Volume 4

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 11





Our Charis Family

Mary Ann Stoltzfus

Hello, my name is Mary Ann Stoltzfus. I am happily married to a wonderful man of God, my husband Ben, for almost twenty years. I am also a blessed mother of seven beautiful children, twins, Rachel and Rosa; age 19; Linda, 17; Karen, 16; Benjamin, 14; Timothy, 13; and Joanna, age 10. Rosa (one of the twins) and her husband, Jon, just celebrated their first anniversary.

My husband and I grew up in Pennsylvania among the Amish culture. I gave birth to our first three children while still Amish. When Linda, our third child, was still a baby we made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior! It was the best decision we have ever made! After making that monumental decision, it gave me the faith to give birth to our last four children in the comfort of my own home, which was so much more relaxing. I loved the fact that I actually got to know my midwife and had her (or her assistant) full attention during labor and delivery.

After the birth of our youngest child, Joanna, I had the desire to pursue midwifery, but came up against some obstacles and never pushed any further. However, this past summer, after having some conversations with young mothers and mothers-to-be, the desire to see these mothers experience all that God has designed for them in childbirth drove me to seek the Lord on this topic, and to begin researching the difference between natural childbirth versus the intervention of drugs, etc. that so often happens in hospitals. Through my research process, I ordered the book “Supernatural Childbirth” which took me to a link which opened Charis Childbirth’s website. I was so intrigued by the ministry and the ideas of Doulas (which I had never heard about, and didn’t even know how to pronounce the word.) Of course after researching the role of a doula, and having a phone conversation with Kristin, I really felt that the training to be a doula was something God was leading me into.

I shared my desire with a friend of mine from church who was expecting her third child any day. I shared with her my desire to become a doula, and told her that the next time she is expecting I would love to help her through the process and be her doula. Well, on the way home from church that day her husband asked her why I would have to wait until the next time, why could I not coach her during the delivery of the child they were expecting to have any day? Needless to say, I was honored and excited to be there for them, even though I had no training yet. Talking with Kristin on the phone several times was such a blessing and encouragement, and her advice was priceless!

I now have plans to begin my training the beginning of November, and I am so excited to see what God has in store through this process and journey. I’m waiting on a phone call any day from another young mother from church that wants encouragement and support during her labor to deliver her baby naturally after having a c-section with her last child. I truly believe that this is a desire that God has placed in my heart, and I’m very excited and willing to walk it out.

Ben and Mary Ann Stoltzfus with their lovely family,
Rachel and Rosa, 19 and Rosa's husband, Jon;  Linda, 17;  Karen, 16; Benjamin, 14;  Timothy, 13  and Joanna, 10.
Rosa and  Jon,  just celebrated their first anniversary.

Our Friends ~ Our Family
We'd love to feature you in newsletters to come!


Charis Cuisine

Curry Wasabi Nori Rolls



Filling Ingredients

1/4 head purple cabbage, finely chopped
1 bunch lacinato, chopped
2 carrots, grated or in long thin slices
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 head lettuce, chopped, optional
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2 thin slices purple onion, minced
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
dash ume plum vinegar, to taste
raw dried nori sheets

Curry Wasabi Sauce

1 tsp. curry
1/2 tsp. coriander, freshly ground
1/2 tsp. turmeric
3 Tbl. tahini
1 lime, juiced
wasabi, to taste
water, enough to make thick sauce
dash ume plum vinegar


Toss all Filling ingredients in a bowl. Blend the Curry Wasabi Sauce and toss with the salad. Adjust flavors to suit your taste. Roll up the dressed salad with sprouts and carrots into nori sheets. Serve garnished with sprouts.

About Nori

Nori is a seaweed that draws an extraordinary wealth of mineral elements form the sea that can account for up to 36% of its dry mass. These nutrients include sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, Beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and calcium just to name a few. In addition to vitamins and minerals, Nori is also high in fiber and protein and low in carbohydrates. It provides up to ten times more calcium and iron by weight than dairy products. It has traditionally been eaten in Asian cultures to strengthen the circulatory system and help lower cholesterol. Today scientists are researching other potential health benefits of seaweed.

Seaweed is one of the greatest health secrets - a true "super food".

This may seem surprising - that such a humble and common class of plants could offer us very much in terms of health. But seaweed health benefits have been known for a long time - and modern science is revealing more and more about this super-food. The fact is seaweed is packed full of much-needed vitamins and minerals, including some relatively rare trace elements.

Seaweeds are algae and they have unique health and nutritional properties.

You don't have to trek down to the sea; most of them should be available in a health food outlet somewhere in your neighborhood. Failing that, you can buy some of them mail order.

Have a good recipe? Share it here!

Letters To The Editor

I need to say that this issue of the Charis Newsletter, (October 2009), is the most interesting one I've read so far. Perhaps it's because I have a small history of Ebony now, or because I was entertained watching teachers and students collaborating in all the wonderful Charis "Labor Support" Workshop pictures. Thanks so much for including me in the journey of Charis through this awesome newsletter! I so enjoy it. I knew about the negative birth results just from listening to medical news, but the film you posted, Reducing Infant Mortality and Improving The Health of Babies, really explained things!  Quite the informative newsletter.
Dave Yarnall, Pismo Beach, California

Comments From Our Readers
Share  your appreciation, comments and thoughts.

'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
©2009 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
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November 2009