Friday, November 25, 2011

Get out !

That's what Julie told me last week ... but let me tell you the rest of the story.
4 years ago the well went dry at our home in Canada. We did not have the money to drill a new one, so I rigged up a line and a pump from the kids inflatable pool, and we started purchasing water . This was less then ideal, but it kept us for 5 months, all the time waiting for the water to come back but it never did. As winter approached , the lines started freezing, and the situation was getting more desperate. Finally we could not take it any longer, we were at our end.

We know a man from our church that has a gift of healing . He even travels around conducting healing services . So we went to him and asked him to come and pray over our well. You have to understand that social graces may not be his strong suit, but there is no denying his faith. He came out to our home that afternoon, and we all went out to the well. He looked down into the empty well, then looked up at us and with a mater of fact crusty voice said ."If you haven't got faith for this, go inside , I don't want you around..." We stayed and he prayed. after a few minutes he looked up again and said " There , I'm going home.. tomorrow you will have water ". The next day, I turned on the switch, and for the first time in 5 months, we had water. Not only that , the water continued to rise every day by about a foot, until the pump platform at the top got flooded out and I had to get a submersible pump. The water did not stop rising until it had filled the whole well casing to the point that it was higher level then the surrounding ground... EXCEEDINGLY AND ABUNDANTLY MORE THEN WE COULD ASK OR IMAGINE .
That experience has served as a great reminder and motivator for us when things appear to be difficult, or impossible. It has become our way of keeping each other in check when we start to loose the faith, we just look up with a gruff look and say " If you haven't got the faith for this ..Get out "
Last week I was trying to make plans for all the Christmas events, and at the same time I was looking at the pie totals and wondering how they would ever come together.. I looked over at Julie with a bit of a defeatist look and said ... " I don't think we are going to make it, I was so sure that this is what God wanted us to do... .." and of course her response was "WELL DEAR , IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE FAITH FOR THIS , GET OUT OF THE HOUSE !"...
If you were watching the totals , you would have seen that the challenge really started to pick up steam over the weekend, but then stalled out.. I must say we did great.. we exceeded last years totals by about $3000... But we came up about $7000 short of our target.. that was until Midnight when God stepped in and exceedingly and abundantly more then we could ask or imagine, ALL the pies were covered ..... That's right .. we hit the $20 000 target, .. everyone is getting pied ... But the greatest thing of all, thousands of kids seniors , disabled, they will all know that they are special that they are worth it, and will have a day to remember , and on top of that, they will be receiving soooo necessary vitamins. you would think by now I would stop doubting .
Thank you to every one that shared in this burden.. who stepped out and offered up their mugs to encouraging other .. to the hundreds of people who gave, and to the crusty old man that taught us a thing or two about faith.

Now as a special celebration bonus.. here is a young friend or ours who raised $500 so that the brother he has been waiting for for almost 4 years will know he has not been forgotten.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Blessed to Bless

There is a lot on the go right now, and it is easy to get distracted. It is not officially Thanksgiving here in Canada, that was last month for us. I must have a little Kyrgy's that has rubbed off on me, because like in Kyrgyzstan we are now ready to celebrate every holiday going, and hay there is nothing wrong with having 2 thanksgivings after all we should be thankful all the time .

I spent some time this morning helping my good friend and pastor pack. This has hit me a little harder then I expected. After all with us gone all the time , how selfish is that for us to expect things to remain the same at home. But it hits me, How is it going to be having someone as close as our pastor that does not have a first hand understanding of our work. As I share with my pastor the troubles and trials that we face on an on going basis, he knows , he understands.. he has been there, in fact it was Him that brought us to Central Asia all those years ago... IT IS ALL HIS FAULT..hahaha...

The pie Challenge is down to the last day. I sometimes feel like I am abusing my friends and sponsors . I am always coming to you guys with needs... granted they are not my needs .. as much as they are needs and burdens that others have given me..

I don't take offence at all when Emma writes me , yet more and more I can tell that she is feeling like me.. She now will often start with " I am sorry Dad that I am always asking but ... "I must tell you that this can be a hard cross to bare. Today it just seamed that much harder for me...
I received an email this morning .. It has given me more encouragement that you could imagine. I have opened it up and read it at least a dozen times ... I can't share it all , but I will give you a little tast ...

