Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just a quick note from today

We are back on the road again - cautiously, of course.  Today, our team set out early for a day of visiting a number of the humanitarian projects where we have all worked. Also, John Wright leaves early Monday morning for Canada and he wanted to say good-by.

After getting home, I had a haircut appointment with the young lady who always does it and as we were walking home, we detoured to avoid a large group of men who had gathered.  We have no idea what was going on, but Natalia felt best to avoid it. I shared with her my sadness at the loss of freedom and sense of safety we have had here.  She told me her friends and family were frightened about the days ahead. Our precious friends here have lost more than I can completely understand. 

On a great note: We will be sharing a tremendously warm story this week - the story of an extreme makeover for a family.

We are here another ten days and then have two trips scheduled for training - Ukraine and Poland.  We excited about these upcoming opportunities to speak to social workers and families in both countries about the joy of building a family through adoption. We return May 2 to finish out the univeristy at return home at the end of May.

Thank you for sharing our journey....

Friday, April 9, 2010

CNN ireport from the LAMb team plus magazine article

Our team leaders, Lynn and Ruby Johnston just posted the story of the harrowing escape through a mob on the way to the airport Wednesday night. You can find it as

Also,  a reporter from World Magazine contacted Ruby at the airport while they were waiting for the team's flight out on Wednesday. This link is good for seven days...

The article is titled Kyrgyzstan's chaos - Eyewitnesses attest to revolution underway for key U.S. ally.

Pictures from the rioting

It is a quiet Friday afternoon and we are reflecting on how the world changed here for us in one day.  We are still extremely cautious being out, just because we have been told to be.  There is an eery sense of quietness. The streets, usually noisy and bustling with traffic are not busy.  There are people out, but far less than just days ago.  Stores are closed, the bazaar, which is the main shopping center of town is closed.  We are fine with what we are able to purchase, but finding food for many will increasingly become difficult.

We wanted to tour our town yesterday, but the driver that was going to take us around changed his mind and didn't feel safe.  However, as usual, John, our dear friend from Canada found a way around and was able to take pictures. The pictures here are within a short walking distance from where we live.  Please visit John's blog for the pictures and a precious story.  Scroll down the page past his latest entry.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

From David's Viewpoint

Greetings and thank you for taking a few moments to read of our journey here in Kyrgyzstan.

Just before we left our home in Lebanon, Ohio, to make our 5th trip here, I told Jayne that I had a sense that this trip was going to be very different than previous ones and that something would happen that would change things for us—and for many others. Little did I know that that “change” would come in the form of a revolution that would expel the present government and form a new one. That revolution reached to the government office next door to our apartment building, destroyed the grocery store where we shop, and looted the main restaurant where we eat and entertain those with whom we work. These are very small inconveniences for us as many have lost their jobs and livelihood in a country where there are so few jobs to begin with. Conflict, Confusion and Crisis best describe what is going on here and it will be sometime before we know how this will help or hurt the good people of Kyrgyzstan.

This is far from over. We get reports of various things happening even now as I write this short letter. The notes of encouragement and prayer we received—and they were many, are deeply appreciated—more than you could know. Thank you for your concern.

Our work here is on hold for now, but, we will still teach at the International University of Central Asia.I teach 3 courses and Jayne teaches 2. We love the students and they seem to have mutual love and respect for us. Our trip to Ukraine and Poland will still happen beginning a little later this month. We intend to be home the latter part of May.

Just as this was beginning, three men from our LAMB team and I were doing ministry in a men’s prison about 3 hours away from our home in Tokmok. I was once again reminded just how powerful the Gospel is to bring light and life to a dark place. The place was dark, to be sure, but there was light and life in many of the men as they shared their incredible testimonies with us.

Below are a few pictures that I took of some of the men—brothers in the Lord. Because of your gifts to us, we will be able to bless them with some much needed items that they can use to listen to Christian music, watch good videos, and make incredible items in the shop that they can give to those who visit them.

           This is the courtyard outside the prison barracks.

This is our first stop inside.  We met and shared testimonies with these Christian brothers who are serving life sentences.  They served us tea and cookies. Their testimonies were real and they were able to praise the Lord in these most difficult of circumstances.

Rather than living in cells, they lived in dormitory style rooms. The prison itself was a school when the  country was a part of the Soviet Union. Now it is a prison housing about 800 inmates.

In the cafeteria, we were shown what the men eat out of. They drink their meals which is usually some kind of soup. They have no silverware.  How I would have loved to bring them a treat of some kind. I saw the food. I cannot explain what it looked like. God bless them.

We met many men who spend their days working in the shops.  Some sewed shoes. Some made incredible wood crafts, such as in this picture.  He was so proud of his work and rightly so. They desparately need a new router and will try to get that done.

This is a group picture of some of the Christian men.  Just before this picture was taken we laid hands on each one and prayed a blessing over them. After that, they blessed us. They have very good spiritual leadership and it is very obvious.
On the Way Home
On our way home, we heard about, and got caught in the confusion of the Revolution—after which so much has changed. We have to take alternate routes around the city.  Many have emailed us or contacted us through facebook.  Thank you for asking and thank you for caring.

In the midst of the Krygyzstