Monday, May 30, 2011

A Banner Day..

Lots of story's to follow .... Here I will tease with the photo's and I will try to get some time later today to fill in the details

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kids day parties begin

Remember Erra .. we first met her in the dump, and later PI bought her a house... she was so glad to see us.
The theater began to fill with kids and excitement ... Kung fuu panda ...

300 PRESENTS lined up along the front of the movie theater... we had to go out and get another 50 gifts.

handing out presents

Notice the pink dress girl on the left .. she had the simple dream of having a dress to look like a princess back in the fall

I remember the day we had to tell this little girl that her mother had died because she did not get basic medicine worth about $7.

Others from the village, from the dump and from the streets.. All these kids have become special to us over the years.. It was great to have them all together again.

Second concert was for the disabled children in Bishkek the first 5 rows were all disabled kids. The rest were paying guests. in total there were about 1200 people. each paying guest paid about $3 ... after all was said and done, they weer about $300 short of covering the entire event , including the hall rental and entertainers, which included many of the top performers in Central Asia.

When the show was almost over, we met up with the directors of the Blind society of Kyrgyzstan fund, and we gave them $300 to cover off the event so that they would break even... I was just doing the math, and figured that $300 to cover the 450 kids that got to go to a free concert... that's pretty good in my books... the only trouble is I am not quite sure what pocket, or should I say who's pocket that $300 will come out of...

getting the internet fixed

tomorrow ... taking tatchka driver to hospital

visiting the hospital for mental health

meeting with the plumber to finish fire victoms house

Meeting Rotary club and Mayors office for the dedication of hospital beds

picking up to young friends from the orphanage for a visit

Guess which part of the day tomorrow I am looking forward too...

Friday, May 27, 2011

beds, cribs, hospitals and dentists.

This morning we had Aigoola and Aiperie com over to discuss a business plan for the store at the bazaar. We will help to cover set up of the stock for the store. Aigoola will be selling blankets, mattresses, pillows , sheets and mats. Aiperie will be making original design shirts, and will have about 20 styles on hand. Together they will do custom sewing, everything from hems and zippers to dresses and suit jackets.
We will also work on local marketing plan for them as well as continuing to have them make blankets and mattresses etc. for us as they are sponsored. As well we have about 25 kids sponsored for school that we will need uniforms.
as well as the set up of the store, we have the new sewing room at the house as the "Factory" for bigger orders. They would also need a peddle sewing machine, and a sizing machine. They figure this can be purchased for $300. We have offered them a Business loan for this portion of the business adventure..
They are very excited.. Aiperie spent the rest of the day preparing a price list of the competition, as well as figuring out the new configuration of the store. Aigoola is compiling the list of expected expenditure to finalize the budget.
Such a long way and a lot of water under the bridge since the day we first met these kids in an orphanage, with Aigoola standing off at the fence line watching from a distance to see that her kids were ok... what could she have been thinking..?
Next we went to the bazaar to get the cribs for the hospital, and then the bus stop to meat the hospital beds coming in from Bishkek. Then off to the Hospital to get make the delivery... The nurses and the director reminded me of a bunch of clucking hens when you let them out into the light.. they were all chattering and bouncing into each other with excitement.. Fun to watch.
I got back to the house with 5 minutes to spare before heading to Bishkek for a meeting with Uplift. they do massage therapy for baby's at the orphanages here as well as offering a program to assist mothers of disabled children so that the kids do not get put into an orphanage.. She shared her desire to expand the program to children after the age of 6 as well. It cool, I just happened to have Olga with me translating and doing some banking , and Olga runs the knowledge store that works to bring support to families with disabled kids 6 and over... ... CONNECTION MADE.
I also met with one of our friends in Bishkek... still very early stages, but we have been dreaming of one day having our own dental staff to be able to work in the orphages.. Amagin having a portable office that could go around to work in the orphanages and institutions... provding MUCH needed care.. we have spent thousands of dollars bring kids to the dentists here, and we are only scratching the surface.
Last week we met with a Dentist from another country that is living here now, and contacted us to say that she wants to do volinteer work with us. Today we contacted one of the major hospitals to discuss setting the program up with their covering... it was amazing , not only are they excited, but think they may be able to provide a dental assistant for the program as well as register our Dentist to make sure that every thing is legal and in the right order...
I have been purposely vague about details... I will share more in the near future as the possibilities become realities... I just wanted to give everyone time to think and pray along with us. We are going to need to purchase a portable dentist office and supplies for cleaning and treating teeth.. I think to do this right and effective from the start.. it will take about $3500 some of which is already in place.. This is a great opportunity for us to make life a little more bearable for thousands of children every year... speaking of dentist, then it was off to the Dentist to get my teeth adjusted. and on home again..
Julie taught two classes today , and the girls helped Altynai move back home. Larissa and Tanya visited the three girls we found out about yesterday and brought the report to Julie about them.

