Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Birthday party

One of Emma's projects is to have a birthday every month for the kids at Bacute orphanage. Its always a fun time .  the kids look forward to it.   When ever I am in town, we make it a supper party.  I make enough for supper one night and enough for lunch the next day.  Lots of juice and a cake is always a big hit as well. 

Three of the boys celebrated birthdays Today.  they each got a little bag with a toy car, an action figure, and a few other little goodies .  Then as party favors , every one got a candy stick 

Then the really big hit,  |we got out the bag full of mittens made by a friend of ours in Canada.  The kids got to each choose there own pair.  Boy were they happy with this ..

Before we left, they all wanted a group photo.

Things look grim for the future of Svetly Put

Heartbreak always seems to be hiding around the corner here .. even on a great day when all seems to be going well, the realities of life here in Kyrgyzstan is always just under the surface . 
We had guests with us, and they were interested in Kyrgyz traditional crafts, so we brought them to "Svetly Put" orphanages to see the crafts that the kids were doing there .   

Svetly Put has for me always been a shinning star.  the building is in great shape, but that's not what makes it so great.  

You can not help but feel the love when you walk in.. The kids there are looked after so well.. the workers truly care for them.  There are always volunteers there , both from in Kyrgyzstan and from all over the world.  We have spent time with the kids , and they have always been such a joy.  Although these are some qualities I have seen in many  other orphanages struggling to make a difference in the lives of kids ,this is about the best.     This has always been a place that we could come to and bring teams to to show what is possible 
Hank and Susan giving out granola bars to the youngsters 
a big hit with the kids 

Jengish had a great time as well... too bad non of the kids wanted to play with him 
 Several of the older kids were busy in the sewing room preparing some orders that they had.  There were some incredible examples of artistry for Susan and Hank to see, and it was great for them to watch the process in action. 

the beginning stages of a pair of slippers 

While our guests were busy looking at the crafts, I had a moment to visit with the director.. remember I mentioned about the heartbreak under the surface ?  When I asked the director how she was doing, her eyes welled up and she shared why she is so upset, and why she can't sleep at night ..  she needs to find a new home for over 60 kids that call this place home  She loves them all so dearly, and they are settled in so well, but she has to face the reality.  The main funder of the home had to pull out last January for financial reasons, and now the home is with out the support that it needs to operate .  she will be able to keep the home open until January, but if a new funder is not found, they will have no choice but close.   They are on a striped down budget of $8000 a month right now, but realty for them to be able to be secure into the future,and meet the rising costs , and start paying the staff properly again, they will need to find almost $10 000 a month.  

I know that there are people and organizations out there that this is not a problem.. This is an incredible place for someone to come along and support . some one did for the last 13 years.  But for me when I here this, I am afraid that it is so overwhelming that I seem to go to the same place in my mind as the director..   I know first hand the struggles that we face trying to keep the necessary funds coming in for Dayspring, and that's a whole lot smaller budget, and one  tenth of the size.. I have no idea what the  future holds for this home.. but what I foresee scares me .. and breaks my heart.     

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Around the valley

This morning we started with a visit from a good friend .  Mr Hank and his wife from Society of Cornelius are in town.   They have not been with us here since 2008 when they started working with us to be able to provide US Charitable tax receipts.   It is a long and complicated process, but for a year now, LAMb has been recognised in the US , but in the beginning Hank provided an incredible service for us making much of what we do possible.. As we sat with him and shared , I have to admit it was a little emotional.  He and his wife have been here for a week, and have been to many of the projects that we have been involved with .   As we discussed them and the impact that they have had on the lives of the Hurting and the lost, and the overwhelming amount of needs that have been met, its hard not to become emotional.  I think that sometimes it's good to sit and reflect about where we have come...  I think of my days as a surveyor  the best way to keep a strait line is by looking back at where you have come from ... What is behind you helps you to find your way in front of you.   It was an encouraging visit for us all . 

