Friday, February 29, 2008

English Class at the park

In the center of town somewhere, there is a playground built by friends of the Mercy Foundations. It is a real drawing card for the local kids. There are a few buildings there, and they offer English lessons as well as medical clinics etc. We have volunteered to help every Friday. This was our first week, and seeing as we did not know where it was, and the directions were to difficult to explain, we were going to meet Nastia (the teacher) at the Foundation and go with her. We had a bit of time before meeting her so we went to the local Library. We found an English class there as well. The teacher was so thrilled to see us and was starving for attention and help. She had tried to get help elsewhere with no success. She teaches English in semi private lessons. A lesson is two hours twice a week and the cost for a student for a month is just over $1.00. So we will probably spend a few hours a week with them and maybe take them on an outing or two to somewhere cool.... an English field trip.
Anyway... all that to say that we left there and walked to meet Nastia only to walk all the way back... the park was across the street from the library! All this walking! ...oh well "what does not kill us makes us stronger".
The class at the park had about a dozen kids from 8 to 16 years old.
( maybe a year or two either way) . The kids really enjoyed it. We even had a story time where we acted out David and Goliath... guess which part I played...
Last night we had supper with Acel and Talant in their apartment, another traditional Central Asian experience. We loved it. They are actively working with the local and Dungan population.
We are really looking forward to working with them here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fun and Games in Town

I think God knew that we were ready for a not so emotional day. We cooked supper for the kids at the orphanage in town tonight, but first, we tried to learn their names... it was a little easier as the names are more Russian here...

Then we had supper. For dessert we had some fancy cakes that we bought .

The girls would like Grammy Pammy to make a cake like this.
After supper we played some games with the kids... "howdy howdy howdy" and the clapping game.

The Girls had Fun !

This morning the girls went to spend the morning with Acel to learn how to make the felt slippers.

I am cooking supper now to take to the Town Orphanage for older kids. I think we will make chicken a la king..... Story at 11:00

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Today we went with Lena to visit Larisa in the village. (NCKPA) We will be helping her with some of the people that she supports.Let me introduce you to a few of them. This man's name is Nickolai . He is 77 years old and still works in the fields in the summer. This has been a very bad winter here and he is proof. What he really needs is to go into a nursing home. First we must get him to the hospital for his feet and then get him his documents so he will be able to stay.We have offered to meet his immediate needs, and will wait on God to provide for his future. Then it was off to see several others. Here is one sweet old lady named Clava. Clava loved the lap blanket and immediatly burst into a prayer of thanksgiving.
After several other stops, we ended up at Laura's house for a visit then we went for tea with Laura's neighbours. Well, it did not take long before the town was out to meet us. Even Maria was out to see us... She sends a special hello to her friend Laurent from Quebec. It's a very sobering place to visit. For me, it affirms a year end report that I just submited for our friends at home.

As I write this I am sitting in our apartment(actually Ed Dicksons apartment) in Town. You see missions from a different perspective from this side of the globe... From home , Missions is something we are called to do whether we go or send. We know that there are needs. We see the photos and have heard the stories, but I don't think we fully understand the impact we are making. From this side of the globe, many live a daily life of pain and suffering. With no hope ... with no faith... and no way out. The governments are struggling to maintain what little social service networks they have. For many the only understanding of hope that they have is not to turn to the church, but to those faithful workers that you support. They can not comprehend the provision... they need it served to them with the skin on! As the needs arrive daily, literally knocking on the door, all they can do is to offer to pray for provision, and wait for the work on the heart of that business man in Ohio, that senior in Vancouver, or the 3rd grader in Norwood............ As we move into 2008, please continue to keep your hearts open to the gentle prodding....the situation may be more urgent than you think.

Now we are home to regroup, then it is off to the village for more lessons.

Johnny Corn Seed

So while you guys are digging out from yet another snow, We were making the rounds delivering seeds ... Thats right, every one here is getting busy preparing their gardens, and love the new seed selection.
Then it was off to the orphanage to have our first day of art with the kids. They all wrote their names and we got their photo taken so we could try to learn some names like Nursultan, Sabira, Aisulu, Bektash, Gulbarchi, Altynbek, and many other tongue twisters.....Pray for our tongues....pardon the pun.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Off to the market

We met up with Sergey and Anya today around 1:30, and headed to the market.... I am not one for crowds, and at home I tend to melt down when faced with a line up, but for some reason, I love the sights and sounds of the market. We had to stop there to pick up supplies to bring out to the Mans day celebration in the village. First we bought some Pop then it was off to get some apples and oranges .... because we should.....

Even Emma seems to like the market... Just don't ask her to make any decisions.

After the fruit...we went for the good stuff... the candies and the cookies.

You can meet some very interesting people in the market.... but then I bet they say the same thing about us.

After shopping, It was off to the orphanage for a party. Here is the pile of treats we brought... and that does not include the hockey bag full of hand made hats, mitts, and sweaters.

