Thursday, July 12, 2018

time to water !

Faith and Vision.  These are two difficult concepts to grasp.  We are told that FAITH comes from that which we hope for but can not see, and VISION is the ability to see before it is a reality.  When you come from a hopeless place in a country that many have little or no hope, where do you even begin .  

Last fall we moved one of the chicken runs, and what was left was a large patch of dry dirt that had not had a single weed or plant grow on it for a couple years .. it was arid, dry and basically a clean slate .     As the boys were helping us to prepare the ground, I tried to explain to them what our "Vision" was for this spot.   It was difficult for them to grasp, but they willingly worked along side me.  I don't think they could grasp the plan, but they did have a bit of faith in me and that faith in me was the seed for them to begin to have some faith in the project .   

We laid out the way we would like the garden to be when finished, but still the ground was bare.  We went out and got a dozen fruit trees .  At that time of year they were nothing more then a bunch of sticks, no leaves and hardly any route, but buy faith we planted them, envisioning an orchard in the future.  This spring those trees started to produce leaves, and were soon covered in blossoms.  But we were not done yet.  Next we brought out a bunch of flower seeds that we had collected from flowers we saw and liked last summer.  We worked the soil under the trees and planted them.  those seeds are  so so so small, and it seems hard to put such a tiny seed into the ground then walk away.. 

There is still much to do as this garden area starts to mature, but already we are seeing this vision start to become a reality.

That blank slate we had with the garden is in many ways like the blank slate that we have had with our kids.  Many have come from place where they had no hope for the future.  They were focusing on surviving that day, the future was not something that they could envision.  

Julie, Vlad and \I have spent a lot of time on the balcony with the kids ... planting seeds ..  exploring what a vision for their futures might look like.   Up until now the work we have been doing has been preparing the soil .. they may not have had a lot of idea what the future would hold, but they have developed a faith in u,s that we are there for them and that their basic needs are being met. 

Now its time to start to dream, time see a vision, time to plant the seeds and begin to water them.  

If you have looked on the top right side of the blog you will see the meter for the scholarship fund.  A "dream meter" might be a better name for it.  We have watched in amazement as the kids have begun to function and develop, and just over the last couple months have started to dream. 

Teacher,  psychologist, car electronics, tourism, I.T, medical collage, art collage and music programming not to mention things like English lessons, German lessons, and getting drivers licences.

Just as we are seeing the gardens start to bloom, the day will come when we are going to see great blossoms from these kids.  It is just for us to have the faith to water. 

For someone to attend school, there is much more then tuition, room and board and transportation.  Remembering the past and where these kids have started, just imagine coming up with.. Birth certificate,  in country passport, registry of residence, military certificate, medical and previous school transcripts.  All this can in some cases be more time consuming and costly then the school itself.  We have several of our friends working on these, many times for days strait, fighting with road block after road block as we fight to rebuild what these kids have lost, or have never had in the first place.  

We are almost done.  we have a couple documents we are now just waiting on to arrive, and then every one is caught up, registered, and ready to start school.     

Although the meter on the side shows about $8500 to go, some of those expenses we can defer a little .. with registration fees and deposits and the first installments, we have about a month left to come up with approx $4500 more.   

This kind of trust is not by any means new to us.  We have to trust for everything that we have, and everything that we do.  If the money does not come in we don't do it.    You would think that I would be used to that by now, but it is something I still struggle with.  I know that some how this need will be met, but at 3:00 in the morning it can be hard to convince myself of that . 

As we are heading down to the wire now, please consider how you can help with this great and worthwhile need.  Help us water the seeds that have been planted.  Help us make it possible for these kids to see their visions come to reality.. and lets watch them blossom.    ITS TIME 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hot Hot Hot !

The weather has been stupid hot at the farm, but the kids are surviving. 
we have the pool, so that is making things more bearable for them. 

A  few of the team went to the lake with the farm camp kids for a few days .  they all had a great time .  Next week we have 7 more kids going to camp. 

They have been picking cherries out in the flower garden to put into jars 

Now they are starting on the raspberries.  They have made 15 liters of jam in the last couple days.   

