Friday, February 28, 2014

Yesterdays update from Emma ... part 1

Yesterday Emma and Kamalla where celebrating birthdays at on of the orphanages .  We celebrated 5 birthdays this month .  I cant tell you how special this is for the kids that they have some one remember them.  I remember the day we were helping the young boy on the right with his documents.  As we were loking at them we noticed that it was his birthday .. when we pointed this out to him he said " No I don't have a birthday "  you see he had never had anyone even recognise that he had one , he told us that he knew others had them, but those are kids with families , and he does not have one ...

Here is what Emma had to say :

Berhan, Aizada's little brother turned 7 on tuesday, so I bought him a little puzzle, 

story book and a colouring book and gave him markers from chrismas

and some little dinky cars that someone from one of the teams left.

He was sooo happy. He gave me a big hug ran to his room to look at what he got 

and came back and gave me another big hug 

then came back again for another hug after he looked again at his gift. 

I think it was one of his first presents

    As well They were at the Oxford English centre where they were checking up on the students that we sponsor there.  Emma writes :

there is one of Kolya at his English lessons. 

I paid for March and April. 

the rest of the students are still covered because I taught English there.

Aziz, Aizada, Umarbek, Janibek and Vika. 

She said they are all good students and are trying very hard.

Then there is our dear sweet Alina ,  Along with helping her to find good safe employment in Tokmok as a nanny, they were able to get her dental work finished

Alina had a cavity in the middle of her two front teeth.

she got that and two other big cavities fixed

and she has two more small cavities in the back

that i told her we would fix later when we have more money 

because they are smaller and they don't hurt

I'm taking aigula in tomorrow, she has one tooth left to fix. 

she has already had 2 wisdom teeth out and 2 root canals.

At home work club Kamalla and Emma brought the kids more of the hand made text books that they have been working on . Emma writes :

We gave out all the books for Beikut.

The each got a writing book to help with their hand writing 

and we give them a sticker for each page that they finish. 

We also gave everyone in grade 3 and older "rule books" that have all the grammer,

and math rules that they need to learn.  

There were some colouring books and pencil crayons left from the christmas presents, 

so I bought a few more boxes of pencil crayons so that there would be enough for everyone 

and we gave those to them too.

Also I noticed olya was writing with a pencil that was about an inch long, 

so I bought them each a new pencil too. 

They were all very happy and thankful.

Another sop was out to see our young friend Tilik.  He is doing well after the surgery, but still needs eye drops.  Also we need to make an appointment for him to get his new glasses when we find an extra $100 . 

 Then there were a few home visits like this one below.   this family has kids that Emma knows from both Day spring and Bacute .  She and Kamalla continue to visit them regularly to help with school work, and to bring extra food from time to time .  

this day the kids were eager to look at old pictures with them.  Emma regularly does up photo albums with the kids , and this has been great for them ,

Little Anya is holding up her favourite picture here 

Emma was also asking again about money for passports for the kids at Chui orphanage.  they have several kids that are the age that they now need to have in country passports if they are going to be able to outside the walls of the orphanage, as well the boys turning 16 have to have their military documents complete.  in total  23 in country passports 20 military documents  $200 

with regards to these kids , Emma writes : 
larissa said there are some girls at chui that were planning to go to turkey

to work and larissa convinced them to stay in Tokmok 

because she thinks they are going to end up in prostitution.

well we have a bit of time with these girls larissa said we could go and talk

to the graduating kids and especially those girls

, see what they want to do, take some pictures and find help

I will just put that out there .. we are in the middle of a lot of projects that we have been leaning heavily on you our sponsors to help with , but as smaller items like this crop up, we still would like to take care of them.  
at this point we are still about $3400 away from the target for the mens home renovations   we will continue to trust in those finances to come in so that we can continue to support Larisa in the incredible work that she is doing there.   .  

That is actually not the end of Emma's updates , but this post is getting too long, so we will continue this tomorrow ..

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

what have you tried !

Tomorrow is international slavery awareness day .   
" Ya so what can we do about it ?" ....... " what have you tried !"

I can remember clearly the first time I realized that slavery still exists .  It was one of the men that Jenish was helping that began to tell me his storey of living as a slave, and how he had escaped.  I then began to look into this more and I became overwhelmed with what I was finding.  YES Slavery is  alive and well in 2014 .   The kids that leave the orphanage are at risk of being sold or stolen , those living on the street, young girls or boys out walking alone,  and the most vulnerable of society, ALL at risk .  

