Saturday, August 31, 2013

In it for the long haul ...

letter from Emma "Samat's work paid for 2000c of the operation, so he gave back 2000c and asked me to take them back to school shopping. Arzamat got a sports costume and running shoes and Aktilek got a blouse and skirt. They said, " thank you very much"

Emma and Bekah are still very busy making the rounds making sure everyone is ok and is preparing for school.  One of the things Emma does is to keep track of all the kids we work with and help over the years .  She recognizes that its not good enough to step into someones life and help once then disappear, but it is important to maintain a relationship and be there for the long run.  Damira and her two kids are a family that a team from Millbrook helped last fall to get there house cleaned from the mold and safe to live in again.  Threw the winter they had a few ups and downs.  Damira has been in and out of hospital, and our God son Samat has helped a lot with the kids as our point of contact .  Just a few weeks ago , Damira needed an operation,   another organization was able to sponsor it, but they could only refund a receipt , part the there aid policy,  fortunately was there to advance the funds .. it was about $50 .  A couple days ago the funds were returned , so Emma and Samat thought it would be great to use the funds to take the kids shopping .    For a single mother with no other resources, I can not begin to imagine the relief it is for her to have people like Samat and Emma in her life.    Julie and I had a slow day last spring, and the circus was in town, so we had a chance to take these two with us for the night .. we had Kolya come as a translator, and we had such a good time with them .. We feel so blessed that we can be a part of the lives of so many families like this , and we don't take for-granted ever, the sacrifices people like you make so that we can be a part of their lives , not just a one time shot , but for the long haul . 

Friday, August 30, 2013

All dressed up and no where to go !

Today's we are facing a bit of a dilemma .  We have a small orphanage of kids that desperately want to attend a special school .  It is one of the best schools , both academically and morally in the city.  but that's not why the kids want to go there .  Its because for an orphan to attend a regular school, they are instantly the focus of all kind of cruelty.    We talk a lot about bullying here in North America, but what we see here is nothing compared to what these kids face from other children , the teachers, and the society.  Life has been hard enough for them, WE have to do what ever we can to provide a safe caring environment for them .   We have a few of them sponsored now, and six more to go, but that's just the older kids , the younger ones are not going because it is too far for them to walk... but the little ones , the most vulnerable, they are the ones that we should be advocating the hardest for ..  Emma keeps reminding me of this , and again this morning she tells me ,  If we had bus money for them they could go.. .. I checked and for bus money for an entire school year would be $66 per child... but here is the dilemma,     Tuition for an entire year is $375,  so for every child sponsored for $66 for the bus, we need to find another $375 for the tuition.

I recognize that I have been posting a lot of financial requests these last few weeks , and I am so sorry, ( I am Canadian after all LOL) but the needs right now are just so overwhelming .  We are a voice for those with no voice, and to see so many living on the edge , when for a comparatively small amount we can make a difference, its hard not to ask.

 A few weeks ago we were at a function, and a very well respected , long time missionary was there .  To my thinking he is one of those guys who would be so well established that he would be able to just focus on the task  at hand .   He is a Man on a journey that they have produced movies about , yet when some one asked him " Whats the hardest thing about your work " , his answer both shocked and discouraged me .

What we all expected him to say was something like  " looking into the face of a sick or dying child, or maybe fighting to get young boys and girls out of slavery"  but NO his response was ... " I hate that my life is spent begging for money .. its hard , its humbling, and it gets tiring "  but he went on to say , I just have to keep my eye on the people I represent ...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New print now available

 Emma's Latest print is now available on Canvas 
It was completed just before she headed back to Kyrgyzstan .  To see more of her work that is available now please go to the earlier post HERE
Print #6

More fun with the kids

 This afternoon The girls went with Sergey and Anya out to one of the orphanages to spend some time with the kids .  they had a great time , They had prepared some crafts for them, and Anya had colected up some school clothes for them .  They were so happy to see that Emma and Bekah were back inn Kyrgyzstan .

Uri showing us his masterpiece with Bekah , Anya and Sergey

 They all got in on the action .  what a fun time . 

At this orphanage we have 6 kids like Uri here , that need sponsors for school .  Tuition there is $375 each for the year .  They attend one of the private schools there .  The education aside , this school the kids from the orphanage are treated much better and are not picked on or bullied because they are from an orphanage .    Being treated with a little dignity is such a wonderful thing, we are so happy that we we have the opportunity to help.

