Doula Project is Happening!


We are thrilled to announce that RFM hospital in Manzini eagerly approved a doula project for their maternity ward. With adequate funding, they will hire a trainer from South Africa to train 4-6 women in the art and mechanics of doula work. They aim to hire 4 women full-time on staff to rotate shifts through the Labor Ward. These women would welcome laboring women, identify the highest risks, and work tirelessly to create a comfortable, safe, informed space for the mothers to labor and deliver in. In the event of no laboring women, they would help with the on-goings of the ward, like organizing supplies, following up with post-partum moms, collecting data, etc.

This fun blog shares a bit about WHY doulas are helpful and HOW they help –

I’m extremely excited about this project moving forward because it has the potential to change everything. Even reaching down to affect the mother-to-child-transmission rates of HIV – everything!

The big needs? 

We need to raise $8,500 to fully fund this project for a year. These funds will cover:

  • providing 4 on-staff doulas with the living wage of E1,800/month
  • initial training costs
  • quarterly in-service with speakers
  • follow ups with trainer
  • administration costs (petrol, manuals printed, advertisements, teaching materials, etc)

We aim to be fully funded by 15 January 2016, so that training can commence early 2016. It has taken time to get us to this point, but now that we have momentum, it’s time to move!

You can pledge your donation by emailing me at

OR you can donate by:

  1. sending a tax deductible check to: Manna Global Ministries; PO Box 9240; Riviera Beach, FL 33419

– write the check to: Manna – Swaziland; please include a sticky note that says, “Doula Project

2. clicking the link “Donate” on the sidebar of this page. Please note Paypal charges a 3% processing fee and is not tax deductible

Why I Believe in this Work:

It’s proven. Research shows that the presence of a doula at a birth increases breastfeeding success rates; significantly decreases interventions (C-sections, forceps delivery); decreased perception of pain; increased satisfaction with birth experience. These indicators are significant for Swaziland’s population because exclusive breastfeeding is safest for babies growing up in a developing nation with a high HIV transmission rate; decreased costs and complications for mother and baby; and obvious joy, peace, and confidence are invaluable outcomes.

It’s neededWith a hard-working, yet stretched  midwife staff, other skilled hands are needed in the maternity ward. Additionally, RFM hospital has a poor reputation for it’s patient care in the Maternity Ward; however, RFM stands as a central location and is one of Swaziland’s 6 public hospitals, so you can see how essential it is that women feel safe and confident to birth at RFM. Lastly, with limited personnel and education happening in rural locations, many women know almost nothing about labor and birth, therefore, a skilled, knowledgeable doula will greatly expand the knowledge base of laboring women. Information about breastfeeding is highly desired, but not readily available.

It’s Kingdom-bringing. Childbirth is inarguably one of the most monumental events in a woman and family’s life. When a woman feels supported, safe, knowledgable and involved in her child’s birth (whether the first or the fifth), the course of her life can change. She feels equipped to mother, sacrifice, feed, and protect her child. Being a instrument through which peace, good news, information, and empowerment comes is the fulfilling work of a doula. There is little as powerful and beautiful as two women strangers to each other hours before, locked in an intimate gaze, as one leans her head against the other’s shoulder, breathing, relaxing, and fully trusting her guide. There’s nothing more humbling than having a stranger-now-friend trust you with her very thoughts, nakedness; vulnerability and strength as she bears life out of her womb. It’s an incredible ministry!

What Else Nicole Needs:

  •  I’m working on an application that the RFM stakeholders will complete in order to be qualified to recieve these funds we’re raising. My aim is that this application and the requirements there-in will set RFM up to apply for and receive permanent, or long-lasting funding from a larger NGO after 2017. Alternatively, the applications and data collected will prove to the Swazi government that doulas are an irreplacable component to maternal and child health, and therefore allocated government funds for the hiring and training of more doulas.  I have LITTLE idea of how to go about writing this application that’s due in 10 days, or which data to include, so anyone who has experience, please message me.
  • Prayers: for consensus in meetings and strong momentum for moving forward; wisdom in researching, and setting up this program; time – for Nicole to have to work on this project; logistics of the training days, orientation; doulas – women perfect for this job with integrity, compassion, and endurance; the Lord’s continued presence and guidance through it all

From Day One, this task felt larger than me. It has continued to be a humbling, scary, yet awe-filled experience. Once again, I feel completely overwhelmed about the task at hand. I’m confident in our direction, but unsure of all the steps to get there. So it is with my hands open, and heart eager to see the Lord that I walk forward, trusting grace and wisdom to meet us on our way.



Categories: aDventures in Doula-ing, Kingdom Coming Related, Swaziland Updates | 2 Comments

Please Join Us in Prayer

I would love if you wanted to join us in your prayertime concerning the following:

Thankfulness that our truck only “broke” in our driveway. We did not get stranded in South Africa. We did not break down on the road. We were safely, comfortably home when it broke! The best, safest timing.

Thankfulness for a quick solution to the vehicle issue.

Thankfulness for our friends who loaned us their car while we were without. They were traveling in the States, so the timing and their generosity really helped us out.

Thankfulness for our health. Cedar’s, mine, and Sean’s! We often can neglect being thankful, but recent migraine issues have reminded me how big a deal our health is.

Encouragement in our work, in our purpose, in our being here. Lately we’ve felt disconnected and discouraged more than we’d love.

Energy and renewal of energy during the summertime. It’s easy to sink into complaining when it’s over 100 degrees in the shade. And we don’t have air conditioning. And we have a teeny fan to blow hot air around. It’s really easy. Pray that our minds and spirits can be resolved in positivity. Or that it’s an unusually cool season. ;) However you might feel led there. :D

Pray for Nicole’s sanity as Cedar starts scooting and inching her way around our tiny, not-very-child-proofed house. She’s currently aiming for the dog food bowl as I type.

