Friday, January 31, 2014

Life on the streets Feb 1st - Feb 7th

Life on the streets    Feb 1st - Feb 7th 

This weeks fundraising challenge is not at the top of the list by coincidence , it is here now because these are the most vulnerable.  Many are living in terrible situations RIGHT NOW. 
We have already used all of our resources, and the winter is far from over ,... For many who we help , every single day brings a new challenge of survival ..   

We all know Jengish as a fun loving guy with a strong front that he holds up, but know all to well the side of him that worries so for those living on the streets .. every night he is busy on the phone orchestrating a group of volunteers that work the streets trying to bring food and trying to rescue those in need ..  

So much more needs to be done , and its not that the laborers are few here .. but we just don't have the funds to come close to meeting the needs .. I can't really explain the feeling when the phone rings, Jenish  looks at the number and with a sunken heart he looks up to me and says " Its Armik," or" its Acelbek "... "What should I tell them ?"  .. because he knows that there is so little we can do . 

Then there are the kids who are out of the orphanages .. or young and on the streets .. The kids that Emma works with ..   

This young Lady with Emma  is now safe and in a home and looked after .. she is planing her future, and we have people in place now that are willing to help her .. but she is not alone .. there are so many others like her ..

Almost every day Emma gets a call from a " child " that is on there own, and needs some help.. or some times just another person to talk to ..  These kids need on going help and friendship.  In some cases they need a place to stay.. I really do not care what past situations were .. what they have done to get to this point in their life, but my personal feeling is that NO kid, especially a 19 year old girl should be living on the streets being subjected to this life style  ... I hear and see a lot about child trafficking , and the sex trade, and people questioning " where do we start ..what can we do ?"  .yet we still have these kids around us   wile we are asking where do we start , I can show you where IT starts .. and who is doing anything about it other then coming, making documentaries, and then what ?     , we have workers like Emma , and friends Like Vera with little to no resources on the ground trying to make a difference.    This is where the problem starts.. complacency, and a belief that these kids are not our problem or some how are out of our reach to make a difference  , or some how we convince ourselves that  they have made choices in their life that have brought them to this .. it is always easier if we can blame the victim.    

So here is what we can do ... Make a donation, encourage others to make a donation , and when you hear or see people just talking about the problem ... encourage them to take action ... and donate .  make a donation right now , and by the end of the week one of these girls could have a new HOPE for the future .

Just to meet the immediate needs of those we are working with TODAY..  we need $1160  but the needs are so much greater then that ...

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Feb 1st the challenge begins.

So here is the way this will work, but first let me share a little back ground . 

As you have seen on the blog over the years , we have been giving out special home made blankets to the people that we help here in Kyrgyzstan ..

Aigula has made blankets for the baby orphanage, the mens home , the refugees in Osh , the hospitals , the police, and the families in need .  Teams have brought them back to Canada, and we have shipped them all over North America ... 

They were given out this Christmas to the kids from Bacute orphanage 

Each child received there very own blanket that will remain their personal property, and extras are available as new kids arrive 

They are included in many of the humanitarian aid drops that we do now , 

and now one of these special blankets could be yours .  
We packed a suit case full of them this trip 
OK so back to the contest ... 

Over the years , as the pie challenge has been going on, many of you have come up with some very interesting ways of raising your $500.. we have seen raffles, and giveaways , we have seen yard sales and ebay sales .. we have seen individuals  personal donations and we have seen them include soliciting friends and organizations schools and church groups .. the point is that there are just so many ways to help .  

Yesterday on the blog I posted a list of needs .  Each week starting on Feb 1, I will high light one or two of those needs .and put up thermometer to track the donations.  ( if you need help with any information and photos please contact me and I will help )   By the end of the week, who ever has raised the most funds toward that weeks need will receive one of these beautiful blankets.  

Below is a list of the order that we will be highlighting the needs in case there is a specific need that you or your friends would like to work toward.    

Feb 1 - 7      Homeless girl & feeding the homeless  $200 + $960          = $1160
Feb 8 - 14     Dental care and Emergency Medical  $2000 + $500            = $2500
Feb 15- 21   Food drop, orphanages , seniors home , families and students = $3000
Feb 22-28    Mens home floor and tables and chairs  $2000 +$2500      = $4500
March 1-7      Half way house and shelter                                      = $8000
March 8-14      Olga's children's Knowledge store and mystery need     = $5000
March 15 - 21    upgrade from a car to a truck for many ministry needs  =$6000

Time to get creative ! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A few of the needs that are on my heart

I shared yesterday about some of the current needs that we have identified on our last trip over .  .. Julie has been keeping a list of needs in her book, but with out even going there , there are many needs off the top of my head .    Here is a short description of some of those needs and the total associated with them .

There is a young girl, 19 years old , orphan that had been living on the streets, our friends have taken her in, but they themselves do not have money to live never mind an extra mouth to feed , and the extra expenses involved with caring for this young girl .  Vera is overseeing this and trying to raise the funds needed to help her .....  Girl in Podgorna $200

  At the mens home in Iskra , we have done so much work there over the years .. right up to a couple months ago when we replaced a majority of the heating system for them.  One of the big projects that we have been working on is the floor in he main dinning room .  We desperately need to put a floor down.  the old one is all un even open concrete.. it is dirty and un safe.  We were ready to do the floor, but the roof was leaking , it had no heat , the windows were bad and the electrical needed replacing .  We decided i would be best to tackle those projects first so that we would not damage the new floor , especially if we had to dig some up for pipes or wiring .. well we are now ready for he floor .. but we just don't have the funds needed .. we have $3000 for his, but the project is going to cost $5000 so we still need to raise the rest before we begin............  Mens home floor $2000

There are some other needs at the home as well that we would like to tackle.  the chairs are in bad shape, most of them are just frames with no seats or just a board for a seat .  we would like to recondition these .. Vlady has worked out a plan for this .  The table tops are made of press board and have stared to fall apart after the years ,., again Vlady has a plan for this..   As well we need to get some sort of an air ex-changer or de humidifier in the dinning room as we are continually battling mold here ..  tables and chairs and air exchanger  $2500  

  There is a great need for a half way house for the people that are coming off the streets or out of rehab center.  Jengish has been working hard to provide a shelter for these men and kids .. Through him we have developed a program that the men will be able to work and live there , and until they find a job, they can work right at the center .   Right now the main job they do is working with a carver, but we would like to expand that to include raising sheep and chickens , and other forms of farming .  right now we rent a one room house in the center of Bishkek.  we are looking to find something about 30 minutes out of the down town , so that we can get a bigger place and land.  as well it will be close enough to the city for jobs for the people living there as well as close enough to use the home to make meals for the homeless program .   We have two options, one is to rent a place .. we would need about $400 a month to run the center , the other option is a more long term goal, and that would be to purchase something cheep and fix it up .. for that we would need between 8 and 10 thousand dollars .   

We took a lot of students to the dentist over the last few months , but it seems that as heard as you try to get every one caught up , the number of people needing help just continues to grow,  With such poverty and poor nutrition when growing up, teeth really suffer,.  we are just about finished the donations we had for this , and yet so many more are in need.  We have come to the point that we bring them to the dentist and say fix what is immediate pain, and give us a quote on what is left .. I just can't stand to think of people dealing with debilitating tooth pain .. right now just to cover the those that we have started with dental care $2000   

We were involved with a few operations more then we had expected .  Not always do we have time to find sponsors because of immediate life threatening conditions like our your friend  Omute, her  operation was $300, another for one of the men Jenish helps was $200 ,  that was just in the last 2 days we were there , and the day we left , we were asked to help an 8 year old boy who had fallen off a 5th floor roof, and we simply had no money left, and no time to find help... even if we could replace  our emergency medical fund that is now dry ......... $500 

For a long time we have struggled to keep Olga's school open ... it is a special school that focuses on kids with learning disabilities.  But it is also a center that provides extra help for many children who have simply fallen through the cracks .  along with teaching, Olga also works on the governments committee that tries to help with children and families that are at risk of the children being in orphanages.  Olga tries to operate on a balanced budget, but when your clients are in such need, and with winter heat bills, things just don't add up... We step in to help when we can , but things would be so much less stress full , and they could all work so much more productive to support the over 40 families that they help now if funds where not so tight all the time .. we would like to find........... monthly sponsors for the center of  $400 / month 

This next need is one that is a touchy one .  because of the nature of this need , I can not share it openly , but what I can tell you is that it is of the utmost importance with out a doubt.. It is so important that instantly when we were asked to help with this need , we made the decision to to begin with our own funds .. we have advanced the first $300 to get started , and provide the safety necessary, but this project will still need another approx. $700 to be done right .  It's funny , I can not express enough the importance of this and at the same time I can not share openly what the need is .. if you are interested in helping with this , I will gladly discuss it with you on email , or send me your phone number and I will call and discuss it on the phone  .......... mystery project  $1000

