Friday, April 29, 2011

The passing of a friend ...

This is the re post in part of a blog dating back to Feb 2008... The day we met NickolaiToday 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.

later that day I wrote.

" As I write this I am sitting in our apartment(actually Ed Dickson's 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. "

A couple months later we posted...

This photo is him with Larisa just before going into the home....

Then last year I posted this update ..., I had a chance to go visit him at that home... it is in the same village as the rehab centre. As I went in, I started to think that he may not remember me... He was in very bad shape when we met him first, and we were only there for about 15 minutes, then we visited him in the hospital for about 15 minutes... and now this is over a year later.... well we got to his room, and they said that he had gone to town that morning... so we waited a little while then left..... but fortunately he returned in time ... we met him in the hall... I was on my own, so he had no reference to know who I was, but the moment he saw me , the tears began to flow down his cheeks.. his arms went out , and I got a great big hug... he was so happy that we came to visit him.... We went back to his room, and it was pointed out to us that he still has his lap blanket on his bed... something that he cherishes.... The blanket was made by some seniors in my home town, and we use them to wrap around food hampers that we deliver...What was so cool, is that he was no longer lifeless... He has developed a personality, he has hobbies and interests ..... he has a life...

I was just sharing with a friend that a difficult as the lows are here, the over whelming power of what we are seeing around us is beyond words.... Lives forever changed, families restored, Hope to the Hopeless, and light in the dark corners.... thank you so much for all of you who have continued to faithfully support all that we are doing.... You are making a difference.

Over the next couple years Larisa continued to visit, and we stopped in time to time.. This morning we got a call that he just passed away.

Larisa is on her way out to the village to do the funeral arrangements, and to be a comfort to his new friends... It's always hard working with the seniors, our time with them is short, but it feels good just knowing that in the final days even years, we can turn a life of sorrow and loneliness into one of peace and joy

Good bye our friend Nickolai.. one of the ones in front of us

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mens home from another perspective.

This video was made by friends that were just with us for a visit. They have been such a blessing to everyone at the mens home, and they came with their arms and their hearts wide open.. The men knew that they were loved, and that they do have a family.. watch and see.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Just a quick re-cap on a storey you may not have seen if you have not been following long.

When we arrived in KG this spring, we met an elderly lady that has worked at the MENs home for 42 years. The previous month, her husband had passed away, and on the 40 day mark after his death, as customary here, she held a big funeral for him. When she returned to her home in was engulfed in flames from a faulty DVD player. She had lost everything . We came to see her and brought food and cloths, and told her we would help, but it was difficult to get any emotion from her.. she was just do distraught. I was amazed how her neighbours had started to clean with her, but they had all run out of resources.. and the home was far from livable That's when we brought Vlady and A gentleman we have been helping, to the home to start work.When the renovations were finished, we gathered up new furniture for her. We had lots of hands pitch in to help out,to be helped. They have all experienced what it is like to receive HOPE, today they all had an opportunity to share that home with another. we went over with a bunch of us and started cleaning the floors and windows, then we left Beksolten and Aizada there cleaning while we gathered up all the furniture. They cleaned every dish and every utensil that was spared by the fire...

Bekah suggested that the think about how they were going to get into the car... Vlady said "Don't worry" ... only to find the car was tied shut... Bekah was amused. While we were loading this up, I got a call with an incredible price for rice, one that is unbelievable, so soon I will find out what a ton of rice looks like... but not to worry, I have homes for all of it.. just wondering if I should have bought 2..
Then it was back to the apartment to bring in the furniture. Starting with the new refrigerator and table and chairs... along with the new plants, they look great.

What a change. totally unbelievable...

In the living room, she got a day bed, two new chairs, and a new carpet... The sheets and blankets will be ready tomorrow, but for now she also got a new blanket .

Bellow are our workers in action.

Hope and Dignity

An interesting thing ...this Hope and Dignity... something I am realizing more a more these days , HOPE comes when we help others, DIGNITY comes when we allow others to help us.!
More of this storey to follow soon ...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stoping, and Following ?