"I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Loads of Love

Watch this video.. if you see of feel any similarities to what you have seen happen here in Kyrgyzstan, it is for good reason. Ed Dickson has been more then just a friend, He has been a mentor to us. Our philosophy or ministry is simply a page out of his play book.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HOPE .. it's the last thing to go...

Some days have a way of turning into events.. It appears that this may be the norm for the duration of our stay here.

We began our morning early with a visit from Vlady.. discussing electricity into the store at the bazaar so Aigoola can set up a sewing machine there, then discussed the building of the new store for the micro loan lady who we are working with , then it was off to Emma's orphanage .

They have a class room and office that has been under halted construction for about 5 years. sponsors pulled out, and now the children are over crowded in their home. There is a young man that if my translation is right, is a graduate from this orphanage and has now returned to try to get many of these "dropped" projects revitalized... one being the class room. He will be having a party next week to discuss what can be done. He is planing on having "influential" people from Tokmok there... I wanted to have Vlady take a look so I would know for myself what the task at hand is.. It looks like the roof can be on and the floor poured for about $3500 and another $2000 to finish it after that. I remember what our friends from Norway said last week at the seniors home... I can't finish it, but I sure can start it... I am racking my brains to see if there is a way that we can inspire the local community to step up and get this job done. I am not sure how that will look, maybe if we can break it into sections, and try a match insensitive with them ... Still waiting for clarification on this one...

Then it was over to the Bazaar to arrange the pick up of the cribs to the hospital, and back home again to pick up Julie and the girls... We had been called to the mayors office...

when we got there we were ushered into council chambers where there was the entire city of Tokmok's city councilors and administrators there along with the local press. The council meeting was opened, and then they began to read out a list of things that we had been involved with in Tokmok... ( or at least what they knew about) many of the things I had forgotten about , but they hadn't. We were then called forward, and presented Honorary social certificates by the council chair, then publicly thanked by the mayor as well.

They had prepared certificates for all of us... It was a very humbling event...

This photo is in front of the White house with our new documents... we tried to not be to excited

but inside we felt more like this

It was really great that Emma and Bekah were recognized for their contributions as well... ore then just for their sake, the fact that in this society, two young girls would be honored in such a way... I am very proud of them and the burden that they carry here .

From there it was over to the hospital for tea with the director and staff. They were so exited for us. It was them that led the charge for this day. The director shared that when she first brought our name forward, the head of the health department asked what was so special about us, she said that she then bean sharing all that she we had done there, and then asked him " Could you have done such things" he said "of course not!" and agreed to put our names forward.

When we first came here , our friend Ed told us two things ... The relationship is the most important thing... make sure you keep returning to those you are helping, and the other was to be very careful never to promise anything that you can not deliver, and NEVER fail to deliver what you have promised.

