Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Working on the playground

What a fun day for the Dayspring kids yesterday .  We had some friends of Bekah's come with her for the day and help with some painting .  They came to us on Sunday and asked if there was anything that they could do to help , and on Monday the girls asked when we could paint the slide.. so Tuesday morning the work began .  They first sanded everything , then the fun began ... deciding on a colour was the next big decision, but in the end , it was a masterpiece.  Great job every one

A great job by the welder from Jengish's centre as well  .. I gave him a picture and said this is what I would like .. here is the photo I gave him.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What a day .. and it's not over yet

We are ready to hide in our apartment and lock the door. today was another overwhelming day with all the needs.   We have been helping train a team of national students in social work.  They are working with an organization from Taiwan that will be helping with many of the families that we support through Larisa.   Yesterday they were at Dayspring with us getting to know the kids, and making arrangements to come every week to help with  some classes with the kids as well as doing some fun stuff with them .

Jenya prepars a snack for the team ( she loves  to help any way she can )... fresh from the garden 
   Today we were travelling with Larisa .  She has identified about 25 families from her case load that she would like them to help with .  Today we visited with about 8 of those families as well as doing a food drop to the dump.
opening Samaritans purse boxes 
Travelling with Larisa is always so overwhelming.  Let me tell you about a few of the families we met today.   One family the Husband has no use of his legs and the wife has no use of her arms.  They are raising their son and two other kids belonging to relatives who have died.  Their home they bought with the help of another disabled man from the bazaar who has since passed away .  We then visited his widow and her kids as well.

  We met another severely disabled man who is trying to build his own home with the hopes of one day having a family.

We met another  man who's wife recently died leaving him to care for his disabled son ( who needed glasses and medication that we arranged for )

We met another family with a 2 1/2 year old with cerebral palsy that needs help getting their son to the city for treatments every week,  We met a family that has a single mother and two kids , the mother has been sick, and they are short of food.

The list just goes on and on ... but the team seemed to be holding it together well, so after a quick wash room break, we brought them to the Dump... That was a little harder on them.

After the dump, we went out to the village where they had a chance to meet some of the families there that we support.  One of the elders began to share with them how the village has changed.

The first store in the village ... 

She told how they had no water, and mostly only disabled people living there. Then Larisa started helping them.. Then the water came, and life came back to the village,..  now they can plant gardens, and they can fix up their homes.. they have learned what it is to work together , and they support each other now.  They have almost 60 new babies in the village .. they have HOPE for their future.

Future sight of the village play ground 

  They then shared the vision that they have .. One of the families has donated a large parcel of land to the village kids to use as a park.  The whole village is ready to do all the work to make it possible... they can do all the welding and building and painting .. they can prepare the land and care for it,  they just asked if we could help with the materials.  I think it would be about $1000 to get them started .. this would give them the material for a slide, swings, benches and some goal posts for the soccer field.. From there they could continue to add on as they were able or as funds came in ... I so wish we had some funds left or we would have been all over that today.. but I am sure that there must be some reason... maybe because if I did have funds at the beginning of the day I would have not had any by the time I got to the village anyway.

   Following the trip to the village we went out to see another family we have worked with for some time .. There are three kids and the mother .. one of the girls is a dwarf, you may have seen her in past posts at Christmas as well as skating and other outings we have sponsored. The son was in a bad accident about three years ago and has had to under go 5 operations so far.  The family has had to sell everything they have to care for him, and now are at the end.   The last operation cost $300 and the family has been able to cover $150 so far.. here is the thing.. they will not let the family have him back until they pay the other  $150, so there he sits... Once again our hands are tied, there is only so much that we can do... but we can pray... and lock ourselves away in our room and hide from the world around us... for at least the next hour hahaaaha

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Today was for us !

I won't lie, the last few weeks have been hard. there seemed to be so much that was "getting on our nerves".   the burdens  are just starting to pile up , and the solutions seem so far off.  We reached the point that Julie was ready to confiscate my phone again for the protection of whom ever might have the misfortune to be calling. 

