Thursday, March 31, 2016

Be the Miracle

Some times we get so caught up in life that we do not see the miracles around us, or at times miss out on the opportunity to BE the miracle.  I tend to think of big things when I think of Miracles , but forget that some times those "Simple dreams" can have the biggest impact.  I remember our friend from Possibilities International  Sam, was at the home of a blind couple.  Their  home was in tough shape, and he asked the question .. " If you could have anything, what would it be ?" their answer was "A light bulb "  Now Sam was thinking something like a home makeover or a radio or maybe even help with day to day chores, but A LIGHT BUB ? ..he was not wanting to be insensitive, but he had to ask what a blind person needs a light bulb for .. The answer was simple.  "When the lights are on the cockroaches go away and we can eat with out them on our food."  Life for them was good with a 7 cent light bulb Not a $2500 home makeover, but a 7 cent light bulb.  

Yesterday I shared about our new friend Erkin.  He came up to us last week asking for bread or money to buy bread. He was in very rough shape, covered with scrapes and bruises, and was staggering a bit.  and for me the Kyrgyz language sounds slurred at the best of times.  Jengish took him aside and asked what was really going on here .. why was he cut and bruised.  Then the story came out. 

   He has Cerebral Palsy, and lives with and supports his elderly mother who is also disabled.  He has to go out every day to try to find some bread for them .  The problem is that time to time he has bad shakes, and falls off of his bike, and that is why he is so bruised.   Jengish said OK so never mind the bread right now, I will give you bread money, but we need to figure out how to keep you safe. They came up with the idea of a three wheel bike.  Today I was at the Bazaar trying to find one or get connections with some one who could get us one, and how much it will be so I could share the need and hopefully find him a sponsor.  The best I could find was about $350 and it was in Bishkek , and would be a cheep made bike I was told.  For a good strong one would be about $500.  

At the same time , Erkin and his friend started dreaming, and Hoping , and they found one in town that was second hand with a large cart on the back but were afraid to even mention it to Jengish as it was $120 .. way more then they could ever Ask or Imagine.  Then Jengish called him to see if he had found anything .. so he shared his find.  

So while I was still looking at he bazaar, Jengish took Erkin and his friend to see the one they found.  It was solid and stable.  and in good shape. Erkin even took it for a ride to make sure it was not more then he could manage.  

Normally we do the leg work, then wait until we find a sponsor, but not wanting to miss out on this deal, Jengish gave the money for it right away on faith that someone would like to be the miracle in this situation.  Well it was almost more then Erkin and his friend could bare.  As Erkin started riding around the street, his friend was overcome with emotion and had to step aside to regroup.  

Today there was a seed of Hope planted, and Faith with spring forth .. "For faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen."  So now Erkin is off with a renewed faith in the unimaginable and we have Hope for a sponsor to help us with this.

Happy to report that this need has been sponsored .. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

And thats good enough for me

We are back from our 16 day stint out at the farm. I am on the internet, with my feet up and a fresh cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookee .. it was an exciting few weeks.   The first week with our friends from Norwood Ontario and the second week with our friends from Cincinatti Ohio .  The next 4 days were probably the most challenging.  We gave Aigula, Jengish and Emma some time off to relax , and Julie and I stayed on at the farm.  We had no translator, so it was just our poor broken Russian and a whole lot of hand signals.  There was still so much work going on so we were working along with them and playing Foreman as well as cooking all the meals.  Jengish said it would be a really great way for us to improve our Russian ,  HE SAID ... well I spent most of my days with the fine young man .. who has a severe cleft pallet, and cleft lip and a slight stutter.. he also speaks a mix of Kyrgyz and Russian ... " You will improve your Russian He said" !  but we survived and in the end I could actually understand a bit of what he was saying .. but maybe it was the flailing arms that helped .  

We had a few donations toward a new automatic washer and dryer.  This is only the second dryer I have seen in Kyrgyzstan.  What a blessing to be able to dry sheets and clothes on a rainy day.  Julie focused on Laundry and sorting to prepare for guests .. with the teams and all the kids and the extra workers we had as many as 36 different  people staying at the farm over a couple weeks .. that's a lot of Laundry  It was amazing to watch Logan show everyone how to work the dryer , in fact he was up every night late keeping an eye on it .

