Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another catch up post

I have been busy with the pie challenge for the last week, now have fallen a little behind... so I will try to catch up...
I got this email from Jengish a few days ago

I took a bunch of photos of our friend, but he looks miserable on the other ones. I got him to smile on this one. Thanks again for helping with his tires:)
Jengish "the Horse Tickler"
I had to laugh... THAT is the smile... I can just imagine what the other pictures look like.... But smile or no smile, he sure was happy to receive these tires in time for winter...it really meant a lot to him... ,he needs to learn how to smile from the orphans...lol

A few hours away, a bunch of orphans received new shoes and socks in time for winter.. now thats a smile!. It was a busy day for our friends .. apparently there is a special market that is only open late night until early morning.. everything is sold in bulk there, but is way cheaper then the store, so they were up all night trying to get just the right sizes....but that's not all... then then had a special birthday to attend sponsored by one of you....
Our friend wrote ...

Hello my friends!!!
This is a Birthday party of our Dilshoda. Can you believe she is 15 years
old already.
Couple years ago a huge miracle happened-she began to
walk. All her life she was sitting at home and could only crawl, she has
cerebral palsy. I remember how our lady was sharing about her-“ Dilshoda
began to make few steps, then after a while she could walk a long distance
but in a very-very long time but….after sometime she began to run and I
could not even ketch her “
Dilshoda really wanted to have a cup, her own cup.
Thank you so much, my friends, for making possible for us to
Make this kids happy and throw Birthday party for them which
they never had before!!!
Tomorrow I will try to catch up on a few more fun stories...

Friday, November 27, 2009

A day of Thanks Giving

Yesterday was a very emotional day . Not only was it a day of Thanksgiving, it was a day of renewal.. It was a day that once again reminded me that we are not bound by the economy, we are not bound by circumstances nor by the unjust rulings of men.. We march to a different beet, and we are held to higher standards...It was a day that lives were being held in the balance... physically and emotionally... I don't know if the full impact of what went on yesterday will ever be shared, but today we stand a little taller...some of you will understand just what I am talking about...

I spent some time this morning on Ytube looking for just the right video clip to sum up the day.... it has not been made yet...
Last year Cindy Lajoy began a pie in the face challenge... raise $1000 in two weeks and she would receive a pie in the face .. from that , this year despite the economic battering of the last year, and the uncertain future, we felt led to set our target, not on what we thought we could achieve, but rather we set the target based on what the needs were... $10 000. ....in the 11th hour pacific time... we pushed through .....That is were the greatest blessing is... ... in the unexpected.... I was tought a long time ago that it is in the proactive work, not the reactive work that the greatest achievements take place...That is why I always try to find the expected, and push the boundaries further then ever could be expected... I am sure you have seen that over the last few years of posts... It's that philosophy that when asked to help rent a one room apartment for a mother with children in the orphanage, we answer that request by Buying them a home, furnishing the house, building a Barn and filling it with animals, then help to start a cottage industry so that they will be self sufficient. it's in the unexpected....

There are many families , seniors and disabled that would never expect what is about to happen... but I am now certain that as we kick off the Christmas season with our budget met, and funds continuing to trickle in , We will be able to proactively seek out those that are living with out hope in the Dark corners of society and restore life, and dignity of life to them....
Yesterday in response to my question iam1ru ? we received a resounding YES
Thank you to everyone that has had a part in this ...

Blessings from my family to yours...