As we sat with the staff and shared with them the assistant to he director told us something.. She said she had worked along side the director for 20 years. She watched as things became worse and worse for them.. Many people came over the years and promised the world to them... the odd one did deliver , but the majority they never saw again..but what stood out the most for them is that we are the only ones that have ever came back... and in the 3 years they have known us, so much has been done, and not once have we ever failed to deliver on a promise.. The director then began sharing with her staff about the wonderful home that LAMb has, and how excited she is to know that a home like DaySpring is available for them.. She said it is HOPE that keeps them going.. HOPE is the last think to leave you... She then shared about the desperation that must be out there , Just yesterday a little girl was drooped off in front of a restaurant with a bag of clothes and nothing else.. she speaks and is a fun little girl.. from the best they can tell she is about three. Right now, Hope for a future is all that this little girl has left... we will go back tomorrow for a visit with the kids, today we had to run , it was graduation at the University.
Representatives from several Embassies were there to bring greetings, including the US Embassy...

The mayor and his group arrived just in time as well

I was very proud of Dr. David Schooler... yes that's Dave .. he is the new chairman of the boards for IUCA. After serving on the board since the inception of the school, David has agreed to take on this responsibility.

As we work with the needy and the orphans in Kyrgyzstan, we see that for the kids here, there is only one way out. There is only one way to break the cycle of poverty that is a way of life here
.. And as far as education goes, one is quickly rising to the top when it comes to quality , and integrity.. and that is IUCA. For many of the kids we help... this is the key to a new life. The amazing thing is that the University had such a burden for the kids here that they take students soly based their potential of circumstances and not based on their ability to pay... I know of no other University that operates in such a way, but with people like David at the lead, I am not surprised.

It was a big day for LAMb ere in Kyrgyzstan. Search and rescue, and education were in the for front today, but as we sat in the ceremonies, we could not help but think about the thirst strand of our team. Lynn and Ruby who are busy State side right now "Tent making" and working on preparing the structural changes necessary to one day make Search and rescue a thing of the past.... But for now we put our HOPE in the One... Because as the Dr shared ... as all else leaves us, there is HOPE....

so what about tomorrow...

Baby hospital to check on the needs of the kids, Chui Mayors office for a meeting, preparing a business plan for future development at IUCA, meeting with a man coming from Bishkek, nit sure what about, but its just not my time to know, then start shopping for kids day and the 600 disabled kids and orphans that we will be celebrating with, meeting with director at a local orphanage to set up English classes for one special young boy there, then find a Russian tooter for the summer for Aigoola's kids. Day spring training meeting, and finish of with an IUCA meeting with Dave.

As I look at the days ahead, it is easy to get overwhelmed , we only have 2 weeks left, and so much to do.... it's times like this that I think back to last week when we stays at home and took a day off... too bad we can't borrow that day back... I have a few things I would like to do back then..

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

picking up speed as the day went on.

9:30 am ... met Babushka to purchase medicine for her daughter

11:00am Met Jengish in Bishkek and went to purchase a sewing machine for the Men's home

12:00 Met with Christy and a friend of hers who is a dentist to set a plan in motion provide a mobile dental clinic to the schools, institutions, and poor in Kyrgyzstan, preparing a proposal to operate program under Jal children's hospital .

2:00 got my new teeth,

3:00 shopping at the zoom for a picture frame to mount a plack for baby hospital beds presentation, and Volley ball net for men's home

5:00 Julie and I went on a ride through the park on a kiddy train

6:00 Met up with Jengish again and planed the next few days events

7:30 Attended a Rotary club meeting in Bishkek. connected up with workers from Uplift and arranged a meeting this week.

9:30 headed for home

11:00 coughed the tail end of a party Bekah as having at the apartment with a bunch of the University students.

Oh and we heard that TOMORROW is the day... wait for this one ...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A bit of a catch up

This afternoon, we had one of the university students over to the house for a visit. He was looking for some help putting together some curriculum to teach English this summer. He is such a great kid. One that has come against the odds to be where he is today. He is an orphan. with out family, the outlook for a young man could be so different.