A phrase that you here us talk about allot is " Stop for the one in front of you." There are so many people in need here, how do you ever decide who it is that you are to help. Something inside you tells you "this person" or "that person". And when you do stop , it all starts to make sense to you.
As I have thought about this, I have often thought to myself that I am really not that spiritual to be able to have confidence in my ability to discern all the time .. How many have we missed... Every day I walk past people standing at the front steps of the grocery store asking for money in exchange for them either praying for you or in the event that you not help , offer up a cures or two... I think that of all the people there, there is but only one old lady that I have felt the urge to give money to. I have even questioned myself "Why her"...
Today I remembered something that my friend told me one day ... He said, "Don't put your faith in your ability to follow, but put it in Gods ability to lead". It felt almost like a hall pass or something.. Today pieces fell together in my understanding of how the two sayings actually fit together... "Stopping , and following "
We we had a bus load of people going to different Dr's and specialists in Bishkek. We got every one dropped at their Dr's and left them all directions to Daves restaurant near the White house were I was going to meet Jengish and a friend of Bekah's. Many of our group came and went, but then something unexpected.... This little old Lady came in... She sat quietly and had a cup of Tea. Julie and Sergey discussed where we knew her from..We joked a bit that maybe she was actually KGB and was following us, but quickly we realized that she was way out of her comfort zone.. finally it dawned on us. She was the lady from Tokmok that we had given some money to...Then Sergey shared that he never gives money to the people at the grocery store, but for some reason he has been led to give money to this one. .. Sergey went over and told the waitress to give her a menu and tell her that he would buy her lunch...
After we stopped to talk to her... it turns out that she was in Bishkek because she was making a last ditch attempt to get help for her sick daughter.. She was pleading her case at the white house across the street from the restaurant.. She had stepped so far out of her comfort zone, gathered up the last of her resources and headed to Bishkek Praying that she would touch the hearts of the Government... Finally after no results, she thought that her prayers were not heard, and she sat down in defeat .
I then realized that when we failed to recognise "The one in front of us" God has the ability to leed, and can make sure that we notice that one. Today , there was no doubt that Babushka Theresa was that one, and that we were given a second chance to do our part. We spoke with her for a bit, then got her storey and her phone number.. we even drove her back to Tokmok with us. I will talk to Dr Tatyana in the morning, and send her out to the daughter. We WILL work through this. It has confirmed once again that we are not here for our own purposes, but to follow the leading and "Stop for the one in front of us" whom ever that might be..
As we were talking with Theresa , I could hear Sergey quietly in the back ground saying .." This is a miracle happening here .... I believe he is right ...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Update on one of our babushka's

Last night we took a quick run to the bazaar. We were going to go over to see the apartment of the Babushka that had been burned out. Emma wanted us to bring her plants to help the apartment feel like home. We found our cart driver, or at least he found us . When we got the apartment, she was soooo happy to see us. This time no mater how hard she tried, she could not keep the smile off her face. The apartment looks great. they men did such a good job...

The apartment just needs the final dusting and cleaning , then some new furniture. We discussed with her what she will need.. bed/couch, a table, and a cupboard or china cabinet. We will be in Bishkek tomorrow and will go to the used furniture bazaar to see what they have there . She has also found a neighbour that will replace all the window frames on her balcony for $50, so we will go ahead and do that ... might as well go all out and finish the hole apartment.

We have a small refrigerator in our apartment that we will bring her.. She told us that for her to buy one, she would have to save her money for 2 years.

She loved the new plants as well. She then told us that she has something to smile about now.

Here we are standing in front of her new door of her apartment. She is looking forward to having us over for a celebration meal when the furniture is all in. I stood there thinking back to the day we first met her. She was so desperate, and was in such need, yet we still had to find out and question her on things like .. who owns the apartment, does she have the documents, will she be keeping the apartment.. all the stuff you have to do to be sure that this is legitimate... I felt so bad at the time, but tried to be sensitive... I am so happy that things turned out the way they did .. thank you so much.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Iskra mens home update

3 years ago we walked into the Mens home with a group of young people. It was NOT a great experience for them . One that will be with them forever. They got to experience true darkness and desperation. Today I want to take them for another tour of the home. Today it is a place full of joy and hope for the future. Join us in this tour and dream with us about what can be...

Friday, April 22, 2011

The end of a long day...

After visiting the orphanage we went over to the rehab centre . The team had a chance to see the set up. They were very impressed. It was such a uplifting day.. The spring has sprung there. the flowers are on the trees, and the there is new life everywhere.

We took a look a look at the sight of some future self sustainability projects we are looking into. We have been working on a plan to be able start creating self sustainability in the programs that we are involved with, we are working on some proposals right now, and are getting excited about the prospects.. imagine generating an income from within country for the betterment of the country. The key to many of these project will be to get a secure water source at the farm. Jengish had been able to raise a good portion of it while in the US., but there was still a good chunk they needed, It was so exciting for us to be able to tell him that the well was a go... By now, the drillers will have been notified, and will begin next week....

It's Davina's Birthday today (Acel and Talant's daughter) and she wanted to have the team at her party before they left , so it worked out great to have a good buy dinner for them...

2:00 am this morning we headed to the airport.. it was an early start, but in just 30 short hours, they should be arriving at their home... I wounder what kind of trouble we can get into in that length of time.. stay tuned and see....