Since 2007 when we first started working with Vlady, he has driven the same 30 year old car all that time .   Vladys wife is the Heart specialist in Tokmok and works as a GP for us and will come to our help any time any where ...  if you look at the blog over the last 5 or 7 years you will see that car moving everything ... food , animals, kids, bricks and blocks , lumber and paint .. you name it and Vlady has hauled it for us.  inside , on top .. and dragged along behind , That car like Vlady has worked to be a blessing to so many of us , and many of you .. I have never seen anyone be more careful of a car, but finally it has given up.  We may be able to do a temporary patch, but the time has come that we need to do something .  He is using our car right now, but that will not last him long with the amount of work that he does .  We think that it is time that we see if we can raise the funds to purchase a truck for Vlady.  We will sell our own car and add to it to get a small truck for him.  this will be such a blessing not only to Vlady but all the humanitarian efforts that he is involved in ..  When we ask Vlady what his vision is for his ministry, he says   " I just want to help any one in any way if they are working to help others"  All the time we have known Vlady and Tatyana , they have lived that out .............   Truck for Vlady $6000

It has been a long winter , and despite the many teams that we have had and the food drops that they have assisted in, it looks like we will need to do one more before the winter is over.   Along with families this time we need to bring more food to a couple of the orphanages that we have identified as well as the seniors home, rehab center , and some of the students and at risk families ,just to cover a small drop where needed, we will need $3000 

As you know , Jenish has been working with the homeless to bring food and basic medical aid .    winter is still not over and we have about 40 people that they are helping even at $1 a day 3 days a week .. we are looking at , just to make it through the winter .    8 weeks total food cost $960

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Getting over the jet leg ..

So often we return from Kyrgyzstan with our heads spinning with the needs that we have experienced and this trip has been no different .. There are just so many needs right now, most of them are medical needs as those we work with are struggling to make it through the winter . 
sitting with Tikik post surgery as we are waiting for his transfer papers to be straitened out. 
 I have had a couple people ask me  "So what is your greatest need right now " and I, still in my jet legged state just have a blank stare... not because there are non, but because there are so many that I am overwhelmed, and in my mind I am thinking .." Do you really want to know or are you just making conversation."    We tell people when they come on a team to have a line ready for when people ask how the "Trip " was .. its so much easier if you have an answer ready and you don't have to think..   But today I wish I did not have to think.. Today my head is simply spinning .. So much to do and where do we start .. we have 2 months before we return .. and many of the needs can't even wait that long .  
  So maybe its time to get creative .. time to figure out how to meet the needs .   I will formulate a list and post it here in the next couple of days , then as needs are met,  I will come back and indicate were we are in covering those needs .    If nothing else , it will help us cope with the overwhelming feeling we have right now .. after all we know that we are not in this alone .  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Because some one has to care !

Jenish and his boys are back on the streets .    

Very few homeless last the winter living on the streets .  The winter is harsh, and the society around them is even harsher many suffer and die of starvation , exposure infections and burns from trying to keep warm.  Many small ailments left untreated become life threatening  .  The police offer little care or protection, and the average person has a hard time fending for themselves.   There are few organizations that are willing to help.   

 Kanibek has been there , and has the t-shirt... that's why he sees it as his duty to help those less fortunate . Jenish helped him off the streets several years ago. and Today he offers hope and a way out to many . 

Tonight , he and Jenish have cooked a nice meal and are walking the streets of Bishkek finding those in need . 

A hot meal is provided, as well as many will receive new to them shoes .  

more then a little meal, this is a glimmer of light in a dark place . 
There are an estimated 3500 homeless in Bishkek on any given night .. there are 150 shelter beds available ...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Packed and ready to go

Today was our final day in Kyrgyzstan for this trip, and as usual was a busy one.  Jengish was up and at it this morning with Umute . she had to have an operation this morning , one that was not the most comfortable for Jengish to talk about , but he did well and was able to make sure that every one did their jobs and he settled up with the Dr's and Anesthesiologists, as well as all the lab work and tests , and post opp. stay in the hospital ..  
While he was doing that , we went to Svetly put children's home.  We took the director out for lunch .  She is one of my hero's here in Kyrgyzstan .  She has dedicated her life to caring for the lost and forgotten children from the streets of Bishkek . 

