Saturday, May 30, 2020

Thoughts from the orchard

Our hearts are in Kyrgyzstan and a lot of our lives are in Kyrgyzstan , and we are not there.  In fact we have not been there as much as we have wanted for the last year.  Last spring we had to depart early for a family emergency, then I took sick during the summer and we could not get back until later in the fall for a much shorter trip, then this spring three days before we were to depart, everything shut down and the flights had to be cancelled.  
   Right from our first trip to Kyrgyzstan we knew that it was important that we come along side nationals that are on the front lines, and everything we did we came from a perspective of  "One day we may not be able to be here ."   And here we are , that "One day" has arrived.  As sad as we are we are truly amazed at how well the team is doing with out us there .. I know that it is a lot harder with out us and there is a lot more stress for them , but they have risen to the challenge.   I was reminded of that again when I got some photos of the apple orchard.  Last fall before we left we did some very heavy pruning, and trained the branches together , each tree holding the tree beside it in line .. this will increase both the yeild of the fruit and the size of the fruit.  So why does this make me think about not being there ?  A couple weeks ago I was chatting with a good friend about how sad we were to not be their right now, and she shared the analogy  of the apple trees.  It was her family who was with us to dig the holes and put these tiny little sticks in the ground.   It takes a lot of faith to take an 18 inch stick with no leaves and no roots, put it in the ground and envision an apple orchard, but they stood with us then and they continue to stand with us now.  

Here is what she shared with me ...... 

"It is truly amazing to watch. It really is the fruition of your years of labor... As an analogy those apple trees are a prime example.

 When you guys started there each of your workers were all just little twigs. You poured into each with resources from various sources (much like you would water and fertilize the trees) As time has gone on they have grown. Over time you have had to do some
hard pruning but you have managed to intertwine their branches so that the fruits of their labor are now multiplied. Where once their roots were shallow and the twigs needed a lot from you over the 10 plus years you have protected them and allowed them to flourish they are now ready to be fruit bearing on their own."

Don’t you have a saying, ‘Four more months and then it’s time for harvest’? Look, I tell you: open your eyes and notice that the fields are already ripe for the harvest.   

Friday, May 29, 2020

See the gratitude on the faces.

I am of mix emotions today .. Thrilled  by the generosity of so many of you for reaching out and helped us to bring food to families in need.   Feeling blessed that we can be a part of bringing hope to so many , like the lady that heard that there was a potato at the dump, but returned home empty handed only to find Tanya there with full bags of groceries for her. I think of all the kids in the orphanages or the workers in the hospitals who have been receiving food hampers and I get overwhelmed .   I think of over 100 000 loaves of bread made with love and given out free to those in need. 
I think of our daughter Bekah and her husband Azamat , and all our friends , and our kids on the farm that we miss so much and wish we could be there with them.  
I see all the facebook posts and jokes  about people gaining so much weight during quarantine, and right away my mind goes to those who are forced out of there homes looking for food , and passing out on the side of the road from starvation, and it breaks my heart.   

I have no idea how much longer this will go on and the need will be there for the food drops.  Many families were borderline before this and struggle to get threw a normal winter, but this has been anything but normal .  Things have started to slowly open back up , but for the most part only because there is room in the hospitals for the sick ... 
With cupboards bare and work at a minimum , I think it will be a long hard summer as well.  We will continue to do our part as long as we can .   If you have noticed, we have been doing a large food drop every two weeks. these drops cost $2500 each time.  We have just a few days before the next drop and are only $145 away from our target.  In the off weeks we try to address other needs that come to our attention while on deliveries, like the boiler system collapse in one of the orphanage treatment centers.   The following food drops are scheduled to begin on the 15th when we will be back looking for support again . 
 Please  know that we are not taking the generosity for granted. We are reminded of your love and support when we see the gratitude on the faces of  every single person who receives a bag of food.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Gearing up for the next round of food drops . please help make it happen !

As Vera and Oleg are delivering the last of the food hampers they have , we are gearing up for deliveries to three more villages and to seniors .

Over and over our people are hearing the expressions of thanksgiving from every home they come to.  They all would like us to extend to you great blessings for all your help. 

