Monday, December 31, 2007
Time is rapidly approaching when we will begin our adventure to Central Asia. Julies’ last day of work will be the 25th of January and the girls will be done School around the 4th of February. That will give us a couple weeks to get things ready and the bags packed for our departure sometime between Feb. 11th and the 18th (depending on flight availability).
The total cost for this six month adventure will be around $30,000, this will include flights, accommodations, all projects, and keep the home fires burning in our absence. At this point, with what we have saved, along with many donations from family and friends, (thank you to all that have supported us) we are only about $4500 away from our goal.
We did not have any major fundraisers or banquets for this trip, but we did think that it would be fun to incorporate a fundraiser with a going away party. You are invited to join us on Saturday January 26th at 7 pm at the Norwood Pentecostal Church . We will be going with a coffee house theme. Benjamin (son) and Don (brother) will be the feature entertainment. There will also be a silent auction… we are still looking for some good auction items, as well as a few people that have espresso/ cappuccino machines we could borrow for the evening. If you can help with any of these, please let us know.
We look forward to seeing you there and having the opportunity for a little visit before we go.
Blessings Julie & John
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Every year, Loads of Love and Possibilities International take thousands of Orphans to McDonald's......or the nearest thing to it. Imagine the excitement when these kids , many whom have never been out of the orphanage before, get to go out for Christmas dinner.
While the rest of us may be considering whether or not to send $10 to pay for 1 orphan (this includes a years supply of vitamins) , this small group lead by Jamie has has stepped forward and answered the "Keith Green" Call..... "How about me not Just sending my money this time, How about me going."
As you can Imagine , taking 4000 orphans out for dinner does not happen all in one day.... the excitement will be continuing in countries all over the former Soviet Union for weeks to come... If you want to be a part of the blessing this year, you can donate at the Possibilities International Web sight....If you want to be a part of the blessings in the future.... why not GO ?
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
We sat around the TV watching a show I had never seen before on NBC named "Clash of the Choirs" in which choirs led by music celebrity directors compete for a large donation to a specific charity. We really enjoyed this show, and at one point Kenny snuggled in next to me on the couch warming ourselves under a blanket (It's Colorado folks, we are always under a blanket...either a down blanket or a snow blanket!). One of the choirs sang a song "I'll Stand By You" that many of you that are roughly...ahem...my age...might remember being recorded by The Pretenders. So here we are, this little 9 year old boy and I, barely 6 months into being mother and son together, and he looks up at me in all seriousness and quietly says "Hey cool mom! I stand by you. I like that. We family, I stand by you forever."WOW. Dumbstruck. Loyalty & Love.The abstract concepts of loyalty and togetherness and family are things that many adults in this world seem not to understand. Or if they understand it, they can not act on it. Here is this little boy, institutionalized his entire life with no real reason at all to even have a basic understanding of these things. They were not modeled for him, they were not experienced by him, they were not part of his daily life. How did the seeds get planted? Where did it come from?"I stand by you forever". Daily, I am humbled.It was Kenny who reminded us (as if I needed reminding) that tonight was a night for special prayer. So off went the lights, out came the candle, and by it's flickering light we all held hands as each one asked for God's guidance and blessing.Regardless of the outcome, Kenny put it beautifully. "I stand by you forever".
I cant help but think of Ephesians That says "after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace"
P.S. Cindy.... We received the camera. Thank you
so much. Beckah is so excited about this project.....she is my little techno-geek.....I picked it up to look at it last night, and what do you know....150 photo's of the dog!Thanks again
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Fitting in. It's easy. Don't smile. Look straight ahead or down at your feet. Wear only dark clothes. Carry a plastic bag. This photo features my favorite plastic bag: the Barf bag, advertising a laundry detergent. Barf... It means snow!
The other option is to try not to fit in.... Here we are on a trip with a team from Norwood ....By the time we traveled through the busy streets, no one was looking down, and everyone was smiling......
Friday, December 07, 2007
When Rosa was a young girl her father beat her mother so badly that she, in desperation, took her own life. At the funeral, little Rosa found out that her mother had doused herself with gasoline and set herself on fire. Rosa's father, then did the unthinkable - he threw the children out of the house. They moved to a small shack in a nearby field. Rosa's brother then left for Russia to find work. This left Rosa and her sisters on their own. Later on, Rosa tried to hang herself, but the rope broke.
