Friday, December 19, 2008

A bright Star

Some have angels on there tree's and others have stars... The last post I showed you our Angel, but I got thinking about who would be our stars... that's when I realize how blessed we have been.... we could fill a tree with stars... Maybe over the next few weeks I will highlight some of those that I would consider a star... if I can get to them all... (please note... ... they are in no particular order)
Some time ago now, Sam and I were in Central Asia, and spent a few days... We were getting things set up for the iam1ru sponsorship program as well as making arrangements for our families trip that spring, that's when Sergey and Anya introduced us to Kristina . Kristina was engaged to be married to Anya's brother. She spoke fluent English, and had volunteered in the orphanages as she was growing up. She had spent a year as an exchange student in Rockford, and was currently working toward her law degree. She was perfect for what we had in mind. We hired Kristina to teach English out in the village. Twice a week , Kristina has been making the drive out to work with the kids. As well as concentrating on English, but she has been able to help them with some of their other schooling as well. She connected with the kids better then we could have ever hoped... Not only has she done a phenomenal job at teaching the kids, she has become their friend and their advocate. The self esteem of the kids has gone through the roof... Just knowing that there is someone there to spend the time with them and to pour herself into there lives has given them the HOPE that they need. Despite arriving at the orphanage in a state of turmoil, with Kristina's help, they are able to quickly catch up and realize their full potential... With this position of trust, the kids have begun to share needs and concerns with her ... times when there voices would otherwise not be heard, Kristina has pushed through and advocated for them... There is no doubt in any ones mind that she loves these kids, and they love her... In fact when she got married, all the kids from the orphanage were there to present her with a gift that they had made her as well as to dance and entertain the guests. Along with teaching, Kristina also found herself traveling with us into the capital city many times... As we found people requiring medical treatment and glasses etc. It was Kristina that was given the responsibility of arranging and attending the appointments... Kristina is on Maternity leave right now, and we are so excited for her and Ruslan, but I know that that does not diminish in any way the feelings that she has for HER KIDS.... Kristina... You are one of our stars, we look forward to working with you in the years to come... we love you ....

Kristina helping to give out mittens to the kids From left to right ... Anya's mom, Kristina, Ruslan, and Anya .. this photo was taken at a good buy party we hosted our last week in town

The ladies group from our home Church sponsored the wedding for them complete with dress and the banquet afterwords... The youth team catered the event... I was such a blessing to do this not only for them, but all her family and friends... it certainly was a day to remember...

One of the many picnics in the mountains with the kids

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