Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year !

We want to wish you all a Happy New Year.
May God Bless each one of you with peace, health and happiness.

We have had an awesome year to remember and we know that it could not have happened with out the grace of God. And God used all of you to support us, to pray for us and to care for us and to give us words of wisdom and encouragement.

Thank you very much.

Love from Julie, John and family .

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Return of "The Wright Stuff"

Since our return from Central Asia... actually before we even left.... we have been dying to get back... in fact it was only a couple days ago that Bekah gave in and unpacked the rest of her bag... I think she has been ready to go at a moments notice.... When you ask them what they wanted for Christmas, they would say... " I want to go home".... and when they were told that was not going to happen they would respond... "Well nothing then" . Feeding into this need to return, we are continually met with emails from our friends telling us how much they miss us and can't wait for us to return.... Then this last week they started pulling out the big guns.... Letters from the kids......

We miss you so much. Please , come back faster. We cannot wait to see you again.....

We miss you and waiting for you when you will come back to Central Asia.We love you we are your friends........

Please you not forget us.......

Last week we received this story from our Friend Ed Dickson... Like he didn't know how we were feeling already......

The fishermen were surrounded by streams and lakes full of
hungry fish. They met regularly to discuss the call to fish, the abundance of
fish, and the thrill of catching fish. They got excited about fishing!Someone
suggested that they needed a philosophy of fishing, so they carefully defined
and redefined fishing, and the purpose of fishing. They developed fishing
strategies and tactics. Then they realized that they had been going at it
backwards. They had approached fishing from the point of view of the fisherman,
and not from the point of view of the fish. How do fish view the world? How does
the fisherman appear to the fish? What do fish eat, and when? These are all good
things to know. So they began research studies, and attended conferences on
fishing. Some traveled to faraway places to study different kinds of fish with
different habits. Some got doctorates in fishology. But no one had yet gone
fishing.So a committee was formed to send out fishermen. As prospective fishing
places outnumbered fishermen, the committee needed to determine priorities. A
priority list of fishing places was posted on bulletin boards in all of the
fellowship halls. But still, no one was fishing. A survey was launched to find
out why. Most did not answer the survey, but from those who did, it was
discovered that some felt called to study fish, a few to furnish fishing
equipment, and several to go around encouraging the fishermen. What with
meetings, conferences, and seminars, they just simply didn’t have time to
fish.No, Jake was a newcomer to the Fisherman’s Fellowship. After one stirring
meeting of the Fellowship, he went fishing and caught a large fish. At the next
meeting, he told his story and was honored for his catch. He was told that he
had a special “gift of fishing.” He was then scheduled to speak at all the
Fellowship chapters and tell how he did it. With all the speaking invitations and
his election to the board of directors of the Fisherman’s Fellowship, Jake no
longer had time to go fishing. But soon he began to feel restless and empty. He
longed to fell the tug on the line once again. So he canceled the speaking, he
resigned from the board and he said to a friend, “Let’s go fishing.” They did,
just the two of them, and they caught fish.

I had to chuckle a bit, because I can see how easy it is to get distracted, But that's the incredible thing about what PI does... whether we are here or there, we are able to impact the lives of our friends.... So much has been accomplished in the last few months, I never would have dreamed that it would be possible... The iam1ru is up and running, and is having a massive impact on those living on the fringe in Central Asia... Child sponsorships, Seniors, operations, parties, clothes ,school, tutors, Food, and just last night , even the water tower project...... This has almost been overwhelming at this end, you can imagine how our Dream Agents will be feeling... The timing is right for us to go over and help them get all the dreams filled, and to do another needs assessment with each of PI's 22 dream agents on the ground... While I am looking after the Business side of things, The girls will be busy making small group contact with all the kids, and putting together followup photo's and stories for all the sponsors... They have some wild and over the top activities that they have been scheming about for some time... I'm telling you... you are not going to want to stray to far from the blog this spring..... If you would like to help us make this trip a reality, please consider making a donation on the top right side of the blog.

Hey did we tell you that "WE ARE EXCITED"

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Wright Stuff" Heading South ..

While in Central Asia , we had the honor of working with David and Jayne Schooler on many projects... They always say that they were just along for the ride, but they where much more then that... Just when We would think ... We Can't do that... they were there with a smile and a reassurance that we can do anything if it is for the right reason!... and if you know me, it does not take a whole lot of encouragement for me to jump into something with both feet... They were like our own little cheer leading section, except they did not just stand on the side lines... they jumped right in with us ...

