Sunday, February 28, 2010

STOPPING FOR THE ONE IN FRONT OF YOU






"JESSICA'S FAMILY"

Today we visited "Jessica's Family." We met this little family last spring and they continue to steal our hearts. Their needs are great, and yet they remain intact and doing the best they can. Their little Mylena is born - this is the child they did not initially think they could care for and wanted to abort, but did not have enough money. She is now 8 months old, delightful, beautiful and full of energy.

We took them food and will bless them with more in days to come. They have no furniture, eat, sleep and sit on the cold floor. They need much, yet, the home was neat and tidy today. Alina, the older daughter was washing some dishes, father was home and not drunk, mother was hanging some clothes on the clothesline that she had hand washed. The little boys were playing at home in the house. We were joyful to see such functionality in this family.

They welcomed us with open arms, as if we were family returning home. What a blessing. Jessica - once again thanks for caring about this family and always asking - "how is my family doing?" We can report today - STOPPING FOR THE ONE IN FRONT OF YOU has brought dignity and hope to this family and we see the difference it has made.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

MEDICAL LECTURES AND WORK TO BEGIN ON MONDAY



LAMb RECEIVES DOCTOR FROM ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Jordan Greenbaum is the medical director of the Child Protection Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, in Atlanta, Georgia. She performs medical evaluations on children who have been physically or sexually abused or neglected, testifies as an expert witness and serves on local multidisciplinary teams and committees. She is a past president of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She has given local, regional, national and international presentations to attorneys, law enforcement, child protection workers, medical personnel and mental health professionals.

We are awaiting the early morning arrival of Dr. Jordan Greenbaum from Atlanta, Georgia. We have watched the flight reports and it appears all flights have been such to ensure her arrival at 5:10 on Sunday morning.

HER ACTIVITIES: She will be here delivering lectures to medical staff, police departments, university faculty and students and social work professionals. In addition, she will work along side hospital staff, sharing and participating in their daily work.

Having a US doctor does many things for a country such as Kyrgyzstan:
1. brings new ideas
2. validates their hard work and present practice challenges
3. allows the visiting doctor to return to share the helping vision with others
4. and ultimately makes life better for children and families.

She will be working with the Baby Orphanage, Baby Hospital, several local hospitals in Tokmok, with local authorities who deal with child abuse and neglect, and finally with a university faculty and staff who are part of the social work program.

Dr. Greenbaum - we welcome you with all our HEARTS! Institute for Human Services in Ohio has sponsored Dr. Greenbaum for this teaching week. We are extremely greatful to Judy Rycus, co-founder of IHS for catching the vision of Kyrgyzstan!

TOMORROW - Lynn is sharing at the Chinese venue. Stay tuned for the updates on all the other activities.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

WHEN THE YELLOW BUS ARRIVES


KYRGYSTAN

After arriving here in Tokmok, we went to get groceries and returned to get settled in. Feeling excited to start the day - we were reminded of the hard days and nights people face here in this country. Electricity goes off at night, sometimes water is turned off for long hours and you cannot depend on things - comforts that seem second nature to most of us.

The reminder came when we looked out the window and the yellow bus arrived. It is not just an ordinary bus - it is old, curtains are in the windows and it has a very specific job. It comes to take away a deceased person and the family. They travel over to a burial site and then return the family to the same place in which they were picked up. Our hearts were heavy for the family members, knowing that this yellow bus is now a reality in their lives - it came to "their" home. Someone is now gone from them forever. We are watching out of our window.

Why do we return here again and again? Because the yellow bus will come again and again. We want to share, love and bring hope to the hopeless. Over 24,000 children die daily in the world because of preventable disease, abuse and hunger. How can we get upset because of a simple creature comfort such as electricity being interrupted? We must set aside all comforts to move forward and serve - TO SHOW UP AND STOP FOR THE ONE IN FRONT OF US.

Soon our partners David and Jayne will be here - sharing the urgency to bring hope and dignity to all whom we meet. We anxiously await their arrival. For they understand the yellow bus. John and Julie, Bekka and Emma will be here soon - they too know the pain and suffering behind the yellow bus. Our prayer is that we might serve many BEFORE the yellow bus returns.

