Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is it not enough

Is it not enough that they care ?
Is it not enough that they give ?
Is it not enough that they go and look after the helpless hurting and lost?
Is it not enough that they put all that they have on the line, daily facing persecution and ridicule and risking their freedom and safety so they can live the James 127 call.
Is it not enough ?

I am challenged daily by those that we are partnering with and supporting in Xxxxxxx. In fact, I sometimes feel that I have not earned the right to call myself a partner....

The continual strive for excellence ...... when will we stop grumbling long enough to learn?

I just recieved this update from the head of our projects in a certain centeral Asian country .


Hello my friends !!!

We have some kind of job description with our team of sisters and we write there some rules, rights and duties

One of our rule is-EACH SISTER HAS TO IMPROVE HER QUALITY
Which means that during the year sister has to graduate some kind of faculties ( go through some kind of
Courses)

2007 year past and we do have some results.

Here is report-

Xxxxxx sisters Lxxxxx and Mxxxxx graduated school to be a massage therapist ( they even got very fancy diplomas)
And right now they are using their knowledge on their babies

Txxxxx orphanage # 30 sisters Lxxxxxx and Txxxxxxx graduate many faculties to be psychologists which is really
useful for their work.

Sxxxxxxxx orphanage sisters Lxxxxxx and Lxxxxxxxx graduate school to learn how to make stuff with beads and they teach
their ladies and children and we even brought some stuff with us for sell when we were in Canada in November.

Txxxxxxx baby orphanage Nxxxxxxx graduated school how to talk to def people and she can teach some babies who
cannot speak def language and sister Txxxxxxx is learning English language.

So as you can see all the sisters did their best, they did this on their own time and everything is very useful for our ministry.
Right now we are making strategic plan for this year in improving our qualities. We do not want to stop and continue get
More knowledge.

Dxxxxx

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One in each arm !

We went for our needles today... I don't know what hurt more ... the needle or the bill for $420 .
Ouch .

Xtreme team update

The team is doing great and hanging in there in the midst of some pretty heavy heat.This smiling crew is only part of the Xtreme team that is presently in LaTinta Guatemala. They are involved in building a set of bathrooms, painting the school and classrooms, adding some concrete sidewalks and we have basically done some basic carpenter work also.Hector and Ruth Aragon are our hosts and they are awesome. PI is already making plans to return in early 2009.What a thrill it is to partner together in the education of these precious young lives.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sammy Surfaces



This is a report fright from the jungle.
As we moved off the main road onto the gravel road and began our descent....it
did not take long for team members to look at me with a strange ¨where are you
taking us¨look. It is quite something here in the northeastern part of
Guatemala. Not very many work teams make it this far in. The team is hard at
work building the bathrooms. It is hot, hazy and humid. Great things going on.
Will update soon.
Sam out!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We are Blessed

We are so encouraged by the support given to us by our family and friends. The fundraiser was an incredible success. Even more than the money raised, we know that we are going with a real sense of support behind us. I know that many on the mission field can feel alone some times, and we may as well, but all we have to do is think back to Saturday night. The party had a coffee house theme and, along with several friends from our home community, my Son and a friend sang for the crowd. The evening finished with a set by my brother Don..... always appreciated by the Norwood folks.

Between sets we had a full coffee shop on the go.... Starbucks, eat your heart out - gourmet coffee's, espresso's, capachinos and teas from around the world served from a genuine samovar. The big hits were the fruit smoothies and the ice cappachinos .
As all this was going on, we had a silent auction with close to 100 items up for bid including this beautiful black lab puppy.......
The most beautiful thing about this photo is not the puppy , but it's new owner. This young lady was part of a group of 16 from Quebec who traveled about 5 hours on snowy roads to come out and support us. They have always been an encouragement to us, the way that they have embraced the work in Central Asia. I was thinking the other day, that this will be my first trip in a long time that I have not been traveling with our friends from St Andre ....But you know what... I think that wherever the Lord leads us.... our friends will be there . Thank you to all those that came out to support us and give us a real send off. ......oh ya.... we raised $7900 in one night .....I can just see Sammy dancing when he reads this in Latinta Guatemala where Possibilities International is leading a team right now to......well that's another story. I will tell you about that tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

They make us look GOOD!

