Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Moments and Memories of This Past Year

As the year’s end approaches, I think one of the things that many of us do is to reflect on those special moments and memories behind us. This year has been a God–given incredible year as we think of those special times of our friends in a very far away place in Central Asia.

Not a day goes by that we don’t talk of our precious friends there…from little Anita to Natalia to Valera and Luba. All of our friends hold a very special place in our hearts. We deeply appreciate and love Lynn and Ruby Johnston and Don and Johanna M. Buchman, our team founders for the invitation almost two years ago to "show up and see how God leads."

Don and Johanna, in front Lynn and Ruby behind them.

It has been and continues to be exciting - a great adventure as we serve together. When we are a tad perplexed about what to do about a situation or need, our group's motto has become "it just isn't time to know yet." We are learning the fine art of waiting on God and His leadership for the days ahead.

We have come to embrace this country as our second home. While we are home here, a part of us is still over there. Thoughts of the people and work are never far from us. Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog throughout this year. Here are some special memories and moments with the people who captured our hearts in this Central Asia country this past year.

The Children

To me, this picture captures David's heart and love for the children of this Central Asia country. This is Islam and Ruslan.

What do you have when you put 20 some children together and some childlike adults? FUN! These remarkable children from one orphanage where we spent a great deal of time knew just how to get our heart's attention. We can't wait to get back and reconnect with them.

Being in country for these many months has given us the opportunity to get know people of all ages and have the time to build relationships. This young man is especially important to us and David spent a lot of time with him.

Natalia is not only our translator, but our very special young friend. There are many funny stories we share as a result of our experiences together. One of the most delightful is the day we went on a picnic. We, along with John and Julie Wright were walking to meet the children near a river bank. I think Lynn and Ruby were there, too. The children saw us and came running. Of course, we thought the children were running to us....but breezed right on by to embrace Natalia. All the children love her and we think that is great. That's how it should be.

The Remarkable Young People

A door of opportunity opened for both David and me to be involved in the newest univeristy in this county. It is the new International University of Central Asia. Both of us are on the faculty and we will be involved in a greater capacity when we return in March. One of our favorite places to be is on the campus. We have so enjoyed building relationships with these fine young and dedicated students and the faculty there.

David with a group of 2nd year psychology students.

This is a picture of the first year of the university. Starting off with 40 some students, the school tripled in 2009 and we are looking forward to continue growth of this excellent university.


This is a group of social workers who are commited to building a foster care program in this country. This group represents a portion of the heart of the work of LAMb in child welfare. We are working with a number of opportunities to assist in the develpment of a child welfare program - on many government levels, including the work at the Humanitarian University in the capital city.

As this year draws to a close, we do reflect on the life changing experiences we have been so privileged to have while we minister at home and overseas. We look to the open doors in 2010, desiring God's leadership in all that we do. The next blog we will be sharing about our work while home and our anticipated plans for overseas. We will be returning to Central Asia on March 14, 2010 and will be there until late May.

May your new year be a time of new adventures and experiencing God in new ways.