We got talking with them and decided it has been to long since we have had a good visit, so on the weekend of January the 31, we will Traveling to Lebanon, Ohio for a visit.... Now as you know we have a tendency to over do everything, so we decided that we should have an open house while we are there and invite the world... So if you are not doing anything that Saturday night and would like to join us as we reminisce about our friends in Central Asia and raise a little support and awareness for them, let me know and we will book you a seat at the table . If you are interested email me at we would love to see you there... ...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas these kids will never forget

Sometimes things happen out of the blue , or unexpectantly , and it is not until a few weeks later when we realise the impact of what we have done... You are likely asking ... what are you talking about.... The original LaJoy Christmas Challenge was to see a special Christmas for two of the orphanages... then when you guys rose to the challenge with 3 days to go , a special day for another larger orphanage was added to the challenge..... " A lot can happen in three days" ...
Last week there was a very difficult situation at one of the orphanages... the kids were playing in the trees, and one of the boys got tangled in a rope and died in front of his friends and his brother.... This has been a very traumatic experience for everyone at the orphanage. Now more then ever, these kids ... and the workers, need to know that someone cares about them... that there is value to their lives... and what better . At the same time as they were dealing with this, another family of kids were uprooted from their orphanage when their paper work was found to not be in order... They landed at the door of Sergey and Anya..... where they will stay until they are able to get things worked out.
These gave the extra hands needed to pull of the most incredible Christmas party that many of these orphans will have ever had... The night started with a concert put on by the kids from the village orphanage... they began with some break dancing to get the kids in the mood, then the girls did some traditional dancing... something that is a real treat in Central Asia.. After the dancing there was a play depicting the Christmas storey... then before the refreshments, the big event.. the presents .....
At a time of the year when finances are already stretched, and when the news is screaming recession, and financial doom.....You guys have made a sacrifice, and brought Hope and dignity to the lost and hurting in this world... On behalf of my family here in Canada and my family and friends in Central Asia, I want to thank you and to wish you a very Merry Christmas ... May God open the windows of heaven and pour out such blessings that you can not even contain them.

Stay tuned ... January 6 , 62 kids from two orphanages and others dear to our friends will have the experience of a life time when they will be traveling into the capital city to go to the Circus, then out for Hamburger and fries and more presents as they celebrate.. a McJoyfull Christmas...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sneek peek

I just got some photo's of the first Christmas party sponsored from the Lajoy family Christmas Challenge......Here are a couple to wet your whistle... more coming tomorrow .... when I get to high speed...

Friday, December 19, 2008

A bright Star

Some have angels on there tree's and others have stars... The last post I showed you our Angel, but I got thinking about who would be our stars... that's when I realize how blessed we have been.... we could fill a tree with stars... Maybe over the next few weeks I will highlight some of those that I would consider a star... if I can get to them all... (please note... ... they are in no particular order)
Some time ago now, Sam and I were in Central Asia, and spent a few days... We were getting things set up for the iam1ru sponsorship program as well as making arrangements for our families trip that spring, that's when Sergey and Anya introduced us to Kristina . Kristina was engaged to be married to Anya's brother. She spoke fluent English, and had volunteered in the orphanages as she was growing up. She had spent a year as an exchange student in Rockford, and was currently working toward her law degree. She was perfect for what we had in mind. We hired Kristina to teach English out in the village. Twice a week , Kristina has been making the drive out to work with the kids. As well as concentrating on English, but she has been able to help them with some of their other schooling as well. She connected with the kids better then we could have ever hoped... Not only has she done a phenomenal job at teaching the kids, she has become their friend and their advocate. The self esteem of the kids has gone through the roof... Just knowing that there is someone there to spend the time with them and to pour herself into there lives has given them the HOPE that they need. Despite arriving at the orphanage in a state of turmoil, with Kristina's help, they are able to quickly catch up and realize their full potential... With this position of trust, the kids have begun to share needs and concerns with her ... times when there voices would otherwise not be heard, Kristina has pushed through and advocated for them... There is no doubt in any ones mind that she loves these kids, and they love her... In fact when she got married, all the kids from the orphanage were there to present her with a gift that they had made her as well as to dance and entertain the guests. Along with teaching, Kristina also found herself traveling with us into the capital city many times... As we found people requiring medical treatment and glasses etc. It was Kristina that was given the responsibility of arranging and attending the appointments... Kristina is on Maternity leave right now, and we are so excited for her and Ruslan, but I know that that does not diminish in any way the feelings that she has for HER KIDS.... Kristina... You are one of our stars, we look forward to working with you in the years to come... we love you ....

