Monday, August 29, 2011

Mercy triumphs over Judgment.

"Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."
This sounds easy enough, but have you ever stopped to think about what this might mean and how it is walked out in our daily life. I struggle with this all the time. I can remember visiting a family one time , The mother had sold her daughter to a group of men for a bottle of vodka. Several years had passed, and the family was now back together. yet it took everything that I had to be civil to the mother. "How could I show mercy to some one who has done such a terrible thing".

I was sharing this with friends , and brought up the story of Slavic. ( a boy sold into slavery by his family ) I shared how by us trying to find Slavic, we are doing Justice, but really maybe what we should be focusing on is Mercy. I remember when I first posted about Slavic I made reference to the scripture that states , who here among you, having 100 sheep and one was lost would not leave the 99 and go to the one... then I pointed out that in the sight of God, Slavic is not lost.. God knows exactly where Slavic is, and is likely closer to him now more then ever.. but it is Slavics family that is lost to God.. So maybe we should not be focusing on the Justice here, but focus on bringing mercy to the family.
I know that If, or when I post on this blog that we have found Slavic and that we need only $250 to make him new documents and then we can bring him home, they we will have several out there that will help...this is Justice. But If I share that we have not found Slavic yet , but we are going to begin the restoration of his family who sold him into slavery, showing true mercy.. this will be a little harder to swallow, and will likely not foster the same response. But if Mercy truly does triumph over Justice... this is were we must start.
So I have known what we need to do next, but like I say, I am not always as holy as I should be and have been slow to act.

This morning I got an Email from our daughter Emma . She has just received a donation to help with rice for families in need that she knows.. She was very excited and thankful, but began her letter with "Dad can I go back and help Slavics family ?"

I think that the reason that Mercy is so powerful is that I believe that it is Mercy shown to us that unlocks our ability to recognize the injustices around us.
If we have never experienced mercy, the injustices of the world would would just seem normal.. this is why in many of the places that we work , the injustices are so horrific. I think back to the mens home and the injustices experienced there. It was not until we started to show mercy to the director and staff that their hearts began to soften to the point that they themselves recognized the injustice around them.

I am believing that as Emma begins to pour out mercy onto Slavics family, that they too will have a softening of the heart, and understand the injustice that they have been a part of .
Justice can save someone from a situation in the present, yet Mercy has the ability to save someone for an eternity.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The wolves are at the door .

An old Cherokee told his grandson "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil... It is ANGER ,JEALOUSY, GREED, RESENTMENT , INFERIORITY , LIES and EGO. the other is GOOD.... It is JOY, PEACE, LOVE , HOPE, HUMANITY, KINDNESS, EMPATHY and TRUTH..
The boy thought about it and then asked " Grandfather, which wolf wins ?" .. the old man quietly responded ..." The one you feed."

I just read this on a friends FB status. It made me think about all our kids at university right now. So many incredible young men and women with such potential and such a desire to improve their country . But which wolf will WE feed. Will we step forward to feed the Good wolf , making it possible for them to go to school and follow their dreams , or will we feed the BAD wolf by doing nothing .. buy saying "yes somebody should help them" but doing nothing ourselves. As I am writing this, Bekah is on line with a fine young man who is short on his tuition to return to school .. here is his Biography.. it almost looks like it has been made up for the benefit of the reader, but we can assure you that this is true and is from his heart.. this is a young man who is already following his dream to help others , but rather then asking for money year after year . he is looking for help to become self sufficient...
There are a few ways that we can help...
1. you can make a donation right now to meet this immediate need of $250 ,
to sign up as a $50/ month sponsor to help Akyl , and many others like him, or
3. what could actually be the biggest help.... have me send you some brochures, posters and video's , and join the team of LAMb sponsorship reps and TRY to find just 12 monthly sponsors.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Photo from Emma

Emma finally got her camera up and running again. so she just sent this photo through of her at one of the orphanages that she volunteers at. When there is so much distance between us, it's sure nice to get an update photo to see that she is doing well.




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let me tell you about one of my friends .

This is my friend Kola .

