Thursday, November 29, 2012

waking up !

The last week has sure been a wash out for Julie and I , we are now struggling to get back at it.  I guess it became the perfect storm.  Three months with no down time, a  36 hour trip home , and an 11 hour time change .. all added up to the daze that we have been in.  
So much has continued while we have been traveling.  .  I guess the biggest thing is the pie challenge continues .  I have started getting emails from our friends in Kyrgyzstan wondering if we are going to be able to help them this year.    We will have to wait and see how things work out.  We are excited that Lynn and Ruby will be there this year and will be able to help the girls roll out the parties. 

the city has been without gas for the last week since we left, so that has left the girls without a stove .  Until today , Vlady brought them over a little hot plate ... now all is right in their world .  

In a couple weeks we are going to be on another adventure .  There are several families in the Orlando area that have been long time supporters of the work we do.  From the 10th until the 17th we will have an opportunity to get to know them better.  I think we will have a full schedule  but one special date , On the Saturday the 15th, we will be putting on a traditional Kyrgyz meal for everyone ... If anyone is or will be in the Orlando area and would like to join us , just drop me a line and I will get more information out to you .  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Patching broken hearts ! - Christmas pie challenge

Due to some technical difficulties and internet being down so much at the start of the pie challenge , we will be extending it until Nov 30th..  I know that it is so important that we dedicate more time to this event. there are so many that are depending on us .  I want to tell you a few stories...
     When Andy was here, he visited the blind society with Talant ,  there they met up with the director.  When Andy asked what his biggest needs were,  he was told that they are very concerned about Christmas   All of these kids and no one has any resources , day to day living is next to impossible for many of them, and there is no way that these kids will e able to have Christmas..   They said that they had had help other years from a wonderful donor who helps them, but they never know from one year to the next if the funding will come threw and they are so scared that it might not come this year.     That donor that he is talking about is us ... You and me .. we are the HOPE for this precious community.

   We went to Slavics orphanage to pick up Slavic and some of his friends to go to the mountain , It was a holiday and many of the kids were away, Those that were left were the kids that have no one.  When we arrived , a few of the other boys wanted to come along,  We said that would be great , but the director was not there , so the man in charge was a little concerned until the other workers all began to tell him who we were , and more then once I herd them bring up the Christmas parties .. Those parties  became the key  As soon as he heard that , there was no question , and we piled a few more Eager kids into the car ...  And  boy were they happy...   I realized that the re-pore that we have with many of the orphanages is as a result of events like the Christmas parties... I also realized what it means to these boys ..  They were left because maybe no one cares about them Maybe the last time anyone came for them was last Christmas ....

I shared before about the time I was bringing one young boy to the Dr;s and all the way there he told me about the people that came to his orphanage last Christmas and broung them all gifts, and how every person got something , and how special that was to him ,He told me all about thew party , then showed me the gift he got , 4 months later and he was still caring it with him .  I was doing the math in my head, and turned to Sergey and said "Wow thats a lot of money , this is fantastic , who did that "  he smiled and said YOU DID...   that's right   This is the kind of lasting impact we are having , not just a little fun and excitement for one day, but HOPE that carries these kids for months to come .

Then I think of the young boy I spent time with last night .. He is new to the orphanages , he has been alone on the street and has had such a hard life.  He is the boy that hugged me and said  " Thank you that you love me "   I doubt he has ever experienced a Christmas when he knew someone cared about him .. This Christmas he will .

That same young man drew a photo for Andy a couple weeks ago , and said .. "this is me now "...  

I think that is what this whole pie challenge is about .. it's not just about a gift or a few bottles of Vitamins , it is about taking a moment and applying a patch to a broken heart ...
  If we truly stop and think of it lake that .. $10 really can change the life of a child.. it can patch a broken heart ... Please take a moment and donate right now to the pie challenge so that we can continue to show Gods love to the children of Kyrgyzstan.

Just love us

When you allow your self to be fully invested in the lives of the people around you, Good bye is always difficult.   Brooke has been here with us for about six weeks, coming with one goal,  to be a blessing to the people of Kyrgyzstan.    From the start , Brooke said she was open for anything and everything, just put her to work.   
The first week , we brought Brooke with us around the valley and introduced her to everyone, the second week, she had her scheduled and she was busy at it ... Seniors home, Baby orphanage , Bacute, the TOEFL center , and teaching English at Olga's Learning Center .  They have all come to LOVE Brooke, and I know she loves them . 

Last week we began winding down and saying good bye's .. Its always hard. Brooke came away from the seniors saying " That will be the hardest because this is all the future has for them "   then she said good bye at the baby orphanage .. she said  " This will be the hardest because I can't take photos of these kids to remember them "  Today she said good bye to the Bacute kids . I can only imagine  what she is going to say when she has time to process the emotions.  

We had such a fun time with them all tonight . 

They had prepared a very special meal for us .. "Giuru Gunfun "  It is actualy one of my favorite dishes here . 

