Friday, November 29, 2019

Bagging coal for Christmas

It has been a very busy couple days for the guys on the farm. Some donations have started to come in from the Christmas catalog.  some of those donations are for coal .  You can buy coal by the bag, but it is almost half the price if we get it loose in a transport truck and bag it ourselves.  All Vlad needs to do is drop a pile of empty bags and the boys right away start bagging the coal.  This will be such a blessing to so many in the weeks and months to come.  

While they had the bags out they also filled a bunch with dirt and brought it into the green house.  In a few days when the dirt is nice and warm, we will transplant the rooted sweet potato vines into the bags ready for harvest in march.

As soon as funds come in for Christmas parties and food hampers, they will start getting them put together as well ready to hand out over Christmas .  Tomorrow they will take advantage of the Black Friday deals and look for a TV set and a washing machine.  To see more Christmas items and suggestions, check out the last blog post or follow this link 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Christmas Wish Catalog

Its that time of year again for our Christmas wish list.  This year we have lots of options from Christmas parties , to nutrition, health and well being  and  , to fun and entertainment , to future development on the farm. So lets get  started.

So lets start first  with Christmas parties .

Out in one of the villages we have the opportunity to bless many of the children who may not otherwise be reached.  This event is a large party with great food and gifts.  We partner with many of the residents of the village who do most of the cooking, organizing  and preparation, so we are able to keep the cost down.. This event if under the loving guidance of Vera and Oleg. .......$5 / child 
Sponsored thankyou

Every year we put on a huge celebration with the blind society .  Upwards of 250 kids come to this who are blind or deaf, or come from families who's parents are.  Our friends in Bishkek over see this event and do an amazing job every year.  .... $10 / child 

In the orphanages we put on a big celebration with singing, dancing , sometimes a movie and popcorn, and also include a small gift for each child.  This event is over seen by Sergey and Anya with the assistance of the young adults on the farm. ..... $10 / child  

Friends in Tokmok this year are planing a special Christmas for the un-reached. The idea is not to bless their own regular group of kids, but to reach out to families and kids that may have never celebrated Christmas before, and make this a special year for them.  they are trying to raise enough for 300 kids.  our involvement in this will be overseen by Vlad .  ..... $15/child

Student Party.  Friends of ours are interested in providing a Christmas dinner for University and collage students.  Many are away from home and away from what is familiar to them.  Our friends would like to put on a great meal for those that are alone over Christmas .  Our Vlad will over see our involvement in this as well the farm will provide some chickens and ducks as well as some canned produce .. to complete this wish we are looking for ..... $250 covered with thanks 

Tanya continues the work of her Mom Laurisa .  This will be a hard year for many of those that she helped as it will be the first Christmas with out her .  Other years we have been able to provide her with a budget of $2000.   Any amount will help and will make a difference.   

Nutrition, health and well being 

We have a  reliable supply of good quality Vitamins that we can order through Jengish's brother.  We can provide some need specific  vitamins  to a family for the winter ( depending on family size) for about ...........$20 

Christmas food hampers are a great way to bless an entire family and to let them know that they are not alone.  It is also great to give them a little break in the daily struggle to provide for their nutritional needs.  These would be packed and distributed buy the young adults on the farm ..  A food hamper............... $40/ household 

Dental visits are something that we always have a need for , many times when a need arises if we do not have a sponsor already, we will just do what is needed to deal with the pain, but then we need to follow up and finish what has been started.  A visit to the dentist and treatment averages ............$75 / visit 

Coal is always a big on going need .

. I have heard the saying that if you are bad , all you will get is a limp of coal for Christmas .. We know people that could only dream of a lump of coal.  We have a small supply of emergency coal to give as needed through the winter, but we know that this will not last and we will likely need another 10 tons before winter is over, and the price will only go up. The average supply of coal that we give to those in need is 1 1/2 tons ..... $80 / ton 

Fun and entertainment 

Coffee house supplies 

We can not begin to express what a blessing it has been to so many to have a coffee house .  It may seem like something extravagant at first , but we have found that more counseling and healing takes place over a cup of coffee or a warm tea then anywhere else .. this is true for both the farm kids and guest alike.   Across the street from the farm there is a man that provides and repairs wheel chairs to people.  We are thrilled to be able to open up the cafe, and its wheel chair accessible  washrooms to those waiting .  We are always in need of coffee .  We try to get as much brought in with teams as possible, but the winter is long and coffee is expensive ..............$20 / kg


This year for Christmas for all those on the farm, we would like to get one special gift for each the boys house and the girls house .

