Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And the fight is on !

One of the orphanages that we visit regularly has gone through a little turmoil recently. This is a small orphanage with only about a dozen kids. This is the first stop where the police bring kids that they find on the street. The orphanage is very well run, and there are lots of workers to help the kids. Food is not really an issue for them, however they do love the variety of food that we cook for them once a week. No matter how hard you try to help them with the physical needs, no matter how much you provide, it does not protect them from the reality around them.
Last week a couple of the kids went back to their families , and two new kids arrived. Talk about a change in the pecking order. This orphanage has gone from a quiet peaceful place to a hostile, volatile environment. Regularly , the kids physicaly and emotionally beat each other up.
.... please take a few minutes and pray for these poor children.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Martins head above water !


Hi Guys,

I finally got my head far enough above water to get back to you. Dropping 2+ weeks out of my usual schedule takes a little time for recovery. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but I'm afraid I live in North America...so far.

At least I have had time to reflect. And the more I do, the more I appreciate everything you guys did for me. We were taken care of every step of the way...from being picked up at the airport on arrival to "personal representation" trying to board the flight out of Xxxxx, when we got ourselves into a bit of trouble. That only showed me how much trouble we could have gotten into if we had tried to make to trip without all the inside help.

Everything inbetween was everything I could have hoped for. Challenging, fascinating, rewarding... I was surprised at how immediately we were well accepted and how easy it was to communicate through our translators. The workshops were full on unknowns and surprises but always rewarding. There was so much good energy.

It would be hard to pick out a highlight. The two weeks was a series of highlights. Even our layovers in Moscow turned out to be an adventure, hanging out with the homeless/countryless there. If I were to go back, and I hope I do, I would most of all want to go back to the village. I still wonder how Nastia (not at all sure of my spellings) is doing. We hung out together on the trip to the mountains. There are also a lot of faces I remember from the workshops that I would like to see again.

Special thanx to John's family including Emma and Becca who went out of their way to make me feel welcome and help out wherever they could. I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your adventure.

martin

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Do the math !

Happy Easter... That's right . Today is Easter here in Central Asia. We had a great day at church. We love it when they sing songs that we recognize. Here is one of them that you might know. Nellie is the worship leader.

video

After the service we had a time of fellowship ...The piloff was excellent and being Easter, there were all kinds of yummy breads. If you look you might recognize this bus from earlier posts. We have a hired a 16 passanger bus here rather then buying a car. Every Sunday we have it do a run around town to pick up those that live too far to walk. Usually we get to the church after the bus arrives, and we leave before it . I was wondering what kind of responce the bus was getting. Well, today we watched it load up.... what a sight... first on the bus were a dozen kids from the town Orphanage... then 5 or 6 from the Bible college.... 5 or 6 more I did not know... Then Ira, "Sergei "?, no Ira,.... oh yes, of course, Ira, came running with friends and kids... about 8 more .... Oh, then two more families I don't know... about 8 more and finally they managed to get the door shut ... video

Oh ... here come 7 or eight more ..... any one doing the math ..... watch this if you don't believe me.......

video

We are now wondering if all three bus runs are this full!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

"E-I-E-I-Oh BABY"

Three years ago I met a young girl. Some of you will remember her story. On her 12th birthday her father decided that she was now old enough to be his wife, and tied her and her 4 siblings to a tree in the back yard and attempted to kill their mother while they watched..... unsuccessfully... As you can imagine. Her birthday has not been a time of celebration for her. On our last visit with the team from Norwood, she came to me as we were leaving.. She asked for prayer because of the dreams she had been having.... with out going into too much detail, we stayed... and we were able to work through a lot of issues that day. She then gave me a note....it read something like this. "I have had a difficult time with Birthdays. I have not liked to celebrate them.. It hurts to think about them... I would like to think of you as what a father is to me...... I am now ready to start celebrating my birthday again. Would you please come for my birthday?" Well when her birthday came, there was just no way I could swing it, so I gave money for Sam and Dave to go for me and have a big party..... On her birthday she was sick and the party never happened...Well Today she turned 16, and together WE CELEBRATED HER BIRTHDAY//// and what a day it was ... Bekah had the whole thing planned out... First we went bowling....no first we gave them Graval.... then we went bowling... They had a blast. video
Even Issar got in on the fun... I don't know how often this family gets out together,... if ever, but they sure had fun tonight. Then it was out for supper....Shashleek...Lugman...Montey...paninie...you name it we had it... Then to top off the night, we had the waitress turn out the lights and bring out a cake with candles and we all sang Happy Birthday... This is not a custom they have here, in fact the restaurant has never done this before. Then, if that was not enough, Bekah had prepared presents for all the kids. She made a card full of photos of this beautiful family from over the years. Iagula (mom ) sat at the end of the table and grinned the whole night... She was so blessed and thanked Bekah for her work. ...we talked with the kids about their new house and what they would like to do when they start living there..." we would like a cow, a donkey and a cart, sheep, chickens ducks a rabbit... white... but not to eat!!! and a turkey......Well this is the family that we have been getting sponsors for farm animals.... We are just dying to tell them how fantastic people have been... I think we will do that in a couple weeks when Sam (PI) gets here They are going to have one incredible little farm..... wait till you see that video...I can just hear Sam "It's going to be a freak show.... Go a head and sing Old McDonald now E-I-E-Oh Baby"



