Sunday, January 31, 2010

How well do you know your world

I don't know how many of you have noticed that I have a map at the bottom of the page on my blog ( for those of you viewing this from FB) .. It is a travel IQ... I have taken it several times ... I sail along fine in the levels one through 10, then with 2 levels to go, I think that they actually start making names up, because I have never heard of half of them before.... Give it a try and see how you do.....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Benjamin

It's hard to believe that our son Benjamin turns 26 years old today... Congratulations Benjamin...
He is a blessing to us, he has done so well, and has a true heart of compassion for those in front of him. He and his wife Rachel are pastors in a church about an hour from our home. They are expecting their first child, our first grand child any day now.. we are all very excited. ... We Love You

Blankets on their way

Sergey and Anya went with the kids today , out to see Agoola and the family. They had some more mattress orders, as well , Anya wanted a little help making drapes for their apartment... so she decided to go to the master...

.... but first....TORT...

Now Anya is not supposed to be having a party, and making drapes, she is supposed to be working on her paper for her graduate studies at school... Fortunately she was able to kill 2 birds with one stone... Sibera was only too happy to type up her assignment for her on my little note book. ....

Aiperi and Aigoola got busy sewing ...

Then Beksolten got in on the act.... it only took them a few hours and they had mastered the computer

and Anya quickly mastered the sewing machine

While there they showed us the blankets that they have ready to deliver to the Baby house

The highlight of the day came when Sergey and Anya brought the kids home with them, and they all called us on Skype before bed... It was so good to see them all... after about 1/2 hour we ran out of things to say, but no one wanted to hang up... we just sat there and smiled at each other.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Get well my young friend

The Photo below is one from our trip last spring. Hanna, Bekah & Altynai are standing here with their good friend Talas...
I shared about Talas last fall... He is an exceptionally bright young man, but more then that he is caring and thoughtful. He is always eager to help ... That is how we first met him... it seemed that when ever there was a job to do, he was there to volunteer to lend a hand.

Last fall he came to me for meds for a head ache... when it did not go away in a couple days, our friends took him to the Dr where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was something the way that everyone rallied around to help him . The other students as well as his family and his extended family all took up a collection... they were able to cover most of the operation... well just about half. We covered the rest as well as they post op care. They operated that week, but he was in such pain after the operation that they had to keep him sedated ... You may remember the hole storey about this last October...

Over the last few months he has been slowly recovering. he has learned to walk again and has even been back to school for the last couple weeks. He is still very week and has a hard time keeping food down. then last week he started to develop a very sore back.... Last night they took him to the hospital and they found that he had a tumor on is spine....
In a few hours, the Dr wants to operate... the family and friends have tried everything they could to raise the funds, but this time, they are competing with winter .....and the economic times ...

I just got a call from one of our friends had spoke to the hospital... he is trying to talk to the Dr to into get the cost of the operation down, or to try to get him to operate for free. He says that for 10 000 som + meds.... that is around $250 they can operate & treat him.... As it turns out, we just had a donation come in last week to cover operations... while our friend was still on skype, I was able to Face book Sam and confirm that money arrived today, then go on line banking to Western Union and transfer the funds and report back to our friend ... still on the line, the pick up code for the money that is there now... right away he used his cell to call the hospital to tell them not to worry and to proceed with the operation ....

Talas will need a lot of prayers over the next few days and weeks ahead, but when things line up like they just did a few minutes ago, you have to think that there is a special plan for this young man....

Get well Talas, and we will be there to see you soon.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Evening at the home

I was going through photo's and video's from the invalid home to put together a presentation, and I can across this video... it made me smile ! Not sure what it was , there appears to be a lot of caos, but in a good way. Taking icecream to the park and giving it out to kids is popular thing to do... lots of beautiful photo's ... it's just right, but a few miles down the road there are a group of 280 men who never got a chance to be a kid... I think that it's just right that they should get some icecream too.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What a Difference Three days can make.