The zinnias have started to bloom in flower garden .

 With the extreme heat it has been hard on the plants, but they are holding on.   We have been flooding the fields , but it soon evaporates. 

looks like they will be eating spaghetti squash soon.  

 Our young girl we have been helping in the hospital with the skin grafts is doing well and is out of the hospital and back home now.  When the timing is right, Vlad will go see them and get some pictures. 

Julie and I have our flights booked and will be returning in a few weeks .  Lots to do this fall.  We have 5 groups coming to the farm, so it is going to be a busy fall.    

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

a few needs to get caught up.

We have been experiencing a heat wave here in Canada , We have been blessed to be able to spend this week with family and friends mountains in Quebec.  A small time of relaxing and enjoying the beach. 

In Kyrgyzstan they have a beautiful lake,  Isyk kool .. it is a high elevation salt water lake surrounded  by snow capped mountains .  Our kids at the farm have been wanting to go there desperately.   We just found out that the youth group that they attend is planing a week long trip there in a few weeks .  the only hitch is the meals accommodations and transportation   with eight kids wishing to go to camp this summer we are looking at $400 ,  

It sort of comes at a bad time for us, we are trying to raise money for them to go to collage and university in just a couple months . we also have had several medical needs with Argin and his bike accident , and |Aiperi with both teeth and nerve problems and our young friend in hospital with burns on her feet .  and just today Acel let us know that the next round of medical will be about $200     

We also have a need that we are both excited about and trying not to be stressed about .
Olga has been spearheading an initiative in Kyrgyzstan to get drugs alcohol and cigarettes out of the hands of kids.  through public training, stricter laws , and enforcement of existing laws, it is starting to make a difference.  

The opportunity has come for her to attend a one week conference in NYC about this very topic.  It will give her lots of ideas and information, but may also provide her with contacts for future development.    There  were a lot of barriers in the way but she has manages to get around almost all of them .. visa's,  flights, accommodations are now all covered but $300.   

All of these needs will be coming up in the next couple weeks so we will have to put the scholarship needs on hold until we can come up with $1000  to meet these needs.   

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Happy birthday Billy

Today was little Billy's first birthday.  I am sure that it is a bitter sweet day for his Grandma .  Billy lost his mom on this day during child birth.  Billy was failure to thrive and had 3 holes in his heart and not expected to live.   Many of you have been following his journey here on the blog ,so here is a little recap.  Aiperie has been bringing formula and other necessary food and clothes to the family every couple of weeks since November, and we have seen incredible changes in Billy's health.   He has developed muscle tone and two of the holes in his heart have grown in on their own and the third is doing well.  We still have him on a mixture of formula and pablum.  The family is so poor and he is doing so well that we do not want to take him off the high quality formula until we have to . 

Today Aiperi was busy organizing a birthday party for him. 


A tradition in Kyrgyzstan is to tie the babies legs with yarn on their first birthday, then the village kids have a running race and the winner of the race gets a prize, as well they get to cut the yarn on the babies legs which symbolizes releasing the baby to begin to walk and run.  

here is a short video of that today 

It was our initial target to keep him on the formula until he was one and we have had some incredible sponsors who made that commitment and have supplied this need.   Now that we have reached that target , how much more we are able to do for him will depend on the generosity of you our readers .. If you would like to help with the on going care of Billy, please use the donation links on the side of the blog and in the memo just put "Billy"  thank you so much . 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

" a pot to pee in "

 Just as we were leaving Kyrgyzstan we shared a need of a young widowed mom who had no toilet in her apartment.  she had been living there for some time and could not afford one. 

Today Vlady was able to get them a toilet and install it and fix the lines .. What a blessing .. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

the final days of farm camp.

Our little girl that we have been helping had a bit of a set back today.  It looked like she was improving, but when she went back into the children's hospital today they found that she is not improving fast enough.  She is now scheduled for skin grafts for Thursday then follow up treatment after that.  We are feeling very blessed that several of you have been supporting our efforts with her, and  the funds are in place for the skin grafts and the next round of treatments .  such a blessing. 