So Now you know the rest of the story.




A Thousand apologies

It is easy to develope "ethnocentric thinking.." Basically that is to compare the way something is done with our own expectations of how it should be done based on our own country or experiences.... Our phone was cut off yesterday because we did not pay the bill... in fairness, they phoned us with a pre-recorded anouncement telling us how much the bill was that month... We thought it was a tella marketer, and kept hanging up. I went down and paid the reconnection fee, the last months bill, and the bill for the next three months ... total 380 som.....$10.52 all the while thinking that I would never have my phone at home disconected for a $2.54 bill that was a week late. Well I get back to the apartment and find an email from my friend Cal.. he is collecting my mail for me... He tells me that I have a phone bill of $160.... now I have the minimum service and no calls... how does this happen in three months?...and it's not just the phone it's the inscurance as well.
The week before we left Canada, I had removed the insurance off the cars....they didn't... I moved the phone to basic.... they did not. I bought extended insurance for when our regular insurance ran out... they took the money, but now are trying not to cover...Thats 3 for 3...Incompitence is alive and well..... I think I posted a long time ago that If I assume people to be incompetent, I will never be dissapointed . With that In mind, I don't know why I expected any different...
I paid the bill and less then 10 min. the phone was re- connected...further more, I type this post on High speed internet... something that Bell Canada can not offer me at home..... Things are strange here, they do appear disorganized at times, But you know what.. Some of our customer services in Canada have a long way to go to catch up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Talk about potential!

Let me introduce you to someone. This is Altynai. She is one of Eight . Her parents were deported from Russia because they drank to much. They continued to drink here in Central Asia. Altynai was found by the police scavenging for food at the dump to feed her brothers and sisters. In November she and 4 of her siblings were moved to the village orphanage. She is now 19 and still lives there with them She feels responsible for them. Since coming to the orphanage she has excelled in school, and has really applied herself in the English lessons we have there for the kids. Already she is able to converse in English. Her likes are Music, drawing and writing poems...She is very gifted. She wants to be a translator or a clothing designer when she grows up. She was about to sign on with mining company . They would assist her with school to study mining samples.... for this they require that she sign a contract with them for a period of 10 years that she would not be able to work any where else....basically giving them all rights to her..... We have talked to Elder Yang. He has a Christian business college opening in September here in town. One of the courses being offered is Linguistics . He also has dorms for the kids to stay. This is only 1/2 hour from the Orphanage so she could continue to have contact with her family. and while in town, would be surrounded by those that would look out for her. Please remember Her in prayer. We are now going to see if she could be excepted to this college and what the final price would be. It looks like the tuition portion would be around $500 for the year. We gave the kids a questioner to fill out for us... under PLEASE PRAY FOR: she wrote My future, My Faith and my education, because I don't have money for that. under I WOULD LIKE TO: she wrote .... create a happy family and love my future children.... I'm telling you... this young young woman is something special .... She just needs someone to stand behind her.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Capital City Wonderland

Yesterday we had the opportunity to get to know the older children at the village by taking them to Flamingo, an amusement park in the capital city.


