Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update om Aigulia

If you have just started reading this blog, some of these posts may seem out of the blue, but for those that have become part of our experiences, I am sure the updates will be appreciated.
We had friends from Lamb International go over to Central Asia a few weeks ago, and were there for David and Jayne's last week. We send with them many envelopes for lots of different people. Sergei and Anya have been busy looking after some of these for us. I receive regular updates from Anya, and included with a report is always the photo for our records.
One of the envelopes was for Aigulia. She is the mother of 5 that had a lot of work done at her house by the youth team from Norwood. Before we left we decided to sponsor this family for $100 a month, and we had the next two months for her. There was a condition on this sponsorship... she could no longer work 80 to 100 hours a week at the orphanage....for free... as much as they need the help, she needs to take some time to reconnect with her own family and help them transition back into being a family again after spending so long living in the orphanage. We also had a feeling that there were some health concerns . We have had the family to the Dr and have them on vitamins now, as well as monitoring some other health issues... One of her concerns is that she has had a sore neck, and now is experiencing pains in her legs as well as servere headaches that even cause her to throw up at times. Anya has made arrangements to start bringing her into an excellent osteopath in the capital city that Julie went to while we were there... I am sure that there will be a cost associated with this, but Anya knows that we could never leave someone in pain when something could be done. We are just so thankful that means are available to us to help at this time. It is times like this that we stop and realize some of the things in life that we take for granted... something as simple as a pain killer would otherwise be out of her reach..... Oh YA ... they found her busy working in the bathroom.... at the orphanage.....maybe one day we will be able to hire a few more workers for them and then those there will get a little time off.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Time for a new coat

I was talking to Altyni a couple of weeks ago . She was so excited about school, and was thrilled to tell me about a job that she had. She will be teaching English and tutering at the town orphanage for older kids on the weekends. I told her how great that was and that she would be so great at it..( Did not mention that it was a scheme that we had cooked up with Daved and Jayne) I then asked how she was doing ... " Oh Great" , then I asked if there was anything that she needed ... She assured me that she was ok, then I asked if she had and winter clothes or a coat yet. .... We knew that she had none when we left... Well she had not wanted to say, but she did not. So when Lynn and Ruby , our friends from Lamb International headed over last week , they brought a little card over with them . We made arrangements with our friend Acel to take her shopping. It is Acels Birthday, so we included a little something for her as well. We also took them all out for supper.... just that we did not get to go ourselves..

Hi John Julie Emma Bekah! We few minutes ago came back from Traktir
restaurant. Thank you very much last two days were one of big days for us.
Yesturday Altinai and I went to the market to get clothes and we did .
Altinai got winter coat, sleeveless jacket and warm dress she liked everything
very much. Today after church after everything we went to have supper it was
wonderful. God bless you very much! I got coat and sleeveless jacket just like
Altinai`s soo we are happy, happy. Last night Aigulia, Beksultan, Aisaada and
Sabira were here and I gave them their cards from you . Beksultan was trying to
translate by himself I helped for others so they were so happy they were smiling
and disskusing about you after. Next Saturday we`re going to Turat`s birthday
with Altinai to
gether. Many many blessings.Love Acel

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Changing of the guard.

Well it is that time for our dear friends David and Jayne. They are due to depart Central Asia tomorrow. They were such a blessing to us while we were there... It did not take us very long before we had reached the point that Julie and I looked at each other and said that we are way out of our league here... we came to love the kids and to restore some dignity to the seniors... But as you saw, that was only the beginning.... But just as responsibilities began to ramp up, Jayne and David from Lamb International arrived... Between them they have such a wealth of knowledge and abilities, but what stands out the most is their incredible gift of bringing piece and order to any situation. They traveled with us a few times a week , when ever our schedules would permit. Together we found ourselves in some interesting situations, but When ever we felt the call to do something a little out of the ordinary or down right crazy... They were there to encourage us on. Those that traveled with us or had the opportunity to meet with them in Central Asia were blessed by their willingness to give of themselves. When we left, we handed off so much to them that we almost felt guilty and likely would have if they had not been so eager and willing to take on the extra load. .
As they are in the final days, they are making the rounds saying one last good bye to the many new friends they have made. They just emailed this update to us... I don't normally post letters whole , but as it is a report I will call it one last Report by our "Central Asia Special Guest Reporter" before her departure....