John & Julie
Benjamin and Rachel,
Emma, Bekah & Altynai
and Grammy Pammy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

OK so there are over a dozen of you on the blog right now waiting to see what is going to happen.... so I tell you what thats $30 each... then we can all go to bed... If you need a little more motivation... view this video....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Final Countdown

One day I walked into an orphanage in Central Asia... I had been there a few times before, there are about 250 kids in that orphanage ... They don't get a lot of support .... these are older kids, many of them with minor disabilities... the unwanted and the untouchables...this is the way that they think the rest of the world perceives them...unwanted and worthless... It just breaks my heart... I saw one little boy that I thought I recognized... I asked him if he remembered me... he said Daaa.. then he ran to his room... a few minutes later he came back with an empty smarties box.. it was not even a big box, it was one of those little boxes that you give out at halloween..you know the ones that hold about 10 smarties.... I saw it and just gave him a hug... I try so hard not to cry in front of someone when I have a glimpse into their life... but what is wrong when an empty smarties box is a symbol of HOPE... you see it was in 2005 that I first walked into that orphanage with a group of friends and we gave each child there own box of smarties....
This is just one of the 2000 kids I want to have a special Christmas this year. If an empty smarties box can make such a lasting impact... how much more can we do with $5.
The Christmas pie challenge ends at midnight Thursday.... please act right now and help us...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just as long as you stand by me.

With Thanksgiving coming up for all my friends in the U.S., there have been a lot of posts on blogs and Face book about the things we are thankful for ... I have to take this time and share some of what I am thankful for. I am thankful for the support of so many of you... some how, the needs and the burdens I have felt for my friends have been lifted by so many of you who have stepped up to right the wrongs.... I think of the song Stand by me ...

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No, I won't be afraid,
No, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand , stand by me......

I must tell you that with the ground swell of support , I have become bolder in what I believe we can accomplish..... here is what a friend wrote on her blog when she was sharing about our work in Central Asia.

" I have his blog bookmarked, but I don't read it as regularly as he posts. Some
days I'm just not emotionally ABLE to read the things he writes. Does that make
sense? It's hard to know about needs and ignore them, isn't it? It's hard to
read about children eating and living in dumps. It's hard to read about five
year old homeless children. It's hard to read about the elderly who have no
running water or heat. It's hard to read and see photos of babies in a
"hospital" where there are no mattresses or beds. It's all just hard. That's the
reason I am thankful that there is a John Wright who is not afraid to face these
things head on."


Oh Maria I wish this was all true... the truth is that many times I am afraid. I know that I am not supposed to be, but I am.... I am afraid of what the future has in store for so many of these orphans... I am afraid to expand into the next invalid home ...afraid of whether I will be able to handle what I will find there... I am afraid of what is going to happen to my friends this winter when the cost of electricity is tripling ..I am afraid for my friend Jengish knowing that he is out in the dark alleys on the streets so late at night trying to find those suffering .... I am afraid . I am afraid every time I call Altynai and she doesn't answer the phone.... I am afraid of so much more ... Maria like so many others finds it hard to read the post I write every day, I am afraid of all the things going on that I do not write for sensitivity reasons... I am afraid for the safety of all our friends who daily walk the talk..... Yes Maria at times I am afraid.. but I remind myself where my strength comes from , and press on ... I stand tall and act like I have it all together, but inside I am afraid......

With so much going on right now, it has been such an encouragement to me to know that through it we are not alone... so many of you have been instrumental in giving us the tools we need to keep on, to face down those fears... As I have been recording the outpouring of support from hundreds of you for the Christmas challenge this last few weeks, the words come to mind

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

So many of you have chosen to send your treasure and your hearts to help our friends this Christmas ... Maria... those things we fear now will be jewels in our crowns one day .... Thank you that you still come back and read the next post...Knowing that it may hurt...

Melanie Castelli's pie in the face

second pie in the challange gets tossed at Melanie... if you check out the totals on the side you will see that she is well on her way to a second pie... she says that the next one will not be fresh out of the frige.. it was a little cold.. I sugested that it beter not be fresh out of the oven either...hahaha

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Pie challenge bonus

To make sure that no one is missed this Christmas, we have an added bonus to the pie in the face challenge .
The last few years , Life has brought me many exciting opportunities. I have met incredible people from all over the world that share our heart for the Hurting Helpless and Lost...those less fortunate that have fallen through the cracks of society... We have been blessed with the friendships that have been forged... One Man I am honoured to call my friend is singer / songwriter Kevin Paul's ... many would recognise him from the photo's above, or from his appearances with the Gaithers, but for me when I envision my friend Kevin, I see his heart.. I remember the few days we hosted his visit to KG..