In an amazing twist, in Russia, Rosa's brother was taken to a church and his life was changed forever. Excited, he returned home to tell his sisters. Rosa's father had disappeared. Rosa became a Christian and one month later, her pastor told her that she had the potential to be a real leader and asked if she would consider attending our college. Rosa later told me that she thought she wasn't holy enough! :)
While Rosa was at the college, her pastor called to tell her that her brother, sisters and a group of new believers were now meeting in their home every week! The house of suffering had become a *place of hope*! Then a few weeks later, her pastor called again, this time Rosa was not prepared for the news. Her father had returned home, asked the children for forgiveness, and was now the newest member of the Place of Hope! You know ... I thank God for that miracle rope! :)
For only $300, we can fully sponsor an amazing student, like Rosa, to live and study at the college ... and change the world!
Monday, December 03, 2007
"On a visit to Anatoly to see the after pic of his home he mentioned that he needed a few things (pants, a sweater & some medicine). We took a collection amongst ourselves & gave it to Leyana who bought them for him. I don't know who was more thrilled Anatoly, Leyana or us. Needless to say we were so blessed to be there."
I thought I would fill you in a little about Anatoly. Anatoly and his wife live on $12 a month. His was one of the first home makeovers that was done in Central Asia .
This is his Kitchen
Here is a photo of Anya working on his house
It's hard sometimes to think about the future that's in store for the kids in the orphanages..... but the future is still ahead of them... there's hope...but for these seniors their past is set in stone. The best we can hope for is to restore a little dignity.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Ever since the digital age collided with my household, I have been living in a virtual lightning storm.. I think we have close to 26 000 photos of the bird, and even more of the cat and dog. My girls have gotten hours of enjoyment taking photos. We have photos of the kids on the wall, we have photos in albums , we have photo on the computer, and now we have photos on facebook.
Last year I heard how our friends in Xxxxxx had purchased a small photo album for each of the kids in one of the orphanages. Last month I had the privilege of visiting that orphanage, and seeing first hand the excitement as these kids showed off their photos..... they each had about 3 or 4 pictures of themselves. Eight years old and there life's history is wrapped up in 4 photos.
I started thinking......If we could get our hands on a 1/2 dz digital cameras and a photo printer, we could teach photography and scrapbooking to some of the older kids at the orphanage. We could set them up and have them take photos of all the kids, and maybe even make some photo albums for the other orphanages in the region.
At this point I don't have it in the budget, but I got thinking that with Christmas around the corner, lots of you, or people you know may be upgrading their digital camera's. If anyone would like to donate their old camera or camera equipment (rechargeable batteries etc.) to this cause, you can send them to :
Canada K0L 2V0
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
In the last few years, McDonald's has opened a number of flashy new restaurants in the former Soviet Union. In the city of Krivoy Rog, Ukraine, the McDonald's is the place where the "elite" folks eat! Poor folks and certainly the orphans in the city only dream of being able to enter the golden arches. One cold December day, I thought, "Why not take as many orphans as I can to McDonalds for a Christmas party?" What a thrill that was! The first Christmas there were 46 orphans, who had, of course, never been to a McDonalds before, taken out for the time of their lives!
The kids were so excited they were shaking in their seats as they waited for their Happy Meals! After the kids finished eating they put their cups, straws and wrappers into their bags to take back to the orphanage with them. I watched in amazement as they even folded up the little paper placemats.
As I was busy getting the kids to the bus, Olya, one of our workers came to me saying, "Ed, these two little girls have something to say to you." I thought they were going to thank me for the special meal and I didn't want them to say that because I wanted the kids to know that this was all done because GOD loves them. Then the two little girls looked up at me shyly and said, "We just want you to know that we had been praying together that God would allow us, somehow, to go to McDonalds someday."
That was in 2001. The McJoyful Christmas program has grown since then....and I mean grown. Now I have seen the excitement when we took 50 kids to an amusement park.....when we took 35 disabled kids out for supper....and when we took 45 youth bowling....or even cooked supper for 200 kids in an orphanage.... But for the life of me I can't imagine the excitement when they bring close to 4000 kids to McDonald's..... That's right ...4000 kids many of whom have never been out of the orphanage before.... can you imagine. Julie always accuses me of taking things to the limit, but 4000 kids. Not only that, but for every kid that goes, a years supply of vitamins is provided. When Ed started this, he funded it with his own money, but for obvious reasons, he would appreciate help. The cost of this Edventure is $10 per child......that's $10 per child . If you would like to help Ed this Christmas , you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Tell him you found out here and be eligible for the actofkindness rate ....... 10 kids for $100...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I think back to that time, and I never would have imagined that today we would be so involved with so many hurting and lost little soals. Every one of them, we could adopt if given half a chance. It is so hard to walk through the orphanages and see so many kids and know that there are people out there fighting for the chance to adopt and provide them a real home.