It was fitting that we had lunch at "The Russian Restaurant"   

Everything about it was Russsian .. full of history

We sat back in this little room off the side
We introduced "Momma" to Kamalla.  Kamalla will be helping with the medical needs of the girls from Svetly put that were sponsored from the WM Galla in Norwood .  Today we set everything in motion and delivered the necessary funds .

It was very interesting sitting with Momma in this setting, and hearing stories of life before the fall of the Soviet Union . As she shared , we could look around, and just imagine being there . 
 This is actually the first time that we have had the opportunity to spend such quality time with This incredible woman .. We were blessed to be able to do it .  

From there we had a few more stops, then Julies final Dentist appointment.  Now we are back in Tokmok , all packed up and ready to pull out in a few hours .   

Monday, January 20, 2014

Final day at this end of the valley

Ok so this is another long post with lots of pictures .. they tell the story better then I do .  

We started off with a stop at the Baby hospital to get things started for the little baby .  It had part of its bowel removed , and now they need to put things back together .. The parents were notified that the funds were in , and they are on there way in now. 

Next stop was to the seniors home at the end of the valey .  We wanted to stop in and say good buy to them before we go.

Emma and Kamalla at the front of the seniors home
 We then stoped and picked up Luba and one of her brothers .  We brought them back to Tokmok with us for lunch, then some shopping at the Bazaar.

Nadya sure is growing up .. but boy is she developing a bit of an attitude

After shopping , we loaded them on the bus back home , then went and picked up Kolya .  He was coming with us to visit Victor.
 Victor lives a long was away, and you can't get there by car, so we have never actualy been to his home ourselves before .
We drove as far as we could .. through the feel along the side of the tracks
finaly we saw Victor coming out to greet us

then we continued to walk along the tracks

Sergey waited back with the car and we walked on

Finally we came to his little village 

We were met by some village kids showing off for our camera's

it sure is strange to be in a village with no cars
It was nice to have Kola along with us as well .. the boys have been friends since they were in the orphanage together soooo many years ago .
Victors Grandmother loves Emma

Baktagul was with us for the adventure .. I love this picture .. she does more smiling now then ever before .

Shannin had an opportunity to spend a little more time with him .. they have really connected

I like this picture as well .. it was taken along the tracks as we walked back to the van

Shannin and Victor walking back

Final good buys 
Now you may have noticed here ... NO JENGISH .. he was in Bishkek . he had a project we have been working on finishing up , as well as one young girl we know is in the hospital, so he went to confirm details before we paid for the operation . 

Tomorrow we are all back into Bishkek for our final Day .  A dentist appointment for Julie, and a meeting with the director of Swetly put to work on the medical needs of 7 of her kids .  Then its off to the airport tomorrow night .  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

down to the last couple days

Nice day today with Isar and his family   We had to stop in to check on Telik , he is doing well and is feeling much more settled today .  
Then we went just down the road for lunch at Isars house .  It was nice to spend a relaxing afternoon with them , and to have a chance to see the new baby before we go. 

Tomorrow we will be all over the place .  Emma and Bekah have school , Jengish will be going to the hospital in Bishkek with Umute, and Sergey will drive us around .. First to the baby hospital to get things started for the operation for the Baby.  then we will stop at Luba's to see her and her brothers and to get them some more clothes , then on to the seniors home to say good buy to our friends there .  then we will stop and see Victor on our way home . as well as a quick meeting with Larisa to discuss the next project at the mens home .  
  These days we find ourselves running out of steam , our just discouraged before the day is over  It is not so much those things we have in our plans but the things that come up through the day .. nothing good comes from a phone call it seams . Praying that we get everything done.. we are running out of days that we can put things off until . 
 Tuesday will be our last day here before we head back to Canada . 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

In the land of the living

This morning we were on our way to deliver blankets and food to a family Sergey works with .  Some one from a previous team had sent some money to bless her .  On the way we got a call that Emma was just arriving at the treatment center with Tilik . The had spent last night in Bishkek, and now it was arranged that he would spend the next 10 days here .
kids playing with blocks given to them by  from a few teams back 

Unfortunatly there was some mix up and the nurses were not going to receive him because his documents had been sent back  to the hospital  and were not with him .   With all the confusion , Telic was getting very upset.. and this was upsetting to us .. We have done a lot of work at this hospital and have never asked anything of them , and I try to keep it that way, but finally we had to intervene here and called the director.    Fortunately the issue was resolved right away and it was arranged that Kamala would stay with him at the center while we went to the hospital to get his documents and return them to the center .   My concern was that the caregiver might not be so happy that we went to the director.. Before we left, Jenish had to have a little discussion with her .. I am sure that Tilik will be ok now .. we will be stoping in to see him tomorrow 
 then on to see Auxana and family

We had a nice visit there , brought them blankets , food and some small gifts. 

