Friday, August 31, 2012

More back to school shopping

We go through so many back to school supplies this time of year that it is far cheaper to send for the supplies in bulk from the city, and then we set up our own little stationary shop for all our sponsorship kids .. so now between shopping trips we bring the kids back to the apartment  to pick out the supplies they need.  we have done two groups today , and in 10 minutes Dayspring will come for theirs, then we will go back with them for a team meeting 

Aziz, Alembeck and Kolya .. (all kids out of the Tokmok orphanage  that we support.)  choose some socks , underwhere and backpacks in the bazaar.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great day in the city

Lots happened Yesterday , University tuitions were paid, Baktagool found a school and is registered, and ready to start Monday, we met with Jengish, Christy, our friends we work with in Karabalta, and  Andre from Karakool .    He was so happy to see us, and could not stop telling us how grateful he and the kids were for the blessing of being able to go to Summer camp.  He shared again how disappointed they were when their funding had fallen through, but he said that they just gathered together and prayed .. they knew that only God could make it work out.. when they woke up in the morning , you folks had been busy, and the guarantee of the funds had come in , and they were able to enjoy camp this summer . 

below are a couple photo's from camp.  Thank you all so much for making this possible for them  

We had a little extra that came from camp money , but it was just right .. Andre had just come from back to school shopping for clothes and supplies and had everything but Back packs for 20 kids.. we were able to cover that ... so today they will be getting those .. I will get some photo's for the blog, if not today, then next week when David and Jayne re at the orphanage for a few days of training for them .. something that they are really really looking forward to.    If anyone wants to be a part of helping with that training, I am sure that David and Jayne could use the help with transportation expenses ( it is about 6 or 7 hours away ) as well as printing expenses for training materials..  this is the kind of thing that will impact not just these kids, but many more to come .. It is such an honor for us to be considered team members with such an incredible couple with so much to offer.   some times we feel a little out of our league  We seem to stumble upon so many needs that are beyond us, but The LAMb team is there for us to hand off to.   I think that that's why God has brought us all together .. " Where I am week , HE is strong."

One child at a time , one sponsor at a time

We knew this day was coming , we saw it in the future ,  and we have felt the burden to be ready for it.... but our hearts still break ... 

The Jeremiah project is so vital to the future of  so many at risk kids.  We new that many of the kids we have worked with in the past would be timing out of the orphanage soon, but when the vision and the dream starts to turn into reality, there is a strange mix of emotions .. Excitement that we have things coming together and we have not been taken  off guard, mix that with a deep hurt that this is necessary.  

We sat at the table with a couple girls last night and listened to their stories.. We have a strong history with them, so they felt comfortable to come to us for help.

One of these girls is just 16 years old and has graduated from grade 9.  She had no idea what to do now.  We decided it would be best if she just staid the night , and just now, Emma has left with her to go meet some of our staff to take her to see the schools and colleges in the area that would be an option for her . 

I mentioned .the other day , One child at a time... one sponsor at at time.... if you would like to help with this, please consider choosing an amount from the drop down monthly sponsorship box on the monthly donation link on the side of this post.  

We are so blessed that we have a sponsor for one of these girls... ..  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"praise God he has you and the Jeremiah house! "

  Yesterday when Larisa and Tanya were here, we showed them some video's that they were in,  I had used them as an example of victorious living, and had shared their testimonies, of how they have over come 

This morning, bright and early, as is typical  of Vlady , we had a visit.  He brought us some of the produce from his garden, as well as a couple bottles of his honey.   

The main topic of conversation with him was the Bio Diesel project we are starting this fall.  A couple of key issues , first as an engineer, would he be interested in overseeing this project.. he was very excited, and said that yes he has studied the process, and is ready to go... not only that, but he has the location ready to drop the container to start the build .  He also has experience with the green house part of the project.    We are so encouraged by this,  we have seen so many times in the past what a great teacher Vlady has been with the kids we work with, and I know he will be incredible working and training kids as part of the Jeremiah project. 

After the meting with Vlady, we had a meeting with Costya and Olga , but first stopped on the way to do a little back to school shopping with a couple of our kids .  They are living with an uncle , and brought along there little cousin since he is heading to school for the first time .. 

The bazaar workers were happy to see us ,  There was a time that as a foreigner I had to hide so that the price would not go up, but now, we have reached the point that as soon as they see me they drop what they are doing and right away help us, and of course the price DROPS by about 20 % from the best deal that they would normally give..  I think that they know that this is the first of the wave of kids we will be coming with .... and they are right . 

