Julie and I are back in Canada now .. lots of sitting and thinking, apart from the RUN through the Moscow airport to catch a 6 minute connection to Paris. I had time to think about all that took place over the last four months and all that we have to be thankful for. In Canada our Thanksgiving was last month, but I am going to join all our US friends to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving .. After all so many of you have given us reason to be Thankful.
This summer and extending into the Fall in Kyrgyzstan, we celebrated the wedding of Emma and Jengish. Over the last few months, we have helped a couple orphanages with back to school shopping, 47 scholarships, and daily homework club with teacher for one of the orphanages to help keep the kids on track. Dental and Medical treatments, New winter boots for orphanages, winter shoes for the men's home. We have just about completed the construction of a new Childrens clinic and the renovation of a hospital to be used as dorms for families who lost everything in a fire. We have seen The floor at the mens home completed. We have provided Vitamins to carry many into the winter and keep them healthy. We have seen to the delivery of new blankets to the seniors home thanks to funds raised by Blair and his friends, and have been able to give out all kinds of new coats to those in need thanks to the birthday wishes of Kristy and her friends. There have been food drops to the orphanages, and repairs and painting to the baby orphanage playground. We have delivered 46 tons of coal to keep hundreds warm this winter, and only 8 more tons to go. We have purchased a garage with a root cellar and have it stocked full of food to provide food hampers to those in need, including the commitment to help with food for the new women's shelter, for the homeless shelter, and the guys living "on the farm". Speaking of "on the farm" We have seen the start up of the farm to provide jobs and work experience as well as a home to those timed out of the orphanage , and those integrating back into society for whatever reason, as well as providing fresh produce for years to come for many of those we work with. We have been able to provide a micro loan for a barn in the mountain and the purchase cows to go into it. All this on top of the regular visits and outings with many of the childrens from several of the orphanages.
Now we are looking ahead to what the next couple months will bring, Julie and I have a few speaking engagements in the next few weeks , and are open to more if anyone would like us to visit. We have the Christmas pie challenge under way , hoping to raise the funds to provide Christmas to over 2000 orphans. ( please consider making a donation now ) As well we will be helping to prepare teams for spring trips, and set things in motion for a massive fundraiser to support women's issues in Kyrgyzstan, that will see julie and a couple others walk over 800 km on the Camino de Santiago.
I would sure say we have a LOT to be thankful for this year. So once again let me express a sincere thank you to all of you, and we pray that God would bless you for all that you do.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
On our final visit to the clinic before heading back to Canada, we made a short video to show how well they are doing , We missed the completion of the waiting room by about about 3 days, and the completion of the exam room by about $1000. All in all, I am so excited with this project.. Thank you so much to those who donated and those who have worked so hard on this .
Monday, November 24, 2014
Twelve is the number of contestants in the pie challenge this year who have lived in the orphanages.
The pie challenge has touched so many people in so many ways . There is the joy that comes from being able to give .. there is the special feeling for a child when they are even recognized over the Holidays , they remember this all year. There is the fun and excitement when one of our contestants gets their pie in the face .. many done in public bringing joy to so many .. The pie in the face has become an annual event at many Christmas parties
For me, what may have turned into be the greatest thing about the pie challenge is that for many who have come from the orphanage , and experienced the benefits of this kind of event, It gives them an opportunity to be a part of blessing those who are left behind.
I opened up a video this morning from a young friend of ours who was adopted from one of the orphanages here. I began watching, and when he pulls out a photo of his Christmas party a few years ago, I just lost it. I have been sitting here trying not to cry all morning, and not doing a very good job at it .
When I went to my email I found a special letter ..
I assume you are John Wright. A family visited me today when Santa and I were in Pennsylvania, and they had three children from your orphanage. They were about 6, 7, and 8 years old, I think. The children’s names were _ (oldest), ____, and _____(youngest). ___ said that she didn’t want Christmas gifts from Santa, that she would like Santa to take gifts to the children in your orphanage.
Please tell me how Santa and I can get gifts to the children in your orphanage. I looked at your BlogSpot and would very much like to send some love and gifts to your precious children.
Thank you for all that you do.