Visiting or friends again

In the afternoon we stopped out at the orphanage that we took to the hot springs. The kids were still talking about what a great time that they had. while there , we delivered a bunch of food to them to help take the edge off a bit .. meat is something that they do not get a lot of, so the hind leg of a cow was quite the hit with them.

we also brought them 330 lbs of flour, 220 lbs of rice, 110 lbs of sugar, and 110 lbs of pasta.

we also got to bring some gifts for one of our young friends .. he was pretty thrilled with the new cloths as well as the toys and photo's of his family. It was a work day, and all the kids were busy cutting down branches and cleaning up, but when our friend arrived to see us he was wearing his 3 piece suit....hummm he must be a supervisor or

A morning with the kids .

This morning we stopped out at the baby hospital to spend some time with the babies and to deliver some medical supplies that came in with the LAMb team. It was nice to not be in a rush and be able to visit. I went off to the bazaar to shop for food fr another orphanage, but the rest were able to stay for a little over an hour.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mens home update .... (from this point on, NOT to be referred to as an INVALID home.)...

Today was a fun day .. We went out to the mens home and met up with another team from Bishkek to work in the garden . In the last week we have planted ‎500 tomato plants, 300 cabbage, 250 peppers, 250 lbs of seed potatoes, and about 50 more packs of assorted seeds... in total about 1/2 the garden ... this is their first year for a garden there ,, things are progressing in leaps and bounds.. the guys are so happy to be working in the garden. Last week we brought them a bunch of plants, I was so pleased to see today that they had all been planted, and were watered as well.. Right away the men got to work and started planting the rest of the plants. After lunch we went back and had an English and art class with them . It is so great to see the guys interacting and enjoying themselves. I just don't have the words to describe the changes we have seen... As the men have increased in stature, so is the way that they have been treated by the staff. Even the meals that they are being served now are great.. I was over at the Baby hospital so I arrived about 15 minutes after the team. As I walked in I saw Ildar, one of our friends there , sitting on the couch in the front having a nice conversation with one of the workers, they were genuinely enjoying each others company... There has developed an understanding of the value of all life here, and everyone is becoming richer for it.
Before we left, The men presented our guests with some special gifts that they had made for them , and shared again how thankful that they were that 3 years ago, something happened, and life was breathed into them .... It just blessed be beyond words to watch and see another team grow to love our men. I remember back a few years when I brought a group of kids to this very home, and wondered if I had crossed the line , and possibly caused some real emotional stress for them... Today, these kids had a choice of anything that they wanted to do in KG, and the CHOSE to spend the day here ... Maybe one day we will bring some of the kids back that visited the first time , and they will see what has come about when you bright hope and dignity to the hurting helpless and the lost...

No longer INVALID... but men of great VALUE

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back home, safe and sound...

Today our friends spent the day in Kazakhstan... difficult boarder crossings and unsure surroundings, but with Sergey and Anya leading the expedition, and Isar at the wheel, We were confident that they were in good hands. It's times like this that we stop and realizes what incredible friends we have here. Thank you Sergey and Anya, Thank you Isar, once again you are a blessing to us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

swimming , fishing , and up the tower

Julie and Sergey protesting about the squasniak

heading up into the mountains

80 of us made the treck up the mountain to the hot springs

The girls swam and the boys played in the mountains

Then after about 45 minutes, the traded places

Our kids sure had a great time. They had never been here before, and for some , the last time they were out was when the came to the circus with us.

After swimming we went back to the bus and had treats for them all

Juice, Chocolates, and corn pops

We then could not help but stop for a little fishing on the way home .

15 minutes later and we were back on the road

So we started the day with the trip to the baby hospital, and Robert naming the newest baby.. from there we gathered up the kids from Amir and Toliks orphanage and headed to the hot springs. From there on to the Baran tower, but decided to stop for a little fishing on the way... then it was off to David and Jaynes for a great meal... A very busy day, but one that will be remembered for many years to come... by everyone. I know that the blogs have been a little on the light side, and mostly pictures the last few days... Just because we are not posting it does not mean that we have not been busy, but that we have been.

Tomorrow its back to the school for Julie and Bekah, Emma is going with three kids to help the mayors office move them to a new orphanage.. This is when her gentle spirit it so appreciated. We have a couple other small situations to look into and to prepare for a work day at the invalid home the next day. The team is going with Sergey and Anya and Isar to Kazahkstan for a day trip. Just heard from another orphanage today that they are running short of food and still have a couple weeks before the end of the month.. fortunately we have had a pre emptive strike by one of our sponsors , and we have the funds we need to help them out right away. Please enjoy the photo's