Sunday, September 30, 2007

Speed 3!

Folks....I have never...I mean never been on a boat that moved this slow. The ducks were outswimming this puppy! However, to an orphan that has never been on a boat before it was like heaven. I had my fun telling the guy to speed the boat up (he had no idea what I was saying....and if he did he was not letting letting on).
30 orphans had a blast....first trip on a bus...first trip to the city...first time on a ride...first hamburg...first hotdog. James 1:27 all the way....and also a little of the last becoming the first.

Who said the couldn't do anything !

wait until you see the beautiful bead work these disabled orphans are doing .....


This photo is for my Mom

A Stolen Hug

From across a dim lit room, first eye contact is made. Seemingly alone in a world surrounded by other orphans. Eye contact is quickly shifted to a point just over your right shoulder so as not to attract attention. Like a wild cat with stealth like precision, he begins to make his way across the room. Weaving quietly and cautiously around others in hope of not being noticed or detained. Two fast he will be noticed and to slow, I might have moved on. Then suddenly he is standing at my side. I don't exactly know the point of contact, but there he is easing his way under my right arm. Contact is far from over... Like the precision of the Queen Marry docking , the process begins. Heart pounding he fixes his gaze in the same direction as me. His breathing is at a complete stop as he begins to make contact. First his foot then his ankle then knee...his breathing begins , but amazingly it patterns mine. I cane feel his heart rate begin to slow, until it too is beating with mine. Slowly the universe begins to fade from existence... the through the fog we here... OK lets go.... I can feel him draining every ounce of life from my body that he can ... Then in the crush of people connection is lost and we drift apart. Tired and week I climb back into the car.... Feeling guilty that I have just stolen a hug.

I spoke to soon

If you read the last post, you will see that just when I was thinking it was like home, I touched the wrong button and more english for you!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Goodbye at the gate

Yesterday we had the opportunity to take a bunch (45) of kids bowling. They are a very special bunch. They are all part of the family and have all come out of one of the orphanages here. P.I. has a followup plan that looks out for these kids when they are out of the orphanage.
Imagine living in an orphanage your entire life, and for some of these kids, never being on the other side of the gate. It is your whole life, You hear it bang closed during the night, you see people come and people go, but that 8 foot high solid steal gate is a barrier between you and the rest of the world. Then one day you turn 16 and they come to you and hand you one change of cloths, and walk you to that gate. without the help of a few good people, where would you end up?

Tomorrow the team is off to one of the ancient cities, and Sammy and I are heading to Central Asia..... I will post photos from there .
Blessings John

Smiles All Around

Jolyanne Marcotte from St. Andre-Avellin has not been able to wipe the smile off her face since she arrived here in Central Asia. The wild thing is that she has not even really started working in the orphanage yet! That starts tomorrow. There is no doubt in my mind that the smile you see here will be like a cool breeze blowing on a very warm day when she steps inside the orphanage. The impact will be huge. No need to ask Jolyanne if she enjoyed her time here...just look for the will tell you all you need.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Rose For The Babies

I've had the privilege of working in the baby orphanage this week. It is the only baby and toddler orphanage in this city. There are eight in this former Soviet republic. We accompany Nxxxxxx's workers. They usually work in the orphanage 3 days a week. They supply the babies with additional nutrition and teach them using KinderMusic. The additional nutrition is pablum just as we have in Canada. The toddlers are so well behaved and sit so still in their little chairs as we feed them. We also feed babies and children who are mentally and physically challenged. The youngest baby is 1 month old. After feeding them, we visit the different rooms doing KinderMusic with the children. We sit in a circle with them and to music do activities with them -- massaging their bodies, singing, teaching them social skills, bouncing balls, shaking rattles and so much more. The children seem to love what they're doing and are slowly adjusting to us. After that we feed the babies and children lunch -- mashed potatoes or rice mixed with broth, some carrots and ground beef and soaked up with bread in order to feed them. It looks nutritious. I've come to adore little Olga who is 6 months old; little Carolina who is very shy and is over 2; and little Umida who is about 2 and half. I was really blessed today when I had the opportunity to feed a little baby girl who was born without arms and can hardly see. How precious the time we had together as I fed her a bottle -- talking with her -- and then had an opportunity to hum the song "Jesus Loves Me" over and over to her before I put her to bed.
Rose Gass

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tapped Out

We had opportunity to go out to Sxxxxxxxx orphanage and home for mentally ill women. It was a true blessing to see the impact that we have had there already. The director was so excited to share about how for the first time ever; they had heat in the building for the winter. He says that ever since we started coming to that home, their life has improved..... For me it was mixed emotions. I had heard that they needed water inside,... but to be on the other side of the world,.... still patting myself on the back for having a part in bringing in the heat, the severity of the situation never hit home. ..... ok here is the scoop. There is One tap in the middle of the court yard that services all 250 adults and 30 some odd kids. This must provide for all washing cleaning and cooking. year round..... did I mention that it comes out at little more than a trickle........and if that was not bad enough, it only runs between one to two hours a day. .. I spoke with the girls and now understand that bringing in water is more than just running a line, they need a water tower built so that they can fill it when they have water, and still have water when the power is out, something that is a regular occurrence. The solution is simple .... $4000..... It’s no so bad if you say it fast, but a lot of money non-the less. One more thing we will have to trust God for. Blessings John

Friday, September 21, 2007

The True Banquet

Sorry to all that we have not had posts previous to this, but internet is slow and the blog sight has been blocked by the government, so this post is brought to you by a friend.