I was happy to hear that the University has been very helpful to him as far as his tuition is concerned . His tuition will only be $200 for the year, but for him, that is a huge mountain.. then to add to that another $290 for the year for his housing, and food on top of that. We sat at the table at lunch discussing his summer plans. He shared that he was very concerned about raising this kind of money.. the going rate for looong 6 day week working in the fields is about $48 a week .

As we continued to talk, he almost melted ... I could see him breathing heavier, and he said that it was just too difficult for him to talk about. We decided that we needed to push through . We have been examining all the different classes that we teach here, as well as a couple others that we have been asked to teach, and calculated what we have sponsors to help us with . We realized that most of this could be done by him , with one big added bonus. He would be able to head up a team of young men that could go out to the men's home 3 times a week for a sports class .

We proposed this option to him, It would work out that he would make about the same as if he was working in the fields, but would have a hole lot more free time to do the volunteering that he does here at the TOEFL centre and other areas he is involved.

Then as I was telling him this, not sure were it came from as I always try to fully discuss things like this with Julie, I told him that what he earned he could use to live on , both now and for the up coming school year, and the $200 that he must pay the school, we would cover for him as a bonus at the end of the summer... It's always so hard , I know what could be for a young orphan in this country.. or any country for that matter.. and to see a young man working and trying so hard. I know that Hard work is good for him and we want to encourage that.. I just want to sprinkle it with a little love and compassion.

We finally got to the Bazaar to get Emma her birthday present... a new washing machine that she will "Keep" it at Aigoola's House

when we arrived , they did not know we were coming , and the kids were out front of the house playing with the kite Ruslan got for his birthday .. Ruslan is doing so well.. he is excited to be in pre school now, and in the fall, he will be going to the mercy foundation school along with his new brothers and sisters.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

frantically trying to get everything looked after before we go.

Aigoola has dreamed of having a room in her house that is just for sewing. Her home is a seniors shelter for emergency's, so it has to be drop in ready for them at all times.. This does not always agree with a sewing business that often takes up a lot of room in the house.

Behind the house is another building that has a Banya ( Sauna ) a storage room, a pen for the cow and a room that was used as a chicken coop. So a couple weeks ago Vlady and the husband of one of the families we have been working with began work remodeling the chicken coop... The put in new floors, repaired and plastered the walls, put in a new ceiling, and electricity, and even changed the windows and put in a door with a window in it... The ceiling is a little low.. about 7 feet, but the size is great .. it is about 12 ' by 20' , so it will make a great sewing room... beside it is a storage room we will sort out next.. this will be a great place to keep all the materials .

The final touches were put on this job, and Monday it is on to the next. Vlady and Joe will start work on the store down at the bazaar. The micro loan has been arranged, and everything is now in place and they will begin pouring the footings.

After checking out the work, we picked up Beksoltin and headed to the men's home for English class.

Today was the letter C.. C as in candy , and C as in Vitamin C, so to help remember , everyone got a vitamin C sucker. Just as the class was ending, the book cases arrived for the Library and craft room .

Every one pitched in with great enthusiasm as we put together the jig saw puzzle.. every one was slightly different and we had to match 11 tops with 11 bottoms .

But we managed to figure it out, and they are in.. they will adjust them and screw them together when they put them in place.

We then brought some over to DaySpring as well... I could not help but eating a couple fresh radishes out of the garden... It is looking great .

The roses are doing really well too. I was not expecting them to do so well this year, but they are really coming along

We then went to the bazaar to arrange the delivery of the cribs for the baby hospital... they were to be ready today. When we got to the store, we found out that the man that we ordered them from passed away yesterday. So they delivery will be a few days late, and his wife was upset because she did not have any one to put the beds together now.. Anya assured her that we understand and not to worry, we can wait a few days and we can have Vlady and Joe put them together when they get here. We also confirmed that the volley ball net will be arriving in a couple days as well.. that will be exciting.

Turat will be back in Kyrgyzstan in a couple weeks, and we are busy already coming up with jobs for him. We have spoken to Beksaltin and will talk to Turat as well.. we would like to have them go to the men's home 2 or 3 times a week and play soccer , volley ball and basket ball with them. They will be out "activity directors" for the summer.