Lots of Happy kids

Bekah delivering the news that sponsors have come forward to help make it possible for this beautiful young lady to go to University ...
 Back to school can be such an emotional and stress full time for kids everywhere .., Do they have the right back to school outfit, the newest electronic gadget, the coolest binder and the neatest pencil set ..  so many things to think about ...   How about if they were thinking about .. will the school except me even though I only have  40 % of the tuition, I don't have a school uniform so I can't go, I still have 2 pages left in my work book from last year that should last me a couple days , and I wonder if I can borrow a pencil from someone .  

I am always overwhelmed by the contrast between our home in Canada and our home in Kyrgyzstan .  But what is the biggest  contrast is some times the attitude of the kids .. and I was no different when I was a kid .. the dread of returning to school in the fall .. Yet in Kyrgyzstan, the kids are so excited , they know and understand that the only way to break a cycle of poverty is to get a good education.. they appreciate every opportunity that they get .  Its not about the extras , heck , its not even about having the basics.. its simply about being able to show up ...

That's I guess what makes it that much more special when we are able to do the little things to help the kids get ready .. topping off a tuition payment here , books there , maybe a pair of shoes as there old ones fell apart over the summer.. for each child its a different need , but the result is the same .
Gratitude , and Joy .. all you have to do is look at the faces and you can see .

New shoes

a pretty exciting day at the bazaar with Emma .
Once again , a great big thank you to every one who sponsored today shopping trip .

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


 As you know , for many years we have been working at the Tokmok Baby Hospital .  The hospital is actually a teaching hospital .   

nurses in training
 This year we are excited to have a new addition to the school .. Our very own Baktagul will be starting in a few days .  We are so proud of her, Out of the orphanage when she turned 16 with no hope for her future, she was blessed to have an amazing sponsor come forward .  In one year she was able to complete both grade 10 and 11 in a specialized university prep program , and a few weeks ago wrote her entrance exams for nursing school .  Today the future looks bright for Baktagul ..

Bekah  and Baktagul .. ready for school

Yesterday Bekah shared a concern for a young girl who had lost her scholarship, and was $200 short of returning to University .  Bekah has seen first had what the alternative is for many of these young girls , and  had a certain desperation when she called me about her .. with in 24 hours , we had three separate donations  totaling enough to cover this young girls needs.  Bekah was sooo excited when I told her this morning ..she says "thank you" , "Spasiba", &  "Raxmat"

A special thank you to ALL those who are helping us to provide scholarships, but more then that , a safe place for now, and a HOPE FOR THE FUTURE...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dad we're not gonna have enough for everyone :(

 This is always a difficult time for us .. back to school and all the costs included with that .  We max out our budget helping those in need, but then we hear of others who need some help, and then there are those who may be in trouble and are out there some where .. Do we still seek them out to make sure they are ok , even though we may not have the resources to help once we find them ?  Yes we have to try ,  that's what makes it so difficult ..  Emma and Bekah have been busy helping kids get settled for the new school year , and at the same time finding more and more kids in need .  We know we can not help them all , it would just be nice if it was someone elses responsibility to decide who's not getting help.  
 .. here is an example of a few excerpts  from this mornings updates from the girls 

 36 minutes ago
also the university isn't really giving scholarships or anything this year..
Ilyas has to pay the full amount
he can work 10,000 off for the university but he will have 40,000 more
so he has another 40,000 he needs to pay ($833)
and there is one girl that is a really good student but only has a mother and she was counting on her scholarship that they gave her last year and she didn't get it.. and she is short 200 bucks
dad we're not gonna have enough for everyone :(
4 hours ago
I went with Kolya to pay for his school stuff here's the receipts.
I asked him about Anya , I dont know what really happened, but this is her side of the story...
Kolya said their was some kind of difficulty  She was 18 and had to leave the orphanage and she couldnt go to school because her sponsors  decided not to sponsor her anymore. so she went to live with her dad somewhere in tokmok who inst actually her dad, but he said she cant live there anymore
so now Kolya hasn't heard from her and doesn't know where she's living. she was going to try to find an apartment to rent and find work. He said he would try calling her again and let me know
about an hour ago
ok so bekah just  talked to her and she is going to go to school somewhere in tokmok. I guess she got things figured out.. we will find out more and get back to you .
Elmira from Beikut orphanage just called and  asked if we can help them again with back to school shopping ?

please pray for wisdom for us as we figure out who we are to help ... and who we can't ..

