Saturday, May 31, 2014

Congratulations to the new mom

Kamalla and Bekah just got back from the hospital.  They went up to the maternity floor to check on the new beds while they were there. It turns out that one of the first people to get to use the new beds was a friend of theirs.  She loves the bed , such an upgrade from the old spring ones that stretch right to the floor.  they love that they have drawers under them for their things as well.  It was great to see the cribs with them as well.   What a blessing to be able to be a part of this .    

Back in Canada

We had a great couple of flights back.  Our connection in Moscow was very smooth .  From the time we landed until we got to our next gat was lass then 20 minutes.  When we got to the gate, they had just started to board. so the line, or at least the Russian equivalent to a line was huge .. Over to the side was one of the gate agents , so I wandered over to him, pulled out my Expedia booking said Elite Plus member .. this on its own means NOTHING, but it is the highest level in the Aeroflot awards program ..  I simply asked .. " Do you honor this here "  right away he apologised profusely that he had not called us up and we were the next ones to board the plane .. Cody had very big eyes as we walked down the ramp.. and wanted to know what I had just said to him that we would get this treatment hahhaa..    Next time I will show this when we are checking in.,.. maybe we could have gotten free baggage as well .  

They had given us seats that were not together , but spread out a bit.. turned out great because the flight was not full so we had lots of room , and a full centre row that we could take turns sleeping lying down .. They even had these cool stickers so you could go to sleep and not worry about missing the beverage cart 

While we were in the air, those left back in Tokmok were still busy. 

We have been having a hard time finding a home for Fatima and family.  the places that were for rent in the $50 range turn out to be short term rentals from people spending the summer in the mountains .  but we need to have something that they can stay through the winter as well.  Where they are now has settled down a bit and they can stay until we find them something .   We just received the confirmation of another sponsor that will help as well so we now have the funds needed to get them a long term home . Jengish went over to talk with them and deliver the news . 

 We are also working on a long term plan with them .   First we are helping to get him onto a disability pension, this will off set half the rent , or at least help with food.  They have 6 sheep they have purchased over the years ,... this is now about 10 sheep, and if they continue to grow the flock , an a few years they can sell it and buy or build their own home.   This has the potential to turn things around for them .  Once we get them settled, any additional funds we have for them in the future , we will help invest in more sheep for them .    As well , we are making arrangements for the  children to go to school at the learning centre to help with their development.  

Bekah and Kamala joined  Vlady at the childrens day celebration at Bacute orphanage . The mayors office was there , and the girls received a letter on our behalf  for the support  that we have given .  Tuition, extra food and vitamins, clothes , orphanage renovations and repairs .. but what was probable the greatest impact is Emma and Kamalla spending so much time with the kids over the last year .

Here are the girls with some of the kids from the home 

Today they are on their way to the Hospital to check on a young girl we know there .. Bekah will get some pictures of the new beds for us as well.. they were still being assembled when we left, but are all done and in place now .

Jengish will take advantage of the last few days with the car to go check on the irrigation of the field ..

No not that car ... this one 

Monday, May 26, 2014

watching HOPE grow .

Lots of pictures this afternoon.  Its hard to believe, but I did cut them back a lot.. but when you impact so many lives in such profound ways , its hard to not share .. 

When we first started helping , the people were very closed , both with us and with each other . They were under a tremendous amount of stress, and it was hard to imagine that life could ever be normal for them again.  Even for Larisa and for us , it was so hard to see such pain..  

Today , in spite of the circumstances, they had a celebration.. they celebrated not that they have had a fire , but they celebrated that there is HOPE for the future .  

We loaded up the cars with supplies for them , and headed out to the village where Vlady was working on supper. 

Mattresses , and craft supplies 

making shashleek scewers 

When supper was just about ready we went over to the dorms and set up a craft station.  We had some craft packs left for us by go team from Halifax, and some candy packs from our friends in Minnesota , and all the left overs from crafts from years gone buy.. we will have to re stock in the fall.  

Even Larisa's mom was hard at work today 

it may have been a lot of work, but everyone had a great day 

Vladys helper was there again today .  She is such a hard worker , and has been a great help to us all spring .

helping with the crafts 

I was so pleased to see the men join in and do the crafts with the kids .  it was so therapeutic for everyone .. as my mom would say " They were building community "

the ploff and shashleek was incredible .. everyone was full , and they all had a little extra to put under their pillow .. OK so maybe its a Kyrgyz thing .

it was 36 C today .. 96 f and we gave out winter coats and mittens .. I was thinking to myself.. there is a missions fail for you, but actualy it was great .. already they had been worrying about winter, and this was enough to let them know that God hears them and will look after them . It set their minds to rest . 

 Just look at the contentment in their faces  

This man had not been out of his room on the third floor since the fire .. his wife said he lost his cane in the fire and it was too difficult for him to come out, and he was depressed .  So we brought him a new cane and intised him out with the shashleek... By the end of the day, he was a new man .. 

Cody serving the kids table 

Happy to get new mattresses 

we handed out the last of the supplies then said good buy .  I shared that we are on our way back to Canada tomorrow night , but that we would continue to be in contact with Larisa, and would continue to look for help for them .   It was hard to say good buy.. some of the Babushka's started to cry a little .. I think it was just that someone was being nice to them .. They still have a lot of healing to go .. but I feel a lot better leaving them today ... 

the needs are great .. far exceeding our resources

Believe it or not, there is a skill to being homeless and surviving .. there are 64 people...... families , children and seniors who have suddenly lost everything. They desperately need help . Our Larisa is heading up the efforts. Even the most basic needs are far exceeding our resources. please consider a special donation at this time so we can help meet these needs ... 

visiting friends.

Saturday was a busy day of packing and taking care of last minute instructions for those staying behind.  Then later in the day , the kids had some friends over for a game of uno.  We still have not heard back about a Visa for Jengish, so we will be traveling with out him, and as soon as the visa comes though, we will have him on the next flight .  We are told that processing times for visa's is now 52 days .

In the morning , we picked up baby geese from Larisa's house and brought them out to Auxanna and her kids . 

We also got her Tomatoes, onions and peppers for her garden as well as some basic food supplies , oh ya, and about 200 lbs of food for the geese 

she is very hard working, and has a huge garden 

We also stoped to see a couple of Emma's kids that have a new home .  they are now with a really nice family.  It was great to see them again, and spend a bit of time with them

Tolik showed us the guitar that he got for his birthday, and Jengish even gave him a little lesson.

When we got back we did a bit of shopping .. we will be providing all the meals today for those from the fire.  

There is just so much to do in the face of sooooo much loss.  many of these families are left with nothing.. all that they had is gone, and there is no one or no insurance company that will replace it for them .
For many at this point, all they have is Larisa.