  I have said how difficult it can be to say good bye..We are getting a little better at it, and the kids all know us and know that we are coming back so things don't get so emotional..  But every now and then you are caught off guard. 

   As we were leaving tonight , one of the newer boys came right out to the car with us , and at the front gates gave me a big hug, and said .. " Thank you that you Love Me"   .. 

That is what it's all about .. if it was just for that , we know that this trip has been a success.  If only all that we come into contact with would feel and understand that someone loves them . imagine going through life not knowing or not feeling that you were loved.  We have another girl staying with us here, and today we sat down with her and explained the house rules..  The rules were not the emotional part , it was the fact that someone cared about her enough to have rules .. that someone actually cared...Over and over we see this , and again I come back to our first trip here , to a defining moment in what we do... We asked Acel , How can we best help the Kyrgyz people , and her reply was profound "Just love us " 


If you remember our young friend that was bride napped . She is doing much better now.  After a few weeks in and out of the hospital, she is on the mend..  She is ready to start school again.  We have half of her tuition in now , and jsut need another $100 for her .  Today She came into town to meet up with Sergey and Anya to get a new winter coat and boots.  

We have a rule .. never leave home with out your Camera .. It was a good thing as Julie managed to find a new kind of toilet.. you would think that by her age, there would be nothing new when it comes to toilets, but this one takes the cake ... The big question is HOW DO YOU USE IT ....

We had a nice visit with our good friends Mirat and Mirash .  They are always a blessing to us , and we appreciate our time together .  They are already making plans for April when we return .

This morning we went shopping for some product for Altynai's family to help them through the winter .  

Rice , flour, pasta, oil, yest , potatoes , onions and carrots.  There apartement has the heat on now and they are nice and warm . 

Next stop was to see Larisa's mom.  We had a special present from us.  She has difficulty with her legs, and we found a nice little space heater .  It looks like a fire place and has a fake flame , and gives off a lot of heat .  It will be perfect for her .. Bucket was more impressed then any one ..

For lunch today we had Baktagools sister here with her new husband.  She was married 10 days ago.  We could not go with out letting him know that she is loved and is a special girl.. I seems like a nice young man , and yes we will e the meddling in laws...   They seem ok with that .. April when we get back, he is going to take me fishing for the big ones ...

Funny how with in minutes of Bekah's birds wings being clipped, he became a happy friendly bird... there should be a message in that for the rest of our kids ...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Update on some friends new home

Tonight we went back to visit the family with the apartment full of mold .  It is finished now.  Vlady and Joe did a great job.  Apart from the smell of new paint, the apartment is awesome , and is ready for them to begin to make it a home .

The kitchen has been totally cleaned and renovated.  Just needs a few furnishings  .

In the bathroom, the water has been fixed, the tub has been resurfaced, and check out the water heater .  Vlady built it out of the old gas heater from Aigoola's house that did not work anymore ... works now . 

They even have the curtains up in the living room .. what a difference... The boy told his mom  " Now we can live like real people "  Well done Millbrook .

Later tonight Aiperie came by to visit, and to drop off some of the dresses that we had ordered from her .

Roof racks are on !

Last night we had a bunch of the boys from the University over for a party for Bekah's birthday  
They had a great time .

This morning Vlady came over to help me put roof racks on the car.  I found a used set really cheep, but they needed to be made a little bigger for the car.   When he was done he said to me " John maybe you not put more then 900 lbs on them "  It made me think of a Volga I saw a couple days ago. 

Today we have a meeting at the Toyful center to transfer a few of our English kids over while we are gone . 
As well , Brooke is taking Olga to the school supply store to get some supplies from a donation she had from the Rotary Club.    Later in the day we will be going out to the micro district to see the appartement that we helped to renovate .. it's finished now.,  as well we are going to go see Aerofot ( young boy we helped with cleft pallet surgery a few rears ago ) and his family tonight .  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Slavic's Birthday party

 It was a great day with Slavic and his buddies .. Today he turned 15 years old.  .  What a blessing to be with him on this special day .  It could have been so much different ....

   Now we need to tidy up and get ready for the next party .. Bekah's birthday party is now and all her friends from the University here in Tokmok are on their way over .

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Let the dinner parties begin

Today we had some special guests .  The first was from a lovely young girl and her mother.  Last year , one of our sponsors helped her to get a new arm and a computer for her classes   It was so nice to spend a little time with them,  They are the family that made us the beautiful duck from sheep guts ... 

Kola stopped by for a visit ,  Its always great to see him, he is a special young man , and we are always blessed to spend time with him.

For supper we were invited to another great family's home .  After finishing University, we helped them for month while they were waiting for a place to stay .  We had such a good time with them , and we look forward to working together in the future..