Blessings...you are loved.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

JUST THINKING

LYNN NOW SPEAKING - I CAN DO SOME OF THE BEST THINKING WHILE SLEEPING. HERE ARE THE THOUGHTS THAT CONTINUED UPON WAKING.....

Well it’s the final leg of our travel heading “home” again. The ninety minute drive from the airport in Bishkek to our home away from home in Tokmok. I’m actually awake now ... although sleeping through the long stays in airports is getting to be a habit. A friend of ours posted our last blog on his blog and it reminded me of the way he thinks about the power of many. It’s intriguing the way your thought patterns go, especially arriving “home” after a lengthy absence.

During our drive I was “just thinking”. What if LAMb International had a stable base funding of something like $50,000? Then coming across a seniors home where the residents were huddled in blankets because they had run out of coal or a homeless child in the dump scavenging for food or clothes for those at the men’s invalid home or.... and the list goes on, but with a stable funding base finding immediate help for those in need wouldn’t be a problem. The money used could be backfilled as needs were shared, but no longer would the ‘widows and orphans’ have to wait while we appealed for help.

I was reminded of the story of a young girl who came across a homeless man huddled in the corner of a building close to an intersection. As she watched him and thought about his plight – in need of food, shelter and cloths – she also noted a large shiny new car pass by on the street. She thought: if the person in that car would just give a little, it would mean so much to this man. What a giving thought; if each of us would just give a little, so many could be helped. As a dreamer I think of having someone give a gift of $50,000 a seed planted by our co-founder, Don. He asked the question of how we would use such a seed as a foundation for meeting the mission of LAMb. Then I am reminded of the loaves and fishes as well as the trip through the wilderness in Exodus. God supplied by means of ‘a little’, but He did it in such a multiplication that all were fed and cared for. Perhaps it is not one that gives $50,000, but 5,000 that give $10. For some $10 may be a struggle, for others $100 - $500 would not be a problem, just giving up a little shiny something. It could be done you know - If each person reading this blog would share this message with ten more the multiplication could begin.

What does it mean in James 1:27 where the scripture uses the word “visit” widows and orphans in their trouble? Visit – just a passing hello? No, I think not. People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. It is after you provide warm clothing, a hot meal, or a place of shelter that people will sit have chi (or coffee) with you .. ...only then are they able to hear the message of love that we carry - a message of eternal love that never fails.

Alone we will surely fail, together, each shouldering a piece of the burden, we shall surely succeed. On this trip we are here till May 8th and I was “just thinking”, what an impact love can make .... please join us in “just thinking” .... love never fails. Let us know what you think - should we act?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SECOND DAY OF TRAVEL - STILL NOT THERE!


MOSCOW, RUSSIA

What happens when you travel to Kyrgyzstan? Well, first you get up very early and travel to the Toronto Airport - then endure the new security to the US...2 1/2 hours later you are at your gate to wait for your flight. THIS IS MONDAY!

You arrive into New York, JFK's aiport at around 11:30am and have a LONG wait to catch your flight at 7:05pm to Moscow. IT IS STILL MONDAY!

Board the plan to Moscow with a "million" others who are from across the pond and really don't understand the North American culture of queing! Finally - luggage stowed properly we take our seats for the 9 1/2 hours flight to Moscow. IT IS STILL MONDAY!

TUESDAY AROUND 1PM IN THE AFTERNOON we arrive into Moscow and head for the Transit Desk for persons traveling through without a visa for Russia. We convinced the transit desk to allow us a pass for the nice lounge with nice chairs. Away we go - and it is TUESDAY.

NOW WE WILL WAIT another 9 hours to board our flight to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. When we arrive it will be WEDNESDAY. From the airport it is about one hour home...whew...now, isn't that exciting? We think so.

Check Lynn's response - see the picture above. And - he cannot get his computer to go on line, so I am safe for a little while!

