Saturday, April 28, 2012

RUSSIAN COMPASS CONFERENCE


 THE COMPASS CONFERENCE - MOSCOW, RUSSIA

STANDARDIZATION IN CHILD WELFARE

This conference was presented by NFPCC
 (National Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)




220 participants in the conference - 

my speech was on the -  

"Benefits of Standardization:  problems and solutions."



NFPCC is a leader in making a difference.  This conference represents their movement to cover critical regions by creating Centers of Excellence - to strengthen families and protect children at risk.





Wednesday, April 25, 2012

VIDEO MEMORIES FROM RANDY AND KIM - HEARTS CHANGED FOREVER

video
THE JOURNEY OF TWO WHO CARE

Kim and Randy joined us in Kyrgyzstan for two weeks.   We were honored to have them with us to serve and bless so many.  This video is their own creation - showing the places, the people and the journey that captured their hearts.  Please take the time to watch it - Iskra, Kemin, the Dump, and of course our dearly loved Dayspring.  

Each little girl at Dayspring touched the hearts of Randy and Kim.  They gave the little girls their full attention, love and prayers.  Each day saw the little girls open more and learn about how they are loved by many.  We thank you - their supporters for letting them join us and bless so many.  We are so pleased they too are part of......


THE LAMb Team

HOSPITAL BLESSING DELIVERED TODAY



JENISH AND JOHN MADE A VISIT TO THE
KAWARTHA ROTARY CLUB
IN CANADA

THIS IS THE RESULT..

However the real result is the hope and dignity brought to the team at the hospital when they are able to server their patients with such a comfortable and safe bed!  In addition we delivered them vitamins from Vitamin Angels and 10 brand new stethescopes from Kindred Hospital in Tucson Arizona!

THANK YOU KAWARTHA ROTARY CLUB!
VITAMIN ANGELS!
KINDRED HOSPITAL!


See John's Blog for more details:  www.actofkindness.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

RUSSIA - TRAINING ENDS - THE WORK BEGINS


The National Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
awarded 25 certificates today.

Each person completed 18 hours of training on 
Effective Supervision in the Field of Child Welfare



Each person was honored individually for their commitment and contribution to
strengthening families and protecting children in the Moscow and surrounding
areas.

EQUIPPING MANY - VALIDATING OTHERS - 
TRAINING ALL

IHS - Institute for Human Services has authored and piloted thousands of hours of training - which constitutes competency based training for professionals.  Today was the final day of a three day training of Supervisor Training curricula developed by the Institute - training that will be used for the first time in the Moscow region by most.

Participant after participant thanked NFPCC for bringing this training to Russia.  They identified they did not have an understanding of what supervision meant and how they were to supervise others.  Trainees identified they wanted more and needed more training to continue to grow and develop into an effective supervisor or manager in the child welfare system.

It was a  humbling and awesome experience.  This was a group of professionals - psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, managers and directors.  It is just once again a reminder how how fortunate we are to have quality training materials available at our fingertips.  And another reminder  - the responsibility we have to share what we have, what we know and what we we have learned.

TOMORROW - Compass Conference on "Governmental Child Welfare Policy:  Legislation, Standardization, Practice.

THURSDAY - Heading to Perm to repeat the three day training for staff in the region.






Sunday, April 22, 2012

TEAM UPDATE - just a little bit of information

Wow our team is growing and working diligently to make a difference!  David and Jayne are soon off to California for a conference focusing on helping orphans; John and Julie are busy doing their search and rescue work in Kyrgyzstan; our Kyrgyz team is focused on carrying out the duties for Dayspring; our Ukraine is busy scheduling training and building a support system with Max in Ukraine and Oleg in the USA and of course there is Glen - getting ready to head back to Nicaragua for the third time to work with a group of pastors.

