Friday, May 31, 2013

More Packing

This morning we went through all the Crayola stuff that we received, and re packed out of the cases and into the hockey bags .. some for us and some for the next teams coming .. Some great stuff ,  lots of really cool birthday gifts for the kids and lots of craft projects we can do with the larger groups of kids . 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

home safe and sound

Emma and Bekah were excited yesterday to visit with there new nephew Eli .  We went out for supper with Benjamin and Rachel and the kids yesterday .. Jonah was not sure if he remembered them, but quickly warmed up.  It was nice for the girls to listen to all the stories from mom of everything that happened around town while they were away .  

   Our front porch is a transfer zone for all things Kyrgyzstan.  The last of the items made it over with our friend Jeff a few weeks ago. But thanks to our friends over at Crayola, the porch is full again.  cases and cases of awesome stuff.. as well as several other smaller donations that came in while we weer away.. one package in particular that we opened today has about $300 worth of blood test strips.  These are like gold for Dr Tatyana as they are almost impossible to get or afford in KG.   
   We have started sorting and packing , my guess is that we have about 8 bags .. good thing we have so many teams joining us this fall.   
    Bekah has lost a lot of weight and Emma has given most of her clothes, so after we get the bags packed we will go into the town to the second hand store and see what we can find . 
   We also have to prepare for a 6 am meeting tomorrow with the Rotary Club that has sponsored so much work at the baby hospital.  We have just a few more days left to get a grant proposal submitted to Rotary international for the next hospital project .  It is such an encouragement to have  a great group of Rotarian's so eager to help. 
   This Sunday morning  I will be sharing at the Norwood Pentecostal church in the 11 am service ..
Then next weekend is the golf tournament . If you are not registered yet, let me know and I can help with that .   

Sunday, May 26, 2013

On the road again

 Once again I went to see what photos we had from today, and found that most of them are from special dreams and projects that we were getting finished up for LAMb and Possibilities International before we go.  There is however a photo or two that we can show you from today.  Emma does a monthly birthday at Bacute orphanage, and today we had two birthdays to celebrate.  

The puzzle was from Emma , the shirt he just happened to have on 

We are now packed up and just about ready to go, final instructions have been given , Acel and family are ready to move in in the morning and take over as house parents for our Kyrgyz girls.  Arrangements have been mad to keep the bills paid, and several projects continue while we are away .. 

  We had a great couple of months ,  We began this trip on a high with an incredible team from Ohio.  They spent a little over a week pouring into the lives of so many of the kids that we support  here as well as our friend that we work with .  It is such a great thing when we are able to connect in such a meaningful way 

Along with dealing with several medical issues , and dental concerns, we had a lot more on the go .. we ended up with almost 50 kids sponsored in one way or another this last year, and every one of them made it to the end of the year .. not something to take lightly when life can be so difficult . 
  A few big physical projects we completed this spring like  new doors and windows at the baby orphanage,  walls repaired at one of the small orphanages in Tokmok, the playground rebuilt at the Ivonofka children's treatment centre, and the playground started in East Iskra .  
  We also had many great days where we were able to make real connections with the people.. many trips to the mountains with groups and individuals , hundreds of Samaritans purse boxes given out in several different outings ,  concerts , summer shoes given out in orphanages, food drops in orphanages and institutions , new mattresses and blankets for the orphanages and the list goes on. 
   One of the highlights for us was to have a retreat in the mountains with our friend Jeff and our Kyrgyzstan team .. Truly a time of encouragement for us all . 
  We have Identified a few projects that we would like to work on when we return in the fall with teams . 
    This summer , Jengish will be working with a local police force as they begin the construction of a new community centre and homeless shelter , we are working on a plan to provide school counseling and help with documents , as well as the possibility of a small medical clinic that our friend Dr Tatyana can work from a few days a week ... so much potential, and we have just the right people for the job . 
   We have plans in place for more work at the baby orphange.  they have many small needs that add up to a huge need for them .. we are hoping to locate sponsors for these needs as well as a larger sponsor that would like to help us build a small waiting room so that families with small kids do not have to wait in the hall and outside in the elements waiting to be seen . 
   Out in the village we would like to continue with the construction of a playground where the kids will be safe. As part of this project, we will put a shipping container converted into a small office and large class room that can be used as a small comunity centre and classes for a half day kinderguarden type program ... documents and licences are all in place for this , and we have begun work already . 
   We are ready to begin the next stage of the Bio Diesel plant this fall.  We will build a hydroponic green house on the side of the plant so that we can capture the warm high nutrient water and the excess heat and use them to grow fresh produce for the orphanages  and institutions all winter.  
   We have over 50 students that will be needing some sort of support next fall as well... Many are working this summer so that they can return to their studies ion the fall, but many will still require some form of assistance if they are going to be able to continue. 
   Here is one more project that |I will leave you with to think about while we are traveling back to Canada ... 
I don't know how many of you remember these kids .   They are some of the many kids that are in orphanages that would like to go to summer camp again this year .     We have Identified about 50 kids that we have been asked to assist this year .  for  one month, complete with food, accommodations , transportation and activities for 50 kids will be $2000.  

