Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Coal is on the move

Coal deliveries are well under way.  While some of the boys remain on the farm to bag the coal, others are out with Vlad on deliveries.  You may remember that up until a couple years ago we would just dump the coal at the homes directly from the trucks .  The problem was that the people receiving the coal are usually to old or to young, or simply not healthy enough to move coal around .. its hard work.   
Now we put the coal into bags and then we are able to place the bags directly into the coal bins for people. 
As I am receiving photos along the way , it makes me smile to be able to see some old friends along the way .  The first picture her is of the coal being delivered to Tanya .  Tanya's mom Larisa delivered coal for us for many years , and now Tanya has taken over that responsibility. Today she received 180 bags that she will use not just for their own home, but the majority of it she will give out through the winter to people who need it most, when they need it most. 

besides the coal at the farm we have also dropped a couple huge loads in a compound in Tokmok and have hired extras there to do the bagging for us so that the boys can just pick it up and go on to the next home.

You may have noticed Victor in the first picture .  he has been helping with deliveries for a few years now.  It just seemed like yesterday when he was about seven and the orphanage he was in closed .  His Grandmother was too old and on a pension so she was not able to look after him .  We made a deal at that time that we would help with their heating , medical and school expenses, and that way she would be able to care for him.   Today victor is in I.T. at the university , and we are continuing to support his grandmother with coal .. this is them below .. Nuric has been working hard today as well ( The one with the cap on ).. 

The older folks know the significance of the coal drop.. they have experienced the winter with out it.. the kids may not realize what this means , many won't remember a time with out it when the cold was over taking them, and I pray they never will . 


along with deliveries here , we have also started deliveries out in the Isykool region with coal being delivered to a men's rehab center, a women's shelter and a children's center.    Thank you so much to those who have acted so quickly to allow this to take place. Two days ago we posted the need for $10 000 USD and today we are just $1200 USD from that goal.  If you have not done so already, please take a moment and consider how you can help.  Thank you 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Coal time

Well it is fast approaching that time of year when we start delivering coal.  This year we have a few definite challenges at hand. The word on the street is that there will be another shut down in Kyrgyzstan in the next couple weeks , so we need to try to get as much coal delivered as we can before that .  People are still in such economic despair that very few will have the means to purchase coal for them selves this year .. it is going to be a long hard winter.  But what could be one of our biggest difficulties, but does not have to be is that teams provide so much of our humanitarian aid budget and we have no teams to help with coal this year .. physically and financially 

On our trip through the north we  focused on the positive things happening and renewed great friendships.  although this was not a fund raising trip, the ministry did receive enough financial blessing that we were able to pull the triger and start ordering coal. 

We will still need another $6000 USD to meet all the expected coal needs .  That number could easily hit $10 000 for the same coal if we wait a couple weeks when demand is high and the road blocks are up. So we need to act now. 
Today we had 23 tons of coal delivered to the farm to be bagged and delivered from there, 23 tons delivered to Tokmok depot where we will bag and deliver in that region, as well as another 23 tons coming tomorrow to Tokmok and Iskra .  We have also ordered 500 bags of fire wood that people can use to get the coal fire started. 

We have been delivering food from the farm for people , but with a shut down coming for an undetermined amount of time, we would like to  do another large food shop for things like flour and rice so that we can be ready . I would expect this to be another $4000. 

So in total we need about $10 000 US .  ($14 000 CDN)  Please share this need with anyone you think would like to help, and if you can help us at this time , please use the link on the top right side of the blog to donate . 

Now here are a couple pictures the make me smile .    This first one is of potatoes.. Nuric was cooking for 15 people , so of course before anyone could tell him otherwise , he had boiled about 50 lbs .. that should be enough.hahaha

The next photo is of Tim and Deb.. I missed them together in the last post , and just found this on my camera now.. It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with them this last week.  


Friday, September 25, 2020

14 days in the van

We just got home from 2 weeks on the road.  We traveled 4100 km (2500 miles) , making 26 stops to visit over 60 incredible friends, supporters and family along the way.   Not only that but we did it completely covid compliant.  Everything we would need for the journey was in the van with us, right down to the portable toilet.   

very quickly we saw how hard this was for our friends along the way.  we are such a generous hospitable society that everyone wanted to cook for us or get us drinks.  

We did manage to come up with a solution to this problem.. a quarantine box where tarts, pastries and pies could wait out their quarantine before being enjoyed . 

I wish we could say that the weather was great, but we got into this run of cold and rain everywhere we went.  but during the breaks in the rain we managed to get in some great visits.  

We woke up one morning to a flat.. the hardest part about that was finding the spare tire in the new van.. but a quick check on YouTube and I found it. 

Coming up the north shore of Lake superior was a beautiful drive with many small coves and bays along the way .. We would love to do that again in the summer next time. 

Just before Thunder Bay we went to an Amethyst mine , and they had a section of pit run where you could pick through for yourself.  Julie was thrilled with the stones we found.

Before stopping in Thunder Bay we went on to Kakabekah falls where my niece lives .  we spent the night at the campground there and had a great visit. 

Back in Thunder Bay we had lots more great visits. 

Everywhere we went, people said how suiting this was because it reminded them of their time on the farm .. outside visits. 

we then drove the northern highway .  we went as far north as you can drive on a paved road,  then turned further north and drove another 15 km up a dirt road, then got out and hiked another couple km .. all in search of a moose . 

When we could not hike any further we got in a boat and crossed to the other side of the lake.. still no moose, but I did get 4 little pike along the way. 

as we turned back out on to the highway on our way back down, we did finally see a large bull moose.  his antlers were a light golden brown as the felt was all off them. That day was an 8 hour drive to end up at my brothers house on the Sturgeon River.  

Next stoop in the morning was to visit with Julies cousin and a couple other friends from her past that live up in that area . 

Then a beautiful drive through Algonquin park where we spent a night . 

Then our final night was in Chenaville Quebec at Dave and Barbara's .. We had a nice visit and then a camp fire with several others joining us. 

On our way home we stopped in Bellville and had a quick visit with our Daughter in law Rachel and our grand sons. 

All in all it was a great couple weeks sharing in person about how things have been going .  The social distancing was a bit of a pain , but it sure was worth the trouble to be able to connect like this . 

Sunday, September 06, 2020

2020 "the driveway tour "

This week was a time for a little rest for Julie and I along with the boys on the farm.  The boys went to Lake Isykool .  They know of a guest house that has been closed this summer and the owner allowed them to come so it was a nice safe trip for them.  The boys love it at the lake .  Thank you Vlad for moving out to the farm for the time they were away so that you could do the chores and look after the farm. 

A few weeks back Julie and I purchased a real fixer upper camper.

  We fixed everything in it , painted and recovered the cushions, then last week loaded up and took it camping about 15 minutes from our home.  My mom came with us the first two nights, then we had a night alone before turning it over to Emma and Jengish and Aiden for a night .  

For julie and I it was a practice run for the next two weeks .. we were seeing what more we would need and what we could do with out. 

Starting on Thursday, for the next couple weeks we will be hitting the road.  A little more challenging, completely safe distancing from our Van.  we will have everything we need to do driveway visits. our own food, coffee, and even a portable toilet .    We are calling it our "2020 the driveway tour." 

 We will be making about 20 stops in 14 days before returning home.   The camper and the Van are both older and new to us, and I have not had time to get to trust them yet, so we will leave the camper at home for this trip.  

We are looking forward to seeing so many friends and sponsors along the way.