It was the spring of 1991. My father has in the end stages of Cancer, and my family was taking turns sitting with him at night. I remember this particular weekend clearly. It was Easter Sunday, and Dad was very clear in his thoughts, but it was also clear that his time was almost up. He had been given 2 Weeks to live four weeks previous. The week before, My Grandmother, (Dads mother) who also lived with them, passed away. I remember sitting in his room with him when he and Mom gave me an Easter card... it simply read WHAT A DIFFERENCE THREE DAYS CAN MAKE... It was referring to Easter, a time in history when in a three day period, the lines between life and death would forever be blurred... a time when everything that man kind knew would be different....

I remember this card so well, because it was three days latter that my father died... what a difference that three days made ... It brought about a lot of pain, a lot of sacrifice, and most of all a hole lot of growing up for me.....

So why do I bring this up? ... I was just looking at some beautiful photo's taken when the PI team was in Port Au Prince a couple weeks ago... The pictures were full of such excitement.. they joy on the kids faces as the were in the Bazzar shopping for new cloths for the first time, the great meals, and the fun that they had playing with the team... In this photo you can see Sam and his son Scott ( Wearing the Kyrgyzstan t-shirt) teaching these boys a thing or two...

It was a time when these forgotten kids off the street, had an opportunity to re take some of the child hood that had been stolen from them.... The team left on Saturday...What a difference three days can make! ..
Three days latter, like 2000 years ago, the ground shook... three days later life would forever change for the people of Haiti, and for the Children in this home... and yes over this last week, the circumstances have brought about a lot of pain, a lot of sacrifice, and a whole lot of growing up. They watched the world around them collapse and swallow up all that they knew... they tore there new cloths into strips to make bandages and the Valley ball court they stood on three days earlier was turned into a medical clinic... and they took the little food that they had and used it to feed those around them...
I ask, "Why would those with so little be asked to give up so much, and do it willingly, and at the same time, those of us with so much be asked to give up nothing, and the little we do , we do reluctantly..." but one thing that I know for sure... A whole lot can happen in three days....
If you have not done so already, please help us restore that which has once again been taken from these beautiful children .... lets send a clear message to them that they are not alone, and we appreciate them stepping in at a time of crises and doing what we could with the little they had...
from the U.S. you can donate on the top right side of this blog, and from Canada, please go to for instructions.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One of those days !

There are always people with worse problems .. I get emails and read posts by people who are down on themselves because they are having one of those days, yet there are so many that are in so much worse shape all around them. I am so thankful that I am not walking today in the shoes of so many of those we know our friends in Haiti... I am thankful that it has not been 15 months since I have seen my kids like many of the adopting parents waiting for their walls to be removed...I could go on an on all day, but the fact is that some days .... I just get tired of banging my head against the same walls.....Hopefuly tomorrow is a little better......

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What ever that might be.....

Its been a couple days since I have posted, so I thought I should get something out there... I did not have much new news.. that does not mean that nothing is happening, just nothing new...

Our friends in Haiti are continuing to work through the struggles that will become the new norm for them for a long time to come... They have just transferred the last of their patients from their clinic to the care centers that are being set up...Everything has been sanitized, and the children are moved back inside. They have rented a home that they will use for the clinic as they are expecting to continue to be busy there for a long time... They have found fuel for the generators , but no food drops yet... They have had a visit from the US military, and they say they will be back soon with supplies for them... We continue to keep our donation button up... they have so many needs right now... not only did they suffer extensive damages, but all their supplies were used up caring for the thousands that were in need around them....

If you have been over to the Possibilities International / iam1ru web sites you will see that we had trips planed into Uzbekistan in May and Ukraine in the summer. Both of these trips have been canceled/postponed, and we will be directing extra attention to Raising the Rubble in Haiti.

We have commitments with a team going to Guatemala in a few weeks, as well as the return of the Wright stuff to Kyrgyzstan in March. We will continue with these trips. The needs are so great everywhere right now...

We have committed to building a home in Guatemala as well as running a much needed medical clinic.

