Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goodbye Bangladesh


Dear Friends and Family,

                Greetings from Bangladesh! It seems hard to believe that my 2 years in Bangladesh are quickly coming to an end.  I have really learned to love Bangladesh and am sad to be leaving.  My 2 year commitment with Samaritan’s Purse will finish in October, but my Bangladeshi visa expires the end of September, so now I am in the process of saying goodbye.

       These last 2 years have been full of many blessings.  One was the opportunity to work with some amazing Bengali women.  I really enjoyed getting to know them in and outside the hospital.  I was able to teach them OB, but they also taught me about Bengali culture, language, and how to provide apply good care in the Bengali context.  I also had the opportunity to lead the female ward staff devotions for part of my time. Please continue to pray for these women, that they would remember the things we talked about and apply them to their own lives.

             Another blessing was getting to work with some wonderful patients.  My patients came from many different backgrounds, Muslim, Hindu, Tribal and Christian.  The majority of them came for prenatal care and delivery, but I also saw a lot of patients for gynecological and infertility problems.  In this culture, it is so important to be able to have biological children, especially sons.  Being able to help some of these women achieve pregnancy and then have a healthy delivery was so amazing.  We were also able to share the good news with many of these women during their hospitalizations.  A few accepted (hurray!), but also many seeds were planted.  Please continue to pray for them in the midst of the difficulties that they face.

                Living in a different country for 2 years can be very difficult, but God really sustained me and provided me with some great Bengali and American friends, one of whom was my Bengali language tutor.  We would study together about twice a week, but sometimes we would just practice conversation.  Those were my favorite classes because I would really get to know more about her and what life is really like in Bangladesh.  Please continue to pray for her and her family.


         And of course, one of the things I’m going to miss the most is the spicy, but very yummy, Bengali food!

        My time in Bangladesh has now come to an end.  At this point, I’m not sure if I will be coming back in the future or not.  The program with Samaritan’s Purse is only for 2 years and unfortunately cannot be extended.  I am definitely interested in continuing with long term medical missions and will be looking into different possibilities.  For now though, I will be returning to Kentucky to study and take my oral OB/Gyn boards.  I will also be doing some OB/Gyn work in the US, while trying to determine what God would want me to do next.  I would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom both during my time of studies and in my future plans.
            Thank you so much for your prayers and support over the last 2 years.  I definitely felt your prayers during many difficult times.  Thank you also for your financial support.  With your support, many Bangladeshi women were able to receive safe medical care, but most importantly hear the good news!  My time with SP ends on October 13th, so if you would like to give in October, that will help cover my last minute expenses.  If you have been using electronic funds withdrawal through SP, please call (828) 262-1980  to cancel.
                I hope to be able to visit many friends and family over the next couple of months.  If you would like me to visit or speak at your church or small group, please email me at cgbrabon@gmail.com.

Onek Donobad! Nomoskar from Bangladesh!

Christel Brabon    

 My church in Bangladesh.


The female social workers at MCH.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My latest house guests

 Hi, family and friends!  It's monsoon season in Bangladesh and with that brings many more critters into the houses.  Here are a couple of my most recent house guests: a crab and a very large spider!

Thankfully, I think I getting used to living in zoo!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mobile clinic and Midwife training

Hi, friends and family!  Greetings from Bangladesh, where we are currently in the middle of Monsoon season and Ramadan!
Prior to the start of monsoon season, I was finally able to go on a Mobile clinic and tradition birth attendant (midwife) training course.  This was a great opportunity.  We saw several hundred patients, who had little access to healthcare.  The most exciting part for me was helping with the traditional birth attendant classes.
Here is one of the groups that received training (all M ladies):

Here's the other group (they are from the Tong Chonga tribe):

Here's a group of patients waiting outside the makeshift pharmacy:
 The clinic and training day turned out to be a great success!  Please pray that this area will now be open for further teaching and sharing!

On a side note, this spring, my parents were able to come to Bangladesh and see where I work.  Here's a picture of them watching me do a c-section.  I think my mom was a little unsure of the whole thing, but she like holding the baby!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!  I really appreciate it!  My two years with post-residency program is almost over, so I would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom for the future.  More info to come soon!
Nomoshkar from Bangladesh!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Out Patient Department Picnic

Every year, in the cool/dry season, each department in the hospital has a picnic or outing.  This year the outpatient (clinic) department decided to go to St Martin's Island for lunch and to see the beach.  I must say it was quite an experience!

The day started off with an early morning bus ride to the ferry.  Here are the female medics all ready to get on the ferry:
 This was the first ferry ride for some of the medics  It turned out to be a really fun time to hang out together.  We had a good time talking and getting to know each other better, outside of work.