Please remember them over the next few weeks as they attempt to transition back to the US.

HI John and Julie,

Thank you for your incredible recent comments on the blog...you and your daughters are precious friends to us and used of God to open our eyes to raw and real ministry. We were at the home for invalid men yesterday and it was a surprising visit. That spirit of darkness has lifted...it felt bright, clean....your room was very busy with men playing chess, reading and coloring. The TV was off, only because we couldn't talk above it. One man sang a Christian song...Larissa cried, of course. The doctor wants more Russian Bibles. The craft rooms (2) were bright and colorful and being prepared for the next craft activity. It was truly amazing!

We said our goodbyes for now to the town kids last night...ruby baked a cake and brownie feast!...it was precious.

Well, off to do the dirty work of cleaning and then packing on this last Saturday here for now...blessings, we will be in touch. j

To visit our updated blog - go to dandjschooler.blogspot.com
A Franciscan blessingtake from Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may wish for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”

Announcing new book:Embracing a Love Like No Other: The Impact of Parenting Traumatized Children on Foster and Adoptive Parents - due out early in 2009 (NavPress)
Author/Co-Author ofThe Whole Life Adoption Book (NavPress)
Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child (Greenwood)
Journeys After Adoption (Greenwood)
"Mom, Dad, I'm Pregnant" (NavPress)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dance class begins

One of the favorite pass times of the kids at the orphanage is to break dance... In fact it is something that is incredibly popular with all the kids in the area... There is a pastor of a church in town that not only has a dance group, but arranges dance contests all over the region. You may remember the dance party we had a few months ago. It is a great way for the kids to interact with others from outside the orphanage as well as giving them a sense of accomplishment .... not to mention that THEY ARE GOOD !.. With a very minimal investment, we have been able to set up a new dance studio at the orphanage. complete with a sound system that we will share with pastor Vera. The pastor from town is now coming out to the orphanage 2 days a week. He is teaching them all the "new moves" but even better, he is taking time to build a relationship with the kids, and becomes one more positive influence on their lives.. Down to their level ...teaching a new spin Even the assistant director is learning a few new moves

I notice that Sergey is not out on the floor.... oh ya...Someone has to take the photo's ..
joking aside... This is such a blessing to these kids, and will build their self esteem, give them a place in the community, and most of all give them the "ear" of one more person that love them and care for them, and be their to advocate on their behalf.
Thank you to all those who have helped get this project up and running, and for the on going support to keep it running.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Will to Over Come

I Can't begin to describe how hard it is to work with kids that have faced terrible situations in life.... sometimes life is just not fair. The fact is that we live in an un fair world..... but you never get used to it... Anya that over sees the sponsorship program in Central Asia is one of those people that carries her heart on her sleeve... I can only imagine how she has been feeling this week.
Two new children arrived at the orphanage. One of them has just gone through incredible loss... Her mother died when she was three, and she never knew her father. She had been living with her uncle until a short time ago when her Uncle will killed in front of her, leaving her with no one. All alone with the threat of the killer coming back to make sure she does not talk.
No sooner was she brought to the orphanage, than the police caught the suspect, and she has had to go to identify him... Anya was able to try to comfort her the best she could... They brought the two new girls and Becktagool , one of the other children from the orphanage that has faced trials of her own , back to the apartment for the night. They also did a little shopping therapy... we know that it will never heal the scars, but for a child to have that little bit of attention paid to them, to know that they are special... just to know that they are not in this alone is something that we can give them . Just when you start to think that life has delivered the final punch, these kids rise up with an incredible will to over come, and fool us all....

