Volume 12

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 5


In This Issue

Charis Family
     Marilyn Garman
Charis Cuisine
     Garlicky Sweet Potato & Spinach

Charis Around the World
Childbirth in Kenya

To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:
Newsletter Archives


Mark Your Calendars

Charis Workshops

Communication, Teaching, and Coaching
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Registration Form

"Labor Support”
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Registration Form

At Charis Childbirth in North Port, Florida

To register, complete the Registration Form
and mail it, along with payment, to:

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

Registration must be received before February 27, 2018

Two workshops during a two day hiatus to Florida.
Register for both or only one.
It's an amazing time of learning, sharing and friendship!

For childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, or anyone who would like to improve her ability to support laboring women and communicate with and educate expectant families.

At our workshops, learning is interactive, hands-on, fun, and interesting.  All Charis workshops are taught from a Christian perspective, giving God the glory for His marvelous creation and how He so wonderfully created women to bear children.

In addition to the valuable skills acquired at the workshop(s), you will also take home with you a beautiful “labor support bag” filled with an assortment of tools to help you successfully support, serve, and bring comfort to your future clients as they labor from the "Labor Support" workshop and an assortment of visual aids and other valuable teaching tools to enhance your future students’ learning experience from the “Communication, Teaching, and Coaching” Workshop

A delicious lunch will be provided for all the workshop attendees to enjoy as you get to know each other better during a midday break each day of the two workshops.

The cost is $250 for Charis members and $285 for non-members (includes one-year Charis membership).


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!


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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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. 

Our Director's Heart


What would you do? A huge hurricane is approaching and your home is right in the center of the storm’s projected track. Friends and family who live in other parts of the country are begging you to leave town and take refuge far from the path of the storm. Your clients don’t want you to leave. You need to make a quick decision. But, it is not that easy. You have animals to protect who rely on you for everything but cannot travel. You have a home and property to secure. You have mommas who are counting on you for prenatal and postpartum care and your presence when they go into labor. How long would you have to be gone? Would they let people back into the city shortly after the storm, or would access be denied for a lengthy time? What would happen if the city’s midwife was not there in the weeks following the storm? How safe is your home? Can it withstand hurricane winds? Is there a safe place to go nearby if flood waters rise? What about your family members? Do they want to stay for the storm, or leave the state? So many things to consider!

This is exactly what I lived through just recently as hurricane Irma was heading straight toward my home in southwest Florida.

Ultimately, for me, there was no question as to what I should do. I had to stay. My son, daughter-in-law, their kids, my mom who had come for a visit from Virginia, and my daughter left the day before the hurricane to drive to Mississippi to stay with my daughter and her family. My husband, son, and I remained behind to hold down the fort. I wasn’t worried about our home; it was intentionally built to withstand such a storm. I knew I was safe. Everything outside our home was secured, we prepared well for the possibility of weeks without electricity by collecting dozens of gallons of water ahead of time (no electricity for us means no water), we had a plan for “bucket baths” with pool water, we gathered enough canned soups and other non-perishables to feed an army, we had gas for the grill, and I even made home made wet wipes. We were ready!

Irma arrived at my house as a category 2 hurricane—my very first cat 2!—and it was thrilling. (I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that my inner adrenaline junky thoroughly enjoyed herself.) The winds were strong, the tall pine trees behind my house bent way over, but did not break. Even though I could see the powerful storm blowing through, I could barely hear it due to our home’s solid construction. The three cell phone towers closest to us went down pretty early in the storm, making phone calls a challenge. Our internet continued working as long as we had electricity, which continued to be on until right when Irma’s eye approached our city. That’s when the stressful moments began.

My client who was around 36 weeks pregnant had just contacted me via facebook message to let me know she was contracting. She didn’t want to deliver without me, but the winds were just too strong and the flood waters were rising too fast for me to risk going to her. We were sending facebook messages back and forth about what to do. She had her birth supplies; she was ready. Then, a pretty desperate message came from her husband letting me know he was concerned about his wife because she had begun shaking. As soon as I received that message, my electricity and internet went out. I couldn’t reply to this man who felt as if the weight of the world was now on his shoulders, or, at least, the weight of his per-term baby could soon be in his hands. Thankfully, I was able to get Susan Oshel’s telephone number to them via Sarah, our beloved office manager who had evacuated to another state. Susan was ready and able to talk them through the birth if my cell phone connection was not good enough. It was getting late at night and it was dark, so I went to sleep as I prayed for my client and her baby.

The next morning, I woke up on an island. The flood waters had risen enoough to flood my street, the vacant lots on both sides of our house, and the big drainage ditch behind our home. A few hours later, the waters had miraculously receded and our street was passable. Amazingly, our electricity was only out for about 4 1/2 hours. I don’t know what crazy person working for Florida Power and Light was out in the middle of the storm fixing things, but I wish I could give that person a huge hug!

My island after Irma

I also awoke to a momma who was STILL PREGNANT! As soon as the storm’s eye passed and the barometric pressure rose a bit, her contractions eased and she remained pregnant for a few more weeks, at which time her husband was happy to catch his baby WITH their midwife present.

There was a lot of work to do after the storm passed. We spent the next day cleaning up storm debris in our yard, which the city had picked up at our curb before the end of the day. We put all of our outdoor furniture and plants back out where they belonged, staked up our two moringa trees that fell over, and eventually drank all the water. We ate canned soups for what seems like forever since we spent our entire grocery budget on non-perishables and had no money left over for the foods we really like. (If I never eat another can of Amy’s soup again, that’s okay with me!). Many appointments with clients had to be cancelled or rescheduled due to people evacuating or having a tough time recovering from the storm. The only lingering effect of the storm, for me, was poor cell phone coverage for a couple weeks as they worked to rebuild the towers.

My fallen moringa trees

Over the next few weeks, I spent a lot of time during appointments listening to my clients as they talked about the stress leading up to the storm and how they managed during and after the storm. So many were traumatized and are still working through the PTSD.

One of the things that makes midwifery hard sometimes is that our clients and their needs are taken into consideration when making important life decisions. I might have made the same decision about hurricane Irma even if I was not a midwife, but my commitment to the mommas is a big deal to me and it was a huge part of the reason I did not evacuate with the rest of my family.

I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit, who is completely reliable in giving us the guidance and direction we need to ensure we are in the center of God’s will. I was at complete peace about remaining for the storm. There was no fear.

In this season of giving thanks, I am grateful for God’s hand of protection over my city, my family, my home, and my clients during hurricane Irma. He is a good Father and takes very good care of His children.

Kristin Schuchmann, LM, CPM
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth




  • For the Charis Childbirth Educator, Doula, and Midwifery students: sharp minds to learn, opportunities for lots of hands-on learning
  • For the Charis CE’s, 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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October 2017