On the way home from the bazaar Julie and Bekah got playing with the camera and I thought this photo was especially nice....

Friday, May 20, 2011


Not long ago a got an email from a fellow named Gene. Gene had found our Christmas pie challenge video on YouTube, and right away started to come up with a plan ...

He had a buddy named JB who needed to be put in his place so to speak...

JB had shown no mercy on his friend a few weeks back when he did this ....

So Gene came up with this plan... Lets offer up JB to "HELP" the kids in Kyrgyzstan, and and get JB to agree to a pie in the face if we can raise another $500... Just in time for Kids day...

I contacted JB, and he said that he figured that they would want to get even, and hay if it helps the kids ... go for it... so we have One week .. until May 27 to reach a target of $500 , and make Kids day special for 250 kids.

$500 is the Goal for JB, but if we reach that, feel free to keep going , our goal for this day is $2000 for the 1000 kids we have been asked to help.. 3 orphanges, the blind society, and all the disabled kids in the Tokmok and Iskra region... Larisa has big dreams ....

If you are viewing this from FB you may need to go to to access the donate button

Every which way and back again....

We began the morning with a trip to Bishkek to try to get visa's for our Alaska hopeful's ... We were leaving right after their morning exams, and thought it would be nice to bring Banana's for everyone... funny what becomes the norm ... Here is were we buy our banana's from. Of course there is always a lot to do and we make the most out of every trip. , So the first stop was to the Red river orphanage. (Amir / Isaac's )

Now before you say anything... I DID NOT DO THIS... however I almost did several times before. the kids came out of class yesterday, and the floor gave way, and thats why we ended up here today to drop off money with them to get the floor fixed. This was not in our plans, but some things you can't plan for. Our next stop was out for lunch with the kids.. They were all so quiet.. They were really nervous, so much work has gone into getting this far, and in a few hours they would know.
After lunch, they headed to the embassy with Jayne and David and Bekah, while I went with Jengish and Sergey to run errands... I did make it to Aeroflote, and for the most part it went well, and we are a step closer to Turat being able to fly... He went to Ukraine for school, and had to have me as his legal guardian to fly and I had to be with him... It was a one year program, but some how we did not take into consideration that the school year ends before summer.. so he is done next week.. problem is he is not 18 until September, so I am supposed to travel with him... The thought of flying from Bishkek to Moscow, to Kiev, back to Moscow and home to Bishkek the day before flying back to Canada was making me nauseous. But it looks like if we can get him through customs in Kiev the airlines will fly him home with out me there.. I just have to be at the airport to meet him when he comes in... Maybe Ed'd airport man can look after things from that end for us.
From there we went to the furniture bazaar to get the book cases for the library at the mens home.. photo's will follow tomorrow when they are delivered. Next stop was to the store that makes the beds for us. I bought 3 more today.. they will be delivered next week.. he has also agreed that from now on I do not have to come in and give a deposit, I can just call and he will deliver them right to the hospital and put them together for us.. this is great.. it means that as beds are sponsored, they can be delivered.. And yes the price is just $160 delivered and set up..
Then it was back to meet up with the kids at the Embassy ...

Things were not looking great !

We have been here so many times before with Altynai. I know all to well the heart ache and disappointment.. So clearly I can her her voice .. "Daddy they have rejected me !".. What do you say to that.. After three times trying to get her Canadian visa, you would think that you would be ready for it again, but inside we were all just tied up in Knots...
But this time... it was different.....

We have 4 very happy kids and a whole bunch of very relieved friends . They said that it was scary when the people in front of them were denied their visa's, they were sure that they too would be denied, but the interviewer was so nice.. he only asked them a couple questions, and already knew of their planes before ethey even entered his office.. Altynai was asked.. " What is your Major" she answered " Linguistics" and his response was good .. you can come back Monday and pick up your visa. I can't express how relieved we were for all of them..

