Monday, April 29, 2013

wisdom strength and resources

This morning we met up with our friend Nurbek.  He asked us to go visit a family that he knew of that needed some help.  The kids are too old for the food program at the agency that he works for , but his boss had suggested that he talk to us.  

This home is a single lady that moved here from the Ukraine to work with children .  She has 2 orphaned girls that she looks after .    Along with possible food support from time to time, they are starting to look at the girls future.  They would like to go to a technical school here in Tokmok.  That will be about 10 000 som each for the year ( $208 each ) 

Right now they are looking after this apartment for the owner who will be back from Russia soon, then they will be moving to the " Dorms "   and by dorms they are not talking about the University dorms.. they are talking about some row houses with one or two rooms and shared out door toilet and water .

At this point, one of the main things that these girls have going for them is a woman that has stepped up to the plate to care for them and raise them as her own.   They are both lovely young girls , and could have a very bright future , they just need a little help.   

Today we brought them a big bag of potatoes and carrots , as well as flour , rice, oil, kasha' buckwheat, sugar,  tea, soup base,  and a few other things I can't remember right now ....We just hope and pray that we are able to help them more in the future 

We also got a call from a family we have worked with in the past .. you may remember our old cart driver from the bazaar that died a couple years back. We had been helping them keep their son in school.  Well we had lost track of the wife and son over the winter  and had no idea where they had moved to.  They are now in Bishkek, and the son is pushing a cart at the big bazaar in Bishkek. The mother had broken her leg, and had to have pins put in.. now she needs another operation, and they just can't swing it, and called to see if we could help her.  Her first quote came in around $700, but she called around and found a Dr ( the neighbour of her sisters husband ) the can do it for $450.   We will try to get her to another Dr and see what he says .. 

Another family we went to visit has a young boy with Cerebal palsy .. we helped them with Drs bills when Andy was here .. we brought them more Vitamins today ..  They are doing well, They have found a closer Dr, but since the Dr is on their other side of Tokmok, they have to pay for the treatments .. they are about $20 each time, so he has not had treatments for a little while . 

Our young friend Muksat had good news at the Dr, it turns out that his condition is not in need of surgery, but a result of stress.  when we dug deeper we found that in a few weeks he will not have a place to stay.  He will be going too school in the city in the fall and can live in a dorm in September, but for the summer he needs to find a place to stay for he and his sister/cousin .. 

2 of Aigula's kids have turned 16 and need to get there in country passports now.. the problem is that their father died with out documents , so he does not have a death certificate, and there is no way for the kids to get there documents with out the death certificate , so the only way is to pay the right person to make it for them .. about $200 .. which is about $200 more then I have for this . 

We are still trying to get the playground started out at the orphanage and in the village .   But we are getting bogged down with just so many other needs like the examples I just gave . 
We keep telling ourselves that we can only do what we can do,  The tempting thing to do is to just stay inside and not answer the door.. but that's not doing what we came to do -  hahaha..  

In half an hour, I will be going to give swimming lessons, ( that got postponed until tomorrow) then back by 7 to cook supper for four kids from the University that we have been helping( it turned into 13 in total, with 3 more for dessert) We have heard that they are almost out of food , so we picked up 2 of everything when we were shopping for the other family, so we can send them home with food as well . 

Bekah is down to the wire for school ... just 2 days left .. she is excited, but has lots of work to do in those 2 days  plus a couple exams to study for . 

Please pray for wisdom strength and resources for us all . 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Special dinner guests

getting ready for a house full of special guests

Baktagool and Bekah loved it .. but got bumped from the table .. over crowding

they told us that the kids started at 6 am asking when they are coming to our house .

they brought the cake 

we brought the Baklava.. then served it with ice cream and maple syrup 

I can't count the number of times that these ladies have cooked for us out in the village , it was nice to treat them today 

the children were so well behaved, and loved the colouring time while we had coffee

 we started out showing them photo's of us making maple syrup.  but they were very interested in seeing pictures from some of our journeys to visit friends , sponsors and family 
It was a really nice evening ,  we will be going to there place for Easter next weekend. ( Easter is a little later here ) .  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

We are ready for you !

Another busy day today .  Emma went out to Red river orphanage to pick up her boys and bring them in to Tokmok for a program at the park,and an opportunity for one of the boys to spend some time with his sister at Dayspring.