In every project we do, we understand the importance of having a strong team of Nationals on board. Not only does it raise their profile in the community and give them a sense of "ownership", it also helps to bail us out when we bite off a little more then we can chew. We often enter into projects that outlast our visa's (no pun intended) ., and without their ongoing support the job would not get done. Often times opportunities present themselves for real impacting ministry, and my first response is always......we need to find a local to administer that... they know the customs and culture, they know the politics and limitations, and, lets face it, they can read between the lines when we are struggling to understand the lines. I believe a strong team of Nationals is the key to any successful mission. Here are a few photo of the recent work in orphanage # 30 in Xxxxxx.
This first shot is the 'before' shot of the existing washroom... plumbing did not work, and 120 kids used outdoor shed.
This is what it looked like when we got through with it....they say every thing gets worse before it gets better.... maybe this is proof of that .
This is what it looked like when our team on the ground finished bailing us out....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Last Night

I have had lots of people notice that the time stamp on many of my postings are at the most ridicules times... people have asked ..Do you EVER sleep. Well starting tomorrow I get to sleep.For almost two years now I have worked a second job as a night security guard. Well this is my last night. It seems like for two years now I have been living in a perpetual state of jet lag.





Tuesday, January 22, 2008

McJoyfull Christmas pushes deep into Restricted Nations

The Girls have been busy. Just because there is no Mcdonalds, doe not meen that thare is no McJoyfull Christmas. Here is a recient update from Xxxxxx

Children had a huge celebration in Xxxxxx (little village by mountains) orphanage.

This day Xxxxxx children had everything for the first time-

First party in their life

They ate sandwich for the first time.

They ate an apple for the first time…

Look how much they are enjoying their Christmas party….Their first banana and we had to teach them how to eat it

Everything they got was very new for them. When they came inside the cafeteria their eyes were

Shining looking around the tables-all the different kind of candies, different kind of cookies and many other things

We also invite all government workers to the party and they were so happy too like little children


Enjoying the party. Thank you so much for not only making children happy and giving us more opportunity

To have favor with government workers but… do you know that you also helping us to have more friends.

When we were going to Xxxxxx we prayed so hard because our car was so full, just stuffed with boxes

and usually policemen think that it businessmen and give them really hard time. They did not stoped us

and we were praising Lord that we went fine through costum but they stopped us on the way back…

and start asking us what did we do with all boxes and we start sharing with them about party and we

even showed them pictures from our camera and they said that they wish it will be more people like us

who do God's work and now they will always let us go without stopping us…

God bless you !!!



Monday, January 21, 2008

Adoption vs. Adaptation

Really is it not the same thing....One is just a little more socially acceptable.... Now before getting too upset. Let me tell you a story.

On one of our excursions through parts of central Asia, We heard of an adoption house. We were so excited. There had not been any adoptions there that we knew of up to this point, and we were excited to see what we could do to help. We put together a small delegation that would go to this house, and bring some money and supplies . Well as they piled out of the car, things became a little muddled....
You see we had not found an adoption house, but they had found an adaptation house.

When they went inside, they were amazed to find so many people living in such impoverished state. Although the adaptation house had nothing, financially speaking, they had a JOY ... a Joy that comes from a fresh outlook on life. Like an adoption, these Men and their families had been given a fresh start, in a home surrounded by love. Now they will have lots of growing, lots of learning to do, there are still going to be many trials ahead of them, But with the on- going support of people like the team from AVP. they will be given the tools to look forward

They said that they thought they would never see food such as this again !


No mater how little they have, they always have enough to share.. you can see some of the men here packing small bags to bring to those still in prison and their families strugling without them .....

The voice of One calling

(Click on this photo and look into their eyes)

Deep down in the recesses of my sole , I can hear them calling .
There are still situations like this all over the world. So far we have just sort of stumbled across them.....
Feb 11..... we are going looking for them!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Town Orphanage for older kids