First we went out for lunch and had shashlik. They ate as much as they could..... They found out later that they shouldn't have eaten as much.... They ALL threw up at least once throughout the day. After lunch we went to Flamingo. We got onto "Kamikaze", we were thinking how much fun the kids would have on it...... we found another thing out.... 95% of the kids were scared out of their minds and would never go on there again.

video

If you listen closely you can hear my name yelled desperately by Elmira, the girl sitting beside me.

After the park we went to the Metro, an American Restaurant, for pizza and a game of pool. When we got back into the bus, one of the older girls, Altenai, told us how she had always wanted to go to an American Cafe. That made the whole trip worth while. Gulnara had given everyone little barf bags for in the car..... and on the way home we had a little bit of fun with them.
Ularbek and Stepa were the comedians on the ride home
but as you know what goes up...... must come down.

Overall it was a very fun day!!! Thank you so much CMHA for making this day possible!

-from Bekah and Emma-

Sunday, April 20, 2008

And an that farm he had a....nothing....E-i-e-i-o


One of the families that we have been supporting (Mother and 5 kids) has been given a house by our friends from"Loads of Love". It has a nice big yard and lots of little buildings for a small substance farm.... This is such a good fit because the older boys are the ones that care for and love the animals at the orphanage. They would dearly love their own animals. This is do able ... So many people have asked "What can we do to help" this is a great opportunity. As you can see from the prices here , we have something for any budget! you can help us with this by donating on line by following the donation link at http://www.possibilitiesinternational.com/ (write "The Wright stuff" and the animal you would like to sponsor in the memo) or you can mail a check to our Canadian address. please make it out to Norwood Pentecostal Church.

Julie & John Wright
2141 4th line R.R.#3
Norwood Ontario
Canada K0L 2V0
(Our friend Cal will look after it from there)

Dairy Cow and calf $692.50 ....
(Bekah will pay the first $200 if someone would like to help her with this .)
Older calf alone $180.05
Medium size lamb $41.55
Small size lamb $13.85
Turkey $8.31
Ducklings $1.00
Chicken $5.54
Chicks $1.00
1 month old Rabbit $2.00
Full size rabbit $8.31
Donkey and cart $500

This is Bekah here - This is really important to me. I do not have enough money to do this on my own ... that is why I would like your help . Thank you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Q and A's

Q."is it unlimited internet" A. "yes of course" what they really mean is "You can buy as much as you like ."

Q. "will you take 500 sum for it ?" A. "yes of course " what they really mean is "you dummy I only asked for 450 in the first place."



Q." is that North ?".. A "yes of course"..... think for a minute and re ask Q. "is that South?" A. "yes of course" what they really men is "Stop bothering me as I am trying to drive"



Q. "Can I please have two ?" A. "Yes of course" what they really mean to say is "I will give you three of the most expensive ones that I have

Q "Do you know Era ?" A. "Vlady?" Q "no Era" A "do you mean Natasha" Q "NO ERA"...... A "OH Era... Yes of course!" What they really mean to say.... "Why didn't you say Era in the first place?

Q."Did you have a good weekend ?" A. "Yes of course" What they really mean to say ..." My wife is sick, my kids are in an orphanage , I worked all weekend with my back out, and I have not eaten for 2 days..... but thank you for asking!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Not where we thought !

Yesterday we cooked supper for the kids in the town orphanage... Spaghetti and meat sauce ,garlic toast and Cesar salad.... man can those kids eat.... We had a great time playing games as well. There were two new kids dropped off while we were there. The younger one wanted so badly to join in , but was taking his ques from his older brother... We just felt so bad for them. Please remember to pray for them... I have no idea why they ended up there, but I am sure they have a story.
This morning Sergey and Anya picked us up and we went to the market to buy food for a couple of families. we then went to the hospital to get one of Eara's neighbours in... she is not doing well. When I find out more I will let you know... We went to an orphanage in town expecting to find a young boy... He was separated from his best friend when he was moved from his orphanage and his friend moved to the US, but he was not there . Well the people we were bringing food to live in another village, so we went to the orphanage to look for the young boy. We were so thrilled when the Director said that he was there. We gave him a photo of his friend. wow... it was like Christmas. I just wanted to hug him, but I held back... did not want to scare the poor kid. lol... Here is a short video of him talking to his friend. ... look close you might know the rest of the story! video
(Ok the rest of the story has now been posted on the blog of the family involved.... see how this all came to be at the Lajoy Family blog )
After that we delivered food for two families, then stoped on the way home to book a table for 23 at one of the road side yurts. We will bring the older kids from the Orphanage there after church on Sunday, then go into the amusement park in the capital city. ..of course we had to make more then one stop to see who had the best shashleek...yum....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cought of guard !