So yes I will continue to stand against.   

I will stand for him .. and so many others like him 

Young boy at the mens home .. the cage is to keep him safe .. but for what ever reason ,  its still a cage 

You see the effects of slavery run wide and deep .    It is not just those that have been stolen or who have escaped, but it affects everyone.  The Man above is not a slave, but is behind the cage because of slavery .   There is a large fence around the compound of the mens home ,  I asked about the cage or why men were locked up.. The answer was that if they wander, there are people prowling the area waiting for them to come out of the home so that they can steel them to sell into slavery.    As if there were not enough problems in there lives, they now must have this fear hanging over them .   

One day we took a bunch of kids from the orphanage swimming in the chui river. As one of the boys looked across the river and realized that the other side was Kazakhstan , he began to panic.  you see we found out that his parents were stolen and taken to Kazakhstan as slaves, leaving him an orphan.  They tell me that although it is not legal in Kazakhstan, the police will do nothing , in fact one of the men that I talked to had escaped from slavery, and made it 200 miles to the border, and just before he got over the border, the local police caught him and held him as there slave for another six months forcing him to work for them and renting him out to others.  Then as many of you may remember , one of the kids that Emma was helping was sold into slavery by his family, and three other girls Emma pulled from a car as they were being taken away .. It is just to close to us to ignore .   

So what do you do about it .. well If we can be there to help the kids make correct choices in life and not be in harms way, that is a big one .. a couple weeks ago we raised money for the homeless.  through that , along with all the meals given out , there were two girls taken off the street, and give a safe home .  
Then we have the mens home ..when we started working there , 80 men died in a two week period from starvation and exposure .   How is this much better then the alternative of slavery.. when the most vulnerable of society are in conditions no better then the work camps, we have a real problem, and not one that we can tun a blind eye to .  That is why we have chosen to pour so much time and resources into the work that Larisa does at the mens home.  There has to be a quality of life for these men.  And through your help we can provide that.  

Did you know that the majority of the men at the mens home are just grown up orphans from the orphanages .. and the kids that we are working with in the disabled orphanages now , we will be finding here in the very near future.  these are the kids we are trying to provide for and we need your help. 
Since that first day we walked through the doors of the mens home in 2008, along with the on going food and vitamin drops , we have equipped a warming room in each section, we have provided mattresses and blankets, a full physiotherapy wing with a library, a class room, a quiet room and a couple craft and sewing rooms .  we have helped to put in a garden for them, as well as fields of fruit trees and raspberries.  Through your help we have repaired and replaced much of the water system and just this last fall have put in the new heating system, new windows and doors , a barber shop, we have even begun working out side painting murals on the yard so that the men will see more then just a big white concrete fence.    There is just so much that has been done, but we have just touched the surface .    Did you know that the very first time I went there, I was so overwhelmed that I came away saying that I would never go back.  Then one of you sponsors sent $1000 with the instructions .. " Go back and see what you and accomplish with this "  from that time on we have never looked back .. starting by doing what we can do , we have accomplished what others said could not be done .  
When we help them , it sends a few messages.. it tells the men that they are special and they do have value.. it shows them that some one cares .  The other message it sends to the government and administration is similar.. these men are so valuable that people are coming from around the world to help them .  That there well being is a high priority .  and that these men, and the least of these deserve the best.  they should be treated with dignity and respect.. not in the condition as slaves.  

So when we are asking for help for tables and chairs to at least have seats on the frame.. it is not just a seat, it is sending a message to everyone that we are still here , and we still care, and we will continue to be here for these big orphans.   

Mens home director asking for help with the charis 

That is part of the message that we are bringing as we travel around bringing updates to sponsors and encouraging them to please donate to the many areas that we are called to in Kyrgyzstan 
sharing in Brantford where $650 was raised to help repair the Chairs 
Please take a moment now and send a message of support in the way of a donation.  Believe me it is way more then just the chairs and the flooring .. it is a strong message that these men have more value then just slaves.   so like the support of Emma and her kids or Jenish and the homeless, Bekah and her students, this is another way that we can answer the question .. "Ya so what can we do about it "   
please we are asking that you just do what you can .. and nothing more 
Emma meats up with one of her girls to bring her a birthday gift and a cake, and go over her plans for safety and success 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mens home ...Week three Blanket Challenge

