Sunday, January 20, 2019

On the road again

 This morning we were in Patrolia to bring some updates about the work in Kyrgyzstan as well as share the video Lisa Rodgers made about Short term missions .  

 We shared about the need for a new truck, and we were blessed by a special offering taken up to help with this .. As soon as we know the totals, I will up date the blog and let you know where we are with the progress. 


Pictures came in today from the party at the mens home .  What a great time was had 



 As well they have started the renovations on the new shower rooms. There are 5 total , but we will start with one.  it will have all new plumbing heating water heater and electrical , then new tiles 



 


We are on our way south now,  We will be visiting friends and sponsors  along the way. Here are a few locations were we will be sharing,  we would love to see you if you are in the area  

Wed 23... 7:00  Ambassadors Point Cincinnati 
                                      8290 Batavia Rd. Cincinnati,
Sat 26....7:00     New life Church 
                                      178 N. Geronimo St., Miramar Beach, FL

We will be holding up in Florida for 5 days and looking forward to attending New life on Sun morning at 10:30, then back again Tuesday night at 7:00  

Wed Feb 6... 6:00    New Bethesda Baptist Church                                              (supper and service)
                                  9019 NEW BETHESDA RD. MECHANICSVILLE, VA 23116

Sun Feb 10....11:00    Scipio Community Church 
                      3434 State Route 34 Scipio Center, NY, 13147

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Despite the cold !

Despite the cold, work on the farm continues. the green house has rotating crops so that something is always being harvested, something is always being weeded and watered, and something is always being planted.   It is so awesome that we are able to produce such high quality crops year round.  


This section is being prepared for a new planting of lettuce and spinach 




The plants above are what we are harvesting right now, and the ones bellow will be ready to harvest in another few weeks. 



We were blessed today when Sergey sent some clothes and baby supplies out to the farm for Alina and Nurperi.   The calf is doing well, and now its time for him to start sharing his milk with the farm.  By milking her at the same time, we will be able to increase her milk production. 


We have had more people contacting us for coal.  I could probably give another 100 tones if we had it.  Some very serious, almost dangerous situations have come up when coal is needed right away.  We have started to dip into the farm supply now,  so soon we will have to address this and buy some more coal. 

 A few things that we have in the works,  I shared a couple days ago about our plan to sell some vehicles  and get a new truck.  This will allow us to keep the yurts and mountain ranch  busy in the summer as well as produce deliveries and coal deliveries in the fall and winter. 

Currently Vlad and one of our friends is looking into bio digesters.  this would help to break down the cow and chicken poop into better soil, as well we may be able to heat the green house with out coal.   

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Time for a change .

As we are looking forward to the spring and summer and what they have in store for us.  We have been discussing what we will be doing, how we will be expanding and what we we can do better. 
We also look back to where we started .. 

Maybe it is time for an upgrade 

 In the beginning we started with a donkey and cart that we purchased for $100.  This did not work not as we had anticipated .  long trips to the orphanages and market were not possible and even around the farm the donkey was unruly at times.. and I still have the scars to prove it  .  

Next up was the uaz truck .  This has been a great help around the farm.  has taken more trips to the mountain then we could count, and is a great workhorse. 
the problem with it is that it is not very safe, steering is loose, and the brakes at their best are bad.   It is not a vehicle we can travel into the city with on deliveries, and not safe to carry passengers in  



with all the produce we carry we need something that can haul a load and carry passengers to help on deliveries 


We thought we had this problem solved when we added the hunter to the fleet .  It could carry both passengers and some baggage , and was great up and down the mountain.  The problem came when we traveled at road speeds on drives of more then 1/2 hour.  We ended up with many breakdowns when we pushed it in that way, so it was used more for transportation to the Kashar (mountain ranch ) and back .. then we hit a snag last year when the engine packed it in.  We have been over a year with several different mechanics trying to get it back on the road. This has meant that we are hiring other trucks a lot, as well we do not have suitable transportation to get guests to the yurts and back so we are loosing a lot of bookings. 


During the coal season we had one of the other NGO's help us, along with the truck we had hired.  They have a great size truck that carries a good size load, and is good on the rough roads as well as safe and comfortable on the highways for the longer deliveries ... but it still had a problem with not enough room for passengers .


Then we came across this.  It is made by Hyundai or KIA, both have a similar truck.  It has a double cab design the call it.  It has a tone of room inside as well as a good cargo deck on the back.     All the reviews show it to be an excellent option for what we have intended for it. 

