Kirby Birdsong is currently serving as a Missionary Midwife Apprentice in the Congo. This is made possible because of the partnership between Katalyst and the Newlife School of Midwifery. Here is what Kirby has to say about herself and her journey to become a Missionary Midwife.
By the grace of God, I am His child sent out by Him to share the Gospel of truth and love. The same Gospel which saved me, calling me out of darkness and into light.
My life, as it looks now, is something I could have never imagined for myself. As I look back to see how I got here, I see the Lord's guiding hand moving me off of my path and onto His own.
I grew up in the church, knowing many things about God and Jesus, for years it was my head knowledge that kept me secure, never true faith. I stumbled through college with one foot in the Christian door while the other stayed with the world. It was here that I was introduced to the practice of midwifery. I instantly knew it was wanted I wanted a career in - it was impossible to not be awed by the miracle of birth within a holistic, personal and women-centered practice. I spent my Junior and Senior years of college completing my degree in Public Health while assisting births at our local birth center. The more I learned and experienced, the more sure I became that midwifery was a gift given to me by God, and I knew I need to use it for His Kingdom.
After college, I decided to take a gap year and devote it to studying God's Word. I attended the Kanakuk Institute, an 8-month Biblical studies program, and it was here that the Lord brought me to repentance and I finally gave my whole life to Him. I learned many things during this time, one of the most pivotal being my passion for the mission field. I began praying about how to put my love for the Lord's harvest and midwifery together when I remembered Newlife International School of Midwifery (NISM). NISM is a midwifery program located in Davao City, Philippines, and they are dedicated to training missionary midwives.
Since being accepted as a student missionary midwife at NISM, my life has completely changed. I am learning what it is to live fully surrendered to the Lord, and most recently that life of surrender has brought me to begin my studies in the Republic of Congo. With COVID-19 continuing to keep the borders of the Philippines closed, my class was given the option to join the medical team at Hôpital Evangélique « Le Pionnier » (HELP) until we could make our way to NISM's main campus. I arrived in Congo on January 10th, 2022, and have plans to train here for a year and then finish my training in the Philippines.
As I sit and reflect on the Lord's hand in my life, I am drawn to rejoice in Him. I was once lost and worthy of death, but, because of His great love, He took that death with Him to the cross and gave me His reward of eternal and abundant life. This is abundant life. Being in the Congo, I have the privilege to work with beautiful women who daily feel the hardships of a broken world. Alongside the amazing midwives I am training under, we get to be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving and caring for them. The Lord grants us midwifery as our tool to build relationships and trust with our clients while we walk through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Our mission is to meet them because of their physical needs, then lead them to the One who can provide for all of their needs - spiritual, emotional, and physical.
I praise God that I get to live this life of earnest work and that I get to make disciples of Jesus Christ as I go to the nations.
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.