Volume 10

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 12


In This Issue

Charis Family
     Emily Unruh

Charis Cuisine
Super Immune System Booster Soup
 Charis Around the World
 Childbirth in Kenya


To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:
Newsletter Archives


Mark Your Calendars

Charis Workshop
Communication, Teaching, and Coaching
Saturday, March 5, 2016
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

At LifeSong Midwifery in North Port, Florida

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

Just a sneak peek to plan for our next workshop! Look for more information and the registration  form in a future newsletter.


Childbirth Preparation Classes
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Presented by: Birth InSight
Christi Jones (CCE, CD) and Aimee Roberts (CCE, CD)

Weekly Series
January 7- February 11, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
February 18- March 24, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
April 7- May 12, Thursdays 7:00-9:00

Weekend Series
April 15&16 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)

For more information and to register visit our website
or call 757-270-0437


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!

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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, 2014, your dues should be mailed by the middle of December, 2015, to be sure it is received in time.  If you become a member sometime in 2015, then your membership renewal is not due until December 31, 2016.

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. 

“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” Elisabeth Elliot, 1926-2015


Our Director's Heart

Surprise,  Kristin and Lilian

A Baby with a Baby

Just a few miles north of the equator on the East African plateau, bordered on the west by Uganda, is Bungoma, Kenya. Bungoma has a population of about 80,000 people, two of whom are very precious to me. You may remember from past newsletters Lilian and Surprise. The week before Thanksgiving, I had the privilege of Skyping with Lilian and Surprise when they were visiting our friend Pearl in Kakamega. Surprise was super excited to tell me how well he is performing in school and, as he usually does when we talk, asked when I am coming to see him. It is hard for a little boy to understand how very far apart we live and how vast the ocean is that separates our continents. In this conversation, however, I had good news that fueled our hope and expectation that we would see each other again. God has answered Lilian’s and Surprise’s prayers for a midwife to join my practice, giving me the freedom to travel. The next prayer to be answered is financial provision for my trip. If you think about it, join us in those prayers. Lilian calls me Mum and Surprise calls me Shosho (“grandma” in Swahili). He shows all his friends the photo of us together that is prominently displayed in their home. The boy longs for a visit from his grandmother. So, I must go! God will surely provide. (more on that topic in a future newsletter)

Lilian has been working on her midwifery studies, but not without huge obstacles. Without a computer, all her work is done by hand in a notebook. That notebook was stolen last year, causing her to lose all the work she had done so far; so, she started all over again. Most others would have been paralyzed by the setback, but not Lilian. She went right back to work with her typical attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to receive this education. Another obstacle is her lack of a suitable preceptor in Bungoma. There is one midwife in her town who has spent time teaching Lilian some things; but, we are unsure of her training and skill and feel Lilian needs to relocate temporarily to receive adequate training so she can return to Bungoma and serve the community she loves with excellence. We are asking God for provision for her to live in Nairobi where I have been told it can be five times as expensive to live. Lilian is also asking God for a huge miracle: approval for a US visa so she can live with me temporarily in Florida to learn midwifery skills. In faith, she is working on getting a passport for herself and Surprise so she is ready the moment a visa is approved. (again, more on that topic in a future newsletter)

Lilian is one of the hardest working, most giving people I have ever known. Her heart is big and eager to sacrificially help people. She is a trusted friend and role model to many young women and girls in her community. Although she has very little, she is always willing to give everything she has for someone in need. I wish so much that Lilian herself could tell you the story I am getting ready to write. Her access to internet is spotty and she doesn’t have a computer of her own, so I will do my best to convey it the same as she told it to me when we talked last. (Truthfully, I will not be able to do that. Lilian is masterful in how she communicates her life’s stories and I will only be sharing the abridged version that will grossly lack the heart and emotion Lilian so beautifully conveyed.)

Months ago, Lilian saw a young girl crying, so she asked her what was wrong. The girl, named Anna, was hesitant at first to talk with Lilian because her mother had told her not to tell anyone. But, something about Lilian made her feel comfortable to share her secret. She explained that recently, when Anna was at home alone, five men entered her house and raped her. As a result, at only 11 years old, she was pregnant. Because in Kenyan culture being raped is shameful, her mother never reported the crime and was requiring her daughter to get an abortion so no one would ever know. Her mother told her she was five times shamed and showed no compassion. Anna was very afraid of dying during the abortion and was feeling hopeless. Lilian told Anna that she doesn’t often tell her own story; but, since Anna had trusted Lilian with her secret, she would do the same. If you do not know Lilian’s story, take a moment to read it here and then come back to read more about Anna.

After their conversation, Lilian didn’t see Anna again. She was very concerned for Anna’s life and tried to find her, even visiting Anna’s home, where she received no explanation from Anna’s mother other than that she was gone. Lilian feared the worst.

Last month, Lilian’s teenage brother Sam, who Lilian is raising, saw Anna on the street and told her she needed to go see Lilian, that Lilian had been worried about her. To Lilian’s delight, Anna came to see her with a beautiful newborn baby girl in her arms. After her first conversation with Lilian, Anna had decided the only way to save her baby’s life and her own was to run away, which she did. Sadly, Anna has no income or support from her family, so her baby girl wore no clothes or diaper or blanket. All she had was a plastic grocery bag wrapped around her bottom where a diaper would have been. A nearly naked baby is so far removed from typical Kenyan culture. Normally, a newborn baby is wrapped in several layers of blankets, even though they live right next to the equator! In typical Lilian style, she got her only blanket, one that had been Surprise’s blanket, and gave it to Anna to wrap around her baby. Pearl had given Lilian some clothes her baby girl had outgrown to donate to someone else, but Lilian decided Anna needed them more. Anna was completely overwhelmed by the generosity. Lilian told Anna, “As soon as I have an extra ten shillings (that’s about a dime), I will give it to you.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t just sit here in my comfy home and “pray” for Anna! After all, faith without works is dead! Of course, as soon as I heard about Anna and her baby, I began to pray for them; but, in addition to what my family is sending Lilian this month (we pay her rent and Surprise’s tuition and school expenses every month), we are sending extra so Lilian can give Anna more than just “ten shillings”. We are hoping Lilian can buy some nice cloth diapers, detergent for washing those diapers, and some extra food so she can share it with Anna. Anna is still a baby herself and she needs to be mothered. Lilian feels she may be the one called to do so. Now, that is the spirit of adoption, the heart of Christ! I am a very proud “Mum”.

Blessings to all of you during this Christmas season. May your hearts and homes be beautiful beacons of Jesus’s love as we celebrate His coming to earth in human form to be the sacrifice necessary for all of us to be reconciled to Him and live eternally in His presence.

Merry Christmas!
Kristin Schuchmann, CPM, LM
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc.

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

Look us up


  • 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
©2015 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
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December 2015