We knew that our attitudes needed a check, and that we needed to get things back on the right track... then yesterday with Bekah having her ipod stolen, things were coming to a head.  

We are well aware of the reference to "Growing weary in well doing ",  and know from experience when this is happening .. we also know that when this happens, it takes a conscious effort to get back on track .  Yesterday I posted a bit about this on the blog, and asked for prayer .. 

This morning we woke up to an email from a missionary in Peru whom we have never met before.   The email was an encouragement letter from some one who had experienced the same thing.. down sizing to  almost nothing, then having it stolen.   She finished off her letter with this    

My prayer is that your daughter will receive a new ipod better than the one taken from her and a softness in her heart to love those who seem unlovable to this world's eyes.

Blessings and Grace to you from Peru!

 Then included the scripture to back it up.    We discussed this on our way to Karabalta .. about 2 1/2 hours away.. in that time, other letters of encouragement began to come in as well..  as stated in one of them, WE know how we are supposed to feel and act, but transferring that from the mind to the heart  is the challenge. 

Then this morning the work on our hearts continued.  We were asked to attend a small church this morning. The message was about following the call... the pastor then asked for our family to stand up and asked the church to pray for us as an example of following the call... 

At first it was very uncomfortable standing along the front facing about 150 Kyrgyz brothers and sisters.  the pastor told them just briefly that we help with the orphanages and families in need . 

He then shared about a visit at our apartment a couple weeks ago... he shared that he had asked to see some photos of our time in Canada. He then went on to tell every one that he could really tell that God had given us such a love for the Kyrgyz people .. so much so that when we have guests, we make Borsolk.. and Laproshka,,, and Bish bal mak .. even chi from a real samavar, and ploff in a Kazan ... by the time he got to us eating on the floor sitting on beautiful tushuks , the whole place was in tears..
It was not the things that we do here that inspired any of them.. it was the simple fact that they felt the connection, and that they knew that we had that unconditional LOVE for them... as demonstrated by sitting on the floor hahaha... and thats the thing about unconditional love...  its there when everything around you might screem frustration or hate... but LOVE shines through. 

We stood and looked out at a room full of Kyrgyz brothers and sisters, and fell in love with them all over again... 

the front of the church

This is a view from the back of the church   Neither the front or the back are that inspiring, but inside GOD IS WORKING...

After church we went with the pastor and his family to the Afgan wart vets park in the mountains.. the pastor is a vet, and shared about the park.  It is a huge grove of pear trees that the government gave them to harvest each year to raise money to support vets .  

getting ready for the picnic

what a beautiful view .. Emma here is on the phone with one of the kids from an orphanage that needed to talk 
After the wonderful picnic we went to visit the kids at the Karabalta orphanage.  It was great to see so many of our friends again .. we dropped off vitamins to do them until we return again in August.  We could not get over how much the kids have grown. 

They pass on their love to David and Jayne and Lynn and Ruby   ... but mostly Jayne... speaking of unconditional love  ...

As we headed back to Tokmok, we feel refreshed and energized ..ready to continue loving unconditional... still broke , but at least now with the right attitude.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mercy and Grace

Some times things happen that as a parent are just so disappointing. 
  There are hard lessons for our kids, but not really sure what those lessons are.  Our kids have had to grow up fast, and have had to make some difficult choices as they have left their life behind in Canada and move full time to Kyrgyzstan.   Their hearts are here .  They love the people , and they are driven to do their part to make life better for the ones that they meet.  Like I say they have left so much behind, and pretty much all the material things that they have left between them would fit into one over the shoulder nap sack.. That is what made today so difficult for Bekah. 
  She had an old ipod.. probably about 5 or 6 years old , but for her it was special.. It had her Russian English translator on it, her music, and all her contact information , it also had wifi that she used to keep in contact in the city... 
   Today at the bazaar she was not feeling well so she took a cab home.  In the cabs here, you only get the one seat .. the rest of the cab is filled with just about anyone or any thing... while in the cab, she was pick pocketed..  her Ipod is gone. 
  I know it is just a material thing, but they don't have many material things left.. some times it hurts to have things stripped away before we are ready to let go..... 
  Please pray for encouragement.  Things like this can have a bigger toll then we think if left unchecked...Mercy and Grace ... Mercy and Grace....