Monday, February 22, 2010

THREE DAYS OF TRAVEL AND THEN "HOME"

TRAVEL DAYS

We are off and on the way. We arrived at the airport this morning and faced about 2 1/2 hours of heavy security as we were checked and rechecked getting into the boarding area for our flight to NY JFK. The security has not let up over the weeks since the expanded security to the US. However, we were able to get through packing and repacking things to please them at the different check points. And not all check points are the same. Some what this and some want that. Hmmmm.

In about three hours we will be boarding our flight to Moscow, where we will have an 11 hour layover before we board our flight to Bishkek. The flight will arrive into Bishked on Wednesday at 5:10am. We will then have a drive of about one hour to Tokmok City.

Our hearts are excited about the travel and journey destination. Kyrgyzstan is just one of our stops these next months. We have MANY projects, activities and unknowns ahead of us. Take a look at a few of the knowns:

1. Setting up a full training program for Mercy Foundation leadership.
2. Hosting a medical doctor who will give important lectures to those working with children.
3. Hosting a fabulous team of six from our church in Canada.
4. Working with local authorities to establish a solid system to help children have a permanent home.
5. Lynn will be "sharing."
6. Cell groups in our home.
7. Working with the Kemin Senior Home - renovating!
8. Travel to Ukraine for training and our first ever National Adoption Conference.
9. Establishing a specialization project with a university to help families.
10. Writing and training teachers in the Christian Schools to deliver Life Skills.
11. A second time to Ukraine for training and consultation with our partners and Father's House.
12. Working with the project at the home for disabled men in Iskra.
13. Working with our partners Mercy Foundation to establish strong Christian family foster homes.
14. Loving on children in the orphanages - letting them know they have a very special place and purpose for them.
15. Starting some new work with a large local orphanage - stay tuned for this one.

Well, that is enough for now. The list continues for sure. But you get the idea. It will be some very busy months ahead of us.

The LAMb Team
On the ground..or in the air: Lynn and Ruby
Working the scenes from Arizona: Don and Johanna
Joining us soon: David and Jayne
Preparing for Ukraine: Kathy
(our team members David and Jayne will join us around the 15th of March, as will our partners John and Julie)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

HOMELESS NO MORE AND BEGINNING TO HOPE


VALADY AND THE TEAM WORKING IN THE KEMIN SENIOR HOME - STAY TUNED FOR A COMPLETE RENOVATION


NOW - 5 GRANDMOTHERS AND 7 GRANDFATHERS

KEMIN SENIOR HOME - This is a developing story and we just cannot wait to head out there this week and see the changes in the senior home. We will be taking lots of new supplies to them - supplies that will help them gain hope, a purpose and a wonderful reason to get up each morning.

Shortly there will be a team joining us there - a team ready to engage the seniors and bring hope and dignity by building relationships and showing how they are truly special. Stay tuned for more.

We travel to Kyrgyzstan tomorrow - Monday, February 22 and arrive Wednesday, February 24th.

OUR GOAL? Just to show up and stop for the one in front of us!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

MAKING HISTORY WITH AN ADOPTION CONFERENCE



FIRST EVER ADOPTION CONFERENCE IN UKRAINE

We are excited to be partners in conducting an adoption conference in Ukraine. We will have in attendance for three days - over 75 couples from across Ukraine who have adopted a child. Adoption in Ukraine has a law of secrecy and for adoptive parents to "come forth" and admit they have adopted is an unusual behavior. However, again and again parents we have met say they are so excited about their family and feel wrong to be hiding the fact that they have created family through adoption. This message was the catalyst to our conference. Here are the details:

1. Joined with Father's House, CBN, One Hope, ILDC/Adopt Ukraine, to conduct a conference for and with national adoptive parents.
2. Asked Ed Dickson from Loads of Love to be our MC - He said "YES!"
3. The date is April 24-26, 2010 in Kiev, Ukraine.
4. Terry Meusen from US CBN; Jayne Schooler from Ohio and others will be our key note speakers.
5. Lynn and I will do a workshop on Behavior Management.
6. We will give away lots of literature, books, etc.
7. The press will cover the event.
8. We WILL MAKE HISTORY IN UKRAINE.