Kola is the type of young man that just makes me feel good about doing what we do. He would be the first to agree that he has had a very difficult start to his life. I will not get into all the details, that is his story to tell... but I will say that he has put his foot down and taken a stand. He has taken the trials and temptations that he has faced, and is using them to brighten and encourage others. Kola is very quiet, so he thinks that maybe he slips under the radar, but in reality he has the ability to show great leadership.. mostly because when he speaks, it must be important.
Most of all I know that there must be something special about him because although he stays quiet and un assuming, those that meet him remember him.. My Mom visited us in 2008, and still talks about the fine young man in the workshop she facilitated were Kola works as an addictions councelor ... I have had adoptive parents meet him, and then feel such a bond, that they were ready to except a referral because there new son had the same name. My Son came to visit, and was only with us a week, was sick, and saw thousands of people, but wanted to take the time to exchange guitar rifts with him. Then this spring we had friends come for a visit, and before they left, they came to us and said that they wanted to buy a guitar for him... .. I am telling you, there is something special about him.
It took Kola 4 months to choose just the right guitar. This was a big deal for him, and he did not want to make a wrong choice. Of course, I did drop some nudges from time to time, but did not want to push to hard and turn the process into something he dreaded.. after all I am used to that , I know it would take Emma the same length of time to buy a pair of pants...
Here is Kola with his new guitar. I can't wait to hear you play it my friend.

" Words can not express some things .... I just play, very love to play!! It makes me better, Music for me is prayer without words, it expresses my feelings better than everything else, Music is part of my soul, Thank You, Lord, for You, and for music you created!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" taken from Kola's FB status last week

Monday, August 22, 2011

Prayers needed

I shared a few days ago about our God son getting married. He is a student at the University, and has a great future. A couple days before the wedding, we learned some disappointing news. With all the stress of exams coupled with the pressures he was under getting engaged , his mind was just not where it should have been, and his marks slipped . Because he was at the university on a subsidized tuition, he was informed that he would not be able to return unless he paid the full tuition of about $1300.
This is something that is totally out of the possible for him, and basically is a fetal blow to this young couples future. He had no other family that could help.
Julie and I decided that we would begin efforts to see about getting him back into school. I contacted Olga and she will go to the University to guarantee payment if we can get an extension on the tuition that was due yesterday. But the next problem was that with feeling that things were hopeless, our young friend and his new bride went off to Kazakhstan looking for work, and we could not find him. Finally this morning a message got through to him that we were going to do what we can to help him... I received this message from him .

Thank you dad for your help. I do not know how to say thank you.because I can study further, but I did not learn last semester.This is a lesson for me and I have the desire to learn. When I learned I was not going study it hurt because I was taught properly and only the last semester, I messed up. But then I prayed to God, "God, I have a desire to learn and I did not do the right thing which did not learn. Give me a chance, but let your will be done." and I believe God made this day for me a miracle. I'll try and learn and not to let down you, my parents. Thanks Dad. God bless you. I love you and you are an example for me.
You know we all make mistakes, we all get distracted from time to time. It's scary to think how such a small moment of distraction has the potential to derail the future of this young family ... possibly for generations to come.
I just received word from Emma that he has arrived back in Kyrgyzstan, and tomorrow they will go to the University to see what we can do. Please continue to pray for favor for him so that he is permitted back .

Friday, August 19, 2011

One year later

Its been a full year since this video was made, and the impact of these few days continues to grip the citizens of Kyrgyzstan. One year later, and several of our friends are on the ground trying to make a difference. It's easy for us to all forget , at the time so many were coming forward to help, but by the time a secure rout for aid was established, the crisis had slipped from the headlines.. Last week, we were asked to pick up scholarships for two young kids from Osh for them, I am sure that the sights and sounds from a year ago are very vivid in their memories. I feel so blessed that not only are we able to consider helping, but that we are recognized as people that would be willing to help. It made me think... I was just reading a FB status from a friend ..it said " Sometimes I would like to ask God why he allows poverty, Famin, and Injustice in the world, when he could do something about it....But I'm afraid He may ask me the same question"


The way things work

I am often amazed by the way that God orchestrates things. One of those times happened just this week.
I have been doing a little bit of stressing about everyone going back to school. Many of the kids that we work with are sponsored for there tuition, but on top of that we have school supplies and uniforms. Last year we spent over $6000 just on back to school shopping. then there are the last minute needs .. kids that may have had sponsorship fall through , or newly identified as needing assistance... it all come down to the crunch in the next couple weeks.
I was on the phone with Sergey and Anya Monday giving them details to pick up money sent, when they informed me that one of the orphanages we support just called. They need school supplies for 140 kids as well as laundry soap... I did not want then to be to discouraged, and I certainly don't have that kind of money right now, so I just said " OK we will pray about that, and I am sure God has that taken care of."
A couple hours after that I was talking to a friend in Bishkek.. she had a message for me from Dave .. the owner of a restaurant we frequent in Bishkek. He has a dozen friends from England that have some sort of a clunker rally.. the deal is they buy an old clunker, fill it full of stuff for an orphanage and drive it across Asia.
Last night , 5 cars FULL of supplies arrived at the orphanage to meet Sergey and Anya, and meet the need ... then after unloading the cars , they donated another 1500 Euro to cover anything that they missed.. and if that was not all, they are now selling the cars , and the proceeds will go to the on going work at the orphanage as well..
What amazes me is that these cars would have left a full 2 weeks before the need was even identified.. they Drove across Asia not knowing the need that would be waiting for them .
If it was some how in my control, I would have worried and stressed even more trying to figure out how to get the money there in time, yet because there was nothing I could do .. then I just left it in Gods hands... and you know what.. he did a pretty good job.. Maybe I should be leaving a little more in His hands