TV to be mounted on the wall in the dinning room / food prep common  area at the main house.  This will be great on those cold winter nights , and the long tedious hours preparing meals ...... $200.. sponsored 

This may not seem like entertainment , but I have found that almost anything becomes entertainment if you add a motor to it.  We have a washing machine at the main house that the boys bring their laundry over to, but what ends up happening is that Aigoola or the girls end up doing it, and then its not unheard of to slip and fall on their way back to the boys house .. We have renovated a small kitchenette at boys house , and have left a spot all plumbed in for an automatic washer ...... $300...   sponsored 

Future Development 

We always like to have one item on the Christmas list that "Tips our hand " about future development on the farm
  A couple of years ago we had an opportunity to purchase another piece of property connecting to the farm .  It was a great deal , and we even had a couple different people ready to help us buy it, but we declined.  We were not in a position to take on more responsibility and more maintenance, and did not have a need or a vision for this at the time.
  That same piece of property is back up for sale again .  This time we are ready .. We would like to get it and have the young men on the farm renovate it and set up a business in it .  This would be a great place for some of them to experience working off the farm, but at the same time not deal with transportation issue, as well would be close so we could keep an eye on things .. for this need we are looking for donations totaling ...............$14 000. 

The yellow is the existing farm , the red is the property we are interested in 

If you would like to help with any items on this wish list, you can donate on one of the links above and add in the memo where you would like your donation to be used , as well please share with your friends, not just on FB but maybe even your Church, family or business friends would be interested in helping.  You can also contact me and I will send you a Gift certificate that you can print out to go in a card if being used as a Christmas gift .

In Canada please use this link 
from Canada Helps / Link127 Humanitarian Aid Society 

  Donate Now Through!

In the US please use this link 
from Paypal / AP Church 

Please remember to put in the memo where you would like your gift to be directed 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Out of the frying pan and into the Kazan

 We left Rebekah's  at 2 am and headed for the airport .  The plan was Moscow for one hour then on to Paris for a 5 hour layover to give us time to get downtown and catch the train to Zurich.  The plan was ...  well plans change.  The flight was about an hour late boarding , and while boarding they said  that the plain was now going to Kazan Russia when they will stop to refuel before going on to Moscow , We stepped forward and tole them we had many connections and could they please call ahead and arrange connections that would get us to Paris as quickly as possible  With that they asked to see our boarding pass and handed us back Business class boarding passes and said "for your troubles. "     It was then that we realized that it is possible to be comfortable on a plane.   As we were sitting there on the plane gloating over our nice seats ,Two young men stopped to say high .    It was a strange feeling , suddenly I felt guilty about where we were sitting .. What if they thought that we traveled like this all the time.  Maybe it would some how negate what we were doing there if they assumed that we spent money like this .  Fortunatly when we landed in Moscow ( three and a half hours late ) we met up with them in the airport and were able to share with them our fortune.   

The next connecting flight was not for almost 2 hours .  This put landing in Paris at the beginning of rush hour with less then an hour to clear customs, collect our bag and make the 50 minute trip across Paris to the train , then find the right train .  when we reached customs there were only about 10 people ahead of us and there were about 5 or 6 windows open , then on to the baggage ,, if your bag was not there it would have taken two long to fill out the report... fortunately about the 4th bag on the baggage belt was ours .. so we were off running .. We ran out the door and and some one pointed and yelled bus this way taxi that way .. three steps later a young man was waiting and raced us out to his car ,, asked where we were going and looked at the traffic and said "its 55 minutes , how much time do you have ?"  We told him 45 minutes .. he said lets do this , and we were out of there in a flash .. racing through traffic and checking our train departure track on the fly so that he could drop us as close as possible .  When we got to the station he took a road that went down under the station and drooped us off in front of an elevator and said go up one floor and you will be at your track ...10 minutes before the trains boarding  ...   Now we could breath ,,

It was a beautiful trip through the country side on the train .

and we arrived at the train station at the exact time we were scheduled .. oh the wonders of world travel.  It was so nice to see Iris ,  Her apartment is the one with all the ivy in the balcony.

We have done a lot of walking the last two days as we have seen so much of Zurich 

this morning we started the day at the English coffee club where we had coffee and visited in English with friends of Iris 

We have been invited for breakfast at the home of one of the men tomorrow morning . 

