Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gearing up for the fall .. we would like some help.

We are preparing for our return to Kyrgyzstan to come along side and encourage the incredible team we have on the ground .    It is timely that our new t-shirts arrived from  .  They have a cool logo on them,   we is greater then i   or as the shirt says  we>i     that sums up the work that we do .. no one person is able to do what we do.   for the work to continue  it has to be a group effort ..  such a good message for us to remember as we move forward into the fall .
Bekah, along with the many kids that she works with in the scholarship program will be starting school in a month, and that is always a busy and stressful time for them all.

     Emma will also be busy,  Many kids go out of the orphanages in the summer, and just simply do not reappear when summer is over .. that is the time when Emma is the busiest , finding them and making sure that they are ok.  sorting out there living, and school  arrangements.  On top of that she will work at getting ready for three teams and the many projects that they will be working on.

    Julie and I will follow a few weeks later just before the first team .. so much on the go .. a baby hospital renovation , a renovation at the baby orphanage , a play ground at the new police community center, a playground in the village , and a hydroponic greenhouse to grow fresh produce all winter for the orphanages and seniors home .

  Then there all the events planed with the people we work with .. I always say that for the most part a project is an excuse to spend time with the people .. and thats my favorite part .   With the teams we plane to take the kids on outings , and spend time with them to show them they are special .    Things like skating , to the hot springs, fishing, soccer in the mountains, and so many other fun events .

Then there is the Humanitarian aid part of what we do ..before winter food drops to the institutions , support packages to the families and students we work with .. Coal to the seniors home and the families in need not to mention winter cloths , boots and school supplies to the kids in the orphanages .

  All these things will get done .. I believe that .  so many of you have come along side in such a great way, and with many more joining in on the teams coming to give first hand help were needed , I am sure it will be a great fall.

   Here is the problem.  It has been 3  years now since we have have had a push for our personal finances. and that one time request alone  carried us for over a year     I have always trusted God to provide, and through the support of our wonderful sponsors, he always has..   It is so hard to come out and ask for our own needs , but to keep doing what we do, we need your help.  

  As we have been waiting and praying, I have realized that most of you lack the ability to read minds, and if we don't say anything how would you know..   James 4:2 says " you do not have because you do not ask "  so this is us asking .
  Please consider how you would be able to help us at this time, to meet the needs of the year to come .

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer fun for EVERYONE...

We work hard to help encourage , and keep their kids out of the orphanages.  What we struggle with is a belief that maybe the orphanages can do a better job at raising the kids .   That the orphanages have more to offer , and we all know that in most cases that is simply not true, yet the belief continues to be a driving factor in parents abandoning the kids .

  We have tried to figure out why this mind set is so prevalent, and as I look closer , maybe I have an answer.    Maybe part of the reason is that as NGO's we pay extra attention to the orphanages.. they are the first to get help with operations, with food drops, and even now the orphanage kids will get first crack at many of the summer camps.   WHY ?  because it is easier  .. easier to find the kids , and easier to find the sponsors... But why stop at easy .

  This is why the work of people like Sergey and Anya, Olga , Jengish, Acel and Talant , and Larissa and Tanya are sooo important .   They don't stop at the orphanage gates.. they go into the streets and look for the least of these .. those that have fallen through the cracks.. those kids that would otherwise be lost and forgotten ... they don't wait until they show up at the orphanage door in the middle of the night , They work with the families to prevent them from abandoning the kids .  

   It is not as "sexy ", people are not as motivated to give, but it is a preemptive strike that will pay HUGE dividends in the future of these at risk kids .

Another person that we support that understands this is Vera .  She does an incredible job reaching out to these families.   Through the summer she runs a summer camp for the kids, and in the winter months a feeding program for those in need .  I just received this update from her.

John, hi. How are you. Today we have a first children's camp ended, he went from 8 to 19 of  July. 
25-30 were  the children every day. Children are very happy, happy. Thank you very much for your help and support in conducting the camp. Tomorrow we go to the Issyk-Kul  for the day with the volunteers who conducted the camp . Bless you for your work. Hello to  family.

meals provided every day for the kids 

They love the ice cream

Daily crafts 

and more food 

kids ready for the open session 
   This was such a great opportunity for these kids  something that never have taken place with out your support... YOUR DONATIONS made this possible . thank you to everyone who shared in this need .

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tuition, mitts, and a Baby Orphanage update

With the time that it takes to find sponsors, transfer money through the banks and then be ready on the ground in KG, we always have to be ahead of the game .
   In a month from now , children will be heading back to school .. and that means back to school shopping for some , tuition payments for others and housing costs for others .  We currently have 40 kids asking for help , every where from $50 up to $1200  , the average tuition being about $300.  This is such a life changing opportunity for these kids to attend a good school.    Many children we work with have been traumatized , or have faced the worst you could imagine.  Getting them in the right school can make all the difference for them .   Most of all, for the older kids, an opportunity to go to a good school may be the difference between life on the streets , or a bright future .    we are currently looking for sponsors to help with this ..