So much accomplished, but so much left to do .. We are so excited about all the possibilities ...   Thank you to every one that had such a big part in all that was accomplished, and another thank you to everyone who is considering how they can help us this summer .    
  We will be back on like in a few days ... 
blessings   John, Julie , Emma and Bekah , and our entire Kyrgyzstan contingent .

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Second last day before returning to Canada

What a great thing it is to see our Friends reap the rewards of so much hard work.   We are so proud of them .

New family moved into the parking spot beside mine .. 
   We have had a busy day packing and doing some last minute shopping to get the house stocked up for while we are away .   Acel and Talant and family will be moving in to our apartment tomorrow , and will be helping Baktagool and Camalla for the summer .   This is great because Acel will be able to help get them enrolled in school for the fall and the girls will be able to stay put for the summer .  Also Emma will leave her phone with Acel so that Acel can stay in touch with all he kids .

My friend Murat came with us to the mountains today for a fair well BBQ, and the best pork chops ever 
Jengish and Bekah tossing cashews  into each others mouths 

perfect shot

Thursday, May 23, 2013

we don't wind down when we go .. we wind things up

This morning Julie and I were delivering medications to Dr Tatyana , as well as discussing a project we are working on that I will tell you about in a minute .  First I want to tell you about a really great program that we are going to come behind Dr Tatyana on. 

Many of the out lying villages rely on Nurse practitioners.  They visit the remote villages, and have nothing more then a stethoscope many times .  Dr Tatyana is starting to set up a program the will provide these Dr's and Nurses with a personal hand help EKG machine, and an Oxygen monitor and the training of how to use them .  The cost to purchase, deliver and train will be $225  .. this will be such a blessing to so many to be able to get this kind of equipment into the remote locations . We will ad this to our on going  areas of support for anyone that would like to be a part of this blessing .

So more exciting news .  We were at the regional police station today to meet with a new friend about a project that he is working on .  In a few weeks they will begin the construction of a community centre on the grounds of the police station.  As well as a youth centre, they will have many services , including a homeless shelter.  We have offered Jengishes services , and this was met with enthusiasm  The big news is that they have agreed to include a small clinic in the centre , and Dr Tatyana has agreed to provide clinic hours there one full day and 2 half days a week .. this will go along way to provide services to those who need it most .. a great way to reach out to the hurting ...  

We have discussed several other areas that we can work together , when I mentioned Larisa , it was pointed out that They knew Larisa well, and he was excited to have  an opportunity to come along side her as well .  As projects develop , I will keep you posted .  But it looks like Jengish may have a busy summer ahead of him .

Next stop was to the mountains .  We have agreed to assist with  small micro loan for a family in the mountains .. They are very industrious .. they look after bees with Vlady, as well as the potato fields where we have grown potatoes for the orphanages in the past .  They are wanting to build a small cow shelter.  They asked Vlady to bring us to there home for a meal and to see the location.  So after driving up into the mountains for nearly an hour, we got out of the car to continue the journey .. Julie was impressed ....
so what do you think is going to happen when  that whip finds the back side of the horse

the best honey ever comes from these hives 

I think we found  front end of the antelope that we served our guests last fall 

More bees 

our kids came for the trip 

shashleek on the grill

you don't get much more remote then this, but with a solar panel,  they had many of the comforts of home 

this is the view from the outhouse 

this is the view up the mountain on the other side of the house 
We are home now, it's 10:45 pm, and Bekah and Camala are out helping a young guy from the university who is sick and having some heart troubles.. You could pray that this young man settles, and tomorrow morning we will have hime to see Dr Tatyana as well. 

I must say that life here is never dull .. Tomorrow is a new day with lots of new things on the horizon ... stay tuned 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

another beautiful day in Tokmok serving the people we love

We have had a lot of rain the last few nights here , and as a result, the air is so clean and the sky is clear.  Today we could see clear down to the end of the valley .

and the roads just seem to run strait into the mountains 

 Today we had a few more student packs that we were handing out .  the packs today were mostly to students we heard were in need , ones that do not know anything about us.  They were so full of emotions when we gave them the food .. they did not know what to say or do, some just stood there and latterly shook they were so thankful and overwhelmed .  What we gave them today was not just some little bonus to them, but to them , God had just performed a miracle .. it is always so cool to be part of something like this .. There are a lot of heart aches here , but opportunity to be used like this is indescribable , and makes the tries all seem so small ..if only for the moment.   