Once again, I know these children well. and I know their heart to want to help those that are still in the orphanages, In fact this little girl has started a group that asks people to give financially for Birthday gifts to make children in the orphanage smile .. you can find her link on the right hand side of the blog ...its marked
As we have traveled around the US and visited many of the children we have known from the orphanage, many of them still remember us coming to celebrate with them. One young friend climbed up on my lap at a summer bonfire and said "Tell me some stories of when we were in the orphanage together" then for the next 20 minuted we talked about the Christmas party we had the year before , and talked about all the costumes and who was dressed as what .. How great is that .. we can sit and discuss happy memories .
But its not just around the US , several of the Children that we know from the orphanages who are no longer living in the orphanages, and living here in Kyrgyzstan have contacted us .. They also remember the parties as some of their greatest memories, and they too want to do anything that they can to help the tradition continue .. Little Victor whom many of you will know writes "For the expense of the party I do not mind. Let me throw a pie in my face if you collect $ 500 " I am pretty sure he wants to challenge you to give as he is doing, the only way he knows how ...
WE all have so much to be thankful for . we are blessed beyond belief , lets take a moment right now and make a donation to bring Joy and Good memories to so many with out this Christmas ..
Today we spent the morning with a few of the very hard working members of the local Government.
Our focus today was to tour the new shelters that they have set up, and to see how we will be able to help . We are so impressed with the work that they have done. They have two shelters set up for this winter . One is a homeless shelter in the industrial district. It currently has beds for about a dozen with more on the way . Along with a warm bed, the shelter has washing facilities and showers, and a small kitchen. The Mayors office has done so much here, it is great to see the care that they are showing for the least of these.
The women's shelter is located beside one of the local police stations. It has beds for about a dozen as well. Here women can bring their small children with them as well. It too has showers, washing facilities, nice bathrooms and warm beds .
Both centers are staffed with kind caring workers who will work to help the people living there resolve problems that may be holding them down. We are so impressed that the city is making the efforts to are for those in need.
We have seen that one big need that they do have is food for those that are at the shelter. We feel that there are a couple ways that we can begin to help. The first is that our homeless feeding program that Jengish administers will begin bringing a hot meal to the centre once a week through the winter, the girls will help him with this. The second is that we will be able to bring food from time to time to help out. The last team that was here blessed us with a garage full of supplies to be able to help those in need, so we were able to act right away, and today we delivered supplies to both centers; Potatoes, carrots, radishes, onions, cabbages, sugar, rice and pasta. We would like to find the funds to do this all winter long. As well we noticed that they could use some more mattresses and towels . something we will work on as funds become available .
|Kitchen at the women's shelter|
|Meeting with our representative of the mayors office, the director of social services here, as well as the supervisor of the women's shelter.|
Loading up with supplies from the garage
We were telling our friend that works at the mayors Office about the pie challenge, and what do you know . He has agreed to take a pie in the face if $500 is raised to bless the children in need that are connected with the mayors office. This is so cool, Many of these kids Larisa has gathered together previous years, but this year Marat is stepping forward to take one for the kids .
|Thank you Marat for being such a good sport .|
After a quick lunch we headed out to the farm to say good buy to all our friends there. Fine feathered and otherwise
The guys were all home working on the house today . Sasha, Jannybek and Acylbek. We said good buy for now, and will see them in March , but know that they are in good hands with Emma and Jengish
Almost as if he knew we were going , he snuggled right in and did not want to go back in his cage.
Last night we delivered the last 200 pairs winter boots to Larisa for the men's home, and tomorrow the funds arrive to pick up the 120 pairs of boots for the orphanage and 8 more tons of coal for those in need .
Every Day this week we have been winding down and out. packing our bags, and in our minds packing away our many different projects. Making sure not to forget anything.
Tomorrow is our last day here, then we head back to Canada. We are blessed to have so many that we work with here that we know are so capable of looking after everything in our absence
Here is a short video of our last day with the families from the fire. Like so many , they will be on our hearts when we go, but we can go with a solace knowing that they are in for the winter.
Tomorrow will be a very busy day for us, but there is something that you can do to help. I will not have the time and internet access for the next couple days to hound everyone about the pie challenge, so I need all of you to spread that word , and donate ... maybe if you are not sure were to start you can start with Marat !