Right after that meeting, Costya came and picked up Jengish and I and we went to get food for the seniors home and one of the orphanages   The seniors home was running short of flour, sugar and tomato paste   and fruit is always good , especially for the orphanages.
  I had in mind apples for the orphanage, but when we got to the fruit section, there was this little old Kyrgyz babushka .  she had just a little more produce then what we needed , but it was an opportunity to bring a little joy into her life.  we bought her out so that she could go home for the day.   

Tanya at the seniors home was happy to see us.   and even more happy to see the food we brought her.   We found out today that next Monday is Seniors day.  so we will put together about 30 little gifts for them, then Costya and Olga and all the Dayspring girls will join us for a little visit.  Costya will even prepare a few songs with the girls so they can sing for the seniors.. I am really looking forward to it.
Delivering food to the Kemin Seniors home 
From Kemin, we made our way back to the mens home in Iskra. It was a quick stop just to show our faces and say hi to the men , and to check out the renovations... the dinning room is incredible.  we just need the floor now, and will begin that as soon as Larisa returns.

   It was good to spend some time with Costya.  we were able to not just cover a lot of ground today, but set some plans for the next few weeks .   Costya and his wife are such a great couple, and there heart for Kyrgyzstan is so evident.  We are so thankful  to have them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We made it home

we had a few meetings in Bishkek today lots of exciting things ,  then we picked up the car and headed back to Tokmok.  I had hoped to be on the road before dark, but meetings ran late .   so the maiden voyage took place  after dark ..

apart from the work needed on the clutch and the exhaust fumes it was a great ride back


Photo update

It has been great to spend some time with Camalla, we have been able to help her get things back together after a difficult summer she had spending her time and resources to care for a sick relative , but once he was better, and her money was gone, she was told to leave .    Some things can make you so mad when you see the cruelty of the world , but she is safe now and back in school.  
We had a big celebration at Dayspring, there was a lot to be thankful for , Here I am pointing out all that we have to be thankful for   It was a birthday celebration for Smishnana , Melody, Acel, Hamanat, as well as two others who were not able to attend, but we celebrated anyways .  It was also Acel and Talants anniversary,  and one other big celebration , it was the one year anniversary since Dasha joined the Dayspring family. 

Dasha was a little shy in this picture, but we are just so happy to have her a part of our lives. I can not get over the changes since she came, more then just the heart repair, I see her sole is being repaired as well.. she is in school and she has the life of a little girl...Non of these things would have been possible without the Dayspring home and the support that many of you have given to the home . 
Our time together was blessed 
Jayne and David were able to spend some time with young Ruslan, and after , Jayne could not help but speak words of encouragement and praise to Aigoola for the incredible job that she is doing as his foster mom. 
It was so nice to have Aiperie home with us . she was missed while she was in Bishkek working, but she has returned home a little wiser, and a head for business.  Now with the opening of the sewing center, she will be even busier, but she will be home with the family.  

Yesterday was Amirs Birthday.  He and his friend Telik were over to the house for a visit, and some Skype time with his family.  Here he is reading a letter from his Mom and Dad,  He loved his car book . 

We then went out for supper.  I love this picture of Emma and Baktagool  

In our ppartement we keep a large box of fruit that we give to people that come , and send small packs home with them .  Talik thaught this was a great idea.  we told him he could have as many apples as would fit in his pockets , Amir was more interested in the pears . 

after supper we gave the boys each a bubble blower  .. they thought that they were pretty cool.

When it came time for the boys to go we had a bitter sweet moment, bitter because they wanted to leave there gifts at our house to have when they come here, they were concerned about having them stolen by the other kids .  this is a reminder to us of the life that these kids lead, but it was also sweet because they are recognizing that our home is a safe place, and they see it as a home that for a short time when they come, they can relax and feel the love and care of a family.   Amir is looking forward to having  a bike, but we knew that it would not work out because of the orphanage life, this confirmed it for us.. one day he will have his bike...  