Then we arrived at St Martin's Island, an island known for fishing, coconuts and coral.  It is located on 8km from Myanmar, so we could see the Myanmar coast from the ferry. 
Next we were off for a nice rice and curry meal at one of the island's hotels!
After a quick meal, we were off in one of these bicycle taxis to go an see the beach.  
Going to the beach in Bangladesh is quite different!  You definitely don't wear a bathing suit, in fact most people wear nice outfits.  The main point was just to see it and get our pictures taken.  
 Then is was back to the ferry!  Here are some of the male medics, continuing to take advantage of more photo ops.
It was a long day and some were wiped out by the time we got back on the ferry!
 Even though it was a long day, but we had a great time together and I'm grateful to have gotten to know the medics better.  Please pray that I be able to continue to deepen the relationships that I have formed with them!

 Nomoshkar from Bangladesh!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy 2012!

Dear Family and Friends,
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that 2012 is off to a great start.  I had a wonderful Christmas.  My entire family was able to meet at my parents house in Taiwan.  It had been over two years since we had all been together, so it was so nice to see everyone (especially my niece)!

After a great break, I'm now back in Bangladesh!  January is typically a slower month in Bangladesh due to the colder weather, but so far this month has gotten off to a busy start.  I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to work with a high volume of patients.  Pray that I would find enough time to share with each patient our Father's love.
This is one of my patients who previously had 4 stillborn babies.  We were able to provide prenatal care and a safe and healthy delivery.  Now she has a beautiful baby girl!  We were also able to pray with her during her hospitalization and post partum check up!  Please pray that she will accept what she has heard.
Thanks again for all of your prayers, support and encouragement!
May this year be full of blessings in your life!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Chistmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Bangladesh!!!
Dear friends and family,
                Greetings!  I hope you all are doing well as we come close to the end of 2011. I hope this past year has been filled with many blessings for you and your family!  I have definitely seen God’s blessings this past year, even in the midst of many challenges here in Bangladesh.  

                One of the challenges of living in Bangladesh is the enormous amount of rain!  I had no idea it could rain so much in one place.  This past Monsoon season brought a record amount of flooding to Bangladesh, as seen in this picture.  The heavy rains and swollen rivers prevented me from going on the traditional birth attendants training trip.  But hopefully I will be able to go on another one this winter, the dry season.  Please pray that these plans will all work out.
                Not only have we been flooded with water, but the hospital has also been flooded with babies!!!  During each of the last 4 months, we have had record number of births at the hospital.  We have been able to provide prenatal care and safe deliveries for women, such as Mrs A, who delivered triplets.   Not only were we able to help her with the delivery (by c-section), but while she was in the hospital waiting for the babies to start gaining weight, we were able to share the good news!  Please pray that she will remember the things that she heard and accept it.  Please pray for continued follow up in her community, where there are few believers.
                I’m so grateful that during the challenges of this past year, God has provided a wonderful group of coworkers!  Such as the women in this picture, they are the female medics at the hospital and clinic.  I also work with some pretty amazing midwives and nurses.  Please pray that they would be strengthened during this particularly busy time.  Also pray for those who have not yet accepted the good news!
                One of my favorite praise choruses is ‘Shout to the North’.  The second verse has been particularly encouraging for me this last year.  It says:
                  Rise up women of the truth,                       
Stand and sing to broken hearts,
Who can know the healing power
Of our glorious King of love.
                There are so many women with broken hearts here in Bangladesh, who have yet to know our King, the one who offers that true healing power.   I am so excited that I get to be a part of sharing this wonderful news.
                Thank you so much for all your prayers, encouragement, and support over the last year.   Thanks for being involved in what God is doing here in Bangladesh.  I definitely need your continued prayers as I work in the hospital and the community.  I could also use additional financial support.  If you would like to support the work here, you can do it online at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/giving/wmm_doctors/
Or you can mail it to:                      
 Samaritan’s Purse
Attn: Post-Residency Program
P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607
    (828) 262-1980
On your check include Dr Christel Brabon Acct #003765

                        Thanks again for all your continued prayers.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Shubo Borodin (Merry Christmas in Bangla!)

Christel Brabon

Donate Medical Supplies

Hi, friends and family!
If you have access to any medical supplies, we could really use them in Bangladesh.  Right now we are especially in of suture for c-sections (I've been busy with lots of babies coming into the world)!  I could also really use more pessaries (lots of babies brought in to the world 30years ago!).  We are also trying to do laparoscopic surgery, so if you have any equipment, please let me know.  This is such a huge help!  Just email me or comment on the post and I'll give you directions of what to do with it.