Thursday, July 31, 2008

I have sat down several times to post some more stories from our time in Central Asia, but hit a wall every time. There is a story there that I do not want to tell, but I can not think about another without this one coming to the surface.
One of the things that we have done at Possibilities International is to recognize the value of education, and even more the value of being able to speak English...... This skill will give the kids an incredible advantage when they hit the workforce. It also makes things a little more difficult for us. The stories we tell should always be written in a way that is respectful to the kids, but also in a way that will not expose hurts when they read these posts for them selves. I guess it is the old two edged sword... We want to share the stories for our readers that will invoke the very emotions that keep our hearts captive in Central Asia, but I know that one day soon, those whom we are trying to help will be reviewing these articles. This I have thought about for some time and have expected. That is why many of our stories have remained vague or remain untold.
There is one other thing that I did not anticipated.... That is the effect that it would have on Me.... I have heard many of their stories as they have been translated, but Now they are much harder to hear.... Altynai was able to break through that one barrier that until now had protected us... While we where there, she learned to communicate with us in English... She shared her story with us .... her joys and her sorrows. She moved in with us and became one of our family.... and when we left, she was able to tell us just how she felt. I know we have done all that we could to make sure that she has a strong network of people around her to help, but I wish we could do more. She is 19 years old and has taken an active role in raising her brothers and sisters for her whole life..not to mention that she is no dummy., but for a time, she could let that all go and just put her trust in us.... she could let go and experience things that she should have experienced a long time ago.... When ever we would discuss options , like picking out this back to school outfit, with her she would say ... "Please you just tell me what to do.".... We would always help her to sort things out in her own mind, but I am recognizing now that she just needed a break..... As we have arrived here in Kiev, we have found ourselves feeling the same way..."Ed, you just tell us what to do." ..... God gives us the strength to deal with what we must, and the wisdom to make the decisions that we have to.
Altynai... Trust God ... and rest in His ability to make the right choices for your life.... I have shared with many the advise that Pastor Ron shared with us a long time ago... He said " Put your faith in Gods ability to lead... not your ability to follow. "

So It's not all Roses

So ,as it turns out, the food situation here is not exactly as Bekah had anticipated... she has been some what perplexed by what is considered "GOOD FOOD"....

She says that she is missing the Food in Central Asia......

This is the girls on Saint Andrews decent... it is very touristy, but still a interesting place to visit.

Last night after supper, we walked down to the Independence square, and had a chance to see the sights on the main drag.

Now after having a nice breakfast ( made by me ) in the ships galley, ( at the crack of noon )we are now ready to venture over to the caves under the monastery.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A New ED venture Begins

First things first.... Ed knew what it was that Bekah needed, so our first stop after the airport was for preservatives... We thought it was so exciting that we ordered this bigger then big new burger that they have here... smoothies...fries...the works........ Did you know that there's a line where too much of something can make you sick? We will have to try again today ... we will let you know where that line is.
This is the boat that we are staying on. It is the head quarters for Youth With A Mission ( YWAM ) here in Kyiv. Both our rooms are on the river side, looking out across at the Sophia's Cathedral on the hill.... Here is a little closer view.Looking up and down the Dnipro River

It is more of a bardge then a boat. But is very nice... Beautiful bathrooms in each room... Flush, sitting down toilets conference rooms... a computer room as well as wireless Internet in the rooms. It is parked on the shore beside lots of cafe's and stores.
We are booked in here until Friday... It will give us time to tour the city and visit with Ed before he heads back to Canada for a few weeks. From here, we will go with Ed's Son Jonathon and his friend to the Crimea... We will stop along the way in Nepapa Pratrosk and Krevaroge, where Jonathon has been working in some of the orphanages there.... We have heard for years about the work that Ed has been doing there, as well as the conferences that we have helped to sponsor there in the past. It will be great to see it for ourselves.
Our end destination is for 10 days in The Crimea where we have a two bedroom apartment (maybe)on the beach . There are lots of things to see and to do while there. .. Our other plans to go to Poland and other countries has been changed, it is not our time to know.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Arrived in Keiv

It has been a long day , but it is now about 6pm Ukraine time, and we are in our rooms for the night... We are staying on a fully furnished river boat in the heart of Kyiv.....Our emotions are all still a little close to the surface... I think the down time to reflect will do us good....... when we went into our rooms, they each had a small fruit basket with a note that read " We hope and pray that the Lord will bless your time in Kyiv. May your time here be restful and refreshing, God bless, YWAM Kyiv"

There is so much more then the things I have shared on the blog that are weighing our hearts down... As I sat there last night, I could hardly type ..... so I just posted the photo.... I guess the message I wanted to share is that you can't always just look at the big picture...sometimes life is found in the details,,, something we often miss........ God says that he has the hairs on your head numbered. He is a God of detail.... and it has been the details that have been so difficult....

5 Months ago, we came to Central Asia, and some times not so gently worked our way into the lives of some incredible people... Many have had... for very good reason.... emotional walls up to protect themselves from hurt and disapointment..... They took those walls down for us, and for a time they experienced things that they may have never experienced before. With that trust comes responsibility, and for as much work as went into building that trust, there seems to be twice as much work meeting those responsibilities... We want them to know that although we have to go, we are not abandoning them like so many others.....

