This has been a real time of growing for Emma, and we could not be more proud of her. For the first couple of months in Kyrgyzstan , Emma was staying with friends, and although she was busy teaching, most things were looked after for her. We have an incredible network of friends in Kyrgyzstan, and they ALL worked very hard to make this a positive experience for Emma. Many of the day to day things like banking and transportation, food, and scheduling were all over seen by the many that were there to help.
Life in the Ukraine has been a little different. Don't get me wrong, the girls are safe and they have had lots of help... even as they walked down the stairs off the plane, they were met on the tarmac and escorted to Ed who had everything arranged for them... but since they have traveled to Krovy Rog, Emma has had a lot more responsibility. There are schedules to make, and that includes having the funds available to make a difference. For some reason TD bank does not have any banks in that region that will except their bank cards... so Emma has had to figure out where and how to get money, as well as setting up Internet and other tasks that could be difficult in our own community , but as a quiet shy country girl she has been forced to step out of her comfort zone... Today the girls were laughing as they told me that the Russian Emma is nothing like the English Emma... she is loud and forceful, she can navigate the buses, the banks and has no problem defending their needs when things are not going as they should .. she has purchased Internet and installed it on the lap top, and has even set up Skype so they could call home... all this from our girl that would hand the TV remote to her sister when she wanted the channel changed. ..On top of all this she had managed to set up many special days with the kids in the orphanages along with connecting with other groups that are working in the orphanages. It all takes a lot of organization to keep it all rolling along... Emma has risen to the challenge ... I remember when Julie asked her if she would come back to Canada on her own when the visa's were turned down for the second time... she replied... " Mom we came here as a team... and we will stay as a team." As a team , these three young ladies are bringing hope and encouragement to hundreds of children and adults alike . With such a limited budget they have had to be very resourceful so that they can continue to work with the kids. Today they were telling us of a contact that they have just made that will provide them with new clothes and toys for the kids at their homes and orphanages.
Emma told me another interesting contact... It was a man from Minnesota who sat with the girls and told them of a storey that encouraged him so much .. It was the storey he heard from Ed Dickson of a young Girl who's family lived in an orphanage as she struggled to attend university and look after her family, then someone bought her a home and the family was able to be reunited... it was one of the reasons that he was on this missions trip... he was blown away, when he found out that the girl in the storey was Altynai... A dream come true for him, not just knowing of the storey, but now having that very girl working with them as a translator on a missions trip... must be a God thing..