We got these boys some school supplies to get them started, but tomorrow we will send to the big  Bazzar for supplies for several of the orphanages , and our Jeremiah kids. 
It was nice to spend some time with the boys , and I know they were happy to see us.  We did not have a lot of time for  big food shop for them today, but did get a bag of flour and a jug of oil for them, and we will take them some more food next week . 

  While at the bazaar , one of the kids we have worked with for a long time met Julie and Emma.. She gave them big hugs... but right away Julie knew that something was wrong.  Well she was right , it turns out that they are now out of the orphanage and living with relatives, and grandmother , There is not enough support for them, and they also shared that they don't have any documents so they can't go to school or work... and some how this is OK... NOT .. Here are two beautiful young girls , basically on their own.. What do you think the future will be for them ... fortunately , we have options .. we have the program coming together to be the support that they need, and its a good thing, because these girls know us and trust us, and have felt comfortable enough to ask us for help.  Tomorrow night they will be coming to the house for supper, and we will get to the bottom of it.  

That was all by 10 am  .. then we went to Dayspring and saw the kids.  .. in no time at all, I felt as though I had known Costya and Olga for ever ..   I had a chance to share with them some of the plans we have for the next three months .  Then after a nice visit, it was down to business... School starts in a couple days , and we have over 2 dozen kids who are part of our sponsorship program .     

Costya went to the bank , then came to the apartment to meet with Sergey and  Anya ...  We needed to move quick to get this all dealt with ,   as we began distributing funds , I started to get choked up a few times when I realized what this meant to the kids that we work with .  I got even more choked up when I think of the sacrifices that have been made by our sponsors to be able to meet these needs ... FYI this is what 1/2 a million som looks like , but look fast , an hour later it was gone .... but the impact that it made will last for an eternity 

We discussed the sponsorship program with Costya, and shared about some of the kids on the list.  over half of them are a product of the orphanage system here.  so as part of the scholarship support, we will provide a small monthly food budget for the kids.  They will be able to come to the Jeremiah drop in center each month to pick up their support for the month, but  what was more encouraging to me was Costya's eagerness to get to know the kids , and provide more then just the food money, but would like to be able to be more of  help and support for them... 

It is late, it has been a long day, but I sit here tonight so thankful for a willingness and and an eagerness I have seen to make this work... 

We have kids already coming to us for help.. knowing that they can trust us.  We have staff on the ground that are ready and willing to be the mentors that these kids will need if they are going to make it.. We have the LAMb organization behind this 110% , ready and willing to do what it takes to get this project off the ground. Most of all,  we have sponsors that have heard our hearts cry for these kids, and have stepped forward to do their part..  We don't take that lightly.. it is one thing to join into something like this when it is up and running, but it is another to have the faith to send the funds, those seeds of faith to see something as powerful as this come together .   As this continues to come together, we re going to need  lot more who will join the vision ... one donor at at time , providing the answer for one child at a time ... like our two girls we will be meeting tomorrow .... 

I recognize this has been a long post, but it has been a long day , but I want to leave you with part of a correspondence from a friend of ours who is 4 years into the adoption struggle of one of our kids .  We have watched he and his friend grow up , and as an older child, he exemplifies the need for the Jeremiah project . 
" things SHOULD start up again...doubtfully before the end of Sept,

 but probably after. As for our young friend , unless he was miraculously still 

listed as a "pipeline" child, it's not going to work out, 

but praise God he has you and the Jeremiah house! "
Perhaps you would like to be involved with making Jeremiah house a success by sporting the kids that society has left behind ... The needs are so great ... and there are so many that we would like to help, but we can only commit to long term support for these kids as  sponsors come forward to be a part of the solution.
please consider a monthly donation... you can simply choose an amount from the drop down screen on the donation button on the side , then follow the link...  I have two young girls  coming for supper tomorrow night that have asked for help... 

Monday, August 27, 2012

As we stumble along

We Began this morning with a 4 hour meeting with Larisa and Tanya  ,  So much to talk about .. many plans to make before they head for Alaska.