 









Image result for minivan jokes funny
We feel a bit like when people talk about the realization they need to move from there sports car or suv to a family mini van haha.. Not as fun as a Hunter and not as much of a conversation piece as the Uaz, but it really is the practical alternative for us. 


We have decided that we will work toward this.   We have the Uaz truck repaired and ready to sell and the Hunter will be fixed in a couple weeks, and before either of them break down again we will sell them and use that money toward the purchase price of the new truck.  
How new a truck we get will depend on how much we are able raise .. In an ideal world I would like to add between 6 or 7 thousand dollars so that we get a newer one with less mileage, and a newer model with the better safety standards... something that will meet our needs for years to come.

As you think about this, if you would like to consider helping with this purchase please let me know.   I will start a fund for it , and if you just put the word "Truck" "in the memo line in the donation box we will make sure it goes to that, as well I will start a thermometer on the side of the blog that we can see the progress. 

Merry Christmas from the seniors home .



Today was the Christmas celebration with them.  Gifts and rotisserie chicken dinner.   Thank you Sergey for all your help 





Everything is still nice and green in the green house 


the basil is all up now 


speaking of UP, the little calf is up and around. He is doing great.  


Monday, January 07, 2019

Short Term Missions




With all the negative press about short term missions trips, we decided to dig a little deeper and talk to those closest to the children themselves and to find the truth. Here is what we found 

  As we look over the last year we feel so blessed by the may teams that we had join us, and the impact that they made.  What was ironic was that it seemed that as each team was preparing to come, a video of one form or another would be circulated railing against short term missions.   
The videos were basically the same .. they would say that people were doing damage, causing separation issues  to the children by visiting them in the orphanage, they would talk about the few bad examples of orphanages that maintain poor conditions so that people will give, but all end with, the basic, " give your money to us, we do it better".  

With every team I viewed our interactions through the lens of  "Is this in any way damaging to the people we are helping".  and what I found is that I was becoming more and more annoyed as time went on.  What annoyed me is that there is so much GOOD, yet there are people out there that trying to stop people from coming.    I would go so far as to say that they have allowed them selves to do the Devils bidding.    "Visit the widows and orphans"  is what God says   Those with concerns should not be saying "Don't go" but rather should be saying . " Here are some great ideas to make your trip more impactful for all concerned.   We know that in everything there will be good and there will be bad, I say strive for the Good, find people to assist you with your team that will have a lasting ongoing relationship with those you visit , and have a great trip... 
  "Doing that which is holy and pleasing before God is a spiritual act of worship" 






 







 





 




Saturday, January 05, 2019

The little things

What a fun day we had today.  We had a get together with one of the teams that was with us in the fall.  Each team member shared a picture, and then told us what that photo meant to them.  



It was so much fun to re live the events of that action packed 10 days while the team was with us.   


As each team member shared about their highlights and what impacted them, I saw a definite pattern forming .. It was all about the one on one relationships they had formed .. Things that can not happen just by throwing money at a problem, but things that happened because they were their personally or things that they facilitated our on the ground teams response to.   Many of the things that they shared may have just seamed like little things at the time but as we look back we see that many of those "little things" continue to bring on going impact today.   It was such an encouragement to us.  
Tomorrow we will be joining our friends in Peterborough that was on the team before them and I am sure that once again we will be listening to and sharing incredible stories of Hope.    

Back on the farm the new baby calf is doing great, we are still anxiously awaiting to find out if its a boy or girl... I guess when Momma cow thinks its an ok time we will be allowed close enough to find out.   Considering our farm kids, its just as well that she is a little protective for the first few day ..  


This next story is one that really brings a smile to my face.  Two of our younger kids that are in Aigoola's charge had a day away with Vlad. They are both incredibly smart.  and when you are that smart things usually go one of two ways.   Since coming to the farm both of these guys have excelled.  The love and stability that they have now I am sure plays the biggest part, but knowing that they need to be challenged is also a big part.  Once a month we would like to have Vlad take them on an outing , spend some time in the city off the farm. The highlight of the trip is a trip to a book store for a new book as they begin to build a library.  Now certainly a new book would bring absolutely no joy to me, hahaha but I do understand that some people are excited by this.  The most expensive book I ever bought was a clinical psychology text book that came home the first day and went under the leg of our china cabinet  to level it until I found a coaster for it.. It is probably still there.  That said, I do understand that to some people a new book brings joy.  


Popcorn , a movie and out for supper was part of the adventure.  

 



I just love that there are many of you out there that believe like us that these special outings and adventures are all part of growing into mature well balanced members of the family .. These kids may have had a late start, but today they caught up just a little.  Thank you to those of you who support even the little things... some times the littlest thing can make the biggest difference.