Emma is finishing school this week. She and Julie have been taking a teaching English as a second language course at our local University at the same time.. She will have her teachers certificate before we go in March

The full team will stay in Kyrgyzstan for 2 weeks. We will touch base with the many many different projects that we are involved with... I think it will take us a week to say hello to every one and a week to say good buy to everyone..hahaha... but that's just it.. most of what we do we can do from a far, but time to time... people kneed HOPE with the skin on... they need to sit face to face, and share a pot of tea ! It is so easy to get caught up in projects and figuring out how we are going to meet all the needs, but we must never forget that the greatest need that our friends have, first and for most... is a relationship. It is especially important right now because we had one of the orphanages that we help out close over the Christmas Holiday... We have kept track of the kids and continue to help them , but those children NEED to see us and know first hand that we are still around...

The next two weeks, I will stay on with Emma... We will work on getting her settled, as well as any other loose ends that need to be tied up before I go. Emma will be staying on until summer. She will be teaching English to some of our kids . As well, Emma will be working for me with the local mayors office. They have such a small budget for working with families in need as well as the orphanages. I hope to have a small budget for Emma that she can assist the head social worker one day a week. She will then be able to report back to us any serious concerns as well as link those in need with our Dream agents... Not only will this help us to maintain a good working relationship with the Government, it will help us to make sure that there is no duplication of service, bit more importantly will help us to identify those who have truly fallen threw the cracks.

Our friend Jengish has just received his US visa and will be heading to the US next week to begin
addictions training... This will be a great benefit to him at the rehab centre. He will be trained for 3 months and then will have time to visit before heading back to Kg... I asked him what he would like to do or where he would like to go... He said ...HAITI....Now this is so far out there... the hurtles would be huge... not just financial but visa's and the logistics of the whole thing, but It speaks volumes to me of the importance of the PI "Raise the Rubble" campaign. We have PI dream agents from the other side of the world, who work with those on the streets , those in the dumps and those in the greatest of distress, yet they want to come and help.....

Jengish told me "John I have to do what ever I can to help.... what ever that might be."

Oh that that would be our desire " I have to do what ever I can to help... what ever that might be"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Update from Bill in Haiti

We're not sure when we will get the next update, the fuel supply is running low... Here is the latest update from Bill Manassero
Where do I begin… there is so very much going on I cannot effectively capture it here. But I will try as best I can by briefly highlighting a few things:

This has been an absolute blessing and so has been our med team that has faithfully manned the unit since hour one. Hundreds came through. Many lives were saved. All left alive. Amputations occurred. Bones were set. Wounds stitched. God sent doctors, nurses and others to keep this going non-stop 24/7 since Tuesday. Today, we sent most of our long-term recovered patients home. Six remain. A new med facility run by Convoy of Hope is opening at Quesqueya Chapel and some will go there. The problem is they won’t take people overnight. That is a problem with us in that we have some that need IVs for 6-7 days. We may move those patients to our new building. Either way, we will tone down med operations significantly tomorrow.

Today was one of the first days I actually ventured beyond our compound area. We went to the airport in search of food and meds assistance. I cannot explain the impact of the sights and sounds we experienced. I was not ready for it. Homes and businesses leveled to the ground. Thousands of people walking on the streets and very few tap taps (taxis). The devastation was overwhelming. The drive impacted me hardest as we drove down Delmas 33, past the juvenile prison. This “children’s prison” was a place where our kids ministered to the children in prison. It was gone. Absolutely gone. Only rubble. We knew kids there. But the sight of the rubble was dwarfed by the intense and familiar smell of death in the air. I felt sick to my stomach. I don’t know who died or how many – just that many bodies must have been or were still there.

We are out of diesel and don’t know when and if we will have more. Without diesel – no generators. Without generators – no Internet. Dang, I wish we got those solar panels up. Maybe someone out there knows solar panel installation and can come help us it them up. Communications and updates may likely go black for a while.

UN structural engineers came and inspected all our buildings and gave thumbs to the kids returning to live in the homes. The problem is the kids are very fearful – especially with each aftershock, and there are many (over 200 at last count). We may be camping out a little while longer. Keep praying for peace in their little hearts.