Kevin standing at the edge of the dump making sure that no one was missed ...

whether it was a concert for those at the dump or for a personal concert for a sick and dying babushka, he gave his all to bring a little love and dignity to those around him.... well Kevin has reached out again.

I was just talking to him and he has made a wonderful offer... For every person that donates to the pie in the face challenge to bring Christmas to the less fortunate in Central Asia, Kevin would like to give you a free download of "Mary did you know" off of his new Christmas CD... then at the end of the challenge, one of the donors will be drawn for the full CD....

every one who helps us make this a special Christmas will be emailed their promo code in time for Christmas... all you will have to do is go to www.kevinpauls.com and enter your promo code to down load this special offer.

So if you have not yet made a donation to this great cause, now is the time...

Honoured

Life can be complicated .. My children grew up thinking of me as some sort of a cheep Ogar. Never spending an extra nickle... mainly because there never was an extra nickle, We always provided what was necessary, but had little room for the extras ... and for the most part that remains true today, Our cars are up over 200 000, and the TV is about 25 years old, yet those we support in Central Asia would never know...I can remember a few weeks back sitting with the vice mayor the night before leaving... he absolutely could not believe that I was not flying first class.. I explained to him that it all comes to a mater of priorities, and that I had limited funds, and for us , the babies in his hospital were far more important then first class travel.... As most of you know from FB, last week was my birthday, and we will be celebrating tomorrow... I was so blessed by this email I just got from my son and his wife.... they get it... they understand...

Dad,
We just processed your birthday present through the blog (Paypal). Rachel donated $200 towards a pie in my face! And the donation has been made in your honour :) We were gonna write this in a nice card from Dollorama, but that would have meant one dollar less for the kids, so... seems like easy math to me. See you tomorrow, and happy birthday from Rachel and I :)


Benjamin and Rachel... I am honoured ... thank you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

oops

OK, so I blew it..The intention was for the pie in the face contest to close on Thanksgiving day...now did I ever mention that I am Canadian, and in Canada Thanksgiving is always on a Monday...so by popular demand and the fact that I was having a "Moment" ... the official deadline for the pie in the face challenge will be midnight THURSDAY Nov. 26.....on the bright side that gives Ron four more days to get it into gear....

Quick update

The boys have been busy this week getting coal bagged up and delivered to those in need This old Babushka sure was happy to receive a few bags to keep her warm this winter... she did not know that it was coming... I wonder what was going through her head moments before they arrived....
Back at the house renovation, they are almost done here are a few photo's of the job in progress.
we just need to put some white wash on the walls... we just ran into a little snag.. for some un known reason, the wire transfer has been delayed... grrrr banks.... and they ran out of money to finish the job and to pay the boys... that's why they switched to handing out the coal... They know we are good for it... but unfortunately that did not stop the electric company from turning off their power today... I had to do an emergency Western Union transfer, but not in time for them to get their power back before night fall... I feel so bad.....

Talant was running a few errands for us as well... 2 of our kids out at Aigoola's have been sick, so he went out to bring some food see if there was anything else they need. he other upsetting news that came is that my friend that had the brain tumor is not doing well... the biopsy came back as an aggressive from of cancer.. the future does not look good for him... The Girls and I phoned him this morning to try to lift his spirits... I asked him if there was anything he needed... I was expecting something substantial, but instead he asked if we could get him some casha... casha is sort of a cheaper version of rice..so Talant has done a little shopping and will deliver that to him.

There was a little good news.... Talant stopped out to see Maksat and Aibek and make sure they were ok... he also had new shoes to bring them... He was so happy to see that they were doing well... He went for a little walk with them so he could have a chance to talk... and they really are doing well... they have both started going to school, and are doing well there.... Thank you again to all those who helped sponsor these projects... you know when the money stops flowing for what ever reason, like it did this last week, it becomes very obvious how close to the wire life is for my little friends....
They have learned to do without so much all year... that's one reason I don't want anyone left out this Christmas...... ( yes I did manage to figure out a way to bring us back to the Christmas pie challenge ...in case you were waiting.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who will be left out this Christmas?