Tomorrow we have a big day planed .. we are picking up Slavic and about 8 or 10 of his friends and having them over for a birthday party for him,  I don't imagine he has had many in his life,  but we are looking forward to letting him know how special he is ... I made one of my famous wash tub Lasagna's for lunch ... big enough to feed an army ....
 After his party, we are having a party for Bekah,  its her birthday the day we leave, so we will have a bunch of her student friends over for supper.. It's going to be a very busy day ..but fun...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lots to do before we go

Yesterday we struck out early to get coal delivered.  We are still hoping and praying for coal money , but right now it is cold and the need is too great so we have had to wait a bit .  I just decided that we could wait no longer for the coal for Larisa's mom and the people she supports .. I called Blair to see if he wanted to go with us .. he said yes, and that he had a sponsor that wanted to help with that .. what perfect timing .. Thank you Blair and thank you to your sponsor... As it was sliding out the back of the truck,  Larisa's mom turned to me and said " Can I share "

 Bekah's birthday is the day we go , and we needed to get her settled before we go.  For a long time Bekah has wanted a budgie , but we travel so much that we have not complied, but now that the girls have put down roots, we decided it was time.  Sergey found us someone that is planning to open a pet store in town, and she had some babies in her apartment .  This is the one we got her ... yet to be named ... any suggestions ?

Another thing needing to be taken care of is a few of the kids that we have here .. Like Baktegul that needed winter clothes.  Today we brought her to the Bazaar to get a winter coat and boots , and a new pair of jeans .

There are a few more girls we need to take care of before we go.  Baktaguls sister we had tried to help , we just found out that she got married last week.. From what we can figure out it was consensual, we will know more soon as Julie and Emma will be going to see her next week.   Two of the other girls we have been helping , including the young girl that was bride napped a few weeks ago, are wanting to go to school . It will be great for them to get back into school and get on with life.    It will be $400 to cover this .. as soon as we can come up with that, they will start school . Hopefully that will be before we leave next week . 

Another thing we realized is that if we are going to have fellowship with everyone that we need to see before we go, we need to double book lunch and supper until we go.   Tonight it was our friends from the south.  

The dinning room is starting to get a little small, so we had to eat in two shifts.. Women and Kids first then the guys in the second sitting . ROAST BEEF was the meal today , served  in a real Canadian fashion.

The funny thing about meat here is that it is the same price / kg no matter where it is from on the cow.. they think that the bone is the GOOD part.. and every piece of meat is chopped small and includes bones.  I went all over the bazaar and got rather frustrated trying to get some one to cut me a roast.  Finally I gave up and decided to just buy the big chunk of meat and cut my own roast out of it.    I picked out a piece, but it had this huge section of ribs attached ,  They looked at me like I was crazy, after I bought it , I borrowed his knife and removed all the bone... the best part, and put it into a separate bag... Just then Aerofots Dad came into the shop  ( the young boy we helped with a cleft pallet surgery a few years ago )   He dropped his bags and gave me a great big hug.  They had moved, and we had lost touch with them and had been trying to find them .. we had a nice visit , exchanged numbers, then I handed him a wonderful present...... a bag of prime rib bones .. Once again what could have been a stupid foreigner moment turned into an opportunity to be a blessing ... they were amazed that I would cut off the best part and give it away like that ... if only they knew ... hahaha

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Delivering coal today

this is not quite the 40 ton double trailer coal truck of previous years, but when you have  no coal, todays delivery is a welcome blessing  .  This will keep the frost off for a little while , but if you would like to be a part of helping us keep the heat on for so many in need , please let me know .  we need about $3500 to meet the need before the winter is over .

next stop to bring coal to Larisa's mom.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Birthday .. Truly Blessed

What a wonderful birthday . 

The highlight for me was helping a family so that they could get their children back from the orphanage .  We have worked with the orphanage Director and social services to help them out a little .  They just happen to be a family that Larisa has been working wit as well. in fact we had helped this mother with her operation in the spring .   Now they are on the mend and ready to start putting the pieces back together .. Every one that knows them , knows them as good caring parents... today , there are 3 less orphans in the world... thats got to make it a good day .

winter clothes and bedding .. check out their smiles .. it says it all

jammed in the van 

Andy playing with Jasmina 

a little visit to their home after shopping ... 

Dr Lagarov is a friend that is the head of Emergency here.  Today we brought him a bunch of medical supplies .. splints and bandages etc.    It was good to touch base with him, and looking forward to the fishing trip we have been talking about for the last couple years ... Maybe in April... 

then off to Bacute to drop of Vitamins for them, and make planes for supper 

when we got to Red river with the Vitamins, they were waiting there with a Birthday gift for me ..

We left the next batch of vitamins to get them through the next 3 or 4 months 

then it was back to Bacute for supper ,, They asked what a Canadian birthday tradition was .. we told them it was supper with family and friends.. and thats what we were doing there tonight ... The kids had all made cards for us .. what a blessing to spend time with them

Julie had smarties for them all.. because "Every child deserves a box of smarties some time in their life "

then it was back to the apartment  for cake and coffee with our friends ... 

Lots of smiles , lots of laughter and lots of tears as we all celebrated our friendships  .. we are truly blesses .. I am truly blessed