This sweet little girl here in the pink, has no parents, and no extended family. She is completely on her own. She is smart , gentle, outgoing and gets along well with all those around her. To her detriment, she has no medical conditions....... this means that in her country, she will not be eligible for international adoption and it is highly unlikely she will be find a "national" family. What does the future have in store for her.? Possibilities International pays two workers to maintain a presence in her orphanage,($130 / month) to provide counseling and positive instruction as well as any special needs.... They will do their part to "Protect her " as she gets older.....and maybe one day we can find a way to get her a real family.
To our friends on the Yahoo adoption groups, Please don't give up, please don't stop fighting through all the red tape , Please don't get discouraged, please don't let the continually changing regulations cause you to back down. You hold the course, And we will continue to pray for strength and encouragement for you, we will pray that the finances would be released to meet all your needs. I pray that one day I will see one of you posting photos of this little girl on a horse back, or riding lawn mower or dressed in a soccer outfit, or maybe at Disney land ....Just don't give up.
....looking after the orphans in their need......James 1:27
Monday, November 12, 2007
Every year we try to bring some workers from Central Asia here to meet the people that support them ... It gives people here an opportunity to get to know them, an opportunity to see and understand the wide range of support that they receive, and is also a great way to raise awareness for there work....... We can tell people ourselves, but until they hear it from the horses mouth, it does not hit home. Here is one of the most common questions that we are asked, and the response received. It is part of an email from a gentleman that will be traveling with the AVP group in march.
Thanks John: It was great to see the videos and meet the Xxxxxx and Xxxxxxxx tell of their expriences with the orphaned and handicapped children,. When I asked wouldn't it be better to send the $2500 plane fare over instead of me she said "no we need and delight in the encouragement you can bring to our people.
joy to you!
So it's like this........ if you really want to encourage me.... you can send me the $$$$$, but if you want yo really encourage them...... you can go!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I have also been on Missions trips , and even years later, I see photos on line or on posters and signs that I have taken.... Again it is a weird feeling.... You start to realise that we are a part of something that is bigger than the two of us!
The main reason that I continue to post on this blog is to encourage people, to realise that every day people can do extraordinary things....... and that whether we are here or there , we can make a difference. One of the side perks of this blog , is the friendships that I have started to develop because of it..... I find myself encouraged daily by those like minded bloggers.
I thought I would post part of a letter I received from a "NEW FRIEND"..........he knows my fathers will.....
When I found out in January I was going to Central Asia I googled everything I could find. That's where I found your blog. When I got there I was just blown away that I was actually able to see in person the people & the "after pics" of projects that were mentioned in the blog. I hadn't expected that. On a visit to Anatoly to see the after pic of his home he mentioned that he needed a few things (pants, a sweater & some medicine). We took a collection amongst ourselves & gave it to Leyana who bought them for him. I don't know who was more thrilled Anatoly, Leyana or us. Needless to say we were so blessed to be there. Although...when you were digging around the village last week, did you happen to find my heart? I'm pretty sure I left it there. :) I probably could go on & on with the stories. This trip was life changing for some of us in our group. I am wanting to go back soooooo bad. I'm not sure if our church is planning another trip there or not. In a couple of weeks they'll be announcing next year's trips & I'm just waiting to find out. After I got back I kept up with your blog & watched the team reports last week with great interest & was praising God for all of those accomplishments. As the Brits say...I'm just gob smacked at what was done.