As I sat with Sergei and Anya last night, our conversation very quickly turned to discussing our future, and the future of the child sponcership program.... ... With an even greater Resolve, we are determined that this program does and can continue to change lives.... Through sponcership, these kids can not only have some basic needs met, but will continue to experience love... they will know that they are special... we have chipped away and removed some of the walls... They have opened their hearts and are ready to recieve... People are in place to continue to pour into their lives... Let me tell you... Those in Central Asia are excited or as Sammy would say PUMPED ... Teachers, Dr's , councellors, pastors, bus drivers , taxi's , farmers and even politicians have stepped up and are ready to put their shoulders to the plow.... and for the life of me I am going to do all that I can to continue to encourage them... I feel so blessed that with my position of " Sponcership Director" for Possibilities International I can continue to pour my energy into finding ways that this last five months never ends....

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that we often miss the details .... When you are done reading this, go to the photo of the Yurt on the last post.... I want to draw your attention to something. At this point, about 150 of you have all seen that Big picture now emagine if we all saw the details.... If you left click the photo it will open up full screen and you may see better... Just to the left of the center Yurt there is an outline of a young orphan....... SHE NEEDS A SPONCER

Ps ... for some reason, my spell checker on this progam is not working and the one beside me is asleep..... I will have this post repaired in the morning.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Photo review

Do you remember this video?

Last month I showed this video from when Ed was here. Like so many of the local kids, He was a little excited about the playground coming to town ...

It was so great to drive up and see the playground full of kids ... wait until next week when they will be hosting a month long camp for all the local kids....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stories yet to be told !

Yesterday was a busy day for us,.... unfortunately my stomach was not cooperating and I spent the day in bed... Well back at it today.... We have been packing and sorting what to leave and where it would be put to the best use... Ishar picked us up at 1 today, our first stop was at Larisa's house to have a short visit with the town Chief, then he showed us the new hospital he is opening in a few weeks... from there we went to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the home for invalid men where their new recreational room is ready... One of the men came out from his room and said how he remembered when we first came,,, then said that we did not forget them and thank you for the new room... he then turned into the wall and started crying....
We then visited the village to see the new water supply and to say good bye to our friends there.
Back onto the bus and off to the village... Pastor Vera's was the first stop for Tea.... complete with ploff , salads and watermelon... we dropped off supplies for the kids camp that they will be holding all next month... more good byes, then over to the orphanage ... Things started to get messy there, we did drop off the rest of the money for their playground and also the new swings... the playground is really coming along.....then more tea
We then stopped at Rahema's house...(Ruslan's mom) .. We brought them some medications for the baby and a new carpet for the living room... and had more tea....
Next stop was Aigola's family.... the farm five.... More watermelon and a short visit... then we had to say good bye.... this was so hard, but we know that they have a strong network around them and will be okay.... did I say it was sooo hard to say goodbye....
As you can imagine there was so much more that went on ... Each stop could be it's own post.... Maybe I will play catch up and share the photos when we leave.... we will be in Kiev for a week, then to maybe Poland, then will finish our adventure with a week at the Crimea before heading back to Canada.... so stay tuned ....there are a ton of stories yet to be told...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A few friends !

We started today off by going with Vlady to look at a large apartment that we are interested in renting for some friends of ours ..( I will tell you more about this when the time is right ) . it would be great for a large family.... We had our new daughters that we got in the trade with us. After looking at the apartment, we had Vlady drop us at the bazaar to get a carpet for one of the new houses... as we came out of the bazaar we went into a bakery for a treat ....Julie commented that she really felt that we should have bought the girls some new clothes sooner had she said that than Sabira discovered what happens if you shake a bottle of coke when the top is not on tight..... so back we went to get a couple of new outfits.... Our neighbor Maria stopped buy to bring us some gifts before we go.... more beautiful socks that she makes... we gave her one of the blankets made by the Hastings knitters.... she was very blessed. Our friend Jenish came buy around 3 for a short meeting with us before we headed to a big party we were hosting... Jenish is one of the most incredible young men I have ever met. He has been a blessing to us and always eager to help... He works with the homeless and those with addictions. He also helps in almost every other humanitarian agency you can think of. We have left him a substantial list of things that we need taken care of in the capital city.. Documents for people and monthly contact etc. to help get people on the right track. At supper he shared one of his needs... He has been helping the homeless for a few years. He funds this out of his own pocket, but his income is VERY low, and he has his aging parents and siblings to support. He asked if I could find a sponsor for $30 a month to help him to buy food for these people....( in case you did not read my earlier posts about the people he helps.... many have escaped from slavery in Kazakhstan, and have had their documents stolen so they can't get proper jobs here. ) Julie and I told him that his request for sponsorship was a no brainier for us and that we would front the money for him until we were able to find him a sponsor..... If your church or organization is looking for a place to start helping over seas, I am telling you this guy will bring you results.... I gave him the money, and he wanted to know how to give us reports... I told him to start posting regularly on his blog...... I will post a link in a few days... but for now...its off to a small party out at the yurts for a FEW of our closest friends..... well a FEW more then eighty that is.... Take a look and you may recognise a few.... This is Jenish on the left and our second bus diver Monnet with his son ( we have out grown 1 bus)

Acel and Talant had some hats made for us.
Do you remember this family...aren't they beautiful
These two aren't quite so beautiful !
This place makes the best Shashlik in town... and the lady who owns the place thinks I am wonderful....

I don't think we have ever taken a photo of Vlady that does not make me are a few more group shots.

It was great to have this little get together before we go, and still have enough time that we did not have to make our final good buys... it kept the whole evening light and fun.