SOME OF OUR TEAM'S UPCOMING ACTIVITIES:

  • Training in Moscow for NFPCC
  • Conference in Moscow - with NFPCC - to build centers of excellence in helping strengthen families 
  • Training in Perm, Russia for NFPCC
  • STM - ARRIVING INTO KYRGYZSTAN ON OCTOBER 30TH.  This team will be doing a number of things, including building a playground for Dayspring.  It will be a very busy an active two weeks.  Lots of humanatarian activities with the team
  • SOS - KYRGYZSTAN - training and consultation in the area of Trauma
  • UKRAINE - training and consultation with our team
  • MEETING with those who are working with families and children - looking for additional ways to help
All our efforts are just to make a difference - to bring Hope and Dignity to those who have been forgotten and abandoned.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

RUSSIA WITHOUT ORPHANS


JOINING THE CONFERENCE  - THE BOARD FROM UKRAINE
ALLIANCE UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS


Karmen Friesen - CoMission (Pennsylvania)
shares his heart for a joint effort across the world for the church
to join the work to make a difference in the lives of 
orphans.



"SEND ME LORD, SEND ME!"

Each speaker had a clear and specific message to make a difference in the lives of children left to orphanage life.  The call for adoption is loud and clear.  The church is waking up - and it is a movement that is sweeping across the world.  

RUSSIA WITHOUT ORPHANS
UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS
BELARUS WITHOUT ORPHANS
KYRGYZSTAN WITHOUT ORPHANS

AND SO MANY MORE BEGINNING TO TALK ABOUT WHT THEY NOW MIGHT DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

This group will be heading on to California for the Summit - Christian Alliance for Orphans, May 3,4 which is being held at Saddleback Church.  Here is the site to look it up.

  http://www.christianalliancefororphans.org/summit-2/  

LAMb team member Jayne Schooler will be there as well and will do a "breakout session" of training.  We are so excited to be part of the summit.

It is just amazing to be a part of all this - to be used of God to share, teach, train and consult in any way we might be of service.  It just goes to show that God uses ANYONE if you are willing.  Wow, we just keep saying and praying you will as well say...."SEND ME LORD, SEND ME!"


GONE FISHING!

It's another beautiful spring day here in Central Asia, with an afternoon temperature of 87 and with Ruby gone to do training in Moscow, it seemed like a good afternoon to go fishing.
We were told that yesterday the water in the river was clear and sparkly, and the fish were anxious to get caught.   Somehow the e-mail from yesterday wasn't read by today's fish.
For whatever reason, today the river water was muddy and merky, and there wasn't a fish to be found.  Not to be outdone by an unco-operative river, we headed to a small pond.  Bingo, two fish. To be truthful, I wasn't all that impressed, however the kids were sure excited. It was the kids that caught them.
Well, the kids didn't want to leave but the sun was starting to set. As we headed back to town I heard a big man in a Hawaiian shirt say something to the effect that any day of fishing was better than the best day at work.
The real joy in this trip was to watch the children. Doing their best to handle the worms, check out that picture, and to deal with the snags and tangles. BUT, not one complaint from them.  They had the time of their life.  What a great way to spend Saturday afternoon.







Friday, April 20, 2012

WHEN HELPING HURTS...


Our dear family - Jessica's family..the children posing with Kim.


And then of course a pose with Randy!


On the right - little Melana - which means Grace.


JESSICA'S FAMILY

As many of you know we have been working with this family for several years.  We have come to love them and care deeply for them.  We see their progress, their struggles and their challenges through hurting hearts and eyes.  

Amojat is a good man.  He struggles to find jobs to support his family.  Anura is a strong and kind woman wanting the best for her children and her family.  Yet they struggle with the realities of what poverty does to you.  Feeding children, hopeless cold night and the QUESTION...how can we manage all of this.

IT HURTS.  We might want so much for them, yet there are hundreds of others too.  How do you share the hope  - how do you make a difference?  We have always said - " We just show up and stop for the one in front of us."  Well, this family is in front of us.  We MUST CONTINUE TO REMIND ourselves that we are to continue working in what we have been called to do - and to continue to care - and to continue to share with all of you.  