We are now getting ready to for the next food purchase . we are looking to raise $2500 for this one.  We don't have any contests or gimmicks or special prizes this time around, we just have a need .    If you would like to be a part of this blessing please use the donate button on the top right side of the blog . 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A little time in the mountains

96 000    That's the number of loaves of bread that have been given out by the bread team in Kyrgyzstan . Let that sink in 96 000.  This outreach has spread to many villages and towns, with volunteers coming together with time and resources, getting up at 5am every day  to bake and deliver bread free of charge to those in need .  Lets say it again 96 000 loaves of bread .. by the time most of you read this it we will have hit 100 000.    Obviously many others are starting to come on board to support , more then our $40 a day . This shows me that this is something that is not being dictated by the finances .  I believe that there is a blessing for those that are a part of this .  that's why we will continue to offer this as an opportunity for people to sponsor and in turn be blessed for their sacrifice ..

Our friend Vera , who is the director of a school for children with disabilities was busy as well .  Through her we were able to  send food hampers to her students that were in need .  She was able to personalize each package based on the family size and the kids likes .   

They were all blessed by her coming to see them .

It was a difficult time for Her and Oleg , but they kept focus on the kids.  In the middle of these deliveries, Oleg's father passed away, and their van broke down .  Please remember to pray for them.  We are planing with them to deliver to 50 more families next week.  

The next little report is from Sergey.  He was out to bring a special blessing to the Orlofka orphanage.  Not just food drop this time, but also some summer toys... balls bikes Also Sergey visited Jazgools family and brought her kids some outside toys as well .  This week we will bring her things for  her to plant in her garden .

Yesterday was a day in the mountains for our farm family .  Vlad brought them on a long hike up to find the lost lake .  it is a long grueling journey, but the view is beauty is breath taking . 

Bekah and Azamat ( and Lilly) went for a hike of their own .  The mountains sure are a great place to go to depart from the troubles of the world around you . 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wash your hands :)

They tell us that social distancing and frequent hand washing are the key to beating this thing .  But here is the problem ,  when the food runs out people are forced out to try to find anything , and even if they do find food , cleaning supplies are a long way down on the priority list , even if it is the front line of defense .

Hand soap, laundry soap, shampoo, toothpaste are just some of the cleaning supplies added to today's food drop. 

Now that bags are packed, they will be distributed over the next few days .  

Misha delivering supplies to one of our neighbors at the farm

 Sergey made a trip today over to the baby hospital to check on the team there and to bring them all some food hampers .  they are front line workers and many only make about $80 a month .  They have enough to worry about right now.

There are 19 workers at this hospital & clinic.

I did ask that they were each given a special treat .. Alpen Gold is my chocolate of choice .

In about 10 days we will be starting the next food drop.  It will be focusing on the seniors .  the cost of that aid package will be $2500 , $400 of that is in already . If the rest comes in sooner we will go ahead sooner .

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Orphanage support

Today Vlad was out to the red river orphanage on deliveries .  They were so happy to see him.  When talking to them before going , he found that they were doing ok for the fillers like potatoes and pasta , but they were out of cleaning supplies . so that was the bulk of the order today , but he did get them meat as well, and of course a big jug of honey from the farm.

Laundry soap, shampoo, hand soap, meat and honey 

Things were not as good at Ivonofka children's home .   There never is a good time to have serious problems with your boiler system but now is not the best.  At least it was not the middle of the winter.   There are still cold nights, as well the boiler system heats the bath and shower water .  The other problem is that this is in the middle of a pandemic when there is not any extra funds around and not many private citizens are in a position to help.

 The Chimney has started to crumble and collapse, and what is still there is pitted with holes.   The boiler system is a large soviet system that requires about twice as much coal as a new efficient one, and the chimney is huge and will cost more to replace then the cost of a whole new boiler with a standard chimney. 

We have hired someone to take down what is there .. even that will require a crane and a bucket truck it is just to dangerous to leave it as it is.    The cost of replacing the system is going to be about $2000.  The orphanage director is doing everything she can to find a sponsor in Kyrgyzstan, but we are pretty sure it is going to take more then what she can raise .

Tomorrow we will be delivering food hampers to families in need , stay tuned for tomorrows update.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Thank you for standing with us.

 Yesterday was such a blessing to us.   In the morning I posted the need of $2500 for food deliveries that would be starting on Tuesday. But 11:00 pm the entire need was met.