The roof is on the poultry barn, and now the inside walls are all cemented, and the cage dividers are to the ceiling 

We have a small room over on the Aigula's side in the third house that we had fixed up but was not yet in use, So we decided to fix that up for when we have extra builders at the farm.  This will free up a room in the boys house so we have room now to take more kids when they show up. 

Over on the same farm, Misha has been working with Vlady to get the Banya up and running .  A banya is like a sauna but closer to a steam bath.  The kids love a Banya and we have been paying for them to go to one every few weeks. But now that we have our own, we will fire it up every few days .  We will also set up a swimming pool in this court yard, so I am sure that this property will get lots of use in the future.  We have also put the old washing machine that had a washer and a spinner in the bathroom here .  the house attached to this property has two bedrooms and beds for up to 8 people and is the emergency shelter if needed, as well as a guest house for travelers and for when teams come. 

We fired up the Banya and in just minutes the plastic ceiling began to peal off .  Obviously the people we bought from had the ceiling up, but never used it as a Banya.  Looks like this week I will put up a wood ceiling in there  

Lunch continues to be one of my favourite times at the farm.  especially now that Aigula is back and I did not have to cook it.  
Everyone sits around a community table and talks and laughs.  I am always amazed how happy every one is.  Noting like a lunch room table that I would experience in North America .. No one has very much, but they are content, and thankfully for all that they do have .  I think just coming and having lunch with them would sure change the attitude of a lot of people from the west. 

Yesterday after lunch Julie gave out a bunch of t shirts that some one had donated.  Not everyone wanted to pose for the photo, but every one DID love their shirt.  We told them that we don't expect that they will stay that clean on the farm, but they would make nice cool work shirts in the summer when working in the fields 

So Aigula and Aizada were busy today planting more Raspberries at her side .  We are adding another 500 plants this year .  

Then the rest were over on the boys side.  Lots going on there. 4 people were building the new fence in front of the main street farm, and two were digging a trench behind the house. Right now the water outlet is in side and that brings a lot of mud into the house. We are trying to help the boys get the house nice, so an outside water line s needed, so we will run this line over to the barn. 

mean while there were 6 more working on pouring the foundation for the green house.   There are two foundations like this that are being poured.  The green house will be built in two phases.  The first will have the water supply and the boiler system in it as well as about 1500 sq feet of green house.  Then once this is up and running we work towards the next 1500 sq feet .  The trench was dug about three feet down, then poured with cemented stones.  Once it hardens, the centre will be dug out , and used to make the building blocks that will build the back wall and earth berm that will be about 4 feet high .. That will make the total height about 6 1/2 feet .  

So on a personal note.  I have been fighting a battle with my blood sugar for almost a year now.  using a combination of exercise, a change of eating habits, pills and a low dose insulin, I have finally been able to reach and maintain my target levels for almost a month now.  I started at 19 but now am at a fairly constant 7.   In fact since returning to the farm and the busy life here, I have actually been able to lower my dose three times and am still maintaining the right levels.

Now here is a real battle .. All you have to do is stop for a second and look around and you can always find some one who is in worse shape .  
We ran into this man a couple days ago.  We were late for an appointment with one of the teams, so Jengish got his number and made a date to visit him today.  When he first came to me asking for some bread money, He had a stagger and was all black and blue .. it would have been easy to dismiss him as drunk, but Jengish was able to talk to him and determine that he had not been drinking, but actually had Cerebral  Palsy.  He was all black and blue because he has episodes and falls off his bike when he does.   He also found out that he cares for his mother who is also disabled.  We are going to talk to him about working out at the farm a few 1/2 days a week . I am sure we can find some small job he can do , maybe grooming the cows or something like that .. but maybe not collecting the eggs. 