BECAUSE together, when helping hurts each of us enough to fold us in half with anguish and tears for others - we may each CHOOSE TO rise from the anguish and MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

BLESSINGS FOR BABUSHKAS


Attached are some pictures of the entrance way into our apartment building.   We have great neighbours.  Many of whom are babuskas or grandmas. Take for example our friend Valentina who lives directly above us.   Her government pension is twenty seven dollars per month. Have you ever tried to imagine what it might be like to live on a total income of $27 a month?   Even though the average salary here is very low compared to North America, the cost of food and fuel is about the same.  As an example a bbq'd chicken costs 430 soms, which converts to just over $9 US dollars.

And, of course she is not alone facing the same challenges.   The babuskas here in our building consider themselves fortunate.  They have a place to stay.  When you subtract the cost of electric and heat and consider taxes, there's not much left for a healthy diet.  Their food choice is mainly rice.

Back to our apartment entrance.  After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, there has been no one to maintain the common areas.  And as you can see from the income the babuskas' have, there are no funds to do any maintenance work.

So this trip we decided it was time to bless them.  We hired a local man who has done work for us in the past. He and his helper (Jessica's family's father for those who remember Jessica's family) to scrape and paint.  The work will take about a week, two men working full time plus painting supplies. There are three floors to cover.

It is a simple act of consideration, something totally out of reach for these grandmas.

Perhaps you would like to be part of the blessing for these seniors.  Maybe you would want to buy a chicken or two for them or contribute to the paint or labor.  If so, just click one of the buttons at the side and we will have those funds within a day or so.

Ruby was off to Moscow early this morning, where she will be doing training for the next week.   Randy and Kim headed out on the same flight and will head back to America from Moscow.   What a blessings it was to have them here working with the seniors at Kemin and with the men at Iskra.  Nonetheless, what I think really touched their hearts were the little girls at Dayspring.  Life will never be the same for them (Randy and Kim) and life for these little girls was enriched from their caring and hugs.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WHEN YOU TAKE A WRONG TURN....LOOK FOR THE RAINBOW


THE OLD RUSSIAN CHILDREN'S CLINIC
SERVING MOST OF TOKMOK


STETHOSCOPES - BEING GIVEN TO DR. DENARIA
A GIFT FROM KINDRED HOSPITAL IN 
TUCSON, ARIZONA


THE BENCHES FOR WAITING - ONLY A FEW - AND VERY BAD
CONDITION


CHAIRS FOR OFFICES AND WAITING ROOMS ARE BROKEN
AND WOBBLY


JUST A LITTLE GIFT - BEING DELIVERED BY OUR TEAM MEMBER 
HYMONOT - 10 BRAND NEW CHAIRS FOR THE CLINIC


KIM, WITH THE MEDICAL TEAM ACCEPTING THE CHAIRS

AND THIS WAS JUST A LITTLE GIFT FROM LAMb, YET A GIANT
BLESSING FOR THEM

SO HERE IS THE STORY...


TODAY WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS...we headed out to deliver stethoscopes to several hospitals and clinics.  We organized our bags before hand and knew our route and made our plan.  AND  of course this is KYRYGZSTAN where nothing goes as planned - well at least not very often.  Our plan was to drop the bags of stethoscopes to our dear partners and doctors at three different hospitals and one clinic that is a registered NGO operated clinic.  HMMMMM things were about to change.

So off we went:

STOP 1:  We had an appointment with Dr. Tatiana at the baby orphanage for 10:00am.  We arrived about 10:15 (interpreter showed up late).  Dr. T. was going to be busy at 10:30am.  Once there we introduced our team members - Kim, Randy and Josiah.  We talked about the past training events completed for prospective adoptive parents and plans for the future for more training.  Then she, Dr. T. asked if we might have time and like to see three different groups do their Easter performance.  WELL, YES!  Oh my, what a joy to see these little ones dance, sing and perform for the staff and us.  It was more than delightful.  They were dressed in costume and looked so beautiful.  Well, now a fair bit later than expected we left the orphanage and continued to our "planned" second stop the Baby Hospital just up the road.