Every now and then, emotions rise up that I am not expecting..... I had that happen today. Today we were on a hunt to find three babies that had been moved to different orphanages from where their adoptive parents new them to be. I have been praying for these kids and their parents... so I don't know what I was expecting, But as I stood there in the directors office of one of the orphanages and showed her my list of kids and information, I almost started to cry as one by one she read the names and said yes we have him , yes we have her..... one by one.... they were all there, and they were all doing great. They had been moved to this orphanage because the one they were in was becoming crowded. As the relief washed over me, I just thought of their families...... I explained to the director that if there was anything that they needed please let me know. She says that they are all doing fine. While there, we delivered shoes for all the walking kids . Here is a photo of our translator and friend Acel with the sales ladies showing some of the shoes we bought... I think that as excited as the director was with the shoe's, I think she was more excited when we gave her some resent photo's of children that had been adopted from there in the past... She told us all about each of them .
We also had opportunity to visit with Nickolai today as well. He was so happy to see us. He is no longer stuck in bed, but has movement back in his legs... he even walked out to the car with us. We had a good heart to heart talk with him. He understands that we are just the blessed ones to get to see him, but others around the world have sent us by faith and that there is a whole community behind him.... Not that long ago... he was feeling all alone and forgotten.... Today we discussed what possible planes God has for him now... He has decided that he will be around another 30 years.....
Tonight the girls have gone out to the village they are planing a trip with 15 of the older kids to the big flamingo amusement park in the capital city on Saturday... They have the transportation and translators in place.... Now they are working on snacks and drinks...they are trying to convince us that the best way to finish the day would be Pizza and Pop at the Metro Bar and Grill .... Julie and I stayed back to try to get unpacked from last week.... so Julie is asleep and I am blogging..... maybe tomorrow.....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Todays fun and adventures are brought to you by Marcy and her daughters

As you saw on the last blog, we had the kids to a puppet show and museum in the capital city..... well someone had to pay for that .... and it happens to be two special little girls from Warsaw, Canada. What a fun day it was for the little ones from two villages. Marcy your girls have made a real difference in these precious lives. It is so seldom that they get out of the orphanage , I am sure that they will remember this day for a long time.Even the Nationals got in on the fun as we went wild with the cotton Candy... every hand in the park was sticky when we were done ... Emma and Bekah had their hands full!

video

The last 5 days

We arrived home Friday , and were pleased to see the wonderful job that the workers did on the apartment . It looks great, I am sure Ed will love it. Then Friday night we went to visit our friends Lynne and Ruby. Their cottage is a 15 min. drive from our house in Canada, and their new apartment is a 5 min. walk from our apartment here. We had a great visit and a few laughs... we compared stories..... like we both bought the same cute little roasting pan, only to get home and find holes in the bottom of it.... whats up with that? Saturday was the picnic with the kids from the Church... We had a chance to sit with Elder Yang and listen to his stories ....very humbling when you hear all that he his done .....I managed to catch a rainbow trout... and for the rest of the day, I was followed by a dozen kids throwing stones and playing in the water where ever I went.....no more fish. Sunday after Church, the girls decided that they could not wait until Mon. to go visit the kids in the village... we had the bus, but no translator... we did quite well on our own. Monday we were at a birthday party for Lena in the morning, then out to the orphanage in the village to get the corn planted. While there we went to to see the house that was recently bought for the family of 5. I was so impressed to see that the garden there was ready to plant as well. We have been eyeing this project as a possible location for the youth team from Norwood... We try hard to make sure that we don't show favouritism when looking for projects........but we can't help it .... we have loved this family for years, and without coaxing, Emma and Bekah have taken a shining to them as well. We then stopped in the village at Larisa's to check up on Nikolia, He is still not doing so well . He is having a hard time with his legs.. we will be visiting him tomorrow in the hospital . This morning we took the kids from the village and met up with the kids from the town orphanage and went to a puppet show in the capital city, then to a park and bought them all cotton candy. We finished off with a museum....They all crowded into washroom... I thought maybe being the only guy there I should stick my head in to make sure they where ok .... they had figured things out just fine on their own... two peeing in the urinal and 3 peeing in the sink.....Yup, they were just fine on their own, so I quickly departed the scene.. After the Museum we piled them back into a couple buses and sent them home.. video
.... and we went for Canadian food at the Metro... Tomorrow we will get up early and go to the market to buy shoes for the baby orphanage , then deliver them in the afternoon along with some current photo's of some of the kids that have found their forever families in the past year. There are a few little ones that we are looking forward to visiting there. and maybe take a few photos for their Mama's .

Monday, April 14, 2008

What Next ?

If any of you have kids you know that this is a difficult decision for your own kids when finishing high school... WHAT NEXT.... now just try to imagine your son or daughter when they turn 16 and tell them that they must leave home even if they are still in school. They must now start life for themselves, and they can never come back... oh ya... they can only take the one set of clothes they have on their back and nothing else..... That is the problem faced by these and all the other Orphans when they turn 16. Fortunately for them, they are the exception not the rule. The director from their orphanage and our friends at PI have made a special deal with a local University, and they have agreed to provide FREE room and board ... and tuition for two years for the orphans. PI has hired two workers that work with the kids to teach life skills as well as watch out for them.. We had a chance to visit them last week to have tea and meet the director of the University. It is so nice, kind of refreshing, to see "hope" ......

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Too much to say !!!

Sometimes when I don't post for a few days, it is not because I don't have anything to say....It's because I have too much to say......I guess I just want to yell at someone ...but not sure who.
Some things take a while to process... I am going to tell a story I have told before...
When the disabled babies reach a certain age, after loving and supporting them for years , they must leave the baby houses .They are often moved to homes for the disabled adults. We take those that are the most tender and the most vulnerable, in need of the most love and support and bring them to this !
video
No this was not filmed in the thirties or even the early sixties. It was filmed last week. Fortunately the tenacity of the workers from Possibilities International will not let the story end here .We went to visit this home and to bring McJoyful Christmas to them. For obvious reasons, we could not take them out, but we did manage to have a little fun. We had a team of musicians bused in and I set up in the corner making french toast for 150 of the ladies and kids. Then Julie and the girls went around to the ones that are in their rooms or behind lock and key. There are over 250 people in all. A few years ago they would lose as many as a couple dozen over the winter as there was no heat. We were able to raise enough money to bring heat to about half of the rooms, and by rotating them to keep warm, there have been no deaths from exposure since then. PI. has workers there that not only bring food, but they bring hope. They have set up a classroom where they not only teach life skills, they teach how to read and write , they teach how to do the most incredible crafts, and most of all they teach these precious children of God that they are loved... The amazing thing is that as this begins to work its way into their hearts, the healing begins. They have had ladies deemed as dangerous awaken to the love of God and receive clarity of mind... What has been done is just a drop in the bucket.... so much more needs to be done. There is only one worker for every 30 people.... except for the caged section.... they get two workers that work 24 hour shifts. .....

Now think about this..... there is only one small water tap outside that trickles for only 3 or 4 hours a day..... and no one knows when those times might be. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to keep things clean...... don't the workers have enough to worry about?
Even the director spends his own very small salary to help support these children and ladies.
Currently there are about 15 children sponsored here through PI. This small amount has been the life blood of this institution.... it is equal to the entire operating budget for all 250 people.
They are thinking that this spring they might be able to by them all slippers ....... some times it is the simple dreams that bring us to the reality of a situation. Maybe one day they will get their flip flops.... maybe one day they will get a secure water supply.... Maybe they some day they will have enough care givers..... Maybe one day....... where do your Simple dreams begin?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Back in Town

Well the Wrights are back in Town... Soon All of town will know... at least thats the way it feels with the phone calls and people at the door. It is a nice feeling to be back.
We had a great time and accomplished a lot .I see that the posts I made from Xxxx did not make it onto the blog, I was hoping that they were not blocked. I will update with some photos and stories over the next couple of days. We did manage to get in a couple days sight seeing to one of the ancient cities. We even stayed in a hotel that was over 150 years old. Saw lots of the culture, learned a few new words, and even made it out of the country without incident.