This is James Weening from Barrie, Ontario writing. John asked me to share about our day on this blog post.
It was a busy day today as we managed to squeeze in three celebrations, a trip to the marketplace, and we have about an hour before we head back to the Beikut small home orphanage to ring in the new year with the kids there..
We met with our group from Canada this morning and had another fantastic breakfast cooked by John. If you ever have the opportunity to experience John's cooking don't let it pass you by. It's one of his many God given gifts!! Today was pancakes with good ol' Canadian maple syrup. We're hardly roughing it over here when it comes to the wide variety of foods. After breakfast we went over to another orphanage and had some time to spend with 10 - 15 kids from the ages 2 - 4. We sang and we danced with the kids there and they were very excited to see us there with our cameras out. From what I understand several of the kids from this orphanage are close to reaching the end of the adoption process to make their ways to new homes in Canada and the U.S. I think we will be able to share some of the pictures we took with the awaiting parents. John will be collecting the pictures from each of our cameras and sharing in a private facebook group once they are uploaded. The kids we're very out going and warmed up to different members of the group. A couple of the kids were upset when we had to say goodbye which was a bit emotional to see but at least confirms that our visit with them made a small impact.
After the trip to the orphanage we met up at a restaurant to celebrate the birthday's of two of John and Julie's newest members to the family, their God-children Altynai and Samat. There were about 50 people at the lunch and some of the kids put on some songs and danced for our entertainment.
After lunch our group head over to the "Bazaar" to pick up some gifts to bring to the Kemin elderly home which we we went to this evening. We brought men's and women's gift bags with some presents to the 20 elderly women and 10 elderly men. The Kemin elderly home is one of LAMb's major projects which they've come behind and supported since it's inception. Through the support of the sponsors and supporters of LAMb the once vacant building has become a place of refuge for these beautiful old souls. We arrived and unloaded off the bus and were escorted into the home by the director Tatiana. As we stood inside and set up our stuff, the seniors made their way from their rooms to the dining room where we had our time with them. For me it was a very moving experience to have the opportunity to look upon their weathered old faces and shake their hands to wish them a happy new year. It brought back memories of my Oma and the times me and my brother and sisters were fortunate to share with her throughout our childhood. Often I think we take for granted the relationships we've been given the opportunity to experience with those that have years of life experience. What really gripped my spirit was the fact that most of these elderly people have no family to share the stories of their trials and their triumphs with. Oh the stories that could be told from that little home. One thought I had which I haven't yet mentioned to John is that I may try get back there before we leave and sit down with one specific old man to hear about his life and document some of his own personal story. He was a Kyrgyz man with a traditional hat on. I'll try to post a picture of him but not sure if I have time. Picture a combination of Yoda from StarWars and Mr. Miagi from The Karate Kid. The little old man was very excited for us to be there and he was fully participating in the singing of songs and praising the Lord during the few songs that we sang. I made a special effort to get over to him before we left to shake his hand and wish him a Happy New Year and for a 75 year old little Kyrgyz he still had a hand shake that would rival my own Grandfather's. It was an amazing blessing to be with them and I thank those supporters which have given towards that project to allow these old souls to spend their final years in the loving care and comfort of a home and organization that value them.
Well we're now packing up to head back over to the small home orphanage to set off some fireworks with the older kids there. When we were there last night they asked if we would come back to spend New Years Eve with them.
I'm so honored to have the opportunity to experience everything that the Wrights and LAMb International have been involved with here in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. We're only into the first week here and have another action packed week next week to see the amazing work that is going on in the lives of people here. It's just occurred to me that this will be the final post of this blog for the 2011 year. What a great opportunity to thank those reading this post. I've only known John and Julie for 3 weeks and only met Lynn and Ruby 4 weeks ago.
Six weeks ago I would never had imagined I'd be part of such a pure and noble organization. I can't find the words to express the joy and compassion I've felt this week. There is such a purity in the work that is being accomplished through everyone involved. It is only through grace and compassion of those reading this who follow the discernment and direction that John, Julie and LAMb is able to accomplish the work which we have the responsibility to carry out. Every person I've come into contact with is living and breathing the admonishment of one of the most direct verses from the New Testament. Thank you to everyone reading this and everyone that has supported John, Julie and all the projects which LAMb has been a part of this year.
Thank you for supporting this organization and please continue to follow the discernment in each of your lives.
Blessings from Kyrgyzstan,