Looking over my posts, I realized that I have focused a lot on the village orphanage , and very little on the town Orphanage. It was however, the town orphanage that first brought us to Central Asia, in a round about way.... Let me fill you in.
Julie and I where all excited about joining a team from Millbrook on a 2 week missions trip to Xxxxxxx. We had all our project fundraising done and were getting ready to pack our bags..... that's when things started to unravel.... There had been some political unrest in Xxxxxxx and, as a result, humanitarian aid organizations had been asked to leave. It became apparent that we were not going to get visa's and, if we did, we did not want to bring attention to our friends there. That's when Ed (Loads of Love) suggested that he could use our help in Central Asia.. He had been supporting workers there for several years, and a real opportunity for impact had presented itself. Earlier that year, the director of the orphanage for older kids in town had left town, and so too did anything of value at the orphanage.... including everything right down to the heating pipes. Realizing the difficulty that these kids were now facing, and the fact that the city did not have the resources to set this problem straight, the Mayor came to Ed "Loads of Love" and Elder Yang "Mercy Foundation", and asked if they would consider taking over the orphanage. They both agreed . So we got busy at the last moment and raised more money to help out. Two weeks later we arrived with 5 grand in our pockets and a team ready to work. When we first arrived we were given the tour. As we wandered around outside we came across the washrooms..... I have left the doors closed here... you're welcome... any way... we were told that this was a very busy washroom because it serviced the hospital as well - because it was so much nicer then theirs - if you can imagine. Inside we found dirty run down rooms with almost no furniture, and gaping holes in the walls where there once was a heating system. The kitchen consisted of a hot plate on the floor, and doubled as the laundry room. The wiring was a disaster....basically the building was nothing more than a shell. The thing that struck me the most was that in the middle of this whole mess, lived a dozen precious kids. I was told that these were street kids...... where do three year old street kids come from.?.... After only a few days on this project, we heard about a small orphanage in the village that was also in a desperate situation. Knowing that Elder Yang had everything under control, we headed for the village. I really look forward to being able to spend more time with these kids when we are there. We already have bags in town full of craft supplies that the girls can bring with them to the orphanage. It does not take much to bring happiness to these kids..."A smile is all it cost's to let some one know you care."

Town Orphanage Now

Last year we were back to town with a couple of teams to do some home makeovers, and we had the opportunity to spend some time with the kids from the orphanage. We began by bringing the kids to the local amusement park then out for supper, complete with gifts. . Later that day we went to visit them at the orphanage . We could not believe the differences since the last time we were there. remember the old washrooms? Well now they not only have these wonderful washrooms outside, but they now have new washrooms inside as well. The rooms are now all bright and clean with beautiful bunk beds and hand made quilts. The kitchen was fully equipped... all but a fridge that is, but we soon took care of that..... ( thanks to Paula's friends... and Bruce ) One of the things I liked was that they have a small dining room where the kids take turns having more formal meals .. it gives them a time to feel special, and to experience something a little more family like. All this aside, I think the biggest impact there is that the kids know that they are loved ..... If I have not said it before, I must say that I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with a great man like Elder Yang .... He sets the bar high!....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fwd: Merry Christmas

Dear John

We are so sory that long time not write fo you. We remember about you and your family, and Sergey not forget about your parrot(bird). Yesterday beside us was a home group and looked the photo with Canada we spoke of you and your family and have shown the photo of your parrot all laughed that beside Sergeya on head towel.
And we have shown fot one family, I don't know they name but they adopt one boy and one girl. Thay have a big, big horses. I want to say other word which (big ) too but I do not know how this word is write English :( this is like ( hooch) .
Oh I have found this word in dictionary HUGE :) Yes HUGE horses. How this family and girl. I remember her, and she have special place in my heart. I can't explain that I felt when meat with her, when tallked with her. If you can please say big hello for her and her all family, and say for her what I remember about her and her family.
How are you , how your baggage, is ready? Very soon we will see you. About visa, Ed will write for you. I did not write about visa bacause I did not know how I can explain in english :( I am sorry .
How your Russian?
John in your house I meat with one very good lady, but I don't know this is your mama or July's mama? Please say for her special hello from me, and hug her. She is very good and kind lady, I think that she is your mama.
I spoke with Ed about Aypery and spoke that he wrote for you about her and her mama. Now they all better.
About Ira. She is doing good. Every sunday she comes to church. And today she will go in home group. I talk with her son and he very pleased that his ma changed. Her younger girl has a problems with talk ( with speech) and for past week we have taken the girl in hospital to special doktor . Now girl her( Anya as I ) live in special kinder garten where her teaches speak . Each friday Ira it is necessary to withdrew Anya from kindergarten at home. We pay for kindergarten and give money for Ira each friday on road in the capital city to withdrew Anyu.
I have bought the cloth for Ira she goes in this cloth in church. Winter beside us cool in the night temperature -20. We Ire give saw she has sawed;sawn down the tree beside fence and this tree stomps the stove. At home very warm. She is ask about you, and say big hello for you and all you.
God bless you.
I Corinthians 16:13
With love Sergey, Anya and kids.




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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Taking things for Granted

As humorous as I found this cartoon to be, it did strike me as kind of sad. These are two of the necessities of life that we take for granted....in Central Asia.... they are luxury items ! ... When was the last time you cried because some one gave you your own tooth brush?
Tooth brush and toilet paper...
.THINGS THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF!






Thursday, January 10, 2008

Renovating your heart !