Dear John 
Here in the United States, we are preparing to celebrate   Thanksgiving.  I am about to put a 21 pound turkey in the oven.    Yesterday the kids made 2 pumpkin pies.  We have mashed potatoes,   sweet potatoes, rolls, etc.  More than enough to feed us and our   extended family.  As we give thanks today, I give thanks for people like you and your   beautiful family.  Who hear God's call.  Who lovingly draw others   into your mission of helping God's children half a world away.  Who   are the hands and feet and voice and heart of our Lord Jesus.  So, this Thanksgiving, as we count our blessings, we remember that we   are blessed so we can bless others.  In His Love, 
"Who lovingly draw others into a mission of helping ".. I needed to hear it put that way, I then started to think back to this past year to all the people that have been touched though the generosity of those of you who have come along side... Literally thousands of people have had their lives changed because of the blessings that have come from you our readers , and your understanding and belief in the truth that lies in the conclusion of the letter I received...
'We remember that we are blessed so that we can bless others. "

So this Thanks giving, please remember as we are thankful for so much, That I have many friends in Kyrgyzstan that are thankful for you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A need brought to my attention just now .

One of the many areas that we support is a medical program. Life is hard enough in Kyrgyzstan, but when some one gets sick, life can become unbearable. We come along side families that require medical help of all types.. Cancer , Cleft palates, Hydrocephalus, heart conditions , you name it, we have helped. Every request that comes to us from our friends I respond to with .. Get me a picture... a picture often allows us to do preliminary work with the Dr's as well as provide us a before picture for potential sponsors, then we require after photo's for the records and for the sponsor.. it is an important part of how the system works... Before and after photo's are also very important to show those in need the past successes.. they often have not had any positive experiences with the medical system, and are very afraid, but seeing previous successes helps to relax them.

A photo is simple for us .. every foreigner in Kyrgyzstan has a camera in there pocket or around their neck... and some times both.. not to mention their i phone . Did you know that for many Kyrgyz, seeing a photo of themselves is still unheard of. In fact in the past we ave helped groups and organizations in Kyrgyzstan to purchase a community camera that they all share.

As we strive to empower nationals, and come behind them to support the programs so that they not only have ownership, but so that they can continue in our absence, it is necessary to equip them with the tools that they need. One of those tools that we need is a camera. Our friend that heads up the medical program that is such an important part of the connection with the hospitals , is back in the US until March. Now I am sure that they miss her for much more then her camera, BUT.. they sure do miss the camera.. we need to get them back into effective work , and that means that I need to bring them a good camera.

So here we are 3 days from the end of the pie in the face challenge, thousands of dollars to go to meet our target , and I am looking for a sponsor to help me purchase the camera. First reaction would be to wait until we finish one thing before starting another, but I have come to learn that it is not my responsibility to direct where donations come from or where they go... and very possibly some one that has already sponsored a pie, or may never sponsor a pie will feel a call to action here .. We all know the cost of camera's and the wide range of quality .. so I will leave this one open, and what ever comes in designated toward a camera for the medical team will be fantastic, and we will bring them a camera next month that matches the donation.

PS. the pie challenge is now over the 10 000 mark .. what a blessing

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One week left

We have one week to go in the Christmas pie challenge , and we are not quite half way there...

The side of me that does not have the faith started going through the lists today to see who we could "trim" from the festivities.....That did not work out so well.. when all was said and done.. with just the "must " list, I am up from 2000 to 2150...

Oh Man,, I am going to have to stop listening to the side with no faith. The faith side is going to have to come through in a BIG way... Please take a moment and make a donation today... even as little as $10 will make a memory for a child that will last a life time... and provide the vitamins that can keep a child healthy for the year...

Aidar Update

With great happiness we share a wonderful update story on Aidar. Many of you will remember sweet Aidar.

His story has touched so many from many countries around the world. And it all started because we stopped for the one in front of us. Aidar took our hands and grabbed our hearts first in April 2009. Over two years many of our supporters struggled to get him the Cardiac surgery that would save his life. Many routes were sought and finally persistance and faith has paid off. In September Aidar was given the gift he so much deserved. His heart has been repaired! His surgery and recovery was nothing short of a miracle. He is now recovering nicely.

We are unsure what the future holds for young Aidar. But one thing is certain he has touched many lives. His surgery and aftercare has been possible through the efforts of local friends who have collaborated to make a difference one life at a time. His aftercare has been fronted but we would love to find resources to support the friends who worked hard to make this happen...
Thank you to every one who has had a part in helping this beautiful boy, and to those of you who would commit to his on going care, we ask a special blessing .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sam's getting a pie

Your Jedi like reflexes are not going to save you this time Sam.
You have just reached your target of $500 to get a pie in the face.

The money raised will provide a Christmas party,
a present and vitamins to 1/2 the orphanage that Sam's brother is in.
One more Christmas apart, but Sams brother is going to know that he is not alone
.. that many care about them. Thanks Sam for taking one for the kids ...

Monday, November 14, 2011

update from Emma

Emma just sent some more photo's , I thought you might be interested in some of them.

This is Luba. If you have been following the blog, you will remember her from Orlofka orphanage. We have been supporting her for 3 years now in university.