Thursday, August 18, 2011

an incredible gift

There was lots of excitement in Kyrgyzstan yesterday when a special parcel arrived.
This was totally unexpected, and that makes it so much more fun. In the parcel there was a little bit of everything that is on our always needed list ..Vitamins , cold med's , creams, first aid supplies, and so much more .. You could tell that the parcel came from someone that follows the blog because it also contained Craft dinner ...
Sergey and Anya and the kids called me right away to tell me what had happened . I found it interesting that the kids were all so excited , and even more excited to open it and find that it was from a Young Kyrgyz boy who now lives in America, but has not forgotten his friend .

Vitamins.. not the type of thing that you would think would bring so much excitement for kids, but the truth is that these kids have lived the orphanage life.. they have seen first hand the difference it can make to have vitamins, and they all have friends that are still in the orphanages that they are worried about and want to help. This gift is one that they will be able to take to their friends that are sick, malnourished, and listless, and make them feel so much better.
I have said before how when we take Vitamins here, we hardly recognize the difference , but when your diet is desperately deprived of certain vitamins, the difference would blow you away... with in days , a sick and listless child will be feeling better then they have ever felt and seem like they are on a caffeine high ... just by giving them vitamin C. A child with sore joints and in chronic pain, will be playing pain free in a few weeks with Vitamin D... It's not natural to find a 6 or 7 year old kid going gray, but when you give them a little vitamin B 12 they not only suddenly have a lot of energy, but they start loosing their gray...
We have a vision that one day , the effects of vitamins would not be so noticeable... that one day this would not be replacing missing dietary needs and reversing damage, but that one day this will simply be what it was designed for .. as a supplemental to "top off" any vitamin short fall.
As we are starting to look toward the fall, and the Christmas pie in the face challenge, we are thinking that we need to do more then just bring a gift that will last just one day, but we want to make a difference that will last all year.. just think if we could provide every child with a years supply of vitamins.. this is not out of the question... I will keep you posted as time gets closer.



Monday, August 15, 2011

Share the BURDEN,

One of the greatest burdens that we carry is the proverbial "WHAT NEXT?" , and it's not what is in store next for us , but what will happen to our young friends while we are gone. We have a great team on the ground, but there is only so much they can do...
The future for an orphan or an under privileged child is just so bleak. We try, but how do we ever care for all of them... I will tell you how... we have found that if we can get them enrolled in collage or University, it buys us four more years of influence. Four years for them to grow a little more a safe environment. and In four years, they have what many do not have. An education.
The International University of Central Asia has a track record that is second to none. Not only do they provide one of the best, and most respected educations in all of Central Asia, they do it with almost 80 % of the students on some form of tuition assistance... I asked my friend Dave ( the chairman of the board for IUCA ) " Who sponsors them Dave ? " You see their in Lies the problem...
This year IUCA will have well over 400 students who require assistance. The brightest minds in the country, yet with out our help , they may not be able to complete their study. The problem is a big one... over Two Hundred Thousand Dollars BIG . But we have an idea ..

Did you know that if just 30 people around the world committed to find us Just 12 sponsors of just $50 a month. We could guarantee that the doors of IUCA continue to be open to the least of these, for years to come....

If you are interested in being a LAMb sponsorship rep in your area, please contact me at sunmasterjohn@aol.com and I will send you everything that you need to make a real difference... video's, photo's, brochures and posters, even testimonials from current IUCA Students . Every thing that you need to get started .

Its time to get creative... BBQ's , dinner parties, church groups, friends mix match , and share the story. but some how please take from us the burden of JUST 12 of our incredible young friends .. Please check out the video below.. ( If you are reading this post from FB you will need to click here to view the video. )
For more information, please go to

gearing up for school

Doesn't that grin just make you smile . This is one of our young friends that is sponsored along with his brother ans sisters. School starts next week, so they were stopping at Sergey and Anya's to pick up the school supplies .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not Just Kyrgyzstan


Many of you are aware of difficulty adopting from Kyrgyzstan.. What you may not realize is that the problem is bigger then the 65 waiting from Kyrgyzstan who are in the process.. its bigger then the 6000 kids from Kyrgyzstan who will be left behind when the 65 make it home... this is a global problem, and time IS a factor .