Kristina helping to give out mittens to the kids From left to right ... Anya's mom, Kristina, Ruslan, and Anya .. this photo was taken at a good buy party we hosted our last week in town

The ladies group from our home Church sponsored the wedding for them complete with dress and the banquet afterwords... The youth team catered the event... I was such a blessing to do this not only for them, but all her family and friends... it certainly was a day to remember...

One of the many picnics in the mountains with the kids

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our new angel

For years now we have been looking for just the right angel to go on the top of our Christmas tree... I think I have just found one.. I am going to print this, cut it out and use it for our angel ... this is Aysulu at a Christmas concert. I just received this photo along with a letter from some of our kids ...

Hello dear John, Julie, Emma and Bekah.
I now learn in the English lesson,
and I have lessons extra for Russian, and mathematician. Very soon I will go in
the school in" Akbata". Every Sunday we together go in the church. We now with
Sergey and Anya and this is very nice time for us. Today Sergey bought for me a
sport shoes, I am so happy, is good for me, now I can go in the sport lessons
big tennis, and when you come back I will show how I can play.
I, Kumushay"
I learn well and I try. My dance lessons is every Tuesday and Thursday. We like
be in Sergey's family. Thank you what wrote for us e-mail. We like see your
family and every time when we see we to smile. Now we think about you. Very soon
Christmas day will be great see you, but I know what you in Canada.
Aysulu " I can count from 1 to 20 in English, I very like see your foto what you
gave for me, I love you and miss you. In the kindergarten we dance, and I try
doing well, I like play with doll, yesterday we was in the church and I have
many prezents. In kindergardan I eat very well and sleep. I like draw. We wait
you. I love you. One my teeth fell."
God bless you.
With love.
Kumushay, Alymbek and Aysulu.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Are you in the mood for Christmas

As the Christmas season starts to ramp up, I can't help but allow my mind to venture back you our kids in Central Asia. I think that the only thing that is making this bearable for us right now is the generosity of you ... our readers...It is such a blessing to us that so many of you have joined us in bringing Christmas to our kids.
I know that there are certain things that we must do for the holidays because we are here... and our family in Canada have been so wonderful and supportive to us , that they deserve our participation. So for the next week, we are going to do our best to get "into" the festive spirit....
Now on the note of the Well...If you had followed since this time last year, you would remember that we had no water in our well... it had been getting lower for years, and finally packed it in... Then out of desperation, we had one of the older gentlemen from our church come to the house and pray for our water situation... the next day we turned the water on again and it has slowly been rising ever since.... Yesterday we awoke to no water... I went out and looked in our old dug well and found that the un imaginable had happened... the water was so high that the pump platform at the top of the well was now a foot under water, and the pump had shorted out.... I had to spend the day yesterday installing a new submersible pump. ... So I guess that is what Julie and I will be getting each other for Christmas this year.!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Big mean dog... follow-up

"Just over one week ago I met the most amazing group of people. People who I had never spoke to, seen or met before. But less then 12
hours after meeting them I cried like I was leaving a best friend behind."


Christmas is a time of year that we love to have family and friends over for dinner... It just starts to get a little more complicated when that dinner party you are hosting between your family and new friends takes place on the other side of the world. Last week, we had the privilege of hosting a dinner party in the village. This was a special event... you may remember the story, One of our readers...Ann... had heard the story of the stolen animals from Aygola's family, and sent money for them to purchase a BIG MEAN DOG... Well this story has taken an interesting twist.
Ann contacted me a couple of weeks ago to see if I could offer her any suggestions, she had been given permission to visit her adoptive daughter at the orphanage in Central Asia, and was wondering what kind of food to get for the party.... We have always tried to be as transparent as we could with any support we receive, so this was a perfect opportunity for everyone.... We asked Ann if we could have her out to the house to see the Dog and the beautiful family that she had helped... So many of you have put your trust in us over the years. I always say that I can understand our burden, we have seen first hand and the people we are helping are our friends, and many are now like family, But for so many to have the faith to send support with no opportunity to meet the people personally is incredible to me... I don't know if I will ever get over the generosity of complete strangers... Anyone that has lost faith in humanity just has to look back through the posts on this blog and they should have there faith restored. All that to say Ann and her friend that was also visiting in Central Asia that week were able to go for a visit....
The kids were so excited that they were going to have the opportunity to meet the lady that had brought comfort and safety to their family... Also in a way, they were not just putting on a meal for Ann, but they were putting on meal for us and for everyone that has supported us...
If you go over to Ann's blog you can read all about the adventure , and some of our other friends that she met along the way. ... She has divided the day into several posts, and I am sure that she will post more in the future..

