

by Original Author on October 16, 2004

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

We are thankful to report our Gracious Lord has continued to meet our needs in the various ministries in the Philippines. Your help is deeply appreciated. The work is progressing. At present among our churches, there is the need to ordain several ministers as well as constitute the churches they serve. On the recently purchased property we are still in the planning stage. We are trying to determine what is needed in the structure for Beauty for Ashes, the church and our home. Thank you for your prayers and your continual assistance. May the riches of our Lord’s blessing be yours.

One of the purposes of moving to the Philippines was to aid in our churches being established all over the Philippines Islands. We are making progress in this mission. In the months of October, November, and December we are planning to ordain ministers and constitute churches in four different islands and seven different areas. These good men have been baptized and had experience in building Primitive Baptist Churches for a minimum of one year to over four years. Most of these pastors have started their congregations through home Bibles studies. They are all in different stages of church growth. The average size of these churches is about 25 members, made up of five to fifteen families. The locations of these ministers are in the islands of Bohol, Panay, Negros and Mindanao. In Mindanao our congregations are in Surigao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Davao City. Other areas experiencing solid growth are in Manila and Zamboanga Del Sur. From a human standpoint the future of our work rest upon the soundness of our ministry. All these men are excellent Bible students. They also have been given the best literature presently available written by our own ministry. In their preaching they often quote statements from Hassel’s History, The Church of God, Gowen’s, Basic Bible Doctrines, Wilson Thompson’s, Autobiography, Oliphant’s, Principles and Practices, Hunts, Proof Abounding Series, as well as many others. We desire to add to their library as books are available. We are thankful for God’s providence in opening doors to spread the knowledge of the grace of God. We plead for your prayers for us and these good men.

During the month of September, Brother Alan Hisel, a deacon and an architect from Lexington, Kentucky, visited us in Davao. He spent several days diligently developing preliminary plans for our new property. May his tribe increase. We purchased 6.2 acres with 423 feet of road frontage. I personally paid for half the price of the land and from gifts given to White Unto Harvest, for that purpose, we paid for the other half. We have divided the land equally and allowed Providence Church to build on a lot near the front. The church and Beauty for Ashes are two separate entities but this will enable the children to have a convenient place to worship and the church can use the children’s home facilities when needed. I am thankful building cost are much less expensive here than in the States. At present we are having a builder who is a member of our church estimate the cost of each structure. We will be building five cottages for the children homes. Two of the cottages will be two stories with a school above one and a central dining hall above the other. We will also build a clinic for severely malnourished children which has been the heart of this work of mercy. We will first dry in the church structure so that we can meet and not pay rent. We can meet without completing the structure as long as we are out of the rain. We will also meet early to eliminate the heat of the day. I will build my own home when our house is sold. The remainder of the property is at present a working farm. This will provide vegetables, fruit and meat for the clinic and the children. It will also teach the children how to live from the land and give them the discipline of farm life. Also through the raising and selling of live stock, it is our purpose to aid the children in providing their own funds for college. May our gracious Lord give wisdom in this merciful labor. Included in this letter is the preliminary site plan of the property showing the location of different buildings.

We give our Lord praise for the privilege of such wonderful opportunities of service. The planting and establishing of congregations all over this nation of islands preaching the pure messages of grace and practicing the simple faith of the apostles is sufficient fulfillment for our labor. Our added blessing is the aiding in the saving of the lives of hundreds of hurting, hungry and homeless children. We also have the privilege of sharing our home with abused and abandon children who before knew nothing but deprivation and poverty. We are blessed above measure. Thank you for sharing this labor.

G.H.Preliminary Site Plan of the Property