Saturday, November 22, 2014
_What it's all about _
I am told that Kyrgyzstan is the 7th poorest country in the world. The Government does not have the resources to care for the needs of the kids, and must rely on the work of NGO's to bridge the gap . There are an estimated 6000 children in orphanages, and many more waiting .
In 2008, an adoptive mother from Kyrgyzstan , Cindy Lajoy, recognized the overwhelming number of children that we support, and wanted to do something .. so she put out a challenge .. If her friends could raise $1000 by Thanks Giving , she would let her kids through a pie in her face. That challenge has grown each year to where it is today .
This year our target is 2000 orphans,
To meet this goal, we are seeking out corporate donors for the vitamins (if you have any contacts, we would appreciate the help) but are ready to purchase some as well.. The $10 will also cover the transportation of the vitamins and the safe and secure storage and distribution over the next year .
So here is the breakdown
40 challengers at $500 each will provide for a total of 2000 orphans and children from very poor families.
You can donate using the Paypal button to the right, or if you are donating from Canada, use the Canada Helps button .. BE SURE TO INDICATE WHO you are sponsoring to receive a pie in the memo box that will appear while on the donation screen .. Every night, the totals next to the participants will also be updated. When they reach $500 they will be notified, and they will let someone throw a pie in their face and it will be posted for all to see.
The parties will begin in Kyrgyzstan from the week of Dec 25 ( Christmas day ), the Wrights girls Emma and Bekah , are in Kyrgyzstan and making plans now.
As the parties take place, we will post the events right here on actofkindness
Thank you all so much for being a part of this life changing event.
I am reminded by what a friend told me once .. "start by doing what you can do and before you know it you will be doing what others said could not be done."
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I would like to tell you a story.. "This is happening now" seems to be a phrase that we see a lot these days on Facebook . Well we have a real life, real time "happening now" event, but first I would like to take you back 6 1/2 years to a time that seemed more innocent, or at lest we just did not have the same grasp of the language . This is the story of Jannybek
We had a sponsor that donated funds so that we could bring new shoes and soccer outfits to all the kids at the orphanage. This day we set the kids up in stations and had crafts, games, snacks, and one station they were able to choose new shoes .. the room was set up just like the bazaar . It was an incredible day, one that we were sure that they would never forget. One of those children was Jannybek. .. Jannybek lived at the orphanage for another couple years, then finished school and left the orphanage. He was able to find a place to live, looking after an old lady.. he cared for all her needs for four years , in exchange he would have a place to live. Last week life as he knew it took a terrible turn. The son of the Babushka came to the house and said that Jannybek needed to get in the car and they were going for a ride . That night he found himself living in a chicken coop on a chicken farm in Kazakhstan where he had been sold into slavery. He questioned how he could give such love and care for all these years then this happen . He was held at the farm for only four days before he managed to escape. it took a couple days for him to make his way back to the boarder crossing where he hid inside the back of a transport truck and was able to sneak back into Kyrgyzstan . Once he got here he went strait back to the first person he knew he could trust , That was the director of the orphanage he came from. This morning he completed his journey and returned to the orphanage looking for help. He is 22 years old now, so he could not stay there, but the director contacted us . They were wondering about the possibility of him coming to live at the farm . When they mentioned this to Janybek he was very relieved. He said that he remembered us well.
We have no idea at this point if it will be a few days , a few weeks or months or even a few years that he will be at the farm, but here and now this is unfolding, and he is safe .. It has been a long terrible week for him , and our hearts just break for him . We are just so blessed that we can help, and so thankful to all of you who have purchased food shares from the farm so that we CAN help at a moments notice.
Emma snapped this photo just moments after they picked him up on the way to the farm .. He was asleep in the car .. She said to us " wouldn't you think that going somewhere new he would be to excited to sleep", but we realized that for him, all that maters is that IT'S OVER.. he is safe and he is with people that he knows and trusts, and that he has a history with .. what ever the future holds at this point is not the important part.. whats important is that he is HOME...
How can we express our gratitude to all of you who have had a part in this story..except a wholehearted God bless you ...