Then we headed back to Tokmok we got a call from the Baby Hospital .. there was a one year old baby there that was in need and the family was too poor to get it the operation it needed , so the director called us for help.  We told them we would be right over to get the whole story and get a photo of the baby , when they said they would contact the family and have them bring the baby back in for a photo, I told them not to do that and that we would look for sponsors this time with out the picture.    so instead we headed right to the home of Era .    Our friend Era had passed away  and today was the funeral .  The kids were so happy to see us there .  it was a very difficult time for them .  Erra had been beaten and left to die on the street ... not a very peaceful way to go.  The police have no suspects at this time.  

 At this point we were all a little spent and felling down , so we decided to cut the day short and invite Samat and  Aieda for supper .  when we got home I sent Kamalla to the store for cream.. she returned a few minutes latter to tell us that our friend at the store had just died .    She was such a nice lady .. WE are all a little numb .. we made a card , and I walked back to the store with the girls to see her daughter .  we got there and had a little cry together .. I shared how her mother was such a nice lady and was always so good to us and so help full .. she then told me that  her mother would come home and tell them every day when we were in the store and referred to us as her favorite customers.  she even had the gifts we had given her over the years displayed at her house .. Her daughter then told us everything that we had bought from her mother  last night .  We had another little hug and cry then walked back home .. I was questioning how could we have been such a bright spot in her day and not even known it.  Bekah then pointed out that we never missed an occasion and included her every time we bought flowers or little gifts.  .. " I could have gotten discouraged at this point if I had not seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living"  the entire time I was walking down to the store , visiting and walking home , my phone was going crazy with people emailing and face-booking  to donate for the operation I shared about a few hours earlier ..    As I walked in the door when we got home, we received the final donation for the little baby...   Goodness  of the Lord in the land of the living .. reminding us of his grace. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

a quick trip turned into a two day event .

Yesterday Morning we got a ride into Bishkek with Sergey.  Jengishes car is still in the shop following the little misshap, and Vlady has our car since his is not working right now.  
On the way in we stoped to bring Christmas gifts and to check up on two of our kids that have been recently adopted.  It was great to see them and to see them in their new home .  

Once we got to  Bishkek, Jenish Bekah & I had a series of meetings, Julie had Emma help her at a dentist appointment, and Shannin went with Kamala to bring some kids shopping for clothes and new winter boots .   Jenish got a call, one of his boys had a slip and was homeless and drinking again and wanted help.    Jenish found him a place to stay for the night , then in the morning he would be heading to the rehab center in Orlovka, but it was starting to get late and the roads were bad so we were concerned about sending him on that night . 

At 6:00 we all met up at Acel and Talants house for supper.  .. On the way there we realized that it would be to dangerous for us to  travel back as well with the roads so bad .  We made a call to Alla at the guest house and were horrified to find out that she had just sold the home .. We are trying to be happy for her , but we are still disappointment .  Fortunately there is a guest apartment right beside Talents house  so we were able to stay right there .

 Morning started early with Emma and Acel going to the hospital to meet up with Tilik .  He was having his eye operation , and they were there to help out and make sure everything went well.

then at 8:30 Emma called to tell us that one of her older girls from the orphnage who is married was having soem emergency healt isues and needed an emergency operation today , so we met up with them, and Kamalla spent the rest of the day with them at a different hospital .

  We met them at Oboma's cafe  .. I heard it was a great place to take forigners .. it   was nice, but very slow and to expensive to bring a group to . and the coffee was terrible, and served in a tiny little t cup that holds about 4 oz

 So we left there and got a real coffee for the trip home ..  we especialy love this place because they give you a few pieces of toilet paper wrapped around each cup..

On the way home we got a call that Jenishes Homeless guy was picked up and he was safely on his way to Ivonofka .... Jenish said you meen "Orlovka"  to which the reply was " oop.. gota go " and he quickle hung up hahhahaa so still waiting to hear about homeless guy .. hahaha .. Emma is staying in Bishkek over night with Tolik and Kamalla just got home from helping with the young girl .  On the way home we found out that Era has just died and her kids would like to see us so we will have to do that tomorrow .. For those who remember , Era was the lady that was living in the dump and Possibilities International bought her a house back in 2007.  

We also have a few others that we need to touch base with before we head back to Canada in a few days .