Monday, April 30, 2007

Do "YOU" Recognize GOD'S Voice ?

One of our trips to an orphanage in Central Asia, I had the opportunity to whiteness a miracle unfold.
The story begins with a wonderful lady packing for a missions trip. She was shopping and suddenly she heard God speaking to her. Realising how absurd this sounded, she tried to disregard the voice. She tried to keep her self distracted, she even tried to leave the store because she just could not bring herself to listen... Finlay out of complete torment, she went back into the store and went to the manager and said " I am going to an orphanage and I feel God telling me that I am to ask you for a pair of size 13 black and white canvas running shoes... the ones with the white patch on the ankle, and you are to give them to me for free!"
Now this was such a bizarre request that the manager obliged .

So now we are in Xxxxx and I am with some of the men outside building physiotherapy equipment when all of a sudden a boy comes running , jumping and shouting , laughing,and is leaping and squealing with joy , and you guessed it ,His feet are clad with black and white canvas running shoes, .

He came out to our meeting that afternoon to tell us his story. You see it had been 2 years since he had a pair of shoes. He had size 13 feet, and not many size 13 shoes are donated to a children's orphanage. He had asked God for a pair..... not just any pair, but he wanted .....Black and white canvas running shoes with the little white circle on the ankle. He had not shared this with any of the workers there, but did tell his friends that he was going to get a new pair.

If these shoes had been given to him by an orphanage worker, it would have been exciting, but it would not have been a miracle. If someone from the government had brought him a pair, it would have been unlikely, but not necessarily a miracle. But for an older lady on the other side of the world to travel for two days with his shoes in her carry on, and walk into the orphanage not knowing who the shoes were for, then to hand them to him..... That is a miracle.

The boy told us that from this point on, nobody will ever be able to tell him that God does not love him.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

What do you use your Toilet for ?

While renovating the shower room in a seniors home, I found this sign above the sink .

"Please do not use can wash your hands in toilet"
so I went down the hall to the toilet, expecting to find a sink is what I found.

When we investigated we found that when water was run in the sinks it would bubble up under the flooring in their equivalent of the I.C.U.

Check out the new bathroom

Friday, April 27, 2007


As many of you know, Julie and I support friends and workers in orphanages and seniors homes in Central Asia. For the most part, the large majority of the work is not posted on this blog , as it is done in "RESTRICTED" Nations. Well if you remember the posting about McJoyfull Christmas You will know that we raise money here in Canada to send kids out to McDonalds for Christmas, and a years supply of vitamins. Well in Xxxxx there is no McDonalds, but there is no shortage of kids. For the past 4 months, I have been receiving updates about all the parties......and it is still going on! Here is an email I received a few hours ago.

Thank you to those of you who have been giving faithfully to support this project.

Hello my friends !!!In one of our project –orphanage for normal children we have 126 children and recently we realized that from all of our children 21 boys do not have anybody to visit them at least once a year. You know it happened that some children have far relatives who might visit them couple times a year, some children have some people who found them on the street and brought them to our orphanage so this people come once a year and many other cases. So what I want to say is this-our 105 kids have somebody who come to visit them once or couple times a year and they get so happy about it and they talk about it all year long like-“Do you know 4 month ago I visit my neighbors where I use to live with my parents” or something like-“Do you know 7 month ago in September I had my aunt to visit me here. But 21 boys do not have anybody and they hear all the stories all the time and they did not have any of their own. Just imagine - they been living in our orphanage day by day and did not leave the orphanage even once. We felt so bad about it. We wanted to show them that they are not alone and there is Somebody who always cares about Them and we invite this 21 boys to the restaurant for shish-kabob and oh…I wish that everybody who was giving money for this project ( feed children at the Christmas) sow our happy-happy boys. I am sending you pictures but pictures won’t show you the atmosphere…

Thank you for making possible for us to show this children that they are loved too Another miracle happened that all the cooks sow our boys and they gave them 4 kinds of salads for free And 50 shish-kabobs for free so end up we only paid $45. God is so good to us and He multiplies our money so we are able do more and more and bless more and more orphans. God bless you !!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Today is Her Birthday!

This is a photo of Aipery and myself taken at the amusement part in town last November. When I first met Aipery life was a little different for her. She and her siblings live in an orphanage in the village. I don't think it fitting to get into to much detail on the blog, but she had just recently arrived at the orphanage. You see the last birthday that she had celebrated, ended with her father tying her to a tree and making her watch as he tried to be-head her mother with an axe.

You can only imagine the emotional battles that she faces, But she is an amazing young lady. After some very in depth and emotional counseling with Sergey and I along with a few members of our team, Aipery came to me with a letter.....She wants to think on me when she thinks of a father figure.....She feels ready to celebrate her birthday again.

So lets join with her in our hearts and our prayers today as she celebrates this special day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Whats She Thinking

After a long morning at the baby orphanage, cleaning pee out out carpets with a wooden stick and an upside down soup bowl , its finally time for lunch....Maybe a hamburger & fries, or a cesar salad, or maybe a chicken club toasted on brown with a little maio. In fact there are so many things that would be good right now... But for some reason when I came into the room I found Julie with that familiar grin on her face. Now You may ask your self what's she thinking ?............but I know, I have seen it many times before. This is her None verbal communication to me .... This look can't mean anything other than.........."OK John Get me out of this." You see inside these yummy treats there is some form of meat.....I asked whats the name of this dish. I was told "Monty................was the dogs name.!"Now we are pretty sure that they were joking, ......I think........

I wonder what they were serving Mona Lisa for lunch ?

