Volume 12

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 2


In This Issue

Charis Family
     Makayla Hunt
Charis Cuisine
Coconut Tangerine Salad
Charis Around the World
More to come on the trip to Kenya in a future newsletter!

To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:
Newsletter Archives


Attention Aspiring Midwives!


You will love the flexible, thorough, distance academics course offered through Charis Childbirth! Check it out!

Want to serve childbearing families as a Certified Doula or Childbirth Educator?

Become trained and certified through Charis Childbirth!
Take a look at our unique certification process!

If you seek a school that offers the convenience of self-paced distance learning, personal mentors for each student, a commitment to the highest excellence in education, a family-like network of students and birth professionals, and education from a Christian perspective, Charis may be just the right fit for you!



Charis Membership

We at Charis are extremely grateful for our wonderful members.  This past year, your dues have made it financially possible for us to creatively correspond with people in areas of the world where internet is spotty at best.  Having all forms of communication available for us is essential if we are going to successfully train birth professionals in the far reaches of the earth.  As our community of members grows, there will be more funds available for even more world-impacting outreach. Thank you!

Membership is due every December 31 for the coming calendar year.  So, if you became a member on or before December 31, 2016, your dues should be mailed by the middle of December, 2017, to be sure it is received in time.  If you become a member sometime in 2017, then your membership renewal is not due until December 31, 2018.

You can send your membership form and $30 dues to:
Charis Childbirth
2575 N. Toledo Blade Blvd., Suite 3
North Port, FL 34289

For more information
Visit the
Charis Web site
for course description and outline. 


Contact Us

Charis Childbirth
2575 N. Toledo Blade Blvd., Suite 3
North Port, FL 34289

Kristin Schuchmann ~ Executive  Director
Cell (941)441-6410


Susan Oshel ~ Director of Midwifery Studies

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Our Director's Heart

Kristin Schuchmann, Lilian Achieng Odhiambo,
Lilian's son, Surprise, and her mother who is a midwife.

Making a difference that will benefit generations to come...

Incredible people are everywhere. No matter where you go, you will find them; and, often, where it is least expected. Some people live where there are opportunities to cultivate their gifts in ways that get attention from the world. Others live where there is corruption to the extent that their talents are squashed and hidden by poverty over which they have no control. Some people silently use their brilliance to be a light in ways that do not get the attention of the internet or anyone outside of their immediate family or neighbors. On my recent trip to Kenya, everywhere I went, I was surrounded by brilliance of every form and fashion. Our team had the honor of getting to know government officials, community health volunteers, midwives and traditional birth attendants in the villages and slums and big cities, mothers and babies, women who are not mothers, married men, single men, pastors, business men and women, hospital administrators, and other health workers.

Every single person we met was incredible. It amazed us at how much they are able to do with so little. The ones working in the clinics and hospitals are working for little or no pay and with inadequate supplies. The home birth midwives in the slums and villages have obstacles ranging from transportation issues, lack of supplies, resistance from the government through real and perceived laws and rules that limit their ability to do their work, and rampant HIV and other diseases. I discovered that a box of low-quality, non-sterile gloves costs the same there as I pay for a box of high-quality, non-sterile gloves in the US. That could be an entire week's income for some, making it completely cost-prohibitive to use gloves. And, sadly, all the midwives and healthcare workers felt under-appreciated for all they do to help their communities.

As difficult as it is for the healthcare workers, the stories from the mothers painted the saddest picture of all. Mother after mother told us of the horrible abuse they endured during labor at the hands of hospital staff. They are routinely beaten, slapped, and kicked if they make noise or do not conform to what they are told to do. Some are also neglected to the extent that their please for help from staff are ignored and they deliver all alone in the hospital room fearing for their and their babies' lives. The ones who deliver at home with midwives have stories of being treated well, but they are afraid of complications and not being able to get to the hospital in time. Many told us they would absolutely choose a home birth if they were certain that their midwife was able to handle those complications.

The underlying problem we identified is that women are simply not valued. It is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is not a problem that can be fixed overnight. So, what can be done to sustainably improve maternity care and birth outcomes in Kenya? Our approach must be multi-faceted and steeped in great love for the country and her people. It is essential that Kenyans be the primary message-bearers. The vision is currently in the early stages of gestation, but a few things are coming together already. First, we must train Kenyans as midwives and as teachers of midwifery. Secondly, we must identify Kenyan men who truly see women as God sees them and who have caught the vision for passing that value on to the men of this generation and the next.

We are extremely excited to have connected with dozens of practicing midwives in hospitals, villages, and slums who have a hunger to learn. They are eagerly awaiting more education! We are already planning what skills would be most appropriate to teach in each of the settings and are preparing for next year's trip. Eventually, I will not be needed for the trainings. We now have several Kenyan Charis midwifery students who are working hard to be ready to be the teachers in the future!

Several men have already said they want to be part of the solution! One is a pastor who is a loving husband and father whose baby was born while the hospital completely neglected his wife, one is a hospital administrator with hopes of becoming a doctor, one is an entrepreneur who has offered land on which we will be able to build a birth center, and one is a chief of a village who has travelled internationally and sees that empowering women is key in coming up with solutions for Kenya's problems.

Thank you for praying for us as we travelled! Please continue praying for our Charis students in Kenya and for the Charis staff as we plan for next year's trip. We are very excited about what God is doing and the many doors He is opening for us to spread the Gospel and improve the lives of people all around the world in ways that will continue having a ripple effect for generations to come!

Love and blessings,
Kristin Schuchmann, LM, CPM
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc



  • For the Charis Childbirth Educator, Doula, and Midwifery students: sharp minds to learn, opportunities for lots of hands-on learning
  • For the Charis CEs, doulas, and midwives: rest, peace, protection, wisdom, discernment
  • For the Charis missionaries and humanitarian workers: protection, peace, divine guidance, financial provision
  • For  our  directors  and  administration:   Wisdom, guidance, energy, and provision from God as Charis enters this season of growth


The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical care and advice from your health care provider.

 'Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth,
 Among  them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and The one who labors with child,  together,
 A great throng shall return there...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.'
 Jeremiah 31:8, 14
2017 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
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April 2017