This reminds me of another call that I have been getting from another young boy Aibek. Aibek called last week to Emma .. he asked her to ask me for a bike for him.  then less then 3 minutes later he called back and asked  "what did he say ? "     Its hard .. he has started to dream.. he has HOPE starting to work its way into his life... not that long ago he would never have even alowd him self to dream.... it was like the moment at the mens home when they asked if we could help to find them shelves because now that they had more then just the one set of cloths that the men had on , they  had a new problem.    But unfortunately the answer for Aibek has had to be no for now.. I wish I had the resources to say sure and go get him a beautiful bike, but I don't , and if I did it would not last long because there are just so many other needs we see here every day ... Like as I am writing this, I look out the window across at the dumpsters and see this lady. She is new here , she is not one of our regular dump folks.. what is her story.. what is her need.. what would it take to turn her life around and give her back the dignity that we should be available to us all  

For now we continue to do what we can as we are lead through this maze of hurting individuals . 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

We have wheels

Early this morning,  Jengish , Talant and I headed to the car Bazaar in Bishkek were we met up with Bucket, one of our drivers.  Bazaar was a good description.. thousands of cars in the field , all for sale by owner.  

We did lots and lots of haggling , but the car we liked the most, the owner was no where to be found.  We got his number off the window, and kept trying to call him.  The price of cars here has become outrageous    Even the simple Lada I was thinking of was around $3500 . sure there were some that were in the 2000 range, but they were in terrible shape, not sure they would make it back to Tokmok.

Then I was about to give in and look at the only car we could afford.. the Mercedes wagon.. about $2500 could get me a 25 year old one in not bad shape... we called and the owner said he would be there in 10 minutes.. that was definitely a Kyrgyz  10 minutes, because an hour later we were still waiting around , occupying ourselves by looking at other cars .

Finally we decide to give up on him.. we decided we would walk back to Jengishes car , and along the way I would simply offer low ball take it or leave it prices for the cars we liked .. by the second car we were putting an offer on, we could see the owner of the first car we liked return.  

The car was the pride of the Russian federation.  The VOLGA got it's name after the Volga river because it was long , wide and smooth like the ride .    we asked to take it for a test drive.. like any other car at the bazaar , they are so packed in that to test drive , you rev up the engine, bolt forward, and simultaneously, hit the breaks because you only have about 10 feet to complete this maneuver.  If you can imagine, walking through a mine field of cars being "test driven".  Well it passed the initial test drive, so we told them that we would only buy it if we could get it out on the highway and see how it did, as well we needed to meet up with Bucket and Talant to give it the once over. 

Have you ever played the little plastic numbers slid puzzle.. you know the one that you push the pieces back and forth over and over until suddenly they are in the right order.. thats the way it was moving across a field of cars the size of about 6 foot ball fields.  Boy we sure got to see the car manover.  
Through all this we did notice that it needs the clutch adjusted, and the starter does not always grab the first time .  so as they were working their way out the maze , Jengish was on the phone with a micanic friend booking to have the starter replaced and the clutch fixed.. estimate for both is in the $100 range. 

Finaly we made it out of the bazaar and drove about 15 minutes to meet up with the guys.  They gave it a very carefull once over, then the real haggling began.. 10 minutes later, they turned to shake my hand.

We are the proud owners of a 1999 Volga ... Moscows answer to the Sherman tank.  A solid car, lots of space, you can sit 4 wide in the back  with tones of leg room and the trunk is huge .  I am told it will easily carry 6 people AND haul 500lbs of potatoes at the same time , and better yet, it was in budget.  including the repairs that are scheduled.

   I did take a bit of time to trade stories with the young owner.  He finished dental school in the spring , and the car was given to him by his dad to sell to buy the dental equipment he needs to start his practice.  We have agreed to meet in the next week or two to see about working something out that would see him travel around to our places to provide some basic dental care.  
  By 11:00 the adventure was over, and we were on the road back home.

Friday, September 21, 2012

emergency situation

I am sorry to say, but we have a difficult situation here . Many of you know Vera and Oleg from the "outreach center" in Orlofka   Vera is expecting in December, and a couple weeks ago started to develop some high blood pressure and other health concerns .  At first we thought that we could cover the treatments ourselves, but Vera is not responding to a one time  treatment, and will require on going treatment and hospital care if the baby is to service.    So far we have covered $500 for her medical care, and at this rate could be as much as $1500 more  by term .   I need some help with this one  please consider how you can help.