That we could be light and salt in our community! May the Lord connect us to the very person he wants us to travel with on this day.

Companions. That we would feel the Lord’s presence as our companion on this journey. That we would know the goodness of His face, hear the joy in His voice, and trust the direction of our relationship!

Wisdom in our decisions. We’re currently mulling over how and when and how long we’ll be here for, so we would greatly appreciate your intercession on our be-half concerning that decision. That it would be clear. That there would be peace.

How can we join you in prayer? Comment below or email us! Grace and peace to you from our corner eMasini. 

Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Mini-vacation; Truck Troubles and Solutions

Our life needs a blog-post-length update! Two weekends ago, we went to Sodwana Bay Beach.It had been since before Cedar and I went to the United States since we had really gotten away. Sean’s spirit was in desperate need of an adventure. He went down a day ahead of us to jump on a fishing boat. Spear-fishing in the Indian Ocean was a success! He pulled in about $100 worth of fish fillets for us. Nothing farm-raised about those goodies.

It was overcast for most of the trip, but we did manage some sunny moments with our friends who joined us for part of the trip. I enjoyed some sweet days just lounging with Cedar. How nice to “get away” from the constant homestead work for me!

On our way home, Sean noticed our differential oil was leaking a bit at the border. He topped up the oil and climbed back into the bakkie (truck) with these words: I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a crack in that diff again.

If ever there were foreshadowing, it was then. We made it home nicely, but the second morning after we arrived home, Sean walked outside and saw it. The cracked diff. Exactly the same location, but on the opposite side as our cracked diff 2 years ago. Needless to say, it was a stressful morning at the Boehrig home. Yes, we have two vehicles. But the Toyota (with the now-cracked diff) is the only one with a backseat to transport Cedar. Doomsdays of Nicole stranded at home and unhappy about it (let’s be honest!) flashed through Sean mind. The stress of “really, right now?” hit. And then the “how are we going to afford a new car?” and “life in Africa!” threatened to topple our hearts who were already struggling to return to work after a mini-vacation. Then and there we resolved to sell the bakkie. There were several other issues that we had needed to fix. And we had planned to sell it since BEFORE Cedar was born, so it fit. I insisted, “We will not think of fixing it. Let’s sell it cheap. Sell the white bakkie. And be on to a new vehicle.”

Within a week, the red Toyota sold. (I’m slightly sad I didn’t take a photo!) It was a ridiculously cheap price of R20,000 (about $1,600), but we KNOW all the issues with the frame, chassis, and rear brakes. A mechanic bought it, so just don’t buy a red Hillux from anyone in Swaziland. :P Wild to believe that our car is gone!

In an effort to cook myself some breakfast and feed Cedar before noon, I’ll hop quickly! Sean spent hours scouring websites in South Africa for a new truck. Months ago, we had decided the next truck we bought would be in the next bracket of costs. Two vehicles we’ve purchased for about $6,000. We’ve ended up putting in another $4,000 or so, not to mention the countless weeks of time for Sean or without a truck. so we researched and determined we would plunk the $10,000 down from the get-go. And hopefully circumvent the issues. Two challenges: withdrawing enough cash in time and getting the cash! With a daily withdrawal limit on our bank account, we couldn’t just pull from our savings and checking accounts. Also, we really needed to sell BOTH trucks before we could dream of buying the new one.

Well, it seems the Lord’s hands had other plans. Through my random Facebook post, a friend who is not very active in the Facebook community read about our truck issues. And sent us a LOT of money to purchase a new one. What?!?!?!  Why is it that I always want to see the Lord in finances?! Why is it that I miss him in the sunrises, the cool mornings before the heat, the refreshing breeze, and the smile of my daughter, but He gets my attention through the bank account. I really, really am working to remedy this. But He did it again. He caught my eye. I know our friends are just doing what they could. Just giving how their hearts felt led. We’re grateful for them. Grateful for their hearts. I think the greatest impression on me, is that it feels like God cares. I know, revelation right? God does care. Perhaps my faith is just really thin right now, so it didn’t take much to alert me to the substance. However and whyever. I just thought, “Gosh. Someone believes in us enough to put money behind us. To help buy us a car. Am I that worthy, Lord? Are we that worthy? Is what we’re doing here, or trying to do, or failing to do really WORTH anything to you? Does it MATTER for your Kingdom? 

I cannot say. But I know that our hearts matter to the Lord’s Kingdom. Our hearts matter to his heart. And our discouraged, stressed spirits matter to His spirit. And when we let Him, the Spirit inside of us, that we invited and need to invite on a daily basis will lead us beside quiet waters and green pastures. Our spirits can feast on green grass and sip cool, clear water from that stream. And we don’t have to figure out which pasture we’ll eat from today, or which ewe is going to deliver, or when the tractor will break, or if the plow will plow. We just show up, eat, drink, rest, and be filled. Spirit-filled. Refreshment-filled. Goodness-filled.

Sean is heading back from South Africa today. I’m working on my end to transfer monies, so we can pay our friend back. The friend here who transferred money from his bank account (enough to buy a very nice, used car) to the dealership’s bank account when the dealership couldn’t run our credit card! I’m working to get the insurance up and running today. Sean’s driving back the nicest car we’ll ever probably own. Hah! It’s still a 2005 and has over 150,000 miles on it. But cars don’t run cheap here. And trucks certainly don’t run cheap.

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