Do you remember the feel of a new pair of mitts ? every Christmas I would get a new pair from my grandmother , and I still remember the feeling .
  I can remember back in 2003 bringing mitts for the kids in Central Asia, then in 2008 when we went for the first time as a family, giving out mitts was the first interaction Emma and Bekah had with the orphanage kids

a couple days ago , Emma joined me when we went to pick up this falls mitts for the kids .  This wonderful Babushka knits all year for the children of Kyrgyzstan .  This day we brought her a picture of Emma handing out the mitts last fall.  it is in a frame that was made by the kids in the orphanage ...

some one else thinking ahead is the director of the Baby orphanage in Tokmok.  I shared yesterday about the renovation needs that they would like to have done before winter .  Today I have the official letter requesting help ..  128 000 som or around $2600.  I am thrilled to say that we have had almost 10% of the funds come in on the first day .. looking forward to seeing this underway.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Help needed at the Tokmok Baby Orphanage

A couple months ago we did some major renovations on the Baby orphanage in Tokmok .   Thanks to some great sponsors . about a dozen windows and half a dozen doors were replaced with new vinyl ones .  In the photo below , we are inspecting the work before making the final payment to the contractor .  

At the time I was thinking how great it would be to be able to fix up the crumbling walls and paint as well.  then there is the inside to think about .  The director said that they did have some funds coming in for that so they would be ok to finish it on their own.  

Well the estimates are in .. To renovate and repair inside and out, will be 248 000 som  ( $5166 ).. the good part is that her money did come in as expected , 120 000 som ( $2500 ).  but to complete this project, the will need another $2666 .    

Sergey is on his way over to personally confirm the figures, but they do sound right from what I saw .  

The director has asked if we would be able to ask our sponsors once again for help with this .    There are almost 100 children that would directly benefit from these repairs.   It would be great if we could help with this .. if you think that you could help, please contact me at, and / or use the donation button on the side of the blog .   as soon as the money is in we will start the work . 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Change in plans .

Well we are once again at that place where we are waiting on Gods direction.  The girls have their tickets and are heading back to Kyrgyzstan  on Aug 17, but Julie and I are in a place of indecision .
   We have so much on the go in Kyrgyzstan this fall. we have three teams coming and lots of projects that we are working on.  project funds are coming along nicely , but personal funds are coming up a little shy right now.  We had held off to purchase our tickets , but in the mean time , we have had concerns about Julies father who is in hospital, so we have been questioning if Julie should stay back a few weeks, and come over before the week before the first team , then head back a few weeks early right after the last team .  I would then go back with the girls, and after two months go for a quick trip to Kazakhstan and back so that I could get a second 60 days with the visa free entrance .
   Today we rounded up what we thought would be enough for  the JFK to Bishkek portion of our flights ..  then I went on line for the tickets and was hit with a sticker shock .. up about $800 for the both of us ... that we don't have  .. then the second blow,  There is no way we could get on the same flights as the girls so we would have to fly a different airlines , leave an hour after them and arrive a couple hours after them  .. it kind of defeats the purpose of flying back the same time . then the third blow.... we learned that today  they have closed the Kazakhstan embassy  in Kyrgyzstan, so we no longer have the option of the mid trip visa excursion.. and our visa's will be almost $500 each .
  I decided to see what would happen flight wise if we flew out the beginning of September and back the beginning of November , shaving a couple weeks off either end of the trip... and found that we would save $450  on the flights and $470 on the visa's .. that's a total of   $1840 savings .
  So as I am typing this , I believe God has given us one more nudge  I find out that the price of the original flights has just gone up another $150 each.., then received notification that the shorter duration flight has just dropped by $25 but only has 2 seats left in economy ...

so all that to say .. flights booked

Emma and Bekah  Aug 17  no return date
John and Julie     Sept 8 - Nov 4

I am so thankful for the incredible team we have on the ground in Kyrgyzstan right now.  They will have a little extra work to do , but with Emma as their task master , I am sure things will work out ...


Sunday, July 14, 2013

sharing about the work of our friends

This morning , we had a great opportunity to share about the work of our friends in Kyrgyzstan.  and at the same time had opportunity to spend some time with some great friends in Brantford.  

we had a small gift for our friend Ron.  Bekah took this beautiful photo of our mutual friends Sergey and Anya. and the picture frame was made from felt by the kids from Svetly put orphanage in Bishkek.

after the service there was a fellowship supper .  Emma and Bekah shared ploff, Laproshka and Borsolk it traditional Kyrgyz manor .  it was a great time and a great opertunity for us to highlight all the great people we work with in Kyrgyzstan 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Halifax and food drops ...

We have been blessed to meet some great people in Halifax area.  Saturday we spent the afternoon on a large fishing boat.  We went for a tour of the Islands . a BBQ , fishing and a swim 

 We got a little update from Kamalla .   We have her helping with food deliveries while we are here .  Yesterday she visited two of the kids that live way out of town.

Visctor lives way down these tracks ,  he was really pleased to get the food, but more pleased I am sure , just to know that he is remembered 

Luba and her baby are doing well... ,  they too were happy to see Kamalla ..

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Quebec City

We are on our way to Halifax .  we will be meeting with some new friends , and making plans with a team that will be coming to KG in a couple months . 

We made it as far as Quebec City tonight .  we brought our camp stove , and we had spaghetti on the \Plains of Abraham , on the side of the Saint Lawrence Seaway 

Jonah loved the water 

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Update on Danil

Sergey and Anya were to see little Danil at the hospital today to bring him some fruit  . He is doing much better now.   The operation went well .  We just wanted to take a  moment and thank Danil's donors that helped with this .