Monday, August 26, 2013

More back to school shopping

More back to school shopping with some of the kids .  Victor on the right lives waayyyyyyy out of town down the tracks , so it took a couple days to get a hold of him .. he is always so happy to see Emma , and especially happy to get what he needs for school .    Kola on the left told Emma that he would be ok with out clothes this year, but was wondering if we could help him with his tuition ,  it is $115 for the year for a grade 10 & 11 double credit, in a collage prep school .  he will major in cooking for the year , then go on to University next year .  Emma told him we will help with the school, and bought him a few things he needed any ways .  

Kola,  Emma, and Victor at the Bazaar

victor picking out his school books

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Update from the girls

 As is often the case , the girls hit the ground running , in fact they did not even wait to hit the ground .  As soon as they reached the Moscow airport, Bekah began making arrangements for when they arrived , complete with setting up Dr's appointments for some of the kids that she knew were not feeling well .  They landed at 5:15 am and by 9 am they were in full swing. 

  Before we left in the spring, I had arranged a day up at the lake with everyone when we got back , A time of rest for them, a time of jet leg for us and a time to have a good visit before getting back to work .. We were sad not to be able to make it, but the girls had a great time with everyone . 

Baktagul and Acel enjoying the sun

Yesterday the girls were at the bazaar , starting the back to school shopping with Emma's kids .  The bazaar was not as bad as we thought it would be , there is just one main section that is destroyed by fire , but Emma says that they are already busy cleaning it up . 

Today she had Aibek and his little cousin shopping . Monday she will have Victor and a few others .

Aibek and his Little cousin Adep with Emma and Bekah at the Bazaar
Here is the report from Emma from today's shopping ..  I thought that some of you might be interested in what a back to school shopping might cost there ... $1 US is equal to 48 com

for Adep- 300c running shoes 500c sport's costume and underwear 250c back pack 350c dress shoes for
Aibek- 150c back pack 400c running shoes 600c sports costume 500c black pants 150c taxi, ice cream and juice total 3200 = $67 US
they said they could buy books and stuff themselves in the village
3 hours ago

Report · 6:05pm
thanks Emma , that's great

Report · 6:34pm
what was it like at the bazaar

Report · 6:53pm
it was fine, there is one isle that is burned out
where the flour was
but they are already re doing that whole section
... not the flour that was on the other side of the road that we go to, the part that was inside the bazaar

Monday, August 19, 2013


The girls have arrived safely in Kyrgyzstan.  they only difficulty was with the Air Canada ticket agent that took an hour and forty minutes to first figure out were Kyrgyzstan was,then  , if she could check a bag through , if they need visa's for Moscow, if they need visa's for Kyrgyzstan , then here is the clincher , " I have to hand write a receipt for your extra bag because the system is not able to give you a receipt " Grrrr

We knew as soon as they hit the Moscow airport.. Bekah was busy making plans for when they landed , complete with setting up morning Drs appointments for some of the kids .. and arranging meetings for the day ,  she had me at one end , and Jengish at the other.. 

I mentioned a couple days ago that I would give a little update on the projects .. and where they stand ... kind of the state of the union address 

Out reach center project with Vera ... fully funded 
( girls delivered the funds today)
back to school supplies for the orphanages 
and kids we support ...........................$1500 covered  $800 to go 
Tuition assistance .............................$5500 covered  $9500 to go 
Park in the village ..............................$1500 covered $1500 to go 
Hospital waiting, and exam room .......$7500 covered $2500 to go 
Baby orphanage  renovations ........... $600 covered  $1400 to go 
Green house to attach to the bio diesel
plant .................................................$500 covered $1500 to go
start up food hampers for students    $500 covered   $700 to go 

Other needs that will be coming up soon 

Winter coal for seniors home , Day spring
Jeremiah house , and families in need .......................$3500
Seniors day celebrations ..........................................$500
Food drops for the seniors home and orphanages .....$2000
looking for monthly sponsors totaling  $200 / month for 
-Larissa and Tanya 
-Emma  & Bekah and those they are supporting

We have been covering these from our personal salary support, but those coffers are almost empty as well , we are still praying for $1000 / month for our personal support to allow us to keep doing what we do . 