Stay tuned for more accounts of Blair's journeys to Central Asia
It is amazing to me what can be done with small amounts of money here in Central Asia. I am told that inflation is causing the price of most things to increase 15-20%. In God's economy....the generousity of His people....how is this for a list of things that have been done, or that are being done by the investment of about $25,000.New Tile floor in kitchen, dishwashing room, and two side rooms...as well as tile halfway up the wall.All new plumbing under the tile floorAll new electrical in the new kitchenTwo countertop rangesMicrowaveChicken Coup(with fenced in area)and 22 six month old laying hens and a roosterBlock building to hold water heating furnace...and also a winters supply of coalTwo brand new windows (2 meters by 4 meters) in the dining room (installed)Three brand new windows for kitchen (2 meters X 3 meters...installed)Generator for Mission that works with orphanagesA financial blessing for a Bible College that trains leaders to help the hurting, hopeless and helpless.Partnership with Children of Hope (child sponsorships) that saw all 45 orphans have $50 spent on them for new clothes and shoes/boots.....and I am sure I am missing a couple things...Oh yeah...a Metric Tonne of Potatoes that will last the orphanage at least through the winter.Cleaning supplies for KitchenPaint for KitchenNew Shelving in Kitchen....C'mon! Somebody get off their hiney and do a dance or something. This is wild stuff! Thank you God...for letting me be part of it!Every last child in that orphanage is worth it!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Cost : $200/month
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Cost : $200 / month
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Cost: $575 / month
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
to make a difference. It is one of those things.... When you hear that Julius will be on trip with you, you feel reassured. He works so hard, and cares so much. He brings joy to all he meets, and rolls with the punches, and somehow always manages to stay humbly in the background. For me he has been an example and an inspiration.
I look forward to many more years of partnership.
displaying his new "Home made Canadian Flag"
giving out fresh fruit to the disabled
Despite lots of work to do, he always takes the time to give undivided attention to the kids.
A generous spirit, and a warm heart.
Never afraid to clown around a little if it makes the kids laugh.
I think that we could all learn a lot from Julius.....We can make a difference!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Rule # 1
*"NEVER trust a fart"..........Bob Campbell
* " Finish every meal with a piece of a BANANA...They taste the same coming up as they did going down".........Julies Hofer
* "If irritated by the person sitting beside you on the plane.....get out your laptop make sure they can see the screen, then push this LINK...sit back and close your eyes." .......Mike Selby
now I am sure that there are other great travel; tips out there that we will all find very useful....if you know of any, please comment!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
This is serious stuff! No clowning around. But they also have two clowns with them...."Herbie the Hobo" and "Buttons"...What a hit they are with the kids....sharing the love of God in this special way...they are booked in orphanages, the hospital...playground program...local church. For more updates on this trip check out the following sites...
Friday, October 19, 2007
Team K07 has arrived in Central Asia
The team from Goderich has arrived in Central Asia.Sorry about no pictures as of yet but I will try to update everyday and from this day forward have a pic to go along with the post.Everyone is doing well to this point. Michelle Findlay borrowed my converter plug for her curling iron and the cover came off so she tried to pull the plug out of the wall socket....hello....you guessed it....220 volts baby! Shazzaaaam! Peter now finds his wife more "electrifying" than ever. She is fine folks...Connie MacVicar is missing one bag of luggage. We are working on getting it. Please pray...all her personal items are in it. Steve Root decided to have "beef tongue and cheese" today for lunch...hello....he is a "freakshow" with a gut of steel! I love the guy...he is hilarious and a real trooper. For some reason he and Pastor Scott enjoy picking on me...and you know me I never deserve any of that.Anyways...gotta jet....get some sleep....gotta get over my jetlag.Will update tomorrow with pictures.
Posted by sammyweltenpi at Friday, October 19,
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
More great news for the kids in the village. I don't know if you have been following the posts over at http://www.possibilitiesinternational.blogspot.com/ Not only has the Church in Godrich come on board in support of the kids, but they have gone wild. They originally committed to $10 000, and now they have raised over $25,000. Whats even better news is that they have 12 people heading over to help with renovations. I'm telling you , things have sure come a long way from the first time we went there. You can check out some of the history of the orphanage at this previous post .... A Place In My Heart
Friday, October 12, 2007
One more reason that you can not gauge the success of a missions by the the physical accomplishments.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Posted by sammyweltenpi at Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Imagine living in an orphanage your entire life, and for some of these kids, never being on the other side of the gate. It is your whole life, You hear it bang closed during the night, you see people come and people go, but that 8 foot high solid steal gate is a barrier between you and the rest of the world. Then one day you turn 16 and they come to you and hand you one change of cloths, and walk you to that gate. without the help of a few good people, where would you end up?
Tomorrow the team is off to one of the ancient cities, and Sammy and I are heading to Central Asia..... I will post photos from there .