Monday, September 15, 2008


After over 550 posts, and almost 25,000 hits on this blog, today I write what has probably been my most difficult entry. In fact I have worked on this for almost a month now, and every time it leaves me staring at a blank screen. I guess there is too much riding on it … I am feeling the weight of hundreds now, and thousands to come, on my shoulders. If you have been reading the comments on the blog, and if you could see the emails I have been receiving, you would see the ground swell of support that is starting to form for the sponsorship program. I have talked about it and alluded to it, and if you have been following the blog, you will see the amazing things that have happened through sponsorship, but there is still a lot to be done before we can put wind behind the sails.
We want to make a difference…more then just clothes or medical supplies…we are about quality of life…we are about restoring dignity. I have a vision… I guess it is easy for me as I have seen it first hand…. Through the generous gifts of readers like you we have seen things like;
Teachers hired
Food and medicine supplied

Kids on outings and picnics
Families transformed
Farms built
Families reunited
and cared for
Water restored for entire villages
Heaters and activity center for the invalid men

And even a dozen chicks to help a senior in her retirement

This list can go on and on and still just touch the surface of what we experienced over the last six months! I have had kids and grown men alike collapse in my arms crying saying, “You said you would come back… and you did!” Or others say that another world relief agency helps them… they come once a year and bring us each 1 Kg of rice (2.2lbs). At P.I. we have determined, we will not be remembered as the “One Hit Wonder.”
To bring organization to this magnitude of sponsorship in all the locations we are currently involved with will take time and resources, but we can start where we are with the people we know.
Possibilities International currently supports people all over Central Asia and parts of Central America that are not waiting for the finances… they are doing what they can with what little they have. As a family we are primed and ready to go; we will work from Canada for a short time until things are in place, then it is our desire that each year we would spend a total of six months (yes Ed, I said 6!) in Central Asia. The other six months we will spend in the U.S. and Canada visiting businesses, churches and individuals to raise awareness and to keep them connected.
Over the past few months I have found it increasingly easier to “ask” on behalf of kids with their outstanding needs, but I must admit I find it harder to talk about my own family’s needs… The fact is that we have come home broke! (I am sure this is no surprise to any of you that have been following the blog.) We are not regretting our decision to live in Central Asia, nor the personal funds we expended to meet needs there – we would do it all again! But we have realized that to be effective over the long haul we need to partner with others.
As a result we have decided to join forces with Possibilities International and have accepted the full time role of “Director of Sponsorships.” In this capacity, we are responsible for raising our own salary. We are still planning on our trips to Central Asia, leading teams and being facilitators. In fact, we are confident that this will give us more opportunities, more resources, and more effectiveness as we “take it to the next level” to help these kids and their families who are in desperate need.
Now more than ever, I need your help…I need you to partner with us. Many of you have wanted to be a part of this next step, and have been waiting until we are able to issue tax receipts for the U.S. as well as Canada…. Well thanks to P.I. that is now in place, and we are ready to take the plunge!
If you are interested in helping us help the hurting, helpless and hopeless of Central Asia, whether a one time gift or on going support, please contact me by dropping me a note at sunmasterjohn@aol.com. I can direct you as to the easiest way to give and make sure you get a tax receipt for your donation. I am hoping to hear from you soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where it all began

As you read through this blog, you will see that I focus on the work in Central Asia. But there is something that you need to know... Central Asia is only a stepping stone to MUCH greater needs... For years we have supported, and actually began our work in another Central Asian country. There the needs are astronomical.... Economic and political conditions make it difficult to share the stories, but that does not mean they do not exist... Thousands of children seniors and disabled count on the continued support of Possibilities International, and we count on the support of people like you.... Here is a recent report from Sam
This November PI is bringing two of our workers(sisters) from Central Asia and they will be visiting churches, friends and business contacts with the goal of raising the entire 2009 budget for PI's work there. We have a total of 22 staff in Central Asia that are making incredible impact in orphanages, with the blind, with single moms who have physically and mentally challenged children at home, with the homeless, with the helpless, with the hopeless, with the elderly.... basically wherever we can be a blessing and bring hope. As part of of month of celebration, visiting, and fundraising we are having a fundraising event on Saturday, November 29th at Freedom Church in Kitchener. It will be a night of desserts and specialty coffees....I hear rumours that there may even be a "chocolate fountain'! We will be having the "sisters" share about the work in Central Asia and we will be having a "live" and "silent" auction as well. To have this event be a success we need your help! Will you consider the following....- coming to the event (cost is $20/ticket)(if you are travelling a distance we can point you to a great motel)- if you cannot make the event would you consider making a donation? Go to this link and donate to the "Central Asia 2009" designation.- donating an item for the live or silent auction?Be creative with your ability to recruit/donate items.....tickets to sporting/music/art events...get your Uncle Ned to donate a brand new appliance from his nifty store....ask Auntie Hazel about having her donate a pair of air tickets from her travel agency...you get the idea I think. No donation is to small (we will use it for the silent auction) and none is too big....c'mon now...if you want to donate your yacht....we will take it. Here is the deal though.....keep your junk. This is not a Garage Sale.Our goal for the girls entire months stay is to raise $60,000. We need your help.If you need tickets call 519.578.9231. If you want more info or would like to donate an item please email Scott Couper at scott@possibilitiesinternational.com
This is an Event worth traveling for... You will be amazed at the impact that is being made, and you will be blessed to be a part of it... If you are considering flying in for this event, Let me know and I will meet you at the airport and will assist with all the arrangements once you touch down..... Look forward to seeing you there.