The second week of farm camp has rapped up .  This has been such a positive experience for everyone.. Just stop and think about it .. Our farm kids, no longer orphans but now part of a the farm family, running a camp for orphans.   

It was not just the fun activities and the skills that they learned, the kids became part of our family. 

It was so hard for them to say good buy, and hard for our kids on the farm as well.  They did put together a little good buy gift for them from the farm to take home to remember their time . 

Fresh eggs and fresh milk, and of course 6 liters of strawberry jam 

Lets not call this good buy , lets just say see you soon, as I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of these kids in the future.  Who knows maybe one day they too will be living on the farm and helping with the farm camp with the next group of kids.  

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Strawberry season

The strawberries are in full swing now in Kyrgyzstan.  This is a cool picture of a bunch of the kids around the strawberry pans helping to clean and pluck to get ready to make jam.  Its funny, there was not that much help when we were washing spinach, but it is understandable and any help is welcome.  

The VERY BEST thing to go along with strawberries is fresh Borsolk .. you have not experienced a raw culinary delight until you have tasted it.  The strawberries in KG are somehow better then anywhere else, and I think that borsolk was designed as a way to eat them.

But its not all eating and playing , the kids still are working hard in the gardens every morning.  

Back in Canada today, Julie and I visited friends from Northview in Peterborough.  We had a great time sharing about the farm.  They have a large team coming to the farm in September.  During our time there we shared about our desire to send so many kids to further education this fall.  Things are going to look different at the farm with many of our kids away at school through the week and only home on weekends .  We are so excited for them all , and at the same time it can be a little concerning when we stop and look at the financial aspect of this.  I have what has become a deep routed belief that when God gives an assignment that the resources are tied to that assignment, and not the other way around.  I also KNOW that education is so important for our kids, not just for their future job prospects, but for their emotional development.    So we have not considered the possibility that the funds will not be there ... Well to be honest that sounds like a cool statement, but  I am not as spiritual as maybe I should be and yes is does scare me at times , usually around 3:00 in the morning , hahaha .. but I do know that I should not worry and just leave this in Gods hands.  This is something that I need to work on. 
Today I was reminded again to put it in Gods hands.  With out a prior plan, the group was prompted to pass the hat and in just minutes over $2000 was raised toward the scholarships.   What a blessing.. I had always heard that if you want to bless a parent, then bless their kids... Today our kids were blessed beyond measure... WE were blessed.  Thank you to everyone at Northview this morning.. Once again you have reminded me who is in control.  

Friday, June 08, 2018

Day eight of Farm Camp

A very busy day yesterday but a fun one.  We started bringing in the hay, 

We had 
guests to both the kashar and the farm, As well the kids farm camp is still on .  but we have a great team on the ground and it all went off with out a hitch 

One of the families we work with is having a crisis right now. Their daughter has suffered severe burns and is in the hospital, so Vlad had to slip away from the excitement on the farm to go to the hospital and arrange treatment as well as a ride to the Childrens hospital in Bishkek.  We will keep you posted as we know more. 

Thursday, June 07, 2018

A little work and a little play.

Yesterday I posted about our scholarship program and our hope to get it a big boost over fathers day.   Vlad has been working at that end to see if there are any scholarships available and what help we can get in country.  One of the schools can not offer any special price, but they are willing to let us pay monthly rather then in two installments.   As well some of the scholarship will be going to housing or transportation costs that are also covered on a monthly or daily basis. This is great news for us.  It also means that if you our sponsors would like to help in smaller amounts on an on going basis, you could consider setting up a monthly sponsorship using the donate button on the side of the blog. 

Camp has been going great.  The kids are starting to get the hang of the morning chores.  On the rainy days they have English and math class as well.   

the ping pong and biking riding are a big hit as well 

yesterday they went for a hike up to the water falls, then had a picnic there.  

After the hike picnic they went to the yurts for the night ..they enjoyed the camp fire , in fact they loved it so much at the yurts that they plan on going back .

tonight's activity is board games at the cafe .