Thursday, July 31, 2014

ready to book John's flight back to Kyrgyzstan .

Yesterday I went out for breakfast with a friend , He was asking how we are doing for this return to Kyrgyzstan .  I shared how excited I was that I was able to purchase Julies ticket the day before.  That has everyone bought and paid for, just my ticket to go. I was pleased about this .. he seemed a little more concerned , or at least maybe thought I should have been concerned .. I pointed out that I am not flying until the following week so I still had 2 weeks before my flight , and I was sure that there will not be a problem .  I am learning that for what ever reason, God seems to always wait until the eleventh hour .. but the seed was planted and I started to think about that and ways to make it work for me to return with Jengish in a couple weeks .  But tried not to worry .. Here today , just 24 hours after that conversation, We have had $1600 given for the flight.    What a blessing . 

I got an update from Kamalla today .. For two years we have had this very stupid gas meter in our apartment .. It has a couple problems .. you pay in advance on a card, then put the card into the meter and you get your gas.. the first problem is that the meter runs on batteries, and the more gas you use the faster the battery dies, and the gas shuts off, the other problem is that there is a safety that if you use too much gas it shuts off thinking that there is a leek .. its idea of too much is the oven and 1 burner.  For two years we have been fighting with the gas company about this ..  As I was leaving in the spring , Kamalla said to me .." it will be fixed before you get back , I promise." .. Well true to her word, yesterday they came and put in a new meter that is the old type the works . Good Job Kamalla.

Its nice that Acel and family are able to come and spend the week in Tokmok with the kids .  Tonight Acel made monty ..a local favorite.  She and the family will be staying for the week .. nice for the kids to have her there.   

At the Table is Baktagool and Kola .  Baktagool just got back from summer camp,  it was the Russian one, and she just found out about a Kyrgyz language camp starting soon, so I have asked Kamalla to do what needs to be done to get her there as well.  Kola is settling in nicely with our God son and his family.. They love having him and say how clean and polite he is , and is a pleasure to have around, and today I was asking how he was feeling, and he said that he really likes living with them as well , so one more thing to be thankful about .  I think about how quickly things could have gone bad for him , but with the support of many of you , things are in place and we were able to help him.   

Acel and the girls with Baktagool and Kola .
Jengish and I have been busy around the house today cooking and getting ready for company tonight.  There is a Bikker group that is going on a ride, then will end up at our home for a traditional Kyrgyz meal  served on the back deck .. Ploff, shashleek, borsolk, and Laproshka, along with all the salads .. I will post some pictures Tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On the WAY

Today I wanted to share with you something that we are very excited about.  But first a little background.  

For several years now our hearts have been taking a beating , and it just seemed that there was not much that we could do.   The way that women are treated in Central Asia is a very difficult thing to watch.  

we have had several of the young girls we know taken over the years.  Then there are the ones that have been sold by their families, or are just plain abused.  It is not uncommon for us to find young mothers with children on the streets with no where to go when they are discarded.   We also find others that are not receiving needed medical treatments for financial reasons as well as simply afraid to tell their husbands that they are sick .   We have worked with our friends and have come up with a plan to provide support for these women and young girls. 

There are several components to this project.  First we will have an emergency shelter that a distressed woman can go to for help.  Help with documents so that they can access public supports.  Help with food and shelter , help with education and training , help with basic life skills , and most of all, help with a safe bed when they are in danger .   All this takes resources, and that brings us to the next step ..and the next , and the next , in fact it brings us to 800 km ( 500 Miles ) of steps 
 Julie , our friend Jody , and Acel will be walking the length of the Camino de santiago to raise support and awareness .    Their goal is to make the walk over six weeks, and at the same time we are looking for people that will organize a walk/bike/run/horseback  athon of there own in support of this important need .  If you are interested in being a part of this , please contact me at .  For more information and on going reports , please go to

practising for the WAY in Tokmok

Monday, July 28, 2014

Update from Iskra

Larisa and Tanya just sent an update from the last couple weeks.  They are happy to report that a couple of the families from the fire have been able to find apartments to live, and the others have moved into the old hospital .  On a side note, the friends from Brantford have been working hard to raise funds for renovations when we get back in a couple weeks. 

Childrens supplies delivered to some of the families starting over after the fire . 
Things are almost finished at the mens home .  All the tables were set up for the men in the court yard while the final pain was put on the floor . 

Larisa spending some time with the men , doing crafts and lessons 

one of the many layers of primer and paint on the floor 

final coat of paint on the floor 

This has been such a long process, one that we are so happy to see completed.  So many have helped out with this , but a special shout out needs to go to many of our friends in Cincinnati who made this possible .  you have made a lot of men very happy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

highlight reel

Here is a short little video that highlights some of the events of the last week .. Bekah and Jengish arriving from Kyrgyzstan, a couple showers for Emma , and a thunderstorm for Jengish , a quick rehearsal at the park, then the wedding.   The day was simple and God shone through with perfect weather and natural surroundings .  Over 200 gathered to join us in celebration , so for those of you who were not able to attend, here is a little taste of the day ..  The back ground music is my brother .  he sang this same song at the wedding as the licence was being signed .    The service was performed by our son Benjamin.  Bekah was maid of honor and the best man was a Shukhrat, a long time friend of Jengishes.   

and the work goes on

The last few days while we have been celebrating the wedding, our friends in Kyrgyzstan have been busy .. Life has a way of marching on doesn't it.