STOP 2:  We had two taxi's and our taxi (which was leading the way) did not know our routine or our common stops, so when we asked him to head on to the baby hospital, he started in the wrong direction.  Our interpreter is new to this kind of activity as well, so she was confused as well.  She said there were two children's hospitals on the same road we were on.  OKAY, let's go to the one you have us headed towards.  Never been there before.  (SO WE QUICKLY TOOK OUT SOME THINGS FROM ONE OF OUR STETHOSCOPE BAGS -  SO WE COULD GIVE THEM STETHOSCOPES - NEVER WANTING TO MAKE A VISIT EMPTY HANDED.)  We "remodelled" the bag for the adult hospital - took out the catheters and lifts, etc....In we went.

So we entered and were able to meet the head doctor - Dr. Denaria.  She was cordial and kind and about two hours later we would be leaving as friends.  The Dr. had lots to say to us, so pleased for the gift and wanted to show us around and OF COURSE WE HAD TO HAVE TEA AND "BREAD."  She reminded us this is a Muslim tradition - her words!  We were saddened by the tour and the condition of the furniture in her offices and exam rooms.  Chairs she described as being from the Soviet Era.  Broken, and very bad for sitting.  In addition, the waiting mothers and children had little to nothing to sit on as they waited and waited for services.  She leads the largest clinic (not a hospital at all) in the city of Tokmok.  She also has the responsibility for the home for the disabled.

We made no promises to her, but did hear her request for chairs and benches.  We told her we would pray about this and look for sponsors.  When we gathered outside of the clinic to carry on to STOP 3, Lynn made an executive decision - let's go right now and see if we could find some chairs for them - giving them an immediate message of friendship.  So we did.... and about two hours later met at the clinic again and delivered 10 beautiful new chairs.  We had the sponsor for the chairs with us when we first visited!!!!  She just did not know this and of course we didn't know that either.  Thanks Kim and Randy!

NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY....... when we returned to deliver the chairs, she went on to say that she had heard about the work at Dr. J's hospital and at the Baby Hospital and at the Baby Orphanage.  She had asked one of the Dr's from one of the other hospitals to tell us about her and her clinic.  However, she said they were wrapped in "our blankets" and they did not want to open the blanket up for anyone else.  Hmmmmmm.  Well, God had another plan.  THE CONFUSION OF OUR DRIVER AND OUR INTERPRETER opened the door for this plan.  The blanket has been opened.

The OLD RUSSIAN CHILDREN'S CLINIC needs benches for sitting and waiting for medical attention and guess what - we are looking for a sponsor for this and it is only going to cost $1200.  We know there is someone who will see this as a great blessing for the children of the Tokmok town - the city in which we are serving - who will come forth and serve with us by helping.

OUR PLANNED STOPS ENDED FOR THE DAY AT THIS POINT....  THIS IS KYRGYZSTAN REMEMBER!  
WE JUST SHOW UP AND STOP FOR THE ONE IN FRONT OF US.

THE LAMb Team


Monday, April 16, 2012

KYRGYZSTAN - SENIORS WHO WERE HOMELESS


DELIVERING LOTS OF CLOTHING TO THE SENIORS
 GIFTS OF LEPTA PLUS
32 SENIORS NOW LIVING AT KEMIN HOME FOR SENIORS
GIFT OF GOD FRIENDSHIP CENTER


GIFTS OF SLIPPERS AND SOCKS - GIFTS FROM RANDY AND KIM
AND THEIR SPONSORS



THEY PERFORMED A CONCERT FOR US AND WE PERFORMED A
UKELELE CONCERT FOR THEM WITH THE TEAM SINGING!


HELP NEEDED - SURGERY NEEDED DESPERATELY!

Today we invited Dr. T. to come and see her.  Her name is Lydia and she is blind due
to cataracts in both eyes.  There is a doctor in Bishkek who does state of the at
cataract surgery.  We want to have her screened for this surgery.  Maybe you will want to help.


Dr. T. will check this leg out as well - we are concerned about the healing.  She will also be changing bandages fro another babushka that we took books to (see below) who had frostbite and lost parts of both legs.  The dressings look very bad.


HAPPY FEET - NEW SLIPPERS HERE TOO!


RANDY HELPING CHECK OUT WHICH SLIPPERS FIT THIS BABUSHKA!