Does your heart come with enough room in it, or does it require a little work. When we need a little more room in a house, or a few more closets, it usually comes only after a little mess and confusion.... just ask anyone that has just gone through it... But when the job is done ... the joy... the excitement.... the satisfaction... you can't wait to show it off...you bring photos with you everywhere in case anyone asks... you may even consider a dinner party in your new walk- in closet... well maybe not quite, but you get my point... So why, when we know that great things can be in store, do we protect our hearts so much from a little mess.....Is it time for a little renovations?

Here is part of an email I received from our friend Hilary that has recently adopted from Central Asia.



There are many children waiting in Central Asia with no chance of being adopted by their own countrymen. Anara's special need is minimal, she is missing parts of her fingers on one hand, and 7 of her toes stop after the first knuckle and two of them are conjoined. We specifically asked the director when we went to meet her, what her chances were of being adopted in her own country...the answer...none. People in Central Asia generally only adopt"Perfect" babies. She would've been an outcast. Can you imagine a child being "thrown away" here in the US because of such a mild deformity? I've been to Central Asia, and I've seen the children who are waiting and it rips my heart out to think of them living in institutions all their childhood and then being turned out to the streets with no skills,no way to survive. Their options: Steal or Prostitute. We hope to go back someday and bring an older child or another special needs child home...we have room in our hearts, Anara expanded it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Leg Up for Gyana

For those of you that may not remember the story about Gyana, I will refresh your memory. Gyana is an old war vet living in town on a pension of only $12 a month. A couple of years ago, we had the privilege of doing a home makeover for him. With only one leg and no money it is easy to become depressed and allow life to close in around you. We wanted to give him a fresh outlook on life. For a week we cleaned scrubbed, plastered and painted. Then when everything was all cleaned up we did a little shop at the market and replaced those items that we thought that he needed. It was an incredible experience to get such an immersion into life from his perspective. When we were finished, we made arrangements for regular home care to help him maintain his home. One of the things that he shared with us is that a couple of days before we got there , two men from the power company came to see him. They dragged him out of the house and beat him up because he was 3 months behind on his bill. I spoke to our worker there and asked how much it would be to pay his bill and cover the next year.....$25 US.....you can only imagine how fast my wallet was open. On the plane on the way home, I turned to Ed and said " I think we missed the obvious.... we should have got him a new leg..." Well I shared this with our friends from Millbrook that were on this trip with us, and they were on it like a dog on a bone. Gyana has his new leg now. We continue regular support and Yes we still pay his power bill. I am always so busy when in town that never seem to get more then a five min. visit in once a year. I look forward to being there for a longer stay, when I can go over more often for a game of chess..( his chess buddy died a few Months ago.. I asked what happened, Gyana said "his wife nagged him to death" ) When I think of Gyana, I will always remember his response when we moved him back into his new home... "Thank God that you found Me....I think I lived my whole life for this moment".
Here is a recent update from Lena in town.


Do you remember Gena? He is get new leg!!!!! Thank you to all, who care about that!!!!!!!!!

My Dear Brothers and Sisters!!!!!! !!!!!!! When we together, we Power!!!!!!! When I thinking about you, about your hearts…..I’m cry. I’m missing and love you so much!!!!!!
With love
Lena





Monday, January 07, 2008

Not Over....Just the Beginning !!

Just a quick note to let you all know that we have arrived safe and sound back in Millbrook, arrived at 5:00 pm last night and slept in our own beds. PTLWe had an amazing time for all of you within driving distance to Millbrook come out Sunday AM and hear all about it.

Blessings Jamie and Norma

We are glad to hear of the safe return of the Nelders and their friends from Millbrook Christian Assembly, but the McJoyfull Christmas is far from over. Over the next couple of months I will post follow up stories as the Mcjoyful Christmas program makes it's way through Central Asia.
Thanks for the great work guys!

LIGHT in a DARK place

I often need to give myself a reality check. It is so easy to focus on helping kids. After all.. they are cute, they are Innocent, its hard to argue with..... and lets face it they are easier to raise funds for . In many ways I may be just as guilty as others for exploiting them.... I know the value of a good photo of a kid...."THE MONEY SHOT'. Many organizations have come to realize that if they get an orphanage on board it will unlock emotions in the West that will fund their operations. If it is any consolation, the organizations we work with like P.I., are very careful to ensure that designated funds make it to the designated locations. For that reason, I must always remember to post every now and then about some of the others we help.

I thought that tonight I would share with you a story about a blind society that we work with.