The kids are always so glad to see us when we come . But I don't know who is more blessed... them or us..... I must admit that it can start to be a little overwelming at times as the numbers grow. we are now up to over 40 kids.... and they all deserve to be loved.
For the mans Day Celebrations, We played some games. We divided the boys into two teams then had a competition to see which where the most "Manly"...With games like Getting dressed in a hurry for battle, pushups and carrying the women to safety contests. The finale was like any good soldier.....peeling onions. Amazingly it ended in a tie, so all the participants had to get a prize.
After the Games we had a fantastic meal of ploff and some of the best home made sweet bread rolls I have ever tasted.... One of the ladies that has just moved in with her kids is working in the kitchen... and can she cook!
The whole night , one of the workers there was so cold and could not get warm... that is until I gave her a sweater that was made by one of the ladies from the Hasting Knitters club.... Thankyou you again Ladies.
We all had such a great night and wish you could all be here with us, but the kids wanted all you men out there to feel a part of the celebration.
And what is a party without stunts in the hay!

One for the Samster

Friday, February 22, 2008

So now, I will eat crow.

Here I was feeling such joy and being rather smug. For a few days it was sunny and warm and spring was certainly in the air. Oh, it was lovely. I did have a sense of guilt or was feeling a bit sorry that you at home were getting more and more snow, but only just a very little bit. We got his 6 or 7 inches the other day and it is not melting. So now, I will eat crow. These birds are huge with long feathers like fur on their chests. We think they are ravens.

This is the garbage place that is just outside our living room window. The bars on the window are in a fancy pattern, there is a walkway, then a short hedge, a row of large trees, a parking lot and then the garbage area. Beyond that in the distance you can see another biulding and that is Telacom.

I will wait for spring. Julie's first posting.

Mans Day

Today is a great and special day. I am so glad that I made it here in time to celebrate. It is "Mans Day"... You have to love a country that has a holiday like that.... We have been asked out to the orphanage to help celebrate . We will be bringing treats, we have someone cooking Ploff, and we will play games with the kids.... I will post some photos tonight.

New Bunk beds

One of the things that we have wanted to do while here is to add some little extra touches to Eds apartment . We spent this last week trying to get a set of bunk beds...... not an easy task, but yes we pulled it off.
It appears that in the stores here , they don't actualy sell anything... they just work like sales agents.... they get on their phone and then say come back tomorrow!....if the phone works and the car does not break down !

I love the stairs up the side !...Maybe if I get a better photo I will post it later, but you get the idea.

I was able to find some foam and make a mattress cover for our bed

We got this computer desk and printer for in the girls room. Bekah needed to have a scanner for her school work. So we are pretty much set up now and ready to get down to business.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fun with Yahoo

Ok. So, if you have a yahoo account and down load yahoo messenger you can join in. We have been talking to family at home. We have the web cam so we can broadcast at the same time..... so cool! ....... ok so for some of you this is nothing new but for us non techno geeks it is amazing!....join the fun... sign up (free) and send us your email and we will add you to our buddy list.

Meeting old friends

Many who have traveled to Central Asiawith Ed or Sam know Acel and Talent . It was nice to see them again. We look forward to working with them here in town

After supper we played some games with their kids Melody and Davina. Acel brought us a really neat pair of slippers she made. .. Next week, Julie and the girls may be going to her house to learn how to make some of the Central Asian felt items .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

lost and found

Two new arrivals at the orphanage...Sophia and Altynbek were found in a house by their neighbour. They have no known father and the mother got a job in the city 10 days earlier and just left them. The police brought them to the village and asked if they could take them in. Imagine how desperate a situation would have to be that the mother would have to just leave them without food water or heat during one of the coldest winters in record. Imagine how long it will take these beautiful children to come to grips with their situation.

Maybe not the road to Latinta but close !

Over on Sams blog, he has a video he shot on the road to Latinta on one of his Guatamala excursions ..... well I thought of him when I filmed this .

We are going to try to get a special rate and bring the older kids from the orphanage ....I think they would have a blast.

A Day on the slopes

We had a great day today... We took Sergey and his family along with Pastor Sasha and his family skiing up in the mountains.

Central Asia mountain man

Julie and Anya on the lift

China in the distance

looking over the Valley ...Kazakstan in the distance
I SAY NEY NEY !!!Pastor on his way down
Finally Sergey joined the rest of us.... he fell and we have the proof.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Before we even arrived in the capital city, I had in mind cooking meals and bringing them out to the local dump. Well right in front of our apartment is the small transfer station servicing the surrounding apartments.....Not the best view, but for us it is a constant reminder of why we are here. We had told the girls that we will have lots of opportunity to bring food to the homeless, but that they can't bring food to the ones outside our apartment....It is a hard decision, but we cannot have them all knowing where we live... It is heart breaking for us to watch. We have discussed ways that we can get around this dilemma.... we have thought that if we cooked the food somewhere else, we could hire someone to bring it to them..... Well yesterday we were cleaning up getting ready to have Olga and her new husband over for supper and I asked Bekah to take out the trash...She stopped for a second and asked "Dad....Can I put a whole apple in the bag"?........ I think the reality of where we are has just hit her!