Julie could not come with us today because she had a couple English classes to teach. We had to laugh , at one point today Bekah got off the phone, and said .. Mom wants to know what the Russian word is for VIOLENT , and INTERVENTION ... Humm she must be having a fun day...
After class she came home with her last class , I took that as an opportunity to feed them a real international meal... pizza and ploff.. These kids are the most amazing kids.. they are so polite, and such a joy to be around.. you really feel blessed to spend time with them... the same kids that one year ago spent a week in their basement praying for their parents return, as their village was destroyed around them. Yet today they are so full of joy and love.. The human spirit is an amazing thing.

As I am writing this post, Julie is reading an advertisement from the University in Bishkek...

Escape the heat of Western civilization and join us in Bishkek ... it's closer then you think....

For some reason this had us all killing ourselves laughing... first what kind of heat do you escape from if 140 degree days are considered an escape, and secondly.. if you got any further, you would be getting closer !

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Just Do It !"

It was a very exciting time as we broke new ground at the seniors home.. Since the very first time we went to the seniors home, they have been asking us to help put up a fence. From a North American stand point, this is not as big a deal as it is here. Culturally, The fence is so important to them.. They do not feel safe and secure with out it. Beyond that, they can not have a garden now because the animals run free, and will destroy anything that they plant. The other problem is that things get stolen and people are gathering behind the home to drink and take drugs. We have always understood this need, but there has always been so much more that was important FOOD and HEAT.. not to mention beds, clothes and running water . But now we are at the point that a fence would be a good next step. And a Garden would be great.

We have been discussing as a team how we could do this .. we know it would make them all sooo happy. There have been many ideas passed around.. where to get the bricks from and we even have a group of men from the rehab centre that will come and work.. But still it will be several thousand dollars...

Today we were out to the home with a friend of Sergeys from Norway.. His group have made incredible impact here by shipping containers to Sergey to distribute... One of the places they bring stuff to is the seniors home, as well he pitched in last fall to help finish the heating system, so he wanted to come for a visit..

We stood outside looking at where the fence should go.. and how to make it work.. He simply said .. " I can't finish it, but I sure ca start it... And if it doesn't get started , it will never get finished..." He then offered up $2000 and said "get started..JUST DO IT " ( I found myself slightly overwhelmed, not so much by what they were doing , but the phrase "Just do it".. it was a message a friend shared with me a Long time ago, one I followed , and one that is easy to loose sight of.... ) then out with the shovel and they began digging the footings.... and like that .. we have begun the fence.... NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT......

We still are not certain about what the final price will be and where the bricks will end up coming from, but we know where the foundation has to go and we know how to do that... Now we just need to keep ahead of the workers with the plans and the money... Then if that was not exciting enough, he told us ... Get the fence up by winter and I will donate the entire orchard that you want to plant... Now that's incentive...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Honor of Bob and Carrie....

At one of the orphanages we have been helping at, there is a special young boy who is dear to our heats. We have had such a burden for him, and that burden is shared around the world. Three years ago, steps were taken so our young friend could have a forever family. A family stepped up and wanted to give our friend the family her deserves.
Then the unthinkable happened. Adoptions were stalled, and the whole adoption community was held in limbo , along with our friend.
Over the years , we have had continued contact with the kids from this orphanage, and have done many small renovations and repairs.. we have taken the kids on outings, and we have brought them food and clothing. We have been able to help with dental appointments medical and eye glasses... Emma has even taught the kids English and art.
The interesting thing is that most of the finances that have helped here have not been from the Kyrgyzstan adoption community , but from a reader that has been moved and inspired by the commitment of Bob and Carrie and their struggle to bring their son home.
Last fall when Bob was here , he helped us to Set up a family room that was sponsored by this same reader.. Then Emma was requested to make this painting for the family room.

Bob and Carrie you have not given up ... you have inspired us...

"but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. "

It has been a great joy for us to get to know our young friend. It has been an honor for us to get to know Bob and Carrie, and it has been a great privilege for us to receive prayer and support from this caring donor.