A few days ago we are out for supper at the home of a young couple we had helped in the past.  The mother and father we have known for many years from the village where we brought water to.  The had both gotten TB and their kids were in an orphanage .   After they got out of the hospital, they were not able to get their kids back because they had lost the summers work, and could not afford to get there home ready for winter with the kids.   With the help of Andy from Give First Ministries,  we were able to get there little one room home ready for winter , and cloths for the kids so that they could come home , and be a family again.  Its bad enough when there are orphanages full of kids, but when those kids have good loving parents that want to care for them,, but have just had the stuffing knocked out of them by life... It breaks your heart.  It was so great to be able to help to put this family back together again, and it was more then obvious to us that it was the right decision when we were at there home for supper.  

While there last week , the mother of the young man said something that I have not been able to shake.  She said that her son had been building there home when he got sick, and now he does not have the strength to do the heavy lifting to continue the home .  As I looked around, I saw that we were sitting on the foundation of the new home, and that there were many of the building materials needed to build the home around the yard.  

When we stoped today I spoke with Fatima about this , she said that yes he is not strong enough now to lift, so he has been working longer hours, and they have been buying sheep as a way of saving up so that they can hire someone to finish the home .. I shared with her that this has been bugging me for the last week , and I told her that we have another family that we try to help out, ( many of you know them as Jessica's family ) and that he is a very good block layer, and can do lots of other construction work as well.    I asked her if I was able to find a sponsor, could we hire our friend to work with her husband to get the home built. 

   I was not sure how she would feel , it is a cultural thing here in some families that the husband is build there first home himself.. but she was very open to this idea.. in fact she was thinking about asking if we could help them, but was afraid to ask , especially since they were having us for supper , they did not want us to think that is why they had invited us ...

We told her that we can not promise anything at this time , but just wanted her permission before we started looking for others to help.  For me the first and biggest step is to acknowledge when God is speaking to me ... now I just need to pray and to step back and wait for God to speak to some of you.. and when it all comes together , it will be something special... being able to be a blessing to two families at the same time , and doing our part to keep them together and 7 kids out of the orphanages 

After the revolution , we helped a few other families that were in a desperate situation.  In helping them, We came to experience the greatest peace, and love that I have ever experienced.  Such terrible situation was thrust on them , yet they had so much love to share .  Over the years we have become good friends .  Our family is by far the benefactor of this friendship..   Today we had supper with them to see and to celebrate the new home that they have ,. it has been a long battle for them, but God has restored to them what the devil had taken .. and once again we came away feeling honored ,and  blessed .. 

this is one of those days where as we travel around in the midst of what could be seen as sorrow and tragedy ,  we experienced examples of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, 

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  .

. today we experienced them all

Getting ready for Children's day

Yesterday afternoon I took a drive out to Orlofka with my friend Nurbek .  We were bringing money for a children's day celebration to Vera at the centre. As well we brought her photos printed out of every child receiving their Samaritans purse boxes last week .. well over 200 photos... A gift from our friends Victoria and Beth  ( the Royals )   We will be away for children's day this year, we will miss it by 3 days .   It is always a really big day here, and we enjoy being part of the celebration ,  especially with all the work done at the different orphanages .. new windows, walls and foundations repaired, the playground re built... all things that will be front and centre at the celebrations .  Whats great is that this will give more opportunity to have the great people we work with here in the foreground.   On our way back, we passed the home of a family we have been helping through Larisa for 6 years .

   A father and his small son and daughter live there .. the mother died 6 years ago, and the father is a field worker , and works so hard to look after his kids .   It takes him an hour to walk to work each day , and then works a 12 hour day before returning home . He does not drink or smoke , he lives to care for his kids.   He has friends and people like Larisa help him with the kids .  They are really good kids, always polite and clean, and the house and garden are well maintained .  Usually when I stop we only see the kids as the father is at work.  At the last minute, I quickly pulled over and went in to see them , I had a bag in the car with all the makings for Ploff, so I brought it in for them . The father was home today.. He was so glad to see us .  He took me around to his beautiful garden and asked if he could please give me some flowers .. I politely declined .. he then said "Please , for your wife"... then with great care he put together a small bouquet for her .

This is a family with so little , but yet they were able to put together such a beautiful gift,  cut and arranged with love... and hey, it can't  hurt when I arrive home with flowers ... as my friend Ron would say..."Brownie points" 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not such a dark day when the Son is shining,

Rainy days like today , they have a Russian saying for .. " черный день" which means a dark day... but when you add a little Son into the day , all you see is the light .  and that is what happened 
for 20 students today . 