Monday, April 16, 2007

"Sing with Me..HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD"

You would think that by now, I would not be surprised when God intervenes. For many years now, we have returned from Central Asia talking about how great it would be if we could raise money to fix cleft pallets on the children in the orphanages. It always seemed to be just one more thing to reach for, but we never did anything other than purchase special bottles to send over.

A few days ago, a group of wonderful people I met over the Internet asked me to look into the actual costs of this operation in Central Asia. Would you believe it, through the connections of some great people in town, we have found a surgeon in the capital city that has offered to do the operations for the orphans for free....Now why should I be surprised....

The surgeon says that we will need to provide food for the children when they are at the clinic, as he does not have the money to provide it. It also came up that they need some blankets at the clinic....... How many out there now by now that we will do a little better than that ! Once again, it appears that we may have found someone that with or without the resources, is wanting and willing to make a difference in the lives of the "Widows and Orphans". I can't wait to see what this develops into in the months to come......... Just think about the potential.....Just think "HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Can You Only Imagine ?

Can you imagine how great it would be if we could right the wrongs of his world ?
Can you imagine how great it would be if we could mend the broken?
Can you imagine how great it would be if we make sure every child grew up in a home surrounded by love ?
There are people out there that are doing more than just Imagining....they are taking concrete steps to change the world.....ONE child at a time .

Here is a recent post from my friend Sammy.

Meet Anvar. He is from Central Asia and lives at an orphanage that I am quite familiar with. Matter of fact, I know a couple workers in the orphanage. Anvar is totally blind in one eye and the his other eye is hindered by a cataract. While visiting this orphanage just a couple weeks ago I found out that Anvar had a pretty good chance of getting some vision back in his good eye with an operation. The cost of the operation? About $500US. Anvar is sponsored(through Possibilities International Sponsorship Program) by a single Mom in Canada(she gives $28/month). It was a huge step for her on her income but she emailed me to tell me that she wanted to give $250US to the operation costs. is true that Possibilities International could pick up the rest of the operation costs, and we will, if need be. However, maybe you are out there in cyberland and would like to kick in to help Anvar get some sight back in his one eye? The money will be managed worries there...our ladies over there are machines....and pictures will follow. Any amount would help. Please feel free to contact me at

Can you Only Imagine ?
or can you join us and do something concrete ?

Monday, April 09, 2007


Julie and I travel quite a lot and have had opportunity to share with many different people, and I could not tell you how many times I have had people say

" I have always wanted t go on a missions trip, but I don't have any special skills, I really don't know how much use I would be".

well let me tell you... the projects are the excuse to go, the people are the reason.For the children in this photo, this could very well be the first time that they have sat on someones knee and had a cookie. It might be the first time in months that they have been held. so I would say

"If you can do are qualified to go!"

P.S. A couple months ago I posted this photo of Robin being pee'd on. It was not the most faltering photo of her. I thought I should post the one above so you could see the real Robin.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

One happy Lady

We were on a stop over in the Ukraine, and decided to take the opportunity to visit and bring some presents to a small orphanage our friend Ed has been supporting there for many years. It was incredible. In the short time that Ed had been supporting them, they had become self sufficient. They had a wood shop where they made doors and were in the process of converting an old barn into a bakery. The director shared with us how the kids had gone around the village and identified all the seniors that were shut In's , and are going to look after them through the winter. They will keep their fires going and bring them meals. It was such a blessing to see these kids reaching out and setting the example for their community
as we were talking to the director Ed took the opportunity to do a little business, but she was not able to read the documents. Her Eye sight had gotten to the point that she could not see properly. She shared how the problem was different from one eye to the other, and that meant that she could not find glasses to work for her. Suddenly Julie remembered a pair of glasses in her purse. Our daughter had a similar Eye problem, but after no longer needing glasses, she gave them to us to take over sea's. We had been to Central Asia and back, and had forgotten about them until that moment........ You guessed it. they were the perfect prescription..... as if they had been made by the "GREAT PHYSICIAN"

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Problem Solved

Right from the first time we talked about taking an extended family trip into Central Asia, Julie would say "I don't know if we can do that to the girls" she was of course talking about the bathroom situation ! If you can imagine your worst bathroom nightmare, now add smell to it, OK do you have that picture in your head, now double it and add a few "Locals" staring at you, and you are almost there.
Many of the projects that we are involved with do not even have a washroom . We tried to figure out different solutions. one was going to be building a Porto potty on wheels that we could tow from sight to sight. Then a few weeks back we were looking through the Sears spring and summer catalog and found this. It is sold as a change tent. Now just add a portable toilet and there you have it. The whole tent collapses into a small little carrying bag and weighs about 1 lb.

Who knows our portable "Julie Johns" might become popular over there.....I know they will be popular with the teams.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What drives you ?

This is one of those photos that is etched into my memory. I was working in an Orphanage in Xxxxxx. I was building physio therapy equipment there, and from where I was working, I looked across the court yard at these kids. Despite all the workers that the group we were helping had hired to assist in the Orphanage, only about 300 of the 400 kids were supported. In this 12 x 12 room, about 14 kids spent their day, with nothing at all to amuse themselves. One popular game was to push on their eye lids, and experience the star bursts....It was not un common to push to hard and dislodge their eye's from the sockets.
I saw the contrast between those in the orphanage that were being supported and those that were not. I found out that $ 360 a year would hire a teacher that would spend the day with these kids.

We found that it's not just the kids that need help. Many times in third world countries seniors are also neglected.
I was a witness to, too many things on that trip...It was then that I determined to make a difference! As my Buddy Sam says ," I need to purpose myself to be a voice for those without a voice!"

James 1:27 says that Religion that God finds pure and faultless is to visit Widows and Orphans in there time of need....You know there is a lot about religion we can argue and debate, but not that !