So that's where we stand.. minus a few other needs that I am not able to share at this time .  

We face these needs this time every year, and every year God is faithful .. but we are told , 
"By prayer and petition , make your requests know, then let the peace of God that passes all understanding guard your hearts and your minds" ... I think  its the only way to stay sane, if we could be called that. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fair well to the girls

There have been lost of good buys over the last couple days ,  We had friends from our church come to the house a couple days ago , it was nice for them to have a little send off with the girls . 

Jen was the girls youth leader as they were growing up, and continues to have a special place in their hearts .. They learned so much from her and she is part of who they are today .. it was extra special that she was able to make it out for the send off . 
Tonight we had supper with Benjam and Rachel , and the girls said there fair wells to their  nephews , then it was off to the hospital to have a last visit with Julie's dad before they go . 
We are busy packing tonight with Emma and Bekah ,    They are very excited to be returning to their beloved Kyrgyzstan.    They have so much to do as soon as they land , many little details to take care of as we prepare for three teams coming over.
   As usual, things start to heat up a bit as we are preparing to head over .    With back to school just around the corner there is always a lot of stress .. for us as well .. we have many students that we help with their tuition, and we still have a short fall , and could really use some help ..  I think tomorrow I will do a little recap of all the projects we are working on, and where we stand with the financing of each .. but you know that the needs never end .. a few hours ago one of our key workers had her car stolen right out of her yard.. I guess her house was broken into a few days ago, and they must have gotten a key then .  Earlier today I had a Face book visit with a dear young friend of ours who is at University.  He was working in another country  , and managed to get swindled out of his tuition money by his employer.. now he is facing a huge debt from  his summer living expenses , as well as has no money to finish school .. just one year left .. but now no means, not even money to get back to Kyrgyzstan    ... This is just the beginning .. it is going to get harder and harder over the next few weeks .. Please pray that we will have wisdom and show Mercy., and the funds to back it up.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1/2 way there

Reaching out to the community is what our friend era does the best .    from he little outreach centre in the centre of town, she and her husband are able to do amazing things .  They run a drug and alcohol rehab centre, a seniors feeding program, a kids summer camp, and so much more .  they also reach out to the neighbouring communities and offer up hope and love.     Here below  is an example of the kind of impact they are having .  this was in the local town hall when they were putting on a concert for the kids in the village.

I shared a few days ago that she is now trying to open a centre in a neighbouring village .   They have a family that has been training with them for some time now and is ready to take on this project.  Vera and her husband will continue to be active and have over-site .  They attempted to rent a location to start, but were not able to find a location, but they have found a house for sale that they could use as a centre ..   $3000 is all that the need to close the deal.  Now as an added bonus, a donor over at has offered to match any donations up to $1500  .. We need to move quickly on this as the price will likely go up as is often the case .     if you would like to be part of this opportunity to reach out to an entire village  , and have your donation doubled , please act now.  .. one your donation please indicate "outreach centre "

Monday, August 12, 2013

Your opportunity to Help and encourage Emma .

As parents we are so proud of our girls, and the burden they have to come beside the hurting helpless and lost in Kyrgyzstan.  they have such a drive and motivation to reach out, and reach down to literally be the difference between life and death to some of those they help.. We say that they are child advocates,  but it is so much more then that .. you would have to be there and see the kids when they see Emma , or be there and listen as her phone rings constantly with kids that just want to hear her voice.. like I say she has become more then an advocate , she is a friend , and she is their family. 

Unfortunately our pride in what they do , and there drive and motivation is not enough , they need your support.  And what is more difficult is that they better they do and the more that they accomplish, the greater the resources that they need .    

Bekah has had an boost in her work from iam1ru, as a dream agent, s he has been able to help so many.  Emma has managed to stay on the ground as long as she has because of the help of Give first Ministries, but they need more . 