Although the girls home is sound according to the UN, it still has no walls. While we are waiting to build the new walls, all the girls will be moving downstairs of the Manassero’s house, where our our old guest house was and the MDL school is currently located. There is a home we have been looking at for a while as an intern house and for guest house overflow. It wasn’t affected at all by the earthquake. The school will also be moved, perhaps to the new home. We rented the home and will be using it for earthquake relief efforts as well. It will house those who are part of the relief effort either short term or longer term and may include extended med clinic patients as well.

We’re all losing weight. We call it the Haiti earthquake diet. Personally, most of us are just not eating much any more. Partly it’s because were too busy. Party it’s because food is limited. Partly it’s because what we are seeing every day takes away our appetites. And frankly, it just hurts too much to see those around us without food. Friends from the DR have been driving in food shipments of whatever they can find. Today was the best. When I told the kids they were having a special treat tonight I can’t understand why they weren’t excited – I guess having salsa sardine burgers just wasn’t that thrilling for them. I liked them! Oh well. Thank you, Jesus, that we can still chuckle in light of such overwhelming circumstances. The joy of the Lord is truly our strength!

Please continue remember the Manassoro and the struggles they and there extended family is facing... If you are from the U.S. and would like to help them with their efforts, you can use the donate button on the top right side of this blog... if you are donating from Canada please go HERE

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Altynai

Wow I can't believe that our little Kyrgyz girl has turned 21 years old already... Altynai was forced to grow up so fast in so many ways, but to us she will stay our little girl as we all fight to give her child hood back... Here she is in her apartment with her family... Sergey and Anya and Vladick on her right, and our other darling girl and Altynais friend Aiperie along with Acel on her left... If you look at the table you will see a traditional Kyrgyz celebration meal... ploff and salads , and the drink is like an apricot pop. then the rest of the table is covered with the traditional Kyrgyz bread.... The guests bring the dessert...and lots of tea is served....

The party begins when the guests set time is determined, and the guests stay until they are given permeation to leave... the hostess pours the tea, each time she only pours 3/4 of a cup ... when the cup is filled , that is indication to the guest that when the cup if finished, it is time for them to go..... ( just a little culture lesson for the day )

Altynai told me that she had decided not to celebrate her birthday this year, I am sure it is because she did not want us spending extra money on her. I told her that we could celebrate together when we get there in the spring... I was talking to Anya and Acel and mentioned it was her birthday and maybe they could get her a card from us, But Anya was one step ahead of us.. she knew that the family had not eaten well the last couple weeks, so she and Acel had this party already planed as well as some extra food for the next couple weeks.

A couple days ago, Srgey and Jengish were busy with another little project for us... We started off the Christmas celebrations by moving a family into a home for the winter... the problem was that the home had no furniture, but it was warm....Then Bekah came up with a great idea... give them the furniture from our apartment.....( did I mention that our apartment is actually Eds apartment... but then again he did say treat it like it was our own)... so that's exactly what we did... Jengish came over with the truck and he and Sergey loaded up the furniture and the carpets and brought them to the house...

Thanks Ed... your the greatest ... hahaha
but don't worry maybe BEKAH will buy you a new one ..

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Come on CNN......... get it right or get out!

CNN Reports :

"People are becoming hostile at the missionary workers and we now find ourselves desperately trying to get them out," said Mike Maiolo, senior pastor of the volunteers' home church in Mission Viejo. He said he had received urgent messages from Haiti that everyone wanted to leave.

Bill Manassero reports :

Simply not true. The Haitian people have been wonderful and peaceful. We have NO incidents of violence and all almost we are treating are peaceful and cooperative.

CNN Reports :

the situation had deteriorated to the extent that no one felt safe going outside the compound

Bill Manassero reports :

"All of the Mission Viejo Team members were freely walking outside of the compound up until their departure."

Bill says "It's a shame that one would have to resort to such "sensationalized" reporting to get a headline. This is not the first report i have read that portrays the Haitian people as being violent and out of control. This simply is not occuring at our facility. People have been wonderful and cooperative."

