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.