We then went down town to see about getting a Swiss watch for Jenish ... I found some very nice watches for between $50 000 and $64 000 ... humm maybe we should look for a Swiss Army Knife .. or maybe a Toblarone bar

Lots more walking , and seeing some beautiful sights along the way .  Tomorrow we will have breakfast out at our new friends , then we will take the train back to Paris at 3:00

Monday, November 18, 2019

One more hug before we go.

Well we are all cleaned up and winterized at the kashar, and the farm.  Drained some water lines and put antifreeze in some of the toilets .    Yesterday we finished up in Tokmok and today we are spending our last day in Bishkek. 

A couple days ago we did a last trip around to some of the orphanages and the hospital.  I was surprised when I came out to greet us that they all wished me a happy birthday, and even had a little gift for me. 

We had some gifts of our own for the Baby orphanage.  Bananas, cookies, baby food, vitamins and Nurses scrubs, and Laundry soap.  We also had our paw patrol friends join us for some fun with the kids 

We had lots of children's Vitamins and over the counter meds that Julie and Vlad were able to help translate for the head nurse.   We also had another big bag of nurses outfits that we gave out .. They were thrilled with that as always .

 One of the songs that the paw patrol was dancing to kept singing about Coffee Latte  .. Now I am not sure if thats what it was or if it was something else that just sounded like coffee Latte... but ether way the seed was planted, so after the party we all went out to Giraffe coffee... 

Back at the farm that night we had a good buy / Birthday party .. along with My birthday we celebrated Isar and Vladys birthday. 

Last walk around the farm and to the green house , it was nice to see the new growth everywhere 

after drying the spearmint, calindula , and orange peal , the boys prepared about 7 big jars of tea.  then we all sat down and enjoyed a cup.

Today we are in Bishkek, but Vlad and the boys are busy with more coal deliveries .  Fatima and her family and Bubba Nadia .. both were trilled to see us, Nadia wants to keep one of the boys .. 

One more hug before we go. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

It could be you he helps.

Update .. We have raised this need .. Thank you to everyone who had a part of this. 

Over the last, almost 15 years, we have had a great friend here in Kyrgyzstan. Vlady has done it all .. he has been a driver and translator for us and for teams, he has been our plumber, electrician, welder, bee keeper and our banquet chef.  I don't think there is anything that he can not do. I remember about 10 years ago we asked all our team members one time what they felt was their "calling" . I still remember his response.  He said he " felt called to do anything that was asked to support people that are helping others.", and he has done that.  In fact many of you would have stories of how Vlady has helped you.

 A few years ago he had to have surgery an a hernia.  At the time we thought that it was a success, but shortly after the mesh let go and now he is worse then before.   His wife Dr Tatyana who also is a great help to us has done the research and found that the best plan would be for Vlady to go to Moscow for the operation.   The cost of the flight and the surgery is about $1350.  This morning he came to us to ask if we would be able to help him with this need so he can get this repaired.  So we are looking to raise $1500 to meat this need and also a little extra incidental funds for the traveling.  If you can help with this need please use the donate button on the top right side of this blog, and in the comment just type  Vlady .  It will be a great blessing to him and to all those that Vlady helps .. one day it could be you he helps.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Getting ready for winter

Today was rain , and it will be turning to snow over night.  Its time to move the cafe in for the winter.  

we closed up one of the apartments this weekend as well .  Most went into the garage until we are able to find a cheaper apartment that the boys can renovate.  We did put some of the furniture around the farm and kashar as well, like the old hutch up to the kashar that will be great for the banquet plates etc.

We moved some of the plants from the gardens in before the snow as well, like this big spiky plant that we put in the green house . 

Last week we had one of the beds in the small room break as Julie was pulling it out to remake it .  So we put some of the apartment furniture in here as well . 

In the cafe where the Espanola team had done some paint and papering and built a hearth  in front of the fire, the little plastic cupboard did not cut it so we juggled things around a bit to put this antique shelf there . 

Over in the boys house the room that the Espanola team renovated also got a new table and kitchen cupboard set.  The boys will have this set up as a kitchen were they will possibly start by making their own coffee, tea, and maybe even cook there own breakfast in the mornings.. we will see !

We have harvested mint and Calindula and are in the process of making tea. 

Out in the apple orchard we have been training the apple trees .  The idea is to get them growing in a hedge . this gives more light and bigger apples, as well when the branches are growing horizontal rather then vertical, they will produce about 4 times as much fruit. 

Right now they are looking more like grape vines. 

once they are mature the desired effect is that they would look something like this .