Monday, April 13, 2009

A Journey to Rekindle Hope

We have no idea what it feels like to be homeless. We have no idea of what it feels like to be elderly, with no source of income and HOMELESS. We can only begin to imagine. Our first week here, we had the opportunity to visit a shelter for the elderly and homeless. In our first “What Love Looks Like,” we wrote about Tonya and her family, who almost by themselves are providing shelter and loving care to abandoned seniors.

On Friday, we had the opportunity to participate in something absolutely incredible. As a result of a number of financial gifts, including one from the Institute for Human Services in Columbus, Ohio, David, Lynn and John went on a hunting expedition. Their assignment - to find beds for the shelter. After spending several hours in Bishkek, they called. They not only had enough money for 15 beds, but for couches and chairs. We eagerly drove to the shelter amidst a traffic jam, to await their arrival…..two cars – stacked to the top and two small trailers. No one at the shelter knew we were coming.

The traffic jam on the way to the shelter for the homeless seniors.

The beds, couches and chairs arrive.

Before carrying everything into the home, we all gathered for a picture and then began to unload….through the open windows. The grandmothers sat down for a picture with the social work team from Cleveland.

Furniture unloaded and ready to move it all in.

The fastest way in.....through the first story window!

The furniture moved in and the grandmothers and grandfathers join us for a picture.

Well, Friday night was just the beginning. With a financial gift from one of the team members, Michelle, we all went on another shopping trip – to do a “kitchen shower” for the shelter. With all the new kitchen tools, we planned to take dinner to them on Saturday evening. We all pitched in to prepare a spaghetti dinner (Ruby’s creation), salad, cheese, sausage, and of course cake. What a joy to serve these precious people.

After the Saturday morning shopping trip for the "kitchen shower." Thank you, Michelle

Dishing out the wonderful dinner!

Waiting to be served.

Waiting to be served.

A gentle touch lets her know she is important to us and to God.

Enjoying every bite.

What could be better than ending the evening with chocolate cake!

For a brief moment, we wanted to let them they were not forgotten….God knows their names and knows their needs. One grandmother told me that “her children have no use for her now.” Maybe, for one brief hour, she felt important to someone. When you visit an orphanage or a shelter like this, we usually get the same question - will you be back? and the answer is yes! It may not be us, exactly, but our team and others who are called here to serve alongside of us for we all are an extention of the family of God.

1 comment:

Jennifer Wlodarczyk said...

What a fantastic gift! I am sure they felt loved and honored. The woman in the green is absolutely beaming. Thanks for sharing.
Jennifer Wlodarczyk