In Business

Some times plans work , and some times they don't , but even when they appear not to be working , maybe they just have not come into fruition yet.  God works on a much different schedule then we do, and when we are faithful and stay the course, eventually it all comes together and we see.    

So what the heck am I talking about ?  Well how many of you remember last year we converted a Chicken coop at Aigoola's into a sewing room.   The difficulty was that I could not keep enough work for her with mattresses and blankets .. the need was high, but we could not get enough sponsorship to keep them busy...  We understood that for this to be sustainable , it had to be home grown.  

Then what to us seemed to be things falling apart, Aiperie went off to the city to work and live in a sewing factory. working all day every day , long into the evening .. Aigoola went to work as a home care worker, in a job that was far to demanding on her time and her physically , Mean while her home continued to be used as an emergency shelter .. 

Then a few weeks ago, everything fell into place.  Actualy what started for them as a concern for one of our "Jeremiah" girls, a young girl out of the orphanage and looking for a job,  Aiperie talked to the factory owner, and worked out a plan that she could set up a micro factory in Tokmok to provide jobs for her and the others that she was concerned about .       

With a micro credit loan provided by Possibilities International , she is in Business .. the loan was signed and given on Sunday, machines delivered and set up Tuesday , and by Wednesday they were in full operation.   
Aiperie showing off one of the beautiful house coats that the Tokmok factory is producing.  

We have been through a hole lot together with this delightful girl.  We are just so thankful for Gods faithfulness that all things would work together for good .  

Turat is home for three weeks before he returns to college in Ukraine for one more year.  He is making shelving for the "warehouse" 

Possibilities International sponsors also provided funding to get the heating system fixed in the sewing room, but when we got there , we found that the main heating system was fried.  she has had to burn about 7 times more coal then needed to get half the heat it should give off .  So my taught now is to put a new proper heating system in the house , and run a new line out to the sewing room , and run everything on the one new and efficient system.. this will provide ample heat, including the new space at about half the cost .  The only difficulty will be that the whole new system will be about $300 more then the heating donation...  We have started the work on faith, knowing that God will deal with where the extra funds will come from .  

What we love the most about this is that it is a lasting solution.. one that will bring self sufficiency this family, to the shelter, and to the young orphans that will come to live and work here in the future .. 

Now it all makes seance.   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I stand amazed

We continue to have incredibly busy days here.  We have a couple weeks between teams, and so much to do.   Yesterday we started early with Julie and Emma going to the seminar with the rest of the LAMb staff, and David and I going to the Bazaar with some young boys that we have supported for years.    It was great for them to reconnect with Dave .  They have a special connection, and when life for these boys is so topsy tervy , I stand amazed at how a short connection with Dave seems to be able to help them re ground themselves .  there is so little time , yet some how they are able to take that moment and draw enough strength from it to forge ahead . 

After meeting with the boys, we bought them a sack of flour and sugar, a new pair of running shoes and put them into a cab home.  Then it was time to shop for the seminar.  we quickly gathered all we needed for a coffee break and lunch and headed to Dayspring.  A nice salad , rice and roast chicken.

then as soon as lunch was cleaned up, it was more meetings and more kids looking for help.  

This morning Emma has a few more kids she is watching before and after school.. I think they are spending the night as well.  As soon as they were of to school , we went to the bazaar to meet up with Oksana , a young girl we have also been working with for about 4 years . 

she is in the process of moving to Russia to live with an Aunt.  The last couple months she has been with her Babushka.  Babushka is on a small pension, and could not look after her.  Her sponsor asked if we could please take her shopping before she left.  

Her Babushka came along because she wanted to meet us. She started to cry as soon as she saw us and thanked us so much for all the help in the past.  and she tried to explain how difficult it was for her knowing Oksana  was in an orphanage and there was nothing that she could do. She herself had grown up in an orphanage, and she said she knew how bad that was, but she had nothing better to offer. 