A few up dates

Laurisa is here with some of the kids in the village as they fill there pails at the new water tap in town... No longer is there day spent hauling large pails of water from the main water source over a mile away.


More time for kids to be kids.. ... Then on to the Invalid home where she stops to play games with the men there... They now have Two activity rooms..... The donation which saw the latest room renovated sparked a desire in one of the local churches to get involved, and they now send workers over daily to assist in the operation of these activity rooms....Believe me .. not a Job that I would want... .. but one that is badly needed.
We also received word that Laurisa has received the paper work officially excepting her as legal guardian of the three kids off the street, and out of the dump. I love this photo of them not that they are working... not collecting silicone from the dump....
but that they are doing the type of work that is "Normal " for kids to be doing ... Helping with the dishes....learning what it is like to be part of a family....

This last photo is sent from David and Jayne... This is pastor Elenya ... Many of you will remember her as the single adoptive mom that started with teeth trouble that turned into
Cancer in the Jaw.... You the blog readers stepped up to the plate early on to help with the dental bill, and when things turned for the worse, you dug deeper and made it possible to proceed with treatment, and the removal of a tumor in her lower jaw.... ... You stood behind her.... Today she is not only back at work, she has just com pleated her Third adoption ... A 15 year old girl that is about to "Time out " of the system.... At 16 she would have faced life alone on the street.... Now she is facing a future of Love and compassion. She will have a forever family... Talk about a great investment...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Concerns Mount

This is such a scary thing and with each new fall morning we are one day closer to winter!

Reports are starting to come in from many of the agencies that we work with in Central Asia, and the response is always the same ......Fear. Here is a letter from one of the Girls we work with in the capital city. She is in her early 20's and has left her home in the US and has spent the last 4 years in the capital city volunteering with those in need . ( she too works with our friend Jengish)

Hey John,
This power issue or lack of it is huge it effect's everyone.Even those of us who live in pockets that the lights are always on it still touches us all.Small shops that sell food that needs to be in kept cool to the traffic lights on the busy streets to the widow who wonders how she will heat her home this year.This is such a scary thing and with each new fall morning we are one day closer to winter.
Please, pray.....John,I'll pass the request to those on my team that are hands on with the Cow project.
Thanks, for your partnership.
Your friend

Ok maybe it is just me, but as I read this, I get to the part about the Widow who wonders how she will heat her house this winter, and my nose starts to hurt...... The name of this blog is actofkindness Missions 1:27
that is taken from James 1:27 that says that pure religion is to look after the Widows and the orphans in their need....

As we get our heads around what we can do to help, please pray for the governments involved , that this winter would not be as harsh as last , and wisdom for the workers there as they face this incredible need.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Off My Game

This past week, I have been having a difficult time, and even today when Julie asked me what I was thinking I could not put it into words.
Since our very first trip into Central Asia, and in fact for years before we even started to go, there has been a constant... Paul and Roxanne Mondoux. They are part of our community, and have a family run Restaurant... already there was a bit of a connection as when I was young my parents owned a Restaurant. As long as I can remember, whenever I would go for a meal they would always ask "How are the kids" or would come over with an envelope and just say "For the Kids"
They did not do this out of obligation or for recognition, but because of a genuine care... Over the years they have impacted the lives of literally thousands of children, In fact, when you go into their restaurant, you will find more photo's of the kids on their Walls then I have on my own....
This last trip over, we decided that rather then putting their donations into general pot, we would set it aside for something special..... We decided that we would single out one orphanage.....the town orphanage for older kids, and once a week we would cook them an "Over the top " supper, and have a family night of games and crafts. We also took them on many outings as well.
When we got home, we got up early the next day and our very first stop was to go and see Paul and Roxanne... We brought them a small gift, but they were very busy, and we could not show them all the photos of the impact they had made this trip. Within the week, before having that opportunity, Roxanne passed away....
For me to go and see first hand the impacts that are being made , that keeps me fueled , but for those that put their trust in us to work on their behalf year after year..... Those are Hero's in my book.... Roxanne was one of those. It's funny, I always had in the back of my mind that one day I would see her over there.....
So in Memory of Roxanne, I will share some of the photo's I wanted to show her .