Mean while the rest of us along with one of Bekah's friends got busy deep cleaning and some minor renovations to an apartment that we will be using as another guest apartment .  it will be full from the 9th of may until the middle of the summer , then again all fall.    It was a lot of work and we are all a little  sore , but its really coming along .  

Bekah and Akyl beating the carpets

Just like baseball

Each bedroom has a single bed and a bunk bed and a desk 

this room is especially nice with a view out the back  of a lush full  4 foot pot plant 

living room floors bleached and scrubbed , and new wall paper and border , lots of seating and a table with phone and Internet leading out to the balcony  

the balcony will be a great place to set up a table and chairs .  Bekah even took apart all the windows and cleaned between the glass . 

a few plants , pictures from the mens home , and some carpets from Red river orphanage ....

the neighbours saw us working all day and even gave Bekah some candies and pastries 

theme for the kitchen ... sunflowers

we are going to finish putting up pictures and decorate with things that the kids in the orphanages have made us over the years .

so taking a look at the new digs , how about coming for a short term missions trip ... we would love to host you.

on the way home , Julie and I grabbed a cab, and by the time the others got back to the apartment , I had a nice roast beef dinner ready as a reward for all the hard work ... I love my pressure cooker. 

and special news ... Davina finally lost her front tooth tonight .  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thank you that you are not afraid of us !

Thank you that you are not afraid of us ... these are the words that our friend Feda said to a family that we had visiting a few years back.     It has been a long time that we have been friends, and this spring when we got to the mens home , he was not there .
 Today we were reacquainted when we went with Larisa to see a home for the disabled that until now we have not had access to .      There is a new director there , and he had heard about the work that we have been doing in the area, and then after introductions and a Little visit , the Dr came in , right away she was excited to see us.  she had known us from the mens home, and began to tell the director all about us, and our connection to Larisa and our willingness to help Larisa 

He gave us a tour of the home .  It was built in 1931, and houses 230 men and women .  The grounds are well kept, the rooms are exceptionally clean and the men and women are clean and cared for .  

Julie picked up her camera to get a photo of the director and I and that's all it took for this flash mob. 

Its amazing the JOY that comes from a simple touch or even eye contact . 

this is the TV room in the section for those that can not walk 

they have some very savearly disabled in this section, but again they were clean and well cared for .

this young boy is 24 years old and has spent his life in bed ,  I have no doubt it would be awesome to be able to work with him and get him up and out side for a bit, but with the limited resources they have , they are doing an incredible job

everyone was very excited for the little attention that we could pay to them ..

they have someone that has been bringing them about 15 wheel chairs a year for the last few years .. another 180 and everyone that needs one will have one 

Feda is getting a shave 

Larisa had brought Feda some juice and Samsa's as a special treat .  He told us that he liked the mens home in iskra better , we asked him why.. and that this home seemed so nice .. his answer was simple to him ... " Larisa is there " 

John and the director out checking out the potatoes in the Garden 

This building is the directors dream project .. new windows and a new floor and they will have a large "Social rehab centre "  basically a big meeting room 

We had a great first meeting , and look forward to working more with them in the future... There are lots of places where we could make a real difference here with a comparatively small amount of money .. but most of all , there are people here that are just so happy that we are not afraid of therm .

Thursday, April 25, 2013

a short update ... what we are working on now

Lots on the go right now ,

Emma and Baktagool spent the day in Bishkek with Jengish today checking out possible universities for Baktagul for next fall.  Lots of possibilities .. as well tomorrow Olga will show her around to the possibilities here in Tokmok.

Today Olga was working on getting in country pasports for two of Aigoola's kids .. not so easy because there father died with out documents , so he can not get a death certificate , and with out that they can't get pasports .. its all a big mess ..

The last couple days Larisa and Tanya have been busy planting the guarden with the men at the mens home .

We managed to get our phone cut off today for non payment .. they moved the due date up to the 25th from the 1st .. so at 8 am we lost our service for non payment of about $1.07  

Julie has been going to Kyrgyze lessons at Acels each day , as well we have set up Acel to bring Maksat , one of the kids we help .. to the Dr for some isues he has been having

Tomorrow we are meeting with Larisa to go and visit some of the families that she works with , in perticular a young boy with Caribial Palsy that our friend Andy had helped with .  Then we will be going to visit a home for disabled in the Tokmok area that we have been trying to make conmtact with for a long time .  This is the place that many of our ki8ds go to right out of the orphanage if they have a disability .

As well we are geting a new guest apartement cleaned and set up for teams .  We have it booked already from the 9th of may until around the 20th of June, then again for three strait months this fall .