We will meet again on Wednesday with them to go out tpo the mens home and the village to say hello and to set some dates to return with some teams that we have coming in over the next couple months .. it will give us an excuse to stay in contact while Larissa is away.  Larisa had some amazing news.   She has found a Lady that will go to the mens home 5 days a week while she is away, and will keep things rolling.. as I am doing the math in my head, and trying to figure out how to pay for this, she tells me more awesome news.  A lady from Germany contacted her.  She is in Kyrgyzstan right now, and has been following this blog, and wanted to meet Larisa .. she was thrilled to see first hand all that has been going on, and has agreed to cover the salary and travel expenses of the worker while Larisa is away.  

There is still so much that I can't get my head around , like paying bills for power, phone ,internet and heat... like who pays heat when it's 95 out... but Emma seems to be a master and has it all worked out ,. when and were to pay.. so today she gave me a little lesson ... I think it will stay her job... I can't tell the bills apart... and things drive me wild like the bill by this date or the gas will be turned off... and the gas bill at the guest apartment is just about 1/2 a som... thats less then a penny... but if its not paid by Friday it will be cut off and we will have to pay $2 to get it back on.....

Later we went shopping and got the cupboards stocked up again with some of the basics, and got ourselves organized so we are ready for guests at a moments notice.   then for the last couple hours I have been working on some schedules for the teams coming.    We have also been working on housing arrangements and translators and transportation etc for the teams .. it is coming together nicely.

Tomorrow we will be bringing Maksat and Ibek back to school shopping and getting them some food , then we will go to Dayspring to meat Kostya and Olga , and visit the kids.   It will be great to get to know Kosta and Olga, and come up with some planes for the next few days , we have a bunch of back to school shopping to do, as well as getting tuition paid for a couple dozen students that we provide scholarships for.  

Aigooal and the kids came for a visit last night , they are doing great , and excited that Turat will be coming home shortly.. we will be happy to see him..

Sergey and Anya were over for a visit as well.  they are doing well as well .  they are eager to get buisy with us.. we are blessed to have them here to help .  It was kind of neet .. they told us that they got a call from Isar.. he was very happy that he had a beautiful suit in Isikol for his anniversary... so here is the rest of the storey ...

When we went to Isykool, there were 13 of  us, so since we had the space and knew we would have a lot of down time, we suggested that Isar should bring his wife and son as well .  Then when we got to the hotel, we were shown the rooms.. they were nice.. plain and shared a bathroom ... then I was told to go with the hotel manager to see my room .. it was on the top floor and was a very nice suit with air conditioning and it's own bathroom, a big screen TV and the works.. I had this dilemma .. they all wanted to bless us, and I so did not want to be that guy that sits in the penthouse while the rest are off some where else... I was just not comfortable with that, so I asked if they had any more rooms in that section,, they had one more, but it was a lot smaller and did not have air conditioning   but gave me an out ,, I suggested that since Isar had his family he should take the big room , and we would take the smaller one ... and still be in the fancy section to make the others happy .    Isar's wife, Axanna   came to Julie after seeing her room.. she was sooo happy she said that she knew that rooms like that existed, and had dreamed of staying in a room like that, and now , on there 18th anniversary her dream came true..  "HOW DID WE KNOW"... Julie just smiled and told her "We didn't know , but God did. "

I just love the way things all come together for good  as we stumble along ...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Great to be back

Since Bekah started school last week, we knew that there would not be a lot of time with her so we decided to do our Jet lagging at Lake Isykool.. we had a great time .. I am still dragging , so I will just post pictures and not so many words . 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nice to be home .

We had great flights this trip.  No problems, and it was not until the last hour that we started to get ancy.  We took a new short connection threw Moscow. we had 1 1/2 hour turn around, and made it with 1/2 hour to spare.  Boy has the Moscow airport has sure come a long way , I would not have believed it if I wasw told this 5 years ago.. we would have even had time to stop at Burger King  in the3 airport if we wanted .

We stoped in Bishkek and picked up Bekah.. she was as excited as us ..

everyone was excited to see us 

we threw together one of our famous one pot pressure cooker meals  .. soooo good , but what was better was the company .
Since Bekah has started school already, she will have to be back in Bishkek on Monday morning, so we have decided to start with a litle holiday for them.  We are pretending that we arrive on Monday and will start then, so for now we are taking the girls to Isykool for some down time and debriefing for the weekend.  Isar and his wife and son will drive us... but then that leaves a few extra seats so Acel and Talant and the girls, and Altynai,s siblings will join us as well.