This photo is of the widow of my tatchka ( cart) driver friend who passed away last month . She is sick as well and needs an operation on her leg.. I should know more details soon and know what we can do help save her..

This is the home of a friend of Talents. He works hard, but like so many, he just can not seem to catch a break. He planted a huge garden of Garlic, but the conditions for garlic were not right this year, and they did not grow big enough to sell in the market, so Emma and family have an abundance of mini garlic that they bought from him to help him out...

While Jody and Gabriel were in Tokmok last month, they purchased coal for may in need ... unfortunately when they went to get it, there was no coal in Tokmok at the time, so Emma and the LAMb staff looked after that as soon as the coal trains arrived. They have provided coal for the: seniors home in Kemin, the community otreach center in Kemin, the safe beds in Tokmok, the Dayspring home, the rehab center, and 5 ton to be distributed in bags this winter to families in need. 40 tons of coal in total. We will likely only need another 5 or 10 tons over the winter .

Thank you to everyone that had a part in these blessings .. and all the creative ways you helped raise funds..

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grammy Pammy may be taking a pie ..

We had to make one small change in the pie challenge roster today. I was sharing about the challenge today in our home church, and happened to mention that my mom ( Grammy Pammy) was letting her name stand... there was a gasp... WHO WOULD EVER PIE YOUR MOM was the sentiment... "NO ONE WILL PAY FOR THAT " sooooo I said "fine then.. Unless she raises $500 she WILL be getting a pie in the face".. tonight she raised $200 to avoid the pie.. if you want to help save Grammy Gammy from a pie.. you can do so by donating in her name.

Three of the orphans we would like to have join us for Christmas

I don't know how many remember this story. Mother died two years ago, and last year the father got sick. There are actually three girls, the two here and an older sister suffered head trauma and has been left developmentally delayed. The two younger girls worked to look after there father and sister until this summer when the father also died. They were left with a home falling down, and only an income of about $ a week they earn cleaning and doing dishes and any other work they can find.They continue to look after their sister, and are trying to finish school as well.
when ever we have a little money come in, we have Larisa stop in to bring them a little food. Vlady and the boys spent a couple weeks there fixing the house,

When Jody and Gabriel were there last month, they bought them some coal for the winter. These girls are in such a vulnerable state.. Some one has to be there for them.. I am so thankful for our team members that have taken that on .

I would like to include these three girls in one of the Christmas parties, and I know that the vitamins would mean the world to them.... BUT for that to happen.. we need you...

A donation to the pie challenge of $30 make this possible... Please take a moment and give us a hand.

It does not have to stop there... we are looking for a permanent sponsor for these girls.. If you think that might be you.. please let me know and we can set up a monthly sponsorship.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rotary recognition dinner.

With over 1.2 million people in over 200 countries. The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

It was a great honor for us last night to attend the Rotary recognition dinner and be presented with the Paul Harris award for international service. In appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and freindly relations among peoples of the world.

As I looked around the room , it was a little overwhelming .. Attending were so many who have given so much to the community for more years then I could even imagine. I am just so humbled how this could all come together ... As we were introduced, they shared a little about Julie and my past, and what our future plans were , then she began to read off all the area's that we are involved in, and it almost overwhelmed even me... To think that every one of those area's has a Kyrgyz National at the lead, following the burden that they have been given...What an incredible network we are a part of.

So I guess here is the way that it works... I come to the Rotary and share the needs in Kyrgyzstan. They step forward and choose a project ( Hospital beds ) and send us back to Tokmok with cash in hand. We renovate and replace the beds in the Baby hospital, and the City of Tokmok Honors us with a citizens award for social service
Then we come home and present the report of completion to the Rotary, and they present us with this award...and choose the next project....

As I stood in front of this incredible group last night, I could not help but think about some of the incredible people that our family work with both here and there that make this all happen.. Our LAMb team is such an incredible support to everything that we do. they lead by example, and encourage us every step of the way. They are so well respected internationally, that just by association, they make us look good. Our sponsors and friends who encourage and make it possible.. and our friends and workers in Kyrgyzstan, like Vlady and the boys who I know that as I am writing this will be up a ladder working on the hospital renovations... Sergey and Anya who have such an incredible heart for the projects, and are such incredible directors of many of the projects... I think of Dr Anara the director of the hospital, and the incredible job that she does with so little.. ALWAYS there to help those in need... I also think of so many in the Government office that we have worked with like Janell who has such a heart, for her city, and was instrumental in making the connections that have made it possible to bring the degree of impact that we have .