Seriously....we found ourselves at the Sim Sim celebrating with about 12 folks from the "blind society". It was great to watch a group of Canadians share in a meal with this group. It was a meal that they could never afford but was thrown for them because we wanted to know that they were important and that God and Canadians loved them. I was moved as I watched the team interact with these lovely folks and then hug them goodbye.
(A note to Laura...Tim's wife)
There are no worries....drug rehab will not be needed. However Tim is consuming quite a few Turkish Desserts)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I've had the privilege of working in the baby orphanage this week. It is the only baby and toddler orphanage in this city. There are eight in this former Soviet republic. We accompany Nxxxxxx's workers. They usually work in the orphanage 3 days a week. They supply the babies with additional nutrition and teach them using KinderMusic. The additional nutrition is pablum just as we have in Canada. The toddlers are so well behaved and sit so still in their little chairs as we feed them. We also feed babies and children who are mentally and physically challenged. The youngest baby is 1 month old. After feeding them, we visit the different rooms doing KinderMusic with the children. We sit in a circle with them and to music do activities with them -- massaging their bodies, singing, teaching them social skills, bouncing balls, shaking rattles and so much more. The children seem to love what they're doing and are slowly adjusting to us. After that we feed the babies and children lunch -- mashed potatoes or rice mixed with broth, some carrots and ground beef and soaked up with bread in order to feed them. It looks nutritious. I've come to adore little Olga who is 6 months old; little Carolina who is very shy and is over 2; and little Umida who is about 2 and half. I was really blessed today when I had the opportunity to feed a little baby girl who was born without arms and can hardly see. How precious the time we had together as I fed her a bottle -- talking with her -- and then had an opportunity to hum the song "Jesus Loves Me" over and over to her before I put her to bed.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
We arived in Xxxxx at around 4 am and got our visa's and cleared customs in no time at all. after a small nap we began the tour of all the places that we have had contact with 2 baby orphanages , an orphanage for "normal" kids, a disabled orphanage , an institution for the blind and for the disabled then to meet with the home support group for the blind and the disables, and to the adaption house.. It just never seems to end.
The impact that Possibilities International has had through these two incredible ladies is more than I am able to grasp. My Mom will be glad to here that we were at the adaption house. They share with us that PI had sent some money for them a couple of weeks ago. The girls bought all kinds of food. Nice meats and fruits and fresh veggies. When they got there, there wereonly a couple of people there. They then found out the the rest were at the city hall for a weding of one of the men. The reception was going to be back at the adaptation house, and all they had was clear soup and a couple loves of bread..... Instead they returned to a true banquet...
Tomorrow we will be heading for the mountains where we will be bringing all the PI workers for a night in a hotel... They are so excited. We will try to get some more regular updates out to you soon. Blessings John
Monday, September 17, 2007
A few Months back Sammy asked me if I would assist him on this falls trip to Xxxxxx. It was definitely not on my plans to go, I have been concentrating on a six month trip in Feb with my family.... I felt that any promoting I did would detract from this trip. At first I turned him down, but It did not sit well with me. I had made my decision based on economics.
Finally I set things right and contacted Sam , He gave me the same line that I give people..... Don't worry about the money.... It will show up.
Well we leave today, and I still have not even asked Sam if any support has come into Possibilities International for me on this trip. I have left it totally in Gods hands.... and did not see money come in...... I did not obsess....and did not see money come in..... I went on with preparing for next years trip......and still I did not see money come in...
Well by the end of the day yesterday .........The MONEY WAS IN.....Was there every any doubt?
It always amazes me the generosity of people. For me it is a very tangible thing. I have looked into the faces of the seniors, I have held the orphans in my arms, it is a no brain er, but for many of you who have supported team members, you have stepped out in FAITH. Faith in God is easy, It's faith in Man that can be difficult.
I am honoured to be on this team with so many outstanding missions minded individuals, the excitement , energy and enthusiasm that they bring WILL change a nation. I know I speak for them when I say thank you for being a part of that, thank you for making this trip possible.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I was saying to Julie that the one personal bag, or as they say on survivors "luxury item" really might be something that we could do without...... I pointed out that friends of ours have just moved to Tanzania. they have 2 kids and they had 4 bags total to last them 3 years...Yikes..... Well we could do that. .... You know they say that to be effective in missions you have to completely immerse yourself in the culture..... I think that that is great advise ......Not that I am going to follow it, but nun the less great advise.....NOT.....in fact I think that we are doing well to willingly use the soap .....This is a photo of a few cases of laundry soap being dropped at the orphanage.