Bill goes on to say :

"The clinic is still operating and as busy as ever. Victims continue to arrive daily. We are seriously low or completely out of critical med supplies and still have had no deliveries. Here is an article that may explain why We’ve had some tough amputations in the last few days and could really use a supply of blood but we can’t even get typing or testing done. It is frustrating.
Spirits are still good with staff, volunteers and the kids but people are wearing thin, especially our med staff. We are praying that we can move the patients soon to a facility that has all the right stuff, supplies and personnel and Brooke and Ashley can rest, as well as our doctors, other nurses and volunteers. Please pray.
Praise God, no patients have passed away.
The Haitian people are incredible. They have been very strong, peaceful and completely cooperative with us under a very difficult situation. There are many stories out there to the contrary but, as always, the news tends to find the few exceptions and then portrays that information as the dominant situation.
The kids are doing well. They are still too afraid to go back into the homes to sleep and continue to sleep outdoors on our soccer field/sports area. Many are hearing reports of family members that have passed away and that has been difficult. Last night, we got our projector and had an outdoor movie. They loved it and it gave them a break from the tense atmosphere. Mother hen Cindy Ahrenzen has been wonderful overseeing the kids and keeping them busy and constructively occupied.
All our staff has been amazing. I cannot begin to name all the dedicated missionaries, employees and MDL kids that are sacrificing under such duress to help. I am humbled be their dedication and hearts.
We are scrambling to rent a home nearby to help with the relief effort and or/relocate kids, staff, patients, etc.
Pastor Dave Beck has been working aggressively to get supplies to us from the Dominican Republic. Maybe we will have something by Monday through friends at YWAM."

Babies from another hospital....

Actually this is not a hospital... it is an orphanage... yet for thousands it has become a place of HOPE... with in minutes, while other relief was scrambling to get things in place, our friends had already started treating the injured..... our kids there have been doing a fantastic job despite there own loss and injury, they have been working around the clock to bring support staffing to the Dr's and nurses that have now started to come to the orphanage to lend a hand.... Everything they had has been put to use and has been freely given to help those in need...

Please help us not just sustain their needs , but lets bless them exceedingly and abundantly more then they could ask or imagine... Bill has no idea how they will ever rebound from this, but yet THEY continue to give... lets do the same

Back to the Baby Hospital

Today Anya was back to the baby hospital to check in on the little ones... She had been talking to the Dr earlier and knew it was time for another delivery of baby food...
sweaters from knitters in my home town
Sheets and blankets from a community in Quebec

clean laundry.. thanks to another iam1ru supporter....

and once again more baby food thanks to another great supporter...
Together we continue to make a difference.... Thanks

Friday, January 15, 2010

video from Bill

More mattresses for the invalid home

Aigoola has been so busy ! Sergey had his hands full yesterday delivering all the mattresses that she just finished. Can you just imagine the excitement when they showed up at the invalid home with the vans stuffed with mattresses for the men... One more time, over the top.. It was just a few days ago that we were there with a wonderful Christmas celebration complete with treats, and now we are back with more blessings for them.

Everyone pitched in to unload the vans

there is one HAPPY Dr.

Even Sergey was excited... nothing can charge you up more then being a part of doing something so wonderful for so many thankful, appreciative, beautiful people

Our Buddy is not only still walking , but it's great to see him walking up and down stairs now.

I think that the one that is the most excited is me !

and of course Larissa was there, to the men got to have another celebration... GO LARISA !

I have mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating.... this week last winter, 80 men died here of exposure.... of the 270 men in the home, about 90 did not have mattresses. of those that died, 7 had mattresses, 73 did not... that's 91% of those without mattresses, and only 3% of those that had mattresses.... it did not take us long to see that we needed to address this.... Thank you to everyone that is supporting Aigoola and the mattress/blanket project... we are making a difference.....

The Unwanted ?

Here is another update from our friends... But first, I have to make a point...