In Memory

Mrs. Roxanne Mondoux
Feb. 7 1960 - Aug. 28, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

For Those Who Have Given

Guest Post - David and Jayne Schooler
"Give the gift that keeps on giving." I think we hear that phrase a lot around Christmas time. For those who have joined John, Julie, Emma and Bekah in ministering to those here in Central Asia, your financial gifts and gifts of time keep on giving. We had an opportunity in the last week or so, to visit places where the teens worked and where financial gifts were extended. We wanted you to see that your gifts continue to bless the folks here.

A number of friends of the Wrights contributed to the financial needs for Pastor Elenya's surgery. She is doing extremely well. Sitting between Elenya and David, is her two year old son Timothy. In the background, there are a bunch of kids enjoying the playground at Pastor Vera's church in the village. We were there two weeks ago and the playground was full the entire three hours we were there. Thank you for giving and working!

We were able to share in the 5th birthday celebration of the organization of Pastor Vera's church which was celebrated in their new church. It is absolutely beautiful. We saw a pastor who truly loves her people and ministers to them seven days a week. This church was purchased through the gifts of many people from Canada and other countries.

Celebrating the church's birthday together.

Couldn't let this picture go by...Sibera enjoying watermelon at the birthday party. She is one of the family of five now living in their new home. They are doing well. Thank you for giving! Thank you for working!
From what I understand, one of the team members from Canada gave Larissa money for her three foster children. We arrived at their house last Sunday just as they were getting home from the bazaar with gifts, school clothes, shoes, cakes, etc. It felt like Christmas...one I am sure these children have never experienced. Thank you for giving to them. Valdy, is in the background...he loved watching it all too.
Larissa, her mother, and the kids....Valdy has a brand new soccer ball! We planned to stay just a short time, but two hours later, we were still there enjoying this remarkable day with this beautiful family.

For Those Who Love the People Here

Our departure date is September 29 and we will leave here with very mixed emotions...eager to see family and friends, but leaving behind some very precious people. Over the last few weeks, the government here has informed the people that through the majority of the winter they will only have available electricity 8 hours a day. Schools will be closed in January and February and and children will need to extend their schooling through July. The government has told everyone to convert to coal, which is almost impossible and the cost of coal has tripled in just a few months.

We are gravely concerned for the welfare of these people...many who have depended on electricity to heat their homes. There are no other resources for them for warmth. Can you imagine never having a place to go where you can feel warm.? Last winter was extremely severe here. Please join us in praying for these wonderful people...for their protection, warmth and safety in the uncertain months ahead.


Back to school shopping

Now you think you have a hard time when it comes to back to school shopping .... Now picture yourself with 44 kids.... no money .... and a school policy that says ...

NO UNIFORM... NO SCHOOL..... That is what the village orphanage is facing this year.
The Uniform policy was introduced near the end of the school year last year as an attempt to keep enrolment down in the schools.... Last spring, the kids would share the Uniforms so that they all had the opportunity to go to school. Can you imagine waiting for your uniform to arrive from the morning school session so you could get ready and go yourself. This is a prim example of why a sponsorship program is so vital there. Because of the generosity of people here in North America, Uniforms will not hold our kids back from an education....

For the past few days, Sergey and Anya have been busy getting everyone ready. If you have ever gone shopping in the market with a purpose you will understand that this is no easy me sure, but they did it. Thank you Anya for all your help.... In my mind, putting a puck in the net does not make you a hero..... Putting 44 kids in school does !.... How would you like to be a hero some day?