We have been getting ready to start a couple projects next week .. the windows for the Baby orphnage as well as the playground for the Ivonofka orphange / treatement centre .   The windows have been covered in full  .. so awesome .. but the playground although we have set a date to start, nothing has come in for yet.  

I discussed this with Bekah, and we have decided to partener with the playground .. I will find sponsors to do the repairs, and Bekah through  will try to sponsor the out door furnature for 20 kids . and our guest arriving on the 9th of may will be bringing the swing seats with him .  you can read more about that project at the link above or here on the blog back a few days .

Monday, April 22, 2013

plants for the mens home

We had Larisa and Tanya over this morning to plan a few dates .  We have a friend coming from Canada , and he does not know it yet but he is hosting several events hhahahah   one is a trip  to the mountains with the village .. there will be three bus loads of the village people .   another event will be  a celebration at the mens home when they get their new summer shoes.. those were a few of the many events we were working on , then it was off to the bazaar to pick up plants for the Mens home .  

900 Raspberry plants, the kind  that will produce berries all summer long
we also got 600 tomato plants, 400 Cabbage plants , and 250 pepper plants

we then decided that we should get plants for the staff at the mens home as well. .   Not only is this a nice gesture, but it may help to keep the plants IN the garden at the mens  home.   We found this couple with a few hundred of each. so we bought everything they had, and they got to go home early that day .. they were very excited .. then it turned out that they are  neighbours  of Dayspring . 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The roots are still there ....

It is not just the roots of this tree that have passed the test of time, but so has our dear friend Sergey and his wife Anya .   It was about 13 years ago that  this tree was cut down , and it was Sergey that did the cutting . 
It was at this very stump at that time that Sergey felt the call to serve the orphans and the widows.. He stoped what he was doing and went and quit his job to return full time to serve the least of  these.. he had no idea how he would support his family , but he knew this is where he was meant to be.  
upon returning to this stump to continue work, two amazing men showed up.. Ed Dickson and Mike Martin.  and the rest as they say is history.   It was at that time that Mike brought a team that put a playground in this orphanage / hospital  . 

Sergey at the stump

So let me tell you how that pertains to today's events .  

We had a few more mattresses and Vitamins to deliver to the director at the centre, as well as to meet with her about some of her needs . 

Emma and Sergey delivering Mattresses 

Emma and Sergey dropping off a 3 month supply of Vitamins 
 While talking with the new director, she shared that she would like to get some out side furniture as well as fix the playground.  She did not know that Sergey had been a big part of the playground coming in the first place .. but she shared that they have a great playground that would be so good for the kids to be in, but it was getting old and not safe right now.. She ask3ed if we could help to get it fixed .

We went out to take a closer look and to take some measurements ..  there are definitely a few places that need repair, like this shelter

New steps need to be poured 
maybe some new boards on the picnic table 

the top of the play centre needs a little help as well as some new seets for the swing . 

As I walked around this playground, and saw what needs to be done to restore it to its former condition, I could feel such a presence .. Here we have an opportunity to go back to where it all began for this ministry .. back to those roots that remain until this day .. I am not sure how, but I know we must .. and what an honor it will be to do it on behalf of those who broke ground before us ...
  We have committed to this project, and have told them that we will begin as money comes in , it will be an on going work in progress as the funds come in .   Hay Jeff, bring your work cloths for you

  so here is what is needed to make this safe and excessable  ..

- 20 plastic deck chairs
- 2  Large plastic tables
- 2 indoor out door carpets
- 7 gallons of paint / paint brushes etc.
- 90 feet of planks
- 8 swings
-3 wheel chairs
- 1 wheel chair swing
- Volley Ball net
- 1 volley ball, one basket ball
- sand for sand box
- 2 meters of cement

We are working on totals now, but expect that we cover everything  for about $1000 and a team of volunteers from here .

On our way back to Tokmok we could not help but stand amazed at the view of the mountains today .. they are so beautiful with the fresh snow .

If you were following the snail races from yesterday , here is a quick update ...  they are neck and neck at the half way point ...

We had our friend Andrei , the dire3ctor of the KaraKool orphanage over for a visit and to give him Vitamins as well .  

Tonight we were blessed to have our Godson and his wife over for supper.. we also picked up a stroller so that Julie can take their baby on walks now that he is old enough to go out .

I made stuffed peppers and salad with home made Ranch dressing ( from a package ) ... what a great way to end a busy day .