   It was a little harry the last couple days , we returned home from Espanola on Monday late after a couple meetings along the way, then Tuesday we had 3 more meetings , pluss get every thing ready for the booth at the fall fair while we are away, plus some last minute things to get the house ready for us leaving, Wednesday we had a couple more3 meetings, and pack our bags and bags for the next two teams to bring as well... the last of the Vitamins have left the building    yayyyy.  I got about 2 hours sleep Wednesday night while Julie was doing the last cleaning to go.  then we left at 3:30 am Thurday morning , and arrived here 3:30 pm  Friday night ... All that to say , we too, are ready to spend a day on the beach .. what better way to jet lag...

Monday morning we will see |Larisa and go with her for half thre day to touch base with were she is at.  We are looking forward to going monday as well to seeing the rest of the team.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A shout out to a couple of great people ...

Now this is a dangerous thing to do, because there are soooo many , but I just felt lead....

Hi Jack ,
   It was really great to see you on the weekend.  We had a great time,  Espanola is one of those places that you need a lot more time to see all the wonderful folks there, but so glad that we did have a chance to have a coffee.   I don't know if I have told you, but you and Carol have been such a blessing and encouragement to Julie and I , not to mention the people of Kyrgyzstan .. Until next time .. thanks.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saying good bye to a friend

A little story about one of Drew’s Act of Kindness                                                                          August 2012
In 2005 we were getting ready to go to Central Asia to do humanitarian work and many of my co-workers were very generous and gave towards projects and activities.  Drew thought that every child should have Smarties and crayons so we were able to give them out in one of the larger orphanages that we support occasionally.  This act of kindness has not stopped having an impact in Kyrgyzstan and around the world.  After being posted on our blog others have passed along this story and John was overwhelmed when a young boy eagerly showed him his empty Smartie box a few years later.  Here are the posts, comments and re-posts about Drew’s act of kindness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Did we tell you about a man we know with a great big heart?

He told us that he thinks every kid should at one point in their life have a box of crayons and a box of smarties.

He gave us the money, and we had the privilege of hand delivering crayons and smarties to orphans at the Red River Orphanage.

170 orphans say,
"Thanks Drew"


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.. yes, 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 their 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...


Mint Man said..I'll never look at smarties the same way again...and probably not with a dry either.
Lisa Brotherton said...You have me crying again.12:08 PM
Maria said...Four years and he kept a smarties box. What does this say about our society, John? Just wrong!!

 Some of you have heard me tell the Smartie story before. Here is the original version from John Wright's blog and why I keep an empty box on my desk as a reminder. 
Like ·  · Share · June 13 at 1:44pm · 
Julie Wright What an impact Drew McLay made when he thought that every kid should have Smarties and crayons! Thanks Drew!!!!!!
June 13 at 2:10pm · Like · 1Blair Haverstock and I STILL can't look at them without a dry eye.  After I told the story to our team to Ukraine last summer it kind of became a catch phrase every morning after devotions,                       “Now go out & give your Smarties away!” 
 In honour of Drew, the children at Red River Orphanage will get some more Smarties and Crayons this fall.                                                                             I will miss you Drew, Love Julie

Monday, August 13, 2012

this and that , a week in review

Last week was a fun week for us , Wednesday we had our new pastor and his family over for supper.  His first week was our last, so we wanted to make a point of meeting them and letting him know that it's nothing he said that has us leaving ..hahaha...   All joking aside,  We are feeling very blessed, we love he and his family already and we are looking forward to knowing them better, and working together.  

It was very hard saying good bye to Pastor Ron.. I always felt comfortable sharing our difficulties with Ron, after all it was him that brought us to Central Asia, and he knew personally the people and the situations, so there was not a lot of explanation needed ,   He just new and had just the words that I needed .  So many of the trials we ave faced, he was there with us .. even during the revolution, he stayed up late into the night on skype  giving peace to a difficult time .. I guess it was comforting .. someone who understood us , and got us... 

Wednesday , we spent an evening with a wonderful young family that I believe , " Understands us"  ,  we are so far from even beginning to explain all the area's that we are involved, but I believe " Our spirits bear witness"  I am sure that there is as much for me to learn about him as there is for him to learn about us, but but what we do know is that we serve the same God,  We enjoyed our evening together , and I am sure that many more will follow .  

Sunday I had the opportunity to share again about the work in Kyrgyzstan.  Again. in 45 minutes , there is not much chance in sharing everything that we are about, so instead, I shared more our philosophy of ministry,  and some of the events that have lead us to where we are today .  