We arived in Xxxxx at around 4 am and got our visa's and cleared customs in no time at all. after a small nap we began the tour of all the places that we have had contact with 2 baby orphanages , an orphanage for "normal" kids, a disabled orphanage , an institution for the blind and for the disabled then to meet with the home support group for the blind and the disables, and to the adaption house.. It just never seems to end.

The impact that Possibilities International has had through these two incredible ladies is more than I am able to grasp. My Mom will be glad to here that we were at the adaption house. They share with us that PI had sent some money for them a couple of weeks ago. The girls bought all kinds of food. Nice meats and fruits and fresh veggies. When they got there, there wereonly a couple of people there. They then found out the the rest were at the city hall for a weding of one of the men. The reception was going to be back at the adaptation house, and all they had was clear soup and a couple loves of bread..... Instead they returned to a true banquet...

Tomorrow we will be heading for the mountains where we will be bringing all the PI workers for a night in a hotel... They are so excited. We will try to get some more regular updates out to you soon. Blessings John

Monday, September 17, 2007

"With a little help from my friends "

For years now, I have been telling people " If God is calling you to missions, it is God's responsibility to pay for it! Sounds good, but I still manage to get obsessed with how the bills are going to get paid.
A few Months back Sammy asked me if I would assist him on this falls trip to Xxxxxx. It was definitely not on my plans to go, I have been concentrating on a six month trip in Feb with my family.... I felt that any promoting I did would detract from this trip. At first I turned him down, but It did not sit well with me. I had made my decision based on economics.
Finally I set things right and contacted Sam , He gave me the same line that I give people..... Don't worry about the money.... It will show up.
Well we leave today, and I still have not even asked Sam if any support has come into Possibilities International for me on this trip. I have left it totally in Gods hands.... and did not see money come in...... I did not obsess....and did not see money come in..... I went on with preparing for next years trip......and still I did not see money come in...
Well by the end of the day yesterday .........The MONEY WAS IN.....Was there every any doubt?
It always amazes me the generosity of people. For me it is a very tangible thing. I have looked into the faces of the seniors, I have held the orphans in my arms, it is a no brain er, but for many of you who have supported team members, you have stepped out in FAITH. Faith in God is easy, It's faith in Man that can be difficult.
I am honoured to be on this team with so many outstanding missions minded individuals, the excitement , energy and enthusiasm that they bring WILL change a nation. I know I speak for them when I say thank you for being a part of that, thank you for making this trip possible.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


As I mentioned I am in this packing nightmare...I will be in Xxxxx this month. We have friends there, so of course we want to bring some gifts for them. We can't lose track of the fact that this is a humanitarian aid trip, so of course there are plenty of medical supplies. We will be in the orphanages.....crayola crafts.......Seniors homes .....lap blankets...... In the second leg of the trip Sam and I will be in Central Asia. I will leave all my extra cloths there for when we come back, as well as some other personal items. We will be getting projects ready for a team coming from Godrich Ontario a few weeks later. They have graciously agreed to bring some hockey bags full of craft supplies and toiletries for us that they can leave for when we move there. This means that we must pack those bags now as well.
I was saying to Julie that the one personal bag, or as they say on survivors "luxury item" really might be something that we could do without...... I pointed out that friends of ours have just moved to Tanzania. they have 2 kids and they had 4 bags total to last them 3 years...Yikes..... Well we could do that. .... You know they say that to be effective in missions you have to completely immerse yourself in the culture..... I think that that is great advise ......Not that I am going to follow it, but nun the less great fact I think that we are doing well to willingly use the soap .....This is a photo of a few cases of laundry soap being dropped at the orphanage.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Literally .... the crunch is on....

With the new weight restrictions, we are having an awful time trying to get everything packed. I'm telling you... this is like the fishes and loaves.....The more I pack, the more there is. ... I was thinking that If I wore all my clothes at once maybe that could free up an extra space. Maybe we will have to give in and pay for an extra bag.....or ten.
If you have been praying for God to multiply our resources, you could add the phrase "as they unpack in Xxxxxxx" unless of course you are referring to the $$$$ to pay the baggage overage..... there I think we need all the prayer we can get.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

New leg for Gyanna

I don't know if you remember Gyanna .... check out Oct / Nov 2005.
Last Year, One year after renovating his home for him, and paying his power bill for a year, we went for a visit. He was very happy to see us, but even more excited to hear that we not only pd the power for another year, but we had brought money for him to get a new leg.
I can't wait to get there in a few weeks so I can stop in and have a game of chess with him, pay the power bill for another year, and who knows ... maybe go for a walk with him.