This weekend one of our young girls had her baby .  Mother and baby doing well.  Acel was there to visit her and help her come home from the hospital

Bringing food to the new mom ( in KG you are responsible for your own food and bedding ) 

Acel met with the director and paid the medical expenses .. It is about 2000 som, or about $40 to have a baby in the hospital 

heading home 

This is her mother in laws home where she will be staying 

Kamalla has been busy doing some food drops and visits with some of the families.. as well as running some errands in the city for us .. she brought funds donated in to Bishkek to the director of a summer camp to cover the transportation of a couple hundred kids to camp this summer .  
Kamala visiting Fatima's family to bring food and supplies 

Oil - 2 lit., 160 som Rice -2 kg,150 som Sugar-2 kg, 120 som Macaroni- 1 kg, 60 som Tea-1 big-pack, 70 som Condensed milk -1, 40 som Duck breast-1 kg, 160 som Soap-1 pack, 30 som Shampo-1, 50 som Soap powder-1 pack, 35 som Taxi-120 som
Sergey met with the director of the Orlofka orphanage and got the list of kids that need university scholarships this year .  There are five of them to add to the program.  

At this point, we have around 40 kids that are looking for tuition assistance , most of them are orphans who are out of the orphanages now.  Along with the tuition, many of them will be relying on the dorms for a place to live.  For many this is their greatest hope for a future and a life off the streets. It also gives a level of stability to them and an opportunity for Emma and Bekah to remain active support in their lives.   

There are other scholarship programs out there, but most have certain criteria  .. mainly the kids have to have high grads to receive and maintain their support.    The kids we support most times do not meet that criteria , they are more vulnerable and with out the support would fall into those statistics that say 75% will end up dead , in jail or in prostitution with in one year .  throughout the year we face a lot of trials , emotional , physical , and financial     It is a lot of work, and intervention  for Emma and Bekah , but we have seen almost 100% course completion over the years .  

This year we anticipate a $15 000  budget for 40 kids .  We have $5000 so far, so that will leave us $10 000 to raise before the 1st of September .   It is a great way to invest in a child's future while keeping them safe in the present. Please consider how you may be able to help. 

Many of you will remember our friend Kolya .  He was the first kid we meet when we came to kyrgyzstan , and he has become one of the family .. in fact he has even changed his name on face book to Nick Wright.... He has been living with his great Grandmother since 2009 and it has worked out very well.  His uncle has some how moved in and has taken the house over and is selling it on them and Kolya no longer has a place to live . Kamalla and the team are working with him to figure things out , Samat  ( our God son ) and his wife have taken him in, and Sergey has helped him to retrieve his documents , so things are under control until we get there to help him find a permanent solution .  We love him dearly and know that this is just the next step in his journey to being a strong and self sufficient young man . 

Summer camps are well under way in Kyrgyzstan again this year , and many of our kids are there now, and have sent back words of thanks for the opportunity .  A special thanks to sergey and his team for opening up another 100 kids a week at a mountain camp.  Kids that otherwise would never have the opportunity , are going to experience a life changing week full of fun development.  

We did manage to get the mattresses and blankets to them in time .. this will serve them for years to come.. We have a VBS program at a church that supports the work from NY.  They are raising funds toward these mattresses and blankets... if you would like to help them out, you can go to iam1ru to help 

Still a bit more to share , but that is enough for one day .. I will leave you with this ... 

Thank you all for the incredible support that you have been to Julie and I ,  to our family, and to the ones we have come to love ....


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Congratulations Emma and Jengish

July 19 2014
Emma and Jengish and guests gathered in a local park for their wedding celebration. It was a beautiful day , and as one of our friends put it , the service was held in a cathedral that only God could create.  Simple elegance.   

The service was performed by my son Benjamin .. He did such a great job at bringing sharing how the giftings and  callings of Emma and Jengish compliment each other and how suited they are as a couple ..  We are so proud of all of them 

Bekah signing the licence as a witness , The second witness was Jenghshes  best man and long time friend Shukrat.  To the right is my brother Don who provided the music 

It was so great to have so many friends and family literally from around the glob there to celebrate with us .  So many more have been joining us in spirit as well wishes have been coming in from all points for the last few day .. 
along with the pot luck, extra courses  where served threw out the day  .. some of Emma and Jengishes favorites Sweet corn at the back in this photo  and a lamb ploff in the foreground   

All the ladies received a pair of Kyrgyz earnings  and for the rest there was home made fudge ...