I have to tell you, I really hate asking for help.  It is one of my least favorite things to do, but I have a voice, where as those we are helping do not.  You guys have made lessened the burden at this time, and brought such encouragement to our entire team .  They work hard to shop, organize and pack food hampers for hundreds of families every couple weeks as well as continuing to deal with individual emergencies as they arise.  What an incredible boost it is for them to know that the finances are there.. one less thing for them to worry about .   I am feeling a little out of place here when there is so much to do there, but at least we can keep the finances rolling. 
    Yesterdays food drive we actually raised an extra $600.   $200 of that has gone to bring food hampers to 19 front line workers at the hospital we sponsor, and the other $400 and what ever extra is donated in the next couple weeks  will be put towards the June first food hampers . again we will have a target of $2500 .  The majority of those we will target on that delivery
will be the seniors. I will share more about that need over the next couple weeks.  As well we will continue to provide flour and yeast for the 350 loaves of bread backed and given out every day.
  In a couple hours the team will be up and begin the task at hand , shopping and preparing hampers for Wednesday, and delivering needed supplies to a couple orphanages. 
Thank you all so much for you

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Gearing up for more "food and hygiene" drops

Well here we go again. It is time again to do another round of food drops.  One of the problems we are seeing is that the number of those in need is not going down, it is getting worse.  Many who were ready for a 3 or 4 week shut down are now finding them selves in trouble.  As well as food, most hygiene and cleaning supplies are gone.  Even speaking with those we help who glean what they can from the dump are in trouble as there is hardly any food being thrown out any more . 

Tuesday we are planing a large food and cleaning supply drop to two orphanages . Wednesday we will be sending out 100 food and Hygiene packs to families.  As well we have Vera and her friends bringing food to families with disabled kids throughout the week, and Sergey will be bringing some more needed supplies out to another small orphanage. 

The total cost of this Humanitarian Aid drop will be $2500 .. we are only a couple days from beginning this drop, so if you are thinking you might be able to help out, NOW is the time to make a donation.  Tuesday I will start posting pictures of those we have been able to help .

If you would like to help, please use one of the donate buttons on the top right side of the blog.  The "Donate Now" button will take you to Canada helps , and they will issue tax receipts for those donating from Canada.  From the US please use the "Donate" button through Pay pal. you will receive a taxable receipt from Ambassadors Point in the U.S. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Free produce . just one of the ways we can bring HOPE!

The vegetable cart is out.  today was spinach , in a few days we will be adding lettuce , tomatoes and cucumbers .  The signs are telling neighbors that it is free and to please help themselves .  

Throughout the season we will keep the cart going with the produce from the fields .

Next week we will be doing another food distribution . our target for next week is $2000 US for 150 families and one orphanage of 110 kids and a school for disabled kids. 

This has seemed to drag on for so many of us , and many of the people we are helping now we have already helped in the past, but as time goes on the situation is becoming more and more desperate.  please consider how you would be able to help , either sponsoring a food hamper at $10 a family , an orphanage at $200 or $40 a day to sponsor  bread for 350 people .  Lots of ways we can help.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Not everything has to be crisis mode .

The guys on the farm are reworking a sales wagon that we had made a few years ago. It needed some repairs so while at it they have added a couple shelves. Tomorrow they will put a sun cover on and some table cloth on the counter.  It will have a sign that says "to our wonderful Neighbors, please help yourself" . 

In the green house we have a furnice room, and in that room we had a water storage barrel.  It was in there before we had the fish ponds , and since then we have not needed it there.  At the same time the storage container for our water system at the Kashar was too small. so we thought it would be good to double up . 

To get it out of the room, there was only one way.. peal back the roof and go up .  

Great job guys .

Today was a special day . It is Emma's birthday .  We had a little celebration lunch for her today .  we even made a cake .. I had a little trouble with the icing with not having all the right ingredients, but we did manage to pull it off. 

There is another birthday today. Our friend who watches and helps us at the kashar had a birthday as well.  She loves to cook and is an awesome cook , in fact I am a little embarrassed for her to see the cake I made today hahaha.  But you know not everything has to be crisis mode .  It is so nice to be able to do something special just because .... Today Vlad delivered a big package to her full of backing supplies and chocolates, spices , yeast , honey .. all the things she might have a hard time getting now .  We appreciate Her and her husband and it was a blessing to us to be able to show that.

Just a heads up, next week we will be revisiting the Humanitarian food drops and making a plan for what is next .  We will let you know when we get a total .  I think that some of the orphanages and institutions are soon going to be in need again. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Working on the farm

Time to move plants from the green house out into the fields.  They are enjoying the cherry tomatoes.

We are taking this down time with the guest house closed and doing some renovations .  Inside and out , any walls that were crumbling have been chipped out and re cemented, then everything has been given a fresh coat of paint .

Now we just need things to reopen .