We needed to figure out some way to keep them on the ground doing what they do . They NEED monthly sponsorship of some sort so that they can be more effective when the needs arise.  I think of a time in the scriptures when Moses was fighting with God , thinking that he was not equipped , God simply said " Moses what is in your hand "    We have each been given talents and  experiences that God intends for us to draw from .. Emma's talent is her art .  So that is what she is laying out before you today 

We have professionally made prints on Canvas of her work shown below.

  If you would like your very own print, simply sign up for a monthly sponsorship of Emma at what ever amount you feel led, and we will send you a print of your choice.   Emma returns to Kyrgyzstan Saturday, so as a special bonus, any one who signs up for monthly sponsorship before Friday, will have there print signed as well .

Please indicate the print number when signing up using the monthly donate buttons on the right hand side of the blog 

Print #1   size 9"X 12"  A beautiful  Kyrgyz Babushka that is dear to Emma .

Print #2   size 10 1/2" X 12"   The babushka of one of the young girls Emma works with.   We got to know this Babushka when she was living in the seniors home we support .

Print # 3 size 10 1/2" X 14"    This was a scene was from a fantastic night when we took a group of kids from the orphanage to a yurt camp on the side of Lake Issyk Kul .

 Print #4   size 13 1/2" X 20"  A mountain yurt scene , depicting traditional life in the mountains 

Print #5    size 16" X 20"   This is a mountain scene on the way up to the hot springs where we stop for a picnic with those we are taking to the hot springs ...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Now available .. $30 a month option .

We have just had a friend and supporter request a monthly pay pal support button for $30 , the problem is that the drop downs on the monthly support option on the side of the blog does not allow for this , so I have created a new button for them.

In the spirit of generosity, and inclusivity  , we thought that we should not just restrict this option to them , but to open it up for any one else that is interested as well ..

the button below is for $30 per month , and will go to where needed most.

Thank you

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Here and there

I think that the number one reason that people become photographers is that they hate to have their picture taken , and if they are taking the picture they are not in it .  I try so hard to have Jengish in the photos, but he just does not get it .. but he does take a good picture .. 

Last week we had Jengish track down Slavic.   The always go home for the summers, and his is not a very good one .  It was offered to he and his sister to live at Jeremiah house , but Slavic would not stay, but his sister did .  So when Jengish found him, he was not in great shape, and did not want to be seen in public, so Jengish gave him a couple days and then went back with his sister and got him .  They went out for supper, then to a movie ..It's just such a special thing when you know that someone out there cares about you.. and that's the message that Jengish brought . 

we were back on the road again .. we went to visit some awesome friends in the finger lakes of New York .  When we arrived the kids came running 

We also got a message from Acel this week that Baktagul has passed her entrance exam and has been excepted at the medical collage in Tokmok.  we are so excited for her about this .

they coxed me onto the trampoline with them ... now just guess how high they went when I landed hahaha 
they loved storey time with Emma 

We had an opertunity to spend some time with there whole family... what a blessing it was 

my favorite part of the weekend was when my young friend climbed up on my lap and said " Tell me a storey of when we were in Kyrgyzstan together "

I got an email from Vera at the centre in Orlofka.  They have started another round of kids camp, thanks to a sponsor from  .  She has also been sharing with me about a project that we are wanting to help her with .  The work that she does in Orlofka is incredible.  She has even received recognition from the mayors office for the work she does with the kids , the homeless, the seniors, and even those suffering from addictions..   all in all the accomplishments are over whelming .  All this time they have been working with a couple that they have been training, and they are now ready to start the work in a new village.  This couple will move there and start "a new work".    They have faced the first big hurdle. they can not find anyone that will rent to them, but they have found a house that would make a great "Centre"  they are just short the $3000 that it will take to purchase it and be up and running ..  Its the type of thing that we would love to be able to help them with ... with all our spare change ..haha..     If anyone out there has an interest or knows some one that would be interested in being the benefactor for this great work , email me at, and I will share more details with you .

We are very excited that we will be heading to the city of Espanola this weekend .  We have some truly inspiring sponsors there .  we are always so blessed and encouraged when we spend time wit them , so it will a great place to spend the last weekend before the girls head back next week .  if you are in the Espanola area, we would love to see you at the Lighthouse Sunday morning .  We will be sharing about some of the experiences of Emma and Bekah's .. the message will be titled " BUT DAD "