A day at the water hole .. children being children

A few weeks ago we got an email from a friend of ours.  She is a grade 6 teacher from Peterborough Canada, and she told us that her class has done it again... Once again they have raised some funds and sent them with some special instructions.  Today they asked us to take the kids from Dayspring shopping for new bathing suits and summer outfits, then take them for a picnic and swimming .
What a day we had .   Here are a few photo's from the day.  We are short one girl .. Dasha, she was having heart surgery this morning so we will excuse her.. Another little girl was thrilled that we picked up her brother from another orphanage and brought him with us for the day .  At Christmas he would not even look at her he was so upset at the thoughts of being separated again.. we have been working on this , and today they had the most incredible day together ... 

we got these crocks at a second hand store for $1 each 

picking out the sun dresses 

they were all so excited 
every one different

they loved the life rings .. a lot of fun 

every one got a new bathing suit 

Emma and her charge 

subs pop and chips and Banana's 

Brother and sister are reunited again 

Julie took a moment to tell them all about the kids that sponsored the day today 

   There is just something so special about being a part of making it possible for kids to be kids .. as I look around at the kids we had with us today, and knowing their stories , it just made my heart sing to see them all having such a great day.   Later Acel was telling me how one of our new girls came to our Day spring family support, and  shared about how she was telling her school friend about how much she loves her new family, and the friend asked if she could move in too.    

Friday, May 25, 2012

What a day

Today , the LAMb staff were parent figures for not just day spring kids, but also for about 20 others who were celebrating in 4 different schools and Universities in Tokmok.. at one point we were at three different ceremonies at the same time, as well as in the hospital advocating for Dasha who by the way is BACK ON for surgery tomorrow morning ...  

Jenya and Kristina with Emma 

Altynai Graduated today .. this will need a post of its own.. stay tuned 

This next story is a special one . 

Last fall we were at a fund raiser in NY at the home of the Little Johns .  while there, their church really blessed us.   We tried to turn it down at first and asked to put it toward the fund raising target .. they insisted that for us to " Stop for the ONE in front of us, we would need these funds" well after a six our drive home, we got home to a message from Altynai about a class mate who had recently lost her family and could not stay in school .. the amount needed for her to finish school was $13 less then that days offering ... Today , I had the privilege of watching another one of the ONE'S in front of us receiver her diploma .. I had never met her in person before, but as soon as the ceramony was over she came right to me , introduced herself, and gave me a big hug... we both cried...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Party at Red River

This morning we stopped by the baby orphanage , things are looking great.  We helped them get the paint that they needed .  |From there , we did some last minute shopping, then headed out to Red river orphanage for their year end celebration. 
The kids had a great time .  They were divided into teams and played games  

Every child got a piece of cake , some bubbles , bubble gum, and a juice box 

7 of the kids had a birthday this month, so they got a box of chocolates

This and That

We began the day with a trip to the center. Julie has been working on training some basic counciling skills with them.  Today they discussed various different methods, and worked on a training scedual for the next couple weeks .. They will be coming to Tokmok on Saturday morning to continue. 
taking notes in "counseling 101"

From there we went in to Bishkek for lunch at the home of Samat, our God Son and his wife .  They have a beautiful little home.  
Samat and Aieda in their new kitchen

 Later in the evening, we were back into the centre of bishkek and met up with some friends .. It was nice to be able to spend some time with Aiperi

Bekah , Emma and Aiperie at the restaurant 

In a few minutes, we will head to the bazaar to get cakes and ice cream for 150 kids out at Red River orphanage.  We have some small gifts for all of them as well as a few bigger ones for the 7 kids having a birthday now.   We will head out there at 2:30.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kim shares from her heart ..