Check out the cool shoes...what a gift,  hand made for us at the Aurora shoe company in NY   just a little plug for them,  Likely the best shoes I have ever had...I would highly recommend them to anyone

In the last few years, I have really come to realize that during our time in North America, the Kyrgyzstan that is now in us , has as much to offer the here as what we would expect to bring to the table there .. its just a different angle of the same message . 

After the service, We went to Julies sisters house for a BBQ and corn roast. It was nice to have the whole family together for that .  

We had a chance to say good bye to every one , especially Julie's Dad...  He has been a great example to me of generosity, and a comfort in difficult times... I must say that what I have learned from him, He does not have a lot to say, but you always know he is there for you .  He has been an important part of the way I deal with situations that we face now ... 

 Today we spent the afternoon and evening with Lynn and Ruby.. planing and visiting .. and preparing for the next steps.  Tomorrow we have a meeting with sponsors in the morning , Julie and I at two separate meeting in the afternoon, then at supper, we will be having one of the teams traveling this fall over for a team meeting and to experience a traditional Kyrgyz meal... Then we are getting ready to head to Espanola this weekend.  It's like a missions trip that ends in 10 days... We are looking forward to see every one in Kyrgyzstan, and realize that we are close enough that our calendar here is full, and we are now booking times and events in Kyrgyzstan,.,...

Friday, August 10, 2012

What if ?..

After months of talking , planning and scheming,  The classes begin.   While Jengish was in Canada we toured a bio fuel plant, and struck up a conversation with an amazing young Man .  Darnell  is such an incredible wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm.  Together we came up with an idea ... 

* What if we could build an oil production facility in Kyrgyzstan that could take old used cooking oil and animal fats, and turn them into clean heating oil to help heat the seniors home,  Dayspring, and several of the other homes that we are currently helping to heat every winter .  
* What if we could provide something more substantial for the families living out at the dump to collect , where they could earn a good wage for a days work, not the 40 cents a day that they make now on a good day . 
* What if we could provide training and a skilled job for our friends that graduate from the rehab center, and for young adults when they graduate from the orphanages... 
* What if we we could find a design that would allow us to build the unit completely  from parts found at the bazzar right in Tokmok. 
* What if we could bring together a group of willing individuals that would  come to Kyrgyzstan and get this thing built and operational...

I am so excited to finally be able to share that the what if's have all fallen into place, and Today the team began their training .   and in the middle of October they will be ready to travel .  

The whole project is easier then you might think.  In simple turns , remove the soap  from the little strand thingies  and replace them with gas line antifreeze 

Darnell prepares the Lab  

So Class began with a quick discussion about Biodiesel, what it is and how it works 

We began with a jug of used cooking oil 

we then ran a test on the oil to determine the amount of Glycerin and acidity that would need to be removed 

I bet this is the first time that a communion glass has come into contact with one of these scales 

after careful measuring , the extraction formula is ready for the test 

a small amount of oil is carefully measured for the test 

so far so good 

the test thingy is filled with the nuturalizing stuff we just made 

the stuff is added to the sample of the oil until it turns pink and holds the color  for 30 seconds 

Jamie runs the second test to verify the results 

Once the right mix is calculated based on the results, we could begin oil production 

Mixing chamber was filled and the process began 

1/2 hour later we had a couple liters of pure furnace oil 

or was that ice tea.... 

sure looked like ice tea to me 
 Just think of the possibilities this project will have in the development of clean renewable energy, and provision of good middle class jobs, not to mention a source of heat for the most vulnerable.  

so you may also be interested in the bye product... Glicorin .. the main ingredient in soap,can  also used in the process of making peletized fish-food  , Hot Humid Air great to heat a green house with , and High nutrient water , just the type you would use to erigate Hydroponic Tomatoes and Cucumbers .  So phase two and future development  of the project will be a green house and fish farm combination attached to the side , to utilize the waste, and close the loop.   

   As soon as I get to Kyrgyzstan in a couple weeks , we will begin sourcing and pricing materials, but it is expected that the entire project will be able to be implemented for under $5000 and be capable of producing up to 200 liters of fuil per batch (50 gallons)  .. a great investment in the future  

This will be a prototype, but we can easily see this type of set up many of the villages providing more then just jobs and clean energy, but also providing Dignity .