We told them that we had $50 to spend, and that we would stand back so the store owner would not see us and when she got the deal, then tell us and we would pay it.  Well once again we stand amazed.. she was awesome, better then I have ever seen... Boy did she have fun , and the deals beyond belief 

so amazed, that we even asked her if she would like to be our designated shopper for when we have others to shop for.  We told her that we could even pay her to shop for us to help her out a bit.  She was thrilled , but insisted that she would gladly do it for free...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

what now ?

After the last few dinner posts, you are probably wondering what kind of delicacy we had tickling out taste buds today .. you are not going to believe this one... to see for yourself , 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Out of the frying pan ......

We were invited out for supper again tonight , Tonight it was to the home of a wonderful Dungan family we know from the village .   They were actually one of the families that approached us so long ago to help bring water to the village.     It was another wonderful meal... almost as good as last nights Duck.   I wish we could have eaten more.. but we were all just so full, but we did ask if it would be OK to bring some home for Bekah as she is at school and we know she would miss such a feast .  

Translation verses Interpretation

We often think of it as the same thing ... Translation or Interpretation, but we have come to realize that there is a big difference, and there are times when both are needed.  

Translation is a literal translation of what is being said.  but Interpretation is when the concept is understood and put into terms that the other person would understand.   

Take for instance when today Julie sent Izada to the store for soda for us to drink... it was translated ,not Interpreted 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Difficult Decisions

Every day we face some tough choices that we have to make .. like today for instance, we were out for lunch with a family that we had helped, and they made a special dish for us 

specially sculpted sheep innards  
made in the image of a duck 

so the decision ... would we like to eat it now ? or take it home with us to share it with Emma and Bekah

We decided it would not be fair of us to keep this all to ourselves, so we proudly brought it home for supper tonight 

We had a wonderful visit, and are looking forward until the next time we get together...  Maybe next time they can come to our house and I can cook for them.. though it will be hard to top today's meal... if the girls don't come home early enough for supper maybe I will freeze it and bring it back to Canada as a special gift for our new pastor.... if I can get it past Canada Customs .  

this and that

We started the day yesterday with a three hour drive up into the mountains on the road to Talas.  There we were met by friends that had prepared a feast for us.  This family is a blessing to us, they are always looking for ways that they can show us His favor.  They new that we had a very buisy start to our trip, and wanted to provide for us a relaxing day.  We began with a snack and tea in a beautiful garden of a friends Dalsha  cottage    

after lunch , we all gathered out tushucks  thin mattresses   and went for a little walk into the pear orchard behind the garden.  a spectacular view, and a beautiful day .. great for an afternoon nap.

Bekah started performing for Julie when they wee playing with the camera.. for Bekah's sake I will not post the corresponding video.... yet hahaha

After a nap , we went back down to the guarden where they had prepared supper for us.. Only one other time have I had  pork chops this good , and that was the last time that Murat made them for us .

It was such a wonderful relaxing day ... Now the ride home was another story, poor Jengish driving us .. it was like a game of frogger , except you only get one life... He drove and I was his spotter as we worked our way through the maze of drunks and bad drivers along the top of Bishkek.

We had Jyldyz here last night , and we are still working on getting her set up for this school year .  But things are coming along, and it looks like everything will work out , just a little bit of leg work will be needed to set things up for her.

This morning , Aigoola was over to sign the paper work for her micro loan .  Cash in hand she is now on her way to Bishkek to arrange the delivery for the new sewing tomorrow.

The loan is provided through friends of Possibilities International, and will be a real blessing to Aigoola's family.
what does this loan mean ?

Aiperie will be able to come back from the city and be able to work from home , Aigoola will be able to work from home rather then the job she has now that requires her to be on her feet all day and is very difficult for her.  and thats not all .. Baktagools sister Jasgool will be moving in at Aigoola's house and work with them as well .. this is such a great solution for everyone .

We are now on our way for lunch with a girl that we helped to get a prosthetic arm for as well as a computer for her studies... more photos to follow