As you look back through this blog, you will see lots of photo's of us bringing HOPE and restoring Dignity to those around us... Coal , clothes, schools, activity rooms, english and art lessons, new kitchens, renovating hospitals , heating projects for seniors, invalids, families, outings , skating, food hampers, milk and honey, giving away homes , operations... you name it, and we are doing it... from one end of the valley to the other, lives have been changed and hearts are being healed.... yet why am I still not satisfied?...I was a salesman for years, and a salesman is only as good as their last weeks sales... what we have done or accomplished in the past is great, but it is not like a term life insurance policy... life goes on, and so do the needs , the hurts, and the trials people are facing... As long as visiting my friends includes a trip to the dump....We can not stop... I want you to know that I do question myself regularly... I have discussed with those we work with, and those who closely observe what we do...and I am sure that every where we are , we are meant to be... but my question is always ... are we spread to thin.... Trust me we have tried to set limits on what we do, we have tried to formulate our one line story of who we are, who we can help, but it always comes back to the same thing...
....
How can we turn away...how can we know and not do anything about it....This is why I am looking for help to bring Christmas to well over 2000 people this Christmas.... I may not know all their names...( for the last 16 years Bekah has been getting BenjemmaBeck...). But they know me... they know Anya, Sergei.Jengish, Christy , Kyle, Laurisa,Tanya, Acel, Tallant, Olga, Lena, and over 20 others that work daily to build strong caring relationships with people that would otherwise be alone.... It is more then just a Christmas Party, it is bringing a Hope that we are counting on to in some cases,... sustain life ....to give boys like Muksat reason NOT to try to commit suicide again.....
I try my best to simply tell the story here at actofkindness, and leave it to you to decide what to do with it, but today... I am asking please please please help us.... you see when this next week is over, and the challenge is done... we need to sit down and decide... who is NOT getting anything for Christmas this year.....
Please don't make us have to make that decision ....
we have one week to go, lets not put it off any longer... if you are reading this on FB, please go to
http://www.actofkindness.blogspot.com/ and make your donation today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A special place

I want to tell you about a special place.. I have not shared much about this orphanage, for the most part they are well cared for and loved... but like everywhere else, money is always short. They will be one of the orphanages that we hope to do something special for this Christmas... Now if you look close...yes I am doing nails...how could I say NO?.
I say that it is a special place.... these kids are kids that are brought here off the streets to evaluate, and to work with any special needs before they enter the system... when I first got there, I was expecting 14 and 15 year old boys... not kids a young as 5 or 6... At this orphanage, they recognise the things that cause a street child to run... one of the things that these kids need is a feeling of security, and that comes from cash in there pocket...with out a little change in their pockets, they can not relax, and will be heading back to the bazzar the first chance they get... One of the ways that this problem is solved is that the kids learn crafts and other skills, and can earn their own spending money... Here is Cristy with some of the boys.... by the way, why not throw a pie in HER face... she is listed on the side bar...lol
the problem comes in that in recent months, the number of travelers has sharply declined, and the kids have not been able to sell their goods...
These nativity yurts even have the inside furnished..!
I heard about this, and figured that we needed to do something about it. Armed with my note book and my portable Internet, I set up a live skype video call with a good Friend that runs Sugarplum Boutique

SPBanimated

this is an on line store that raises money for many for orphans, then regularly sponsors incredible projects on http://www.iam1ru.com/ ... It only took a few minutes and Kendra had ordered a hockey bag full of crafts to re sell for the kids... we payed the full asking price for everything...being careful to make sure that every child had a few items sold that day. My friend Dave shipped everything to Kendra and she has placed them on ebay this week... you can find the link from her site . Here is the best part... these items will be sold, and the proceeds will go back to the orphanage to bless the kids for a second time around......I might add that the quality of the workmanship on the items the kids have made is far superior to that of the ones that you find in the market... so if you are after any kyrgyz felt crafts, this is the place to go...

also do us a favor and tell a few friends as well....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And the first Pie goes to............