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Simple Dreams Up Date

I am not sure how many of you have been following the Simple Dreams sight... some incredible things have been happening over there... Many children have been sponsored, in fact we have just started into the next orphanage with 150 new faces... It really is heart breaking as I load them up onto the sight... Their eyes just seen to burn into me as I look at them... Then I started to realize something ... out of 150 kids , they were only about a dozen outfits... then I remembered our Dream Agent sharing that when they want to take the kids any ware, they take them in small groups because they do not have enough nice cloths for more then about a dozen at a time...
I just received the final sponsorship for the Hernia operation... a good thing since we went ahead this week and booked lili for her operation ...We have also given out the first batch of blankets.... what a blessing that has been for the Babushka's facing a cold winter ahead. We have also had many other needs met , like trips to the dentist , and baby formula. The scholarships have done very well also... and we have been able to get kids into some excellent schools as well as tutors for those that need a little extra help.... Even some little extras in life like Dance lessons have been sponsored. The word is starting to spread in Central Asia, and We are starting to get more requests for help ... from kids like Anvar and Kamala ...
By seeing the difference that is being made in lives around them, people are allowing themselves to DREAM ... we are seeing HOPE return to the hopeless.... When we started this, I had not taken into consideration the spin off that hope brings... it not only touches those that are blessed when thier dream is met, it reaches deep into hearts of those around them . They see the difference that hope is bringing..It is giving them the strength to carry on . When a new Dream comes in I want to jump right away and say "Yes..Yes .... here you go" to all of them , but like them, I have to have faith .

There are a few other exciting events taking place right now , but I am going to wait until the photo's arrive before I post more on that...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Boxes on there way.....

As we are preparing for Christmas and recognising the impact that we can make , I can't help but think of the Samaritans purse Boxes that are being packed all over North America and Europe this week... We were involved with that again this year, ...though this year it meant a whole lot more to us.
I stood and Watched as they local Ambulance drivers donated their time to travel around collecting all the boxes to bring them to the main depot.... As I watched Case after case of them... I think over 500 boxes in total go out the door, It was all I could do to hold back the tears.... something I have not had much success at lately.... I did not see boxes going out, I saw all our little friends patiently sitting in the circle waiting there turn to receive a box, then siting with bewilderment as they were scared to let themselves believe that it was actually for them.....

Monday, December 01, 2008

The moment you have been waiting for !

We had a great weekend .. It started with our friend David and Barbra coming for a visit on Friday night ... They have been incredible supporters of the work in Central Asia... Years back, I would stop at their house once a month while in the area on business.... Dave caught the bug, and has made countless trips since that time, and has been a driving force for PI in Quebec... We have been blessed to have them as our friends. Then Saturday it was off to Kitchener to the Big Event... We got to town and met up with our Internet friends Jody, Roger and Gabriel... un fortunately Gabriel's Husband Kelly was not able to make it... They had driven over 6 hours for the event... We receive so much support and encouragement from the Internet community.. many of whom have a connection with Central Asia, and have also left a piece of them selves behind... These two couples where There with us , maybe not physically , but certainly in spirit and cyber land....They have been involved in two trips to the village orphanage, and have an invested interest in the kids... It was so great to spend some time with them and introduce them to so many other like minded people at the event. Oh Ya ... and Roger was eager to pitch in and bought a couple cream pies for the night. Another Exciting thing for us was that David and Jayne made the 8 hour drive for the event as well... we had not seen them since we left town..... They arrived with or other friends Lynn and Ruby from Lamb International. They have been such an inspiration to us... I felt as though God had sent them to Central Asia just to bring us the wisdom and support that we needed... with in days of us feeling that we may be in over our heads, they arrived with such a wealth of Knowledge and grace, that we knew that we were right were we were meant to be.... We each did our own thing, but we were always there for each other... That inter dependency and Like mindedness has developed a relationship with them that I can not explain... There were so many others there that night that we have traveled with, it was so nice to see them all... to may to start mentioning names.... then there were those that had traveled to Central Asia , but we had passed in the night... Guys like Marcell .. that still carry an incredible burden for the hurting helpless and lost of Central Asia. Even my friend and Pastor Ron had made the tree hour drive to show his support, and was there with his son. .... I will leave it to Sam over at the PI blog to tell about the totals , but that is not what you are waiting for , its the pie you want to see, so without any further delay.... Now there is one hitch, Emma could not bring herself to throw a pie at me... Bekah had no problem ... so filling in For Emma is one of PI's Dream Agents from Central Asia..