Most of all I recognize my family.. Julie and the girls are not just a part of what is going on, but they ARE what is going on... They live and breath to bring hope and dignity to the people of Kyrgyzstan, and stand beside me every step of the way, many times driving us to DO more and to DO better.
We are also blessed that the family that we leave behind , both in Canada and in Kyrgyzstan, understand that we go because we must.. and though it is hard on them every time we make the move.. they support us...
So when I was told about this award and asked to allow my name to stand, it is in recognition of all of you that I except these awards... because it is all of YOU that makes us look good....
Thank you

Remembering the sacrifices

I can remember my first Veterans day in Kyrgyzstan, I had some business to attend to the day before at the local police station. The police Sargent I was there to meet was away because he was trying to find the funds to purchase the flowers that he needed to bring to the cenotaph the next day. Suddenly it dawned on me the date, and I remembered ... I don't know why but I was surprised wen I realized that was a day that they remember as well.. Not only that, but that they were our allies.
Since that time, I started to take a little more notice of the veterans that we were working with... a little more understanding of where life may have brought them. I think of our seniors from the seniors home like "the General" siting beside our young friend Logan in this photo below.
"Blessed is the peace maker" I am so thankful for the sacrifice of so many so that we have the freedoms that we have today .. Please take a moment today and remember all those who have done their part.

This next video is a little treat from an old veteran we are friends with.. He has only one leg and lives on a pension of under $25 a month . Despite his own situation, he still tries to bring a little happiness to others. The neighbors know him as the little man who sits out on the bridge and sings to all those that walk buy.. He told me that singing covers up the hurts, and the lonesomeness.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

hospital repairs under way

We have the guys out working at the Baby hospital right now. The plumbing has been completed, so not they are patching the holes left by the blumber and repairing the spots that could never be fixed properly because of the constant leak.. but now it is dry and can be fixed . While they were doing that , it was brought to their attention that the steps into the nursery were dangerous. There was only a very small canopy over the steps, and it leaked. So we decided to replace it as well. Yo can see below . It is not finished yet, but it it almost twice as long as the old one, and sticks out twice as far.

Oh Ya .. Just bought our tickets over at Christmas.. we have a team of 9 going to help us celebrate Christmas, and bring bags of Vitamins ... I will tell you more about who the team is tomorrow .

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Update from Altynai

Bringing people together for a collective good .. This is one of our objectives, but is not always an easy one. But a group of students came together .. so many differences, but yesterday when they came together the focuses changed from the day timers we had sent them , to what they have in common.

From there it was only a very small step to what they can do to effect positive change in their country. Lets remember these young adults ... This is where real change will take place ...

"Yesterday we had pizza party for our brothers and sisters :

we had some students from 2 different groups

We had pizza and then everyone got a student planner.

All students thank you for these planners, we were happy to know

that you care for us.

At the end of the party students shared their vision

about creating a team that will raise money by auctions or concerts

and then spend them helping people in needs: orphanages or senior's homes.

It was great meeting, thank you :)"

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


What is she smiling about ? let me tell you her story.

Last spring when we were teaching English at the men's home, a beautiful young girl came in and sat in on the class. She was the daughter of one of the workers there . It was a busy day, a lot on the go, making plans , as well we had other guests there with us. When there was a little break in the "confusion" , she asked if she could speak with me. Larisa, this young girl and her mother, and a translator joined me in another room... " Tell him what you have been praying for" said Larissa... " A computer for my studies " was her answer.. both Larisa and her mother practically climbed down the poor kids throat.. They had something else in mind.
They told her to show me her arm.... her head dropped, and I could tell she was uncomfortable when she showed me her arm was missing . Up until this point, she was so bright and beautiful that I never even notices that she had only one arm.
We assured her that we could do what we could to help her get a new arm. I contacted friends of friends and started the process. It looked like we could get her a new arm for only $250. I had mentioned her story here on the blog at the time.

A family had read the story, and some of the kids decided that they would not spend the summer vacation money they had been saving, but rather they would like to help her with her dream. Right away things were put into motion, and Larisa began the process of having her arm made. Little did we know, but once we started the process, something amazing happened... We had connected to the right people, because it was decided that there would be no charge for the arm.. A blessing that we never would have received if we did not have a couple great kids step out and get us started....

She was so happy, but especially Her mother and Larisa. They can hardly believe the blessing .. after so many years, for this beautiful young girl to get her arm... But that's not what she was grinning about... Remember I told you that when asked what she wanted , she replied " A computer " Well God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts.. and so do our young friends.. Once the arm was covered, it only made seance that they would get her the computer that she had been dreaming about. Last week, Jody and Gabriel had the privilege of giving her the lap top. On the desk top, there is a folder with pictures and letters from her new friends

I , once again, am so touched by the love and generosity shown to our young friend ... I am sure that she is looking at the world from a different perspective ....

And now you know the rest of the story....