Over the next few days we will see what we can come up with and keep you posted.  We are thinking a three wheel bike would be great for him .  We have no idea yet how much that would be but when we know we will let you know.  Maybe someone would like to help with that. What I do know is that for some reason Jengish has been drawn to help this man, and that's good enough for me. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter update from Kyrgyzstan

Happy Easter to all of you from all of us at the farm .  
What an amazing few weeks out at the Farm , not to mention all the other areas that we touched with our incredible friends that came to spend time with us this week .   Julie and I have been living out at the farm the last couple weeks , and since the last group left, we have stayed on for the weekend to give Aigula a much needed and deserved rest.  That said, the Internet has been very slow ,  I tried to upload a video and this is what happened after leaving it uploading all night ... 

Well we stopped at the apartment for an hour or so today to try to get caught up so here is the video I was trying to upload 

The boys house is so awesome now .. New roof and gutters and a patio in their front.. this will solve the mud issues for sure . 

The team had a great time working around the farm, including the many trips with Boomer (BMW) 

Cole set up new grooming stations for the cows .   This morning I took a look and two of the boys were busy grooming the cows as part of their morning chores 

Sarah was a trooper as well .. digging right in ..and loving it 

The truck got a work out as well... Many trips to the dump, to get hay and to move bricks, blocks and gravel ..

The visit from Tumara the eagle was a fun outing for two of the teams 

Shoe shopping for the kids from Svetly Puut brought lots of excitement .. We asked the kids to please look after out teams and try not to lose them in the Bazaar .. Fortunately
 every one did manage to keep up .

The opposite side of the bazaar was Cosmo park, bowling and supper out 

We found the bigger fish. The first team checked it out, then the second took a group of men from The men's home fishing ..that was sooo awesome , they had such a great day .. including a shore lunch.  The largest fish weighed in at 5.7 lbs 

The second time Tumara came to visit , we were up in the mountains horses back riding and a camp fire with Smores and Vladys shashleek 

It is such an amazing place.. if all you came for was this, I guarantee your trip would be a success.

Some teaching time with one of our much loved boys , looking over the village were the farm is .. I am always impressed with how well Jengish is able to bring opportunity for life lessons to the kids. 

Seeds arrived with the second team. They are from friends of Christy Walls who send us seeds every year .. 

We got a donation for an apple orchard so that we can supply apples to the orphanages .. The First team the fields were too wet but last week we were able to plant 200 dwarf apple trees .. Red Delicious and Macintosh . 

Along with the patio on the boys house, we were able to put the interlocking bricks on the walk way between three of the properties .. The one below is the emergency shelter / guest house , it also has the Wood shop and the future Bakery 

We also got a new bridge built over the irrigation canal 

The boys are now all focused on the green house and the new front block fence .. The work continues .. At the house now I see that the trees are all about 1 1/2 inches tall now .. just about ready to move to the larger trays . It looks like about 1000 of them are up now . 

Well back to the farm now.  If you don't hear from me its the Internet.  We are still able to get FB messages out from time to time .. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Update

Weekend Update
What a great time we had!!!!! We started with breakfast on the farm - with some very heart felt "thank you's and good byes" Short term trips have a serious, positive impact on both the nationals and the team members. Next, to Bishkek to do some shopping; both for the team and for 13 chidren from Svetly Put Orphanage.  Shoe shopping, bowling, eating burgers, fries and humungous waffles cone sundaes and a ton of laughs was Saturday. NPC team is on their way home and the Vilardo's are here now for a week. Sunday, we went to get some very important items!!!!! An automatic washer, AND A DRYER - and a very fancy sewing machine were Sundays purchases. Logan and Aigula LOVE the washer and dryer.  Monday we went to Orlovka to party with some children there and give out some more Samaritan Purse Christmas Boxes.  Happy Nooruz, and Merry Christmas !!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Day three ,, NPC KG

The team is doing great ,  |The day they arrived they went to church then to the bazaar.  Then back to the farm that night for supper ,  Day two was a work around the farm day.  Painting in the boys house, new stalls for the cows in the farm, then a trip to the Baran tower before supper. Then last night they watched the Lion King in Russian with English sub titles .. and are still singing the songs .. As well Bev has started doing some crafts with the kids.  They love the attention . 

Today we started putting the roof on the poultry barn and cleaning up a last of mess left by the last owners.   Also built a bridge over the irrigation ditch ,  Then we took the kids from the farm to the hot springs and then fishing .. Here are a bunch of the photos of the day .