SONGS, POEMS, AND JUST FABULOUS FRIENDSHIP!



THEN OF COURSE WE SERVED THEM WITH A MEAL
CHICKEN, RICE, VEGETABLES AND A SALAD
WE LOVE TO DO THIS FOR OUR SENIORS


RUBY SERVING THE SENIORS...


LUBA AND KIM - KIM BOUGHT TWO C.S. LEWIS BOOKS FOR HER
SHE WAS DELIGHTED AS SHE IS BEDRIDDEN AND LOVES TO READ.

Luba had a severe case of frostbite and lost parts of both legs.  Her bandages were in very bad shape and needed changed.  She asked if we could bring new and clean bandages.  We were very sad to see how they has seeped and were in GREAT need of being changed.  This was the main reason we called Dr. T. to come and check out the seniors.  She said she would bring bandages and come to re-bandage her foot and leg.

HOW YOU CAN HELP - SPONSORSHIP FOR FOUR SENIORS WITH NO INCOME

This winter - eight seniors were brought to Kemin off the icy streets of Tokmok.  With the advent of spring, four seniors returned to the streets and four said they wanted to remain at Kemin.  The issue here is they have NO documents and NO support of any kind.  We are hoping to find sponsors for them - to cover them for the rest of this year.  
Cost?

$50 per month per senior or 8 months =$400 per senior or
4 seniors - $1200.  Full support for the rest of the year!

Any combination will be so helpful.  Maybe you want to do this?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

TEARS OF REALITY - KYRGYZSTAN DONOR STORY




SOMETIMES THE REALITIES OF OUR LIVES JUST SEEM OVERWHELMING

Our son-in-law and daughter are here with us in Kyrgyzstan at this time.  Kim's friend (a LAMb Donor) sent a message on facebook - relating her feelings and emotions upon seeing our pictures from a village where LAMb delivered her precious Webkinz to children.  This is her beautiful moment of a reality we all might benefit from...

Thanks Jenn for the permission to post this - it is a blessing to hear your feelings.




"Those who know me well know I can get obsessive at times...like with Webkinz. Had to have every one, scoured the stores...but with time the fad waned. The stuffed animals sat in a bag in the closet. 


One day my dear friend (and former Webkinz enthusiast) asked if I would be willing to give them up so she could take them on her next mission trip to Kyrgyzstan and give them to the little children who would never dream of having such things. I kept a few of my favorite but most of them, some with tags still attached I gladly parted with. 


And today I wept after seeing the pictures...not the sniff sniff tears down the cheeks. Not the "I'm so happy I made a child's day halfway around the world". No the eyes clamped shut weeping. Not proud of myself at all. All the things I had to have, couldn't live without....I wept because I couldn't stand facing the fact that there are children, elderly, disabled and frankly plain unwanted people thrown into the streets like garbage...


While I comparatively live high on the hog. Next time I just have to have something, I'll think about that little girl clinging to that horse I grew bored of...that little girl 
who needs food, clothing, a roof over her head...."

JENNIFER GRUDNICKI

THERE IS JOY LIKE A FOUNTAIN - THERE IS JOY LIKE A FOUNTAIN....





















SINGS MY SOUL...THERE IS JOY LIKE A FOUNTAIN 
(go ahead and sing it!)

Mom, this blog is for you!  

Today eight little girls knew the love of a great grandmother!  My mother blessed the little girls with beautiful dolls and dresses that she made especially for their dolls.  Just look at the pictures and listen to their comments:

"my daughter..."
"so beautiful..."
"she looks just like me!" 
"I love you...(to her doll)."

(each girl thought her doll looked just like her - and each doll was EXACTLY the same except for different hair colors!)

Mom, you were so right - every little girl needs a doll.  Thank you for giving so sacrificially to purchase these dolls and spend hours and hours making doll clothes.  I only wish you could have been here to see the joy on each face as they one by one opened their doll bags!  Our tears flowed to see such joy and meaning pour forth from their little hearts.    And mom - please let YOUR heart sing the song..."There is joy like a river, there is joy like a river, there is joy like a river in my soul...."

Love you mommy!

Ruby


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