When I stop for a moment and think... These were the kids that were for all intensive purposes unwanted.. they were the dregs of society living on the streets., Fortunately the Manassero's did not see them that way.. Today, these same kids are triage nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, cooks and rescue workers... the very ones that society had wanted to forget about.. today they are turning to them for their very lives...With the LITTLE that they have as orphans, they are giving it all to help their community... while others are our starting loot and riot, these kids are an track with the task ahead of them..... Tell me that for one second that does not make you want to do what you can to help them help others .....

Here is what they have to say....

"We have had very serious damage to the homes, the girls home being the worse. But, praise God, no injuries to the kids have occured outside of Daphne who had a wall fall on her and is currently in traction awaiting treatment by a pediatric surgeon due to a broken leg.
We set up the boys home as a medical relief center for the area because the hospitals are not receiving new patients. Hundreds of victims of the earthquake have been through the center and we have been going non-stop, 24-hours-a-day. Many serious injuries. The most recent being people who were dug out of colapsed buildings. We have been blessed with steady flow of nurses, local doctors and others that have assisted us. And, of course, Brooke and Ashley have been working very hard. Also, many of the MDL kids are putting in a lot of time to care for the injured.
Unfortunately, we are running seriously low on med supplies, food and other items to help care for the injured and their families. We cannot even conceive how we will make the building repairs needed.
All our children are sleeping outside in "the bins" (our sports center) because they are afraid of the aftershocks"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

---Update from Bill Manassero 1/14/09 6:50 PM

---Update from Bill Manassero 1/14/09 6:50 PM
It has been a trying time but our Rock of Salvation sustains us. Seeing such suffering, death and devastation is definitely wearing on all of us. Many of our employees have lost family members and homes. We also heard the terrible news that one of our former workers at the boys home, Daniel Jean, has passed away. This young man was like a son to Susette and i. Please keep his mother Matilla and their family in your prayers.

Earlier today, we were overwhelmed with patients at our makeshift clinic. Unfortunately, we were also out of meds and doctors. The few nurses we have were fading quickly.

We are reading that there are all these relief supplies arriving in Haiti but don't know how to access them. Roads are bad. Ports and customs are even worse.

We closed the clinic and said we were unable to help any new people. Someone told me the CNN wanted an interview. We thought if we could get the word out, maybe one of the relief organizations here might hear about our dilemma and find a way to get us supplies. i waited on hold for about 30-45minutes with CNN and they ended up postponing the interview. By the time i made it back to the clinic our doors were open and they were receiving new patients. When i asked what happened, they said an SUV full of Haitian doctors and nurses arrived with supplies. i guess God wants us to stay open -- at least for another day or two (which is how long the supplies may last). Praise God!!!

One of the toughest new patients we received was a little 12-18 month old baby that had crawled out from the rubble of its house where both his mother and father had died. The lady that found the baby crawling on the street in front of his home said the baby was just crying hysterically. He was dehydrated and pretty scratched up. He is doing much better now but he is very fragile.

We have had a number of amputations, many cuts and bruises, broken bones and multiple head injuries. A lot of the people we are seeing now are those who have been rescued from collapsed buildings.

We don't know how people are finding us but the word is definitely out. If only the relief organizations could find out.

We also don't know how long we will continue. At this point, it looks like we will be operating the clinic for some time to come.

The MDL kids are doing remarkably well (with the exception of Daphne who got her half body cast today -- she'll be much better tomorrow). Many of our kids are wearing rubber gloves, masks and assisting the medical team. The rest are helping with cooking, cleaning and crowd control. What a blessing they are! Please keep them in your prayers.

The Mission Viejo team has been remarkable and an unbelievable Godsend. The airports are closed and we are not sure if they will be able to fly out when planned (Monday). Please keep them in your prayers.

We are so very moved by the outpouring of love, prayers and support from our friends in the States and all over the world. We can never thank everyone enough for everything. God is so good!!!

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

i will try to get another email out tomorrow -- Lord willing. Keep praying!!

In Christ in Haiti,