We had bags of rice from when Jeff was here , and Bekah and her friends at iam1ru took a gift of plain rice , and went exceedingly and abundantly more then could have been asked or imagined.    It was fun to see how excited Bekah and Camala were to be able to help these students like this .  It is the end of a long year, and these kids need the little extra food to finish strong. 

The day started with a trip to the bank machine 

Bekah and Camala in the back of the car 

ordering packages of carrots, garlic and onions 

Candy , soup base, Calbasa , tomato past ,

Sugar and oil 

we then found a place in the bazaar under the canopy that was not being used .. 

we set up an assembly line and made packets right there in the market 

then started deliveries

our friend Vataly will hand them out to the kids in the dorm when they get home from school.

two more apartments with about 8 students between them 

some kids were harder to find then others .. Bekah has been getting names from the University as they find kids in need , so we don't know them all personally.. but we know there is a need ... imagine the excitement when a hungry student gets a call from some one they don't even know , asking them where they are so they can get a food pack .  I always say that the miracles can be found in the unexpected more then the expected .  

another student found 

one girl was in class, but sent her family out to meet us to get her families pack

700 lbs of packets delivered .. now on our way home .what a beautiful day today as the Son shines .

Monday, May 20, 2013

11th hour .. needs met

Another beautiful day today ... And once again we have witnessed God shining through .

Yesterday I posted about some needs as we come down to the wire . One in particular had a very sensitive time line, but today, God  moved and needs were met.

We met up with Kanjei, here beside Bekah ,   she was scheduled for surgery at 10 am , so we met up with her and her sister at the hospital to meet the Dr and pay for the operation .  

We also brought her some groceries for here time in the hospital.  

A special thank you on this one to everyone over at  for stepping in on this one and helping Kanjei 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Getting ready to go, and so much to do .

It always happens .. as we see the end of a trip in sight, with so much left to do , and the resources diminished .   I have learned in situations like this  to make the list , and then let the peace of God in....

 I can remember on my first trip to Central Asia, one of our friends who lived here told me that when things get overwhelming , just remember " If we start by doing what we can do, before you know it we will be doing what others said could not be done "  that has stuck with me over the years , and as we have trudged away at what we can , we have seen accomplished thing that others could not.  Even in the last week we have seen some amazing things accomplished . 

Last week we saw their completion of the new windows and doors at the Baby orphanage, we have fixed and repaired the walls and foundation at Bacute, and have seen the completion of the repairs and revitalization of the playground at Ivonofka  children's treatment centre  But that's just the tip of the iceberg.. other things have been accomplished at the same time .. things like 

-times of fellowship and encouragement with those working on the ground here 
-times of fellowship with many that we have worked with and supported in the past
-Samaritans purse boxes given out to over 200 kids 
-food drops to the seniors home and those living at the dump
-building community in the mountains
-new shoes for the men at the mens home 
-new ventilator for the baby hospital 
-birthday party with an intire orphanage 
-team retreat and encouragement at the hot springs 

we also had several meetings in the past week that will be great connections for the future work here in Kyrgyzstan .. people here in Kyrgyzstan making a difference, that we can come behind and support, like the local police building a homeless shelter and youth drop in centre,  a small mountain orphanage doing incredible things with the children they are supporting, along with a women's shelter for women and children,  We sat with this family to hear their heart and about the work that they are doing .. the first picture they showed us was the baby girl that they sponsor in Kenya, and showed us a photo of the  cow that they raised funds for and gave to her community when they were on a missions trip to Kenya last fall.  people that get it !

 We are now on the home stretch for this trip.  still with so much to accomplish .  a couple things that we need to get started before we go, just praying that the funds will come in .  things like the wife of my friend Joldosh who passed away last year going for surgery tomorrow , but we still do not have the money .. I have to bring $300 to the hospital in the morning .. I guess it will b an 11th hour thing... Another project we would like to get started before we go is the fence and the first swing set materials for the playground in the village .  All the documents are in place and they are ready to begin work .  The entire village is behind it and prepared to do the work and look after the children there .   our plan is to even have a small classroom / community center there as well, but for now if we can just get a start so that they can continue the excitement .

one of the kids waiting for a playground 

We have lots of other projects identified that we would like to do this fall.. Last night I lay awake , allowing myself to get a little concerned ..  things like continuing the scholarships for about 40 kids , A waiting room built for the baby hospital so that families don't have to line up in the elements, work on the playground, helping to provide more equipment for a medical clinic. building a green house to go along with the bio-desil plant, school supplies and food drops for several orphanages we work with ... and the list continues .. this does not even include basic support for our own expenses ..   It is easy to get overwhelmed, but when we stop and look what we have accomplished so far, I can see Gods hand and can know to trust him for the future ...