A few weeks ago we had the privilege of spending time here in Kyrgzstan with a wonderful couple.. we have grown to love them dearly.   The closer we become, the more our hearts start to beat in unison for the needs that we find and the people we are drawn too.   Today in their blog , 
Kim shared some of what they have observed during their trips here .  Some times I don't do justice when it comes to asking for operating suport.  I tend to focus more on the individual project needs, but miss the most important needs... the resorces that keep us here, that alow us to maintain the personal contact that is sooo important.. and more so the needs that are always on the back of our minds when we should be concentrating on the one in front of us.   

Ceremonial hand washing at a picnic in the mountains..  One of the highlights from this spring .  In Kyrgz custom, this is done by the younger men as a sign of respect for those in stature above them ... to give honour, in return, words of blessing and encouragement are spoken over the younger ... I was blessed   
  Here is what Kim writes ...." I have had the honor of sitting around the table listening to the cries of missionaries hearts.  The cry that resonates to the core of their soul - to help just one person, show them the love of Jesus, and introduce them to the Kingdom of God.  But first they need to meet the personal needs of the one standing in front of them who is hungry, needs medical treatment, needs a home to get off the street, needs help with addictions that is consuming them.  But with these needs comes the need for resources - money, expertise, labor, etc.  These missionaries use up their personal savings, income, energy to just serve.  THEY NEED OUR HELP!  They need our prayers.  They need our giving.  They need our words of encouragement.  I have seen the tears when they are tired, worried, overwhelmed.  I have hear their cries when they don't think they can take another step, when their hearts break when it is time to return to 'normal life' knowing that there is sooooo much more to be done, so many more needing help.  Sometimes now knowing when they can return.

I have never really understood until these last few weeks when God began to open up my eyes to see their needs, my ears to hear their cries, and my heart to hurt for them and especially those that they are trying to serve.

I ask that you take time to pray for the missionaries who give of themselves sacrificially.  Pray for their strength, that their needs are met, that their energy is renewed each day.  I have seen first hand that it is non-stop - each and every day.  The end is near, they feel it in their bones, they are urgently trying to do the Kingdom work that is still yet to be done.  Send them a note of encouragement; let them know you are praying for them, share a verse, and kind word.  You never know if it is exactly what they need to hear at that moment.  Pray about sponsoring them and supporting the people they are serving. Give sacrificially to allow them to do the Kingdom work on your behalf.  You have NO idea how far even $10 can go to make a difference in the life of someone.

Yes, missionaries are the true example of a Bondservant.  God, please bless each and everyone of them.

Praising God for a Changing & Breaking Heart,

Kim "

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthday Celebrations

This afternoon we went over to Bakute for a party.  
One of the young girls there has finished her cooking school , and is doing her work placement at the orphanage .  So today I thought her how to make spaghetti sauce and all the things that you can do with that  . so today we made Lazagna, along with Caesar salad and garlic bread.  We even made the dressing from scratch as well.   It turned out great , and everyone loved it.  After supper, we brought out cakes and presents for the kids.. I think there were about 6 of them celebrating birthdays at this time . 

working in the kitchen

A quick game of red rover before supper 

Hows that for a pan of Lazagna 

dished up and ready to serve 

suddenly every one was quiet 

Blair celebrated his birthday tonight as well

They loved the girfts .. a special thanks to our friends at Crayola who continue to bless us 

Party was over , but Ruslan was not leaving as long as there was cake to eat

in side at the end of the night , playing with their new gifts.

Here is a short video from around the table tonight ...

   or a couple of these boys, this was their first Birthday !  God is so good to allow us to be a part of something so special .