In the country of Xxxxxx we have a worker that has worked with and developed trust with a blind community. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, they had a factory that was completely staffed by the blind. As a result of this, the surrounding apartments were all owned by the blind. Then in '91, when the empire began to collapse, the factories were shut down. Today this community still exists, and lives in destitute poverty. They are beautiful gentle and kind people. they have survive by caring for each other, but it has been so long that the community resources are almost depleted. When we first started working with them, Sam (P.I) and my pastor, Ron, went to see what was needed. After they had a little visit, and saw the conditions that these people were living in, they Asked them..." what can we do to help you" Then the strangest response..... "could you get us a light bulb"...... they looked at each other, and thought really what does a blind person need with a light bulb ? ... then it was explained to them.... if they leave the lights on, the cockroaches are not so bad ! You know how much does a light bulb cost ?... A little LIGHT in a DARK place ... I think that's something that we can offer.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Home today

Well we are getting our stuff to gether to load up for the airport. we fly out at 1:00 PM Kiev time and arrive at 5:00 PM Toronto time after twelve hours in the air. We are all looking forwad to being home. Tim Hortons is high on everyone's list of stops once we get to Canada.We arrived in Kriviy Rog on Thursday Dec. 27 we left Thurs. Jan 3 in those 8 days we helped take approximately 875 children to McDonalds and almost 150 adults with disabilities. Everyone of them heard the gospel and every one of them was loved. We are tired but we are thrilled that we had the opportunity to help with this great program. Looking forward to seeing you all when we get home.
Blessings Jamie and Norma

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Flights Booked

So the flights are booked.
Feb 11th 6:15 pm .....KLM to Amsterdam to Moscow
Feb 12 th 9 hours in Moscow......Aeroflot to Capital City
Arrive in Capital City 6:10 am Feb 13th

Our return trip is a little more complicated.
July 23 Capital City to Moscow, train to Saint Petersburg, then on to Estonia Latvia, and Lithuania, around Belarus to Poland then to Ukraine. then on the 19th of Aug we fly Kiev to Amsterdam and on to Toronto.

If anyone knows of some 'must see' locations along the route, or have contacts for a night to stay, let us know.

F.Y.I. 4 flights, taxes, inscurance, both medical and travel for the missions part of the trip .......$8400

Friday, January 04, 2008

Last stop before home

Arrived safely in Kiev this morning. We are going sight seeing and shopping. Yeeha!

Jamie and Norma

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Final Day

Well it is Thursday our last day Krivoy Rog. We had a group come through that are in a shelter, these are children who have been recently put into the orphanage system, they have not yet been placed in an orphanage. They can be in a shelter for up to three months. So each of these kids have only been part of the system for less than that. Some of them have been abandoned by their parents and some have been taken off the street (some live in the sewers). We are going to visit the babyy orphanage this afternoon and then we are going to catch the train and head back to Kiev. The week has just flown by. See you in Toronto on Sunday at 5 pm.
Blessings
Jamie and Norma
The Nelders

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Where did that come from!

Last night when we went to bed, it was your typical winter night, maybe -4 with a nice fresh snow fall. I had not paid any attention to the weather reports, so when morning came and it was -17 and windy, I was not impressed. The van doors were frozen shut, and the battery was dead. As I may have mentioned before, it is my disdain for winter that is one of the motivating factors for me in missions...... with that said , you would think that I would be joining Sammy in a couple of weeks heading for Latinta Guatemala!...but NO, we get to go to the Himalayas in February!. I know that there is poverty and social injustice all over the world, I know that people are starving and kids are orphaned, but there is just something in me that aches when I think about throwing this bitter cold into the mix.
As I froze my fingers...putting the jumper cables on...I thought of the Orphanage director in Xxxxx who came to me a few months ago and thanked me for the heating system that my church had installed for them.. He took my hand in both of his , got his face right in mine and said "NO ONE DIED OF COLD LAST YEAR..BELSHOY SPACIBA!".....Then I thought of all our dear kids in the village, and wondered how cold it was there right now.
I decided to let the van run for a bit to warm up and charge the battery, so I came in and checked my email....I found this posting by Sammy.

I know it does not look like much in this picture but what you see is a new room for the boiler that heats the hot water for heat in the village Orphanage. You can also see some coal on the left. The team from Goderich left funds to build the new "heating room" on the backside of the orphanage. The boiler used to be inside the orphanage and did not have proper venting....we were told that when heat was needed and the heater was fired up that fumes and smell would float through the building. Not anymore baby! Below you can see the picture of the new pipes that have been added also so that heat can now be pumped into the boys section. Toasty!
Posted by sammyweltenpi at http://www.possibilitiesinternational.blogspot.com/

Suddenly I feel guilty for complaining about the cold...Oh Don't get me wrong.... I am still going to complain, I will just feel guilty about it!
Blessings from the frozen North ,
John