And we need your help. If this conference is exciting to you we could use your support. We are facing a small shortfall - about $5,000 for the conference. We have raised over $30,000 for this event already. Might this be something you want to help in promoting? If so, please go up above and hit our blog button. Thanks so much.

The LAMb Team

Monday, February 15, 2010


FAMILIES BEING PREPARED TO ADOPT CHILDREN IN KYRGYZSTAN

DR. TATIANA - DIRECTOR OF THE BABY ORPHANAGE A GREAT TRAINER


NURSE AND SOCIAL WORKER LEANA ANOTHER GREAT TRAINER


KYRGYZSTAN, FEBRUARY 2010

We are excited to announce the following training for prospective adoptive parents in Krygyzstan. We trained four trainers last fall and they are now completing the second training for prospective adoptive parents. Why is this exciting? See the following:

1. Children are getting families who are being prepared for their special needs.
2. We have four talented trainers who are committed to preparing adoptive parents.
3. The Baby Orphanage director is one of our trainers.
4. We now have a team of trainers we can send out over the country to do training.
5. THEY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE and they are NATIONALS!
6. Finally - this is a completely NEW activity for Kyrgyzstan - before they would be able to adopt in just two weeks with NO preparation. What a change.

When we completed the last training of prospective parents - each family said they were so happy they were able to receive this training to help them. Then they all said the most incredible thing....each family committed to sharing with their child from the beginning about their adoption. No secrets, no shame and no hiding. Adoption is a WONDERFUL WAY OF BUILDING FAMILY.

The LAMb Team

Sunday, February 14, 2010

VALENTINES DAY - THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE






CONFERENCE - DAYSPRING CHURCH

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to be at this conference and share the Love Languages (from the work of Gary Chapman). It was an evening of fun, laughter, and serious thought to making a marriage FABULOUS! Today, we serve in the church once again. Lynn will be sharing from the work of God and I will be sharing about our work in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

THE TEAM IS GATHERING

Matthew 18:20 "For when two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." The gathering has begun. Our Mercy Foundation Partners, John and Christa Tsai have just arrived into Kyrgyzstan, we leave on the 22nd of February, our partners Possibilities International leave the first part of March and then our team members David and Jayne complete the gathering on March 15th. We expect great and mighty things.

Each person named above has unique and special skills and gifts to serve in Kyrgyzstan. We look forward to reporting to you all that God has prepared for serving Him in this wonderful land rich with kind hearts and gentle spirits. Please pray for our team as the gathering continues.

Joining LAMb International as well will be a short term team from our home church - five amazing people prepared to serve and bring hope and dignity to children, families, and seniors. They will work, play and minister to the hearts of the people. We have a doctor who will come and do an intensive week of lectures - teaching local authorities more about keeping children safe. Then we have a professional social worker coming to help us bring a higher quality of education to the social workers at the Humanatarian University in Bishkek. And finally, we have our team - teaching and sharing in the schools, the university, with our partner organizations and among the people.

LAMb is your arm to Central Asia...thank you for your continued support. We will return home in May - with our team members returning home after us. Stay tuned for reports from Central Asia.

The LAMb team:
Don and Johanna Buchman
David and Jayne Schooler
Lynn and Ruby Johnston

Saturday, February 6, 2010

WHEN OTHERS CARE


THE GROUP AT THE END OF THE SERIES - 7 MODULES DONE!!!


PRACTICE TRAINING FOR THEM!

THE COMPASSION OF THE YOUNG!

UKRAINE - FEBRUARY, 2010
Having just finished five full days of training preparing 26 new trainers to train in the country, I find myself feeling very excited about the future of children in Ukraine. These trainers are committed to finding solutions to the doors opening without question and receiving children into the orphanages - they are the new GATE KEEPERS OF UKRAINE. Training was to to help them work with local authorities and workers to teach and train them to work with families who are vulnerable and at risk of losing their children.

Just imagine - children living in permanent and safe homes with loving parents, growing to know who they are, why they are special and believing that they WERE created for a purpose. AMEN!

LAMb is committed to activating and equipping - building national capacity and serving to strengthen families.

NEXT STOP? Dayspring Church in Beavercreek, Ohio - a couples conference. We are so excited to be ministering in this great church.