Thursday, November 29, 2007

Things we take for granted

My friend Tod and I made the drive this morning to Ottawa to pick up some friends who are here visiting from Xxxxxxxx. While in Ottawa, we made a couple of calls to our Member of Parliament, and 1/2 hour later we were in his office with his parliamentary secretary, and an intern . They took us on a full tour of the parliament. Even when we joined up with the regular tour, they stayed right with us and were ready to answer any and all questions for the girls. When the public tour was over, with the flash of a badge, we were in the inner workings of the government buildings. The girls were so excited. When it came time to go, we tried to thank our personal tour guides, at which point they both apologized to us that our Member of Parliament was not there personally as sits on the Justice comity and was in meetings all day. We were given passes to the gallery, but unfortunately did not have time to stay. Here is the ironic part... here with all our freedoms and privileges, I can't show you the un doctored photos of the time on the hill...... to do so could link our friends to this web sight, and in turn compromise their safety.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Calling all Camera's

I have been playing with an idea.... and I need your help.
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 :
John Wright
2141 R.R.#3
Norwood Ont.
Canada K0L 2V0

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Russian 101

After work tonight I meet Julie and the girls in town for supper , then it was off to Millbrook Ontario to give some Russian lessons. Millbrook is preparing for trip to the Ukraine where they will be meeting up with Ed. They will be leaving Canada on Christmas day to help with the McJoyful Christmas Program . They are going to have a blast. If you are new to this blog you might ask "What is McJoyful Christmas.?" well I will let Ed explain it..........

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 Tell him you found out here and be eligible for the actofkindness rate ....... 10 kids for $100...

Blessings John

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Adopting from Central Asia / Xxxxxxxx

Julie and I were discussing today with the girls about how when they were young, we had started the process of adoption. We had gone through all the classes and had started the home study . We were preparing to adopt an older, difficult to place child .It is such a big step, and effects so many lives, we wanted to make sure that this was the right decision. About that time, there was this very old, and very wise pastor that would preach at our church from time time. I remember watching in amazement how he would almost have to be helped up to the pulpit, then as the power of God came upon him his entire countenance would change ,and in minutes he would be preaching like he was in his 20's again...clear, energetic...(all over the platform ) , funny, and spoke with authority..... then when he was all done, this frail old man would carefully return to his seat. We went to him after one of these services, and asked him to pray for us, that we would like clarity about whether or not to proceed with adoption.... with that same clarity and authority we had seen earlier, ho told us that this was not Gods will for us at this time, and that we should not be committing to adopting now, but that one day God would be calling on us to be helping many.
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

Right from The Horses Mouth

Not that I am calling them horses..... But you know what I mean.
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!

will stoltz

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 remember my first missions trip. It was to the Island of Monserrat in the West indies, after Hurricane Hugo laid waste . I saw the devastation on the news, and a few weeks later I was walking the streets.... I remember the feeling of " I have seen this before" and realising that this was what I had seen.

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.

Lord bless,


Corinthians 16:13

Stay tuned for more accounts of Blair's journeys to Central Asia

Catching Up

Well so much has been happening that I seem to be falling behind. I thought it would be great to give a little recap of where things stand in the village.

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 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 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!

Sammy Pi.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Host Family

Many of you may not know this, but when I was young, My parents owned a Motel and Restaurant / banquet facility in cottage country, and my formal education is in Hotel Restaurant Management. Several years ago when we began planning for an extended stay in Central Asia, I felt a real calling to take what comes natural to me and use it to glorify God. As a host family, we will meet and greet incoming missions teams and individual travelers. There are many different NGO's operating in the area, and wouldn't it be great if they had a friendly face waiting for them , helping them to acclimatize, and maybe even a home cooked meal from time to time. Something else I would love to do is to have the opportunity to have our many friends and acquaintances over for visits. I really look forward to this time. While traveling with a team on a short tum Trip, time is such a factor, and it seams that every minute is spoken for.... I look forward to visiting Gyanna, and having time for a game of Chess, or having the local pastor and his family over for supper....Can you believe I have never actually had the opportunity to sit down and have a visit with them.?... after all, we have always seen our role in missions not as an evangelist , but simply there to encourage our local Brothers and Sisters.

Cost : $200/month

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Home makeover

While living in town, We will be staying at an apartment owned by Ed Dickson. Ed is seen here with some of the thousands of Orphans that he takes to McDonald's in the Ukraine every year . Ed is the director of Loads of love / Link 127 and is responsible for much of the work that we do in Central Asia.
His apartment is clean and in a good location. I has not really been lived in for many years. Ed provides it free of charge to missionaries and pastors who come time to time to teach at the local Bible college. I think that more than anything it gets used as an emergency shelter. In the past, along with staying there our selves we have moved people there while we are doing "Home Makeovers" .
You have to know Ed to know that he is so non materialistic. and as nice as the apartment shows.
We would love have the opportunity to really bless Ed ... and in turn, all that use this apartment. We have already begun work on the apartment installing new windows, and adding some appliances to the kitchen. It is one of our goals while we are there to take the money that we are saving in rent, and upgrade the apartment, maybe some new beds, sheets, blankets , towels. A little remodeling in the Kitchen , a new fridge, and maybe even some cooking utensils.
When a people like Ed puts so much on the line , devoting his life completely to helping the hurting and the lost, doing the work that you and I should be doing, I think it is important that this apartment feels less like a "Room" and more like a home.
Cost $400/month