The Dude.... Jengish... you are the first one to hit your $500 pie in the face target... I will send you some money by Western Union to cover the pie...(everyone else, you will have to provide your own pie..lol)... For those of you who do not know Jengish, he works with the homeless in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan, as well he is the Kyrgyz director of the rehabilitation centre we help. He is 25 years old... single.... (hint hint) and is an incredible help to me when I am in country.. for many NGO's in Bishkek he is the GO TO guy. He is well known and loved, and is a great role model to many of the kids that we support.... ... Congratulations Jengish... and don't forget to get us lots of pictures.... but hay if you want to keep his challenge rolling, I am sure he could talk one of his friends into steping up for a second pie... how about it Lewis ?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lets do it again

Here is the video from last year when I received my pie..actually pies....
It was worth it though... 400 of my kids got to experience a Christmas that they were still talking about when I was there a month ago...

That reminds me of a funny thing that happened... well not so funny, or at least I felt funny... We were at a large gathering... there were many NGO's and other workers there... Lots of our kids were there as well... at one point, people were talking about what they were thankful for in fact it was the Canadian Thanks Giving day ... Now at this gathering was a group that just spent a pile of money and work at the orphanage that these kids were from... and life will be much better for these kids because of the work. So at the appropriate time, the director of the orphanage and a few of the kids stood up and shared what they were thankful for... Lets see... A trip to IssyKol and a boat ride... a trip to Flamingo land... a picnic in the mountains... and then just last week, skating and out to a Restaurant.... in fact they went on and on, and told of all the things we had done with them over the last couple years...and non of them included capital expenses... they all involved spending time with the kids.....That's what this Christmas Challenge is about.... Giving memories to kids that would otherwise only have things that they struggle to forget !

Friday, November 06, 2009

Baby food Delivered

Last night while we were sleeping, my little friends were busy in Central Asia... They were helping there mom bring an emergency supply of baby food to the baby hospital....
Look how shinny those new walls are ....
Now here is something you don't see all the time... The hospital is ready for the grand reopening on Monday.... The problem is that they did not have mattresses for the beds...( I missed that or I would have brought them some from Aigoola's before I left ) So the Dr's and nurses pitched in to by some material to repair and recover some old ones they had... then last night after the clinic was closed, they changed there caps, pulled up a floor and got to work.

If you could see closer the springs on the beds, you would see that they are held together by shoe strings and coat hangers..... It's amazing how resourceful they are... I just can't wait for the day when they can just focus on what they are there for....

By the way we still have room for a few more volunteers for the Christmas pie challenge

Thursday, November 05, 2009

One for the Kids Pie in the face Challenge

iam1ru has dream agents all over Central Asia who would like your help this Christmas.


For only $5 a child, we can Give them a Christmas that they will never forget.






Help our Challengers from all over North America reach their goal of $500 each towards Christmas in Central Asia and they will take a pie in the face, and post the photo's here.



If you would like to help, please click on the appropriate Pay pal button below and in the memo box, indicate who you would like to see receive a pie.





For thousands of Children ... Christmas depends on you.








Now to add a little more excitement , the Lajoy Family has upped the anti... The first $5oo Cindy will take a pie, but with each additional $500 another member of her family will step up to the plate.......


Now that sounds like a great Idea, and the Wright Family is up to that same challenge...


My friend Ron liked that idea as well... He was not so sure about volunteering his family, but he had no problem volunteering his board... so with each additional $500 another board member will step up...






Now to just add one more twist to this.... click on Sam's photo, and place your donations for him to receive a pie over on the iam1ru site... for every $500 sponsored there, Sammy will take an an additional pie.......

US Sponsors




























I would like to Donate
Please throw a pie at....






Canadian Sponsors





























I would like to Donate
please throw a pie at.....