Step Forward for Orphans March from Both Ends Burning on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blessed to Bless ..


I have been spending a lot of time working on blogs, web sites and paper work over the last week.. all very exciting and life changing stuff.. I will share more soon, but I just realized that I have not posted here for a little while.. I will have to do a little better.
Things continue to putter along with Emma.. I had shared how she is coming across so many needs , everything from a $50 swimming pool to an $80 000 kidney transplant. We have kids returning to school that she is trying to make sure all have school uniforms so they can attend. Our God son is married tomorrow, so she will be involved with that.. She has also just sent the kids from "Emma's" orphanage to lake Isykol for a few days. We had a bunch of kids that are in different camps for the summer, so she has been seeing them all come and go all summer. Not the most technologically advanced... she is having difficulty with the camera, so I don't have photos just yet. Last week I shared that Emma is under a lot of stress about finances, and how to help all the people that she wants to help... I know full well what she is feeling ... a couple days ago, she said to me " Dad I don't even know anymore how much money I have asked for, but they are all important." I assured her that she did not have to worry , It was Gods responsibility.. she just needed to do her part, and for the rest, what was meant to be will be.
I was speaking at a church last week, and after the service , a young lady came to me. she told me that she had just got a tax return, and was going to use it to towards going on a missions trip to Haiti, but God has been really stirring her to send it to Emma . I can assure you that this was a very emotional thing.. I know her and her family , and I know that even going to Haiti is a stretch , and requires a lot of sacrifices for them, yet she was able to hear God, and not question him, but act on it.
Last night , I transferred what will be a substantial amount of money for Emma into her account.... Yesterday this young lady spent the day set up in a grocery store parking lot selling hot dogs and hamburgers, raising money so that she can go to Haiti...
I pray that God would richly bless her efforts.. I know that he will make a way for her to go. I think of all the people that will be blessed by this giving . I had a friend tell me one time that "We are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others.".. I am Sure that this young lady will be blessed ..

Monday, August 08, 2011

Updates from Emma

This is my friend Giana
I met him for the first time back in 2005 when I traveled to Kyrgyzstan with a team from Millebrook Ontario. The purpose of that trip was to bring Hope and Dignity to the hurting and Helpless of Kyrgyzstan. We had all seen the Home make over shows here in the west.. the ones where a middle class family is taken away for a day or two and there already wonderful home is given a little freshening up... We thought that they were on to something, but why not reach down a little farther ... we went to the home of a VET.. with one leg, living on his own with a pension of only $20 a month ... this was who we chose.
Gianna was so gracious .. he allowed us into his home, and we began the transformation. That was a long time ago and we still see him time to time , though I must admit that I have not been to see him as much as I should . We kept hearing stories of him sitting out on the bridge near his home and singing to people as they passed buy . Finally we made it back to see him and to make arrangements for Beksolten to go visit him regularly. We thought it would be good for Gianna, and good for Beksolten as well.
When we told Gianna that we heard he sat out on the bridge singing, he told us that he did that so people would think that he was happy, but really deep down he is sad and he is lonely.. It was difficult to hear. He then agreed to sing for us then. ( if you are viewing this as a FB note, you will have to go to the blog to view the video)
video
We told him that must be why God had put him in our hearts, and that we would like to have Beksolten stop by for a visit regularly. We explained that Beksolten needed to have someone , or something in his life to keep him from " drifting " and that it would be great if Gianna could have a game of chess with him from time to time .
This is all part of a burden that Emma has had to touch base with all the people and kids that we have worked with in the past. You will hear more stories as they come available ... Emma just sent me this note, looking for a little money to bless Gianna again.

"Aigula and beksultan are getting ready to do a big clean at guenna's, and Aigula wants to get him new bedding, he was asking for new clean sheets but she wants to give him one of theose nice big blankets that she makes and probably a matress too. they would like some of the money for him to get cleaning supplies for his house."

I would love to be able to send Emma enough money that she could have cash on hand for things like this... when something as simple as cleaning supplies would not require her to look for funds...
On another note, We were thrilled and relieved to hear that Emma just got her visa. they have given her a 6 month this time rather then the usual 3 month. I had not said much, but we were starting to get a little concerned as her old visa had expired almost a month ago, and the passport control had continues to hold her passport in the mean time , but all is well now .