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 uneven open concrete.. it is dirty and unsafe.  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 .  It was decided it 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 the 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 we are now going into the second year waiting for this. We so desperately would like to see this next step. It would mean so much to Larisa and the men.   Some projects just have so much more importance then what we see on the surface, and I see this as one of those projects.
    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 ..  Total project   $4500  

Friday, February 21, 2014

New look - Same calling

 As you can see we have been doing a little bit of a face lift here on the blog.. Just felt it was time for a change.  This new header shows our family in Tokmok in the centre, as well on either side of this family photo, I have two pictures that in a nut shell depict what we do .   It is easy in life , especially doing what we do to get all caught up in the religion so to speak, but really the only religion that is pleasing to the Father is just this .. "To visit the widows and the orphans in their time of need."    I look at the blog every day as I am doing posts, updating totals etc. and as much as it is for you, it is for me .. it is  there to remind me .. family.. orphans.. and widdows .. It may be a new look, but it is still the same calling .

As we travel around and share the work that we do, and encourage and bring updates to our sponsors, I often see people look confused or fog over when I give the address for the blog.. they get lost at the  , that blogspot is where we loose them.  So I thought it was time that we looked into our own .com... and since is available, I decided to begin the process of acquiring it.. here is where the talks broke down...
So seeing the part about "please call me if you would like to discuss" I did not wish to discuss his rationale as there was clearly none.  So he called me. Now I did not want to be rude, but it just slipped out as I burst into some what uncontrollable giggles as tried to begin his explanation.. finaly I cut him off and explained that I just purchased for a woping $9.47  
We have kept the so if we are in your saved locations, you can still access us, but it should make it easier for new sponsors to find us, as well it does not look so wordy on printed material.

Lots of face lifts in Tokmok today as well .  Threw Anya, we support a community dance group.  Kids are able to come and learn many different styles of dance.  They are really good, and have been in many competitions and celebrations , including the Christmas parties at the orphanages with us  over Christmas .  Our sponsors have helped them with purchasing material to make the different dresses, and today , they are getting the room they practice in turned into a real dance studio .  New mirrors on the wall, as well as a small portable sound system.  What a blessing this is for them, and more then that, a blessing for us to come along side them and help in such a practical way.   These kids now will have all the opportunities of   those kids that are privileged enough to study in the private dance studios.  They know that they are worth it as well...   well done Anya ..
 such a blessing to be able to work along side such awesome people like you and Sergey . 

Volunteers putting up the mirrors  

So one more time , I want to bring up the food issue.  There as so many that are in need right now .  We are looking to raise another $2000 tonight .. tomorrow is a new need and a new challenge, but right now we have a great burdon.. our target plan  of $3000 will bring much needs nutritional support to over $750 children, seniors, and those who are what you might consider "the least of these".  that is only $4 a person.  we are not looking to bring them anything extravagant right now ...we just want to help ease the hardship .. and you can too .. please donate now.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I don't know if you have been following the progress of our young friend Tilik .  
  Tilik is such a great kid... he is one of those kids that every time I am around him, he opens my eyes to the wonders around me .. Being with him, you see everything like it was the first time .  
Tilik has a dream. He wanted to get new glasses to help correct his eyesight . 
Tilik and Emma dreaming 
Just before Christmas, his dream was one of the many that were filled by the a womans Galla event in our home town of Norwood, and Tilik got his glasses. 

Although the glasses helped a little, as you can see in the photo below,  there was still a long way to go, and surgery was needed .  One of the sponsors following the pie challenge, heard about this operation need and covered that , and while we were there in Jan he had his surgery  

out for dinner and bowling with his friends at Christmas 
The outcome from that surgery was amazing.. His eyes are almost strait .  We still need to get new lenses for his glasses, but that will come as soon as the funds are in place. 

three weeks post surgery 
Just as a little sag-way,  Tiliks orphanage is one of the ones that we would like to bring some extra food as part of the food drive challenge that we are working on this week .  We have just about $1000 raised so far, and are looking for another $2000.  Remember the top sponsor of the week will receive an Aigulla blanket.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Todays update from Emma and Jenish ..

Jenish and Emma have had a busy couple days .  A lot of traveling around getting caught up on many different tasks.  Some times it is the untold stories that will have the greatest impact.. time will tell, but for now I will share some of what they did today .   

One of the tasks was to get another pump for the Childrens rehab centre .. A few weeks ago we replaced the main water pump there so that they would have water again, but we also found out that the circulating pump for the heating system was on the blink, so today Jenish brought them out a new one to keep them warm 

Emma had a chance to spend some time with the girls from Dayspring .. they did some crafts 

We heard that some of the kids in one of the orphanages were having difficulty in school , so Emma and Kamalla started to help them with homework.  But they found something disturbing .. The kids did not have text books.  How can you learn with no books ?  .. So Emma went to the school to get to the bottom of it.  She as told that the books were out of print, and its just good enough that they are in the class .. Obviously this was not acceptable to Emma , and since there are no copy right laws there, She took the matter in her own hands and started producing all the needed books for the classes.   

Math , Russian, Kyrgyz,  Chemistry& Physics 

And since she did not want them to feel that they are getting anything other then the best , she , and Stasic ( the budgie )  made each book personalized for the student that would receive them 

It's important that these kids know that they are special...  

 One of the young girls that we have been helping, wanted to find a job so that she can start to support herself,  but unfortunately after finding herself in harms way twice in the last year, she has to be very careful, so Emma has talked to her and she has agreed that for the time being we will hire her to help make some tushicks for us .  So today she and Emma went to the bazaar to look and see what they had there for sale, and what the prices where .. They found lots of different styles , like the ones below . 

There are many different styles there .. The tushuks are found stacked on top of each other in the main room of almost every Kyrgyz home or Yurt.  They are used to sit on around the table ( on the floor) as well as for sleeping on at night .  the average one is about 2 feet wide and about 10 feet long.   they can be folded over for extra comfort, rolled up on the ends to act as a pillow.. very versatile . 

My reason for looking at these is that they are VERY labour intensive.   We have been trying to keep Aigulla and others busy , but the  blankets and regular mattresses are not that labour intensive, so we have a low profit margin for them , and we can  not afford to buy enough  to give them a good wage,.. the material costs are too high.  The tushicks will be a lot cheaper material wise , and can use a lot of small pieces, but very Labour intensive, and will sell at a higher cost, so the majority of the cost is Labour.. which is what we need to help them keep food on the table and coal in the stove.  So watch and see , shortly we may have these beautiful tushuks available for sale ..   

A little update on the blanket Challenge .. we have 4 days left in the food drive, and we have a very long way to go if we are going to get food delivered to everywhere we wanted .. the kids are getting a little concerned, they don't want to have to start deciding who they will or won't be able to help.. it would just be so much nicer if everyone made a little donation now, and we can help them all because 


Monday, February 17, 2014

What if

What if you had this many kids at your dinner table every night 

Would you say ... Its not my responsibility 

And what if you knew someone living at the dump , and that yellow bag was food to last their  family for a month 

Would you say ... Its not my responsibility 

  And what if a hungry child asked you for food 

Would you say ... Its not my responsibility 

and again 

Would you say ... Its not my responsibility 

and again 

Would you say ... Its not my responsibility 
and one more time 

44 “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
45 “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Week Three Blanket Challenge .. FOOD DRIVE

Spending a lot of time with the kids on various outings gives us a real eye into how things are going .  They may not say anything, but we can tell when the kids are hungry, or when they are week.  We have watched kids that have always been calm and polite , suddenly swarm when we bring them food .. grabbing food and eating as fast as they can , the even begin to shake a bit , and their breathing changes as they try to eat as much as they can .. We have given a roast chicken to a family, and watch them eat the entire chicken bones and all .. We have found students eating nothing but a piece of bread and a cup of black tea once a day as their only meal.  Probably the worst we faced, the event that brought the need for these food drops to us was back in 2008.  That winter , in a 2 week period, 80 out of 270 died in one institution from starvation and exposure .. you see you just cant battle the cold when you are starving ... 

We work hard to make sure that something like this does not happen again.  Every month we provide hundreds of lbs of vitamins. We do fruit and vegetable drops to the institutions of fresh in season fruit.  We provide food bags to families and students, enough to last about a month ..  but some winters are longer and colder then others .. This is one of those long cold winters. and just because they may be inside , and in an Orphanage, does not mean that they are getting the food that they need.  
We would like to do another big food delivery in the next couple weeks .. to do this we need to raise $3000 .. I know that is a lot, but when you break it down , it is just barely enough to get buy .. there is so much more that we could be doing , but this is a start .. here is a break down of how we will proceed if the needed funds come in , 

50 students and families in need x $20 =  $1000
seniors home for 44 seniors =  $500 
(private run institution no government funding )
Mens home for 270 men =  $500 
(supplemental.. Government run institution)
Baby orphanage 90 babies = $400
(supplemental.. Government run institution)
Baby Hospital formula for abandoned babies = $100
(Government run institution.. NO budget for food )
orphanage for older kids =$500 
(supplemental.. Government run institution)
packing bags for families and students in need 

pasta, rice, cookies, greshka, sugar, flour, tea,soup base, carrots, onions 

fresh fruits, juice and baby food for the baby orphanage 

orphanage dietitian very happy with the donation 
families from out at the dump 
a full meal, a small gift , and a food hamper provided to the families at the dump 
Donations this week for the food drive are part of the blanket challenge ,.. the largest donor will receive a beautiful blanket from Aigulla .  


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Those with out a voice .

I will never forget the first time we went out with Larisa to visit the families that she supports.. after the first home we went to , we were ready to go back to our apartment , lock the door and turn off our phones .. it felt like it was more then we could bare  , but instead we pushed through .. I saw more in that first day then I had ever experienced before .. 
The worst part of the day had to have been when we went to the home of a mother with a baby with Hydrocephalus  the baby was in terrible shape , I had never seen anything like this before , nor did I even know what this was .. then the mother handed me her baby and said
 " Please take my baby .. I want you to have her .. because if she is your baby she will get the help that she needs "  
unfortunately , she was right , and since that time , it is a sentiment we have heard over and over . 

No one likes to ask for help... I just feel sick inside every time I have to ask for help for the needs that we face .. But when I do feel this way I think of this mother , and try to remember it is for people like her that we ask .. A voice for people with no voice... 
   A few months ago we were speaking somewhere , and after the service we were talking with a small group of people , in that group was Cal Bombay .. probably one of the most seasoned, well respected people I know doing what we do .. some one in the group turned to him and asked " What is the worst thing that you have experienced "... now bearing in mind that he has worked in the Sudan for decades , I was expecting some terrible stories of pain and hard ship ... and I was not disappointed .. he said.  "The worst thing I have experienced is that I have had to spend my life begging for money!"  
Waves of emotion came over me .. I know the feeling ,... why is a man of his position still begging ... is this what its all about ... I thought that at some point this side of the work would end , but here he is after all he has seen and done , and he is still facing it .. but then I remembered the feeling of hopelessness trying to do it alone, and I realised again that I am not asking for me but for those with out a voice... 

Please help us help them!

make a donation now, and the top donor of the week will receive a beautiful blanket fro Aigulla .  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Squirmy food

Today Emma was busy with some of the kids, a lot on the go right now with the medical needs , she had to pick up some creams and meds for Tilik and deliver them , as well as a few other stops in Bishkek,  While there , Jenish took her out for lunch .. Nice guy... this is what they served her .. watch close.. it never stops moving...   he is asking if they would like a knife or fork... how about a butterfly net ... yuk

we have 4 days left for the medical challenge ..and $1050 to go to cover these needs .. If you want in on this , please donate now.  The top donor of the week will receive an Aigulla blanket. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Update from Larissa

A few of our guys at the mens home have been ill, and Larisa has asked for help with there medical needs.  This is just the type of thing that we are raising funds for this week .   But today the needs are striking a little close to home .    I am kind of haunted by a post I did a few weeks ago when Jenish was told on his way to the section where the men are sick..."They are here for a couple months, then the freezer."   This may not be the case for these men, but it must be something that would be in the back of their heads when they allow themselves to go there .  

Fortunately Larisa and Tanya are on this and have given the men some hope by bringing them to the hospital, and trying to get them treatment.  and if all goes well this week , we will be able to send them the funds shortly to care for our friends .
Tanya writes 
Hallo John and Julie. Thanks for your help. Thanks God that He give  people  with big hearts like you and your sponsors. Thanks for yours love  and service. Thank you that you try very much and you devote the time for the help to needing people. We know that now you have work to return to Kyrgyzstan and much to make many good servises. We pray for you and be bless.               I send pictures of Murat and Zamir .

Please pray for Larisa now very heavy February and March. Larisa learns  a lot  and goes to Bishkek School every day. She is tired and at her constantly headache and back pain because hernias on a backbone. Grandmother  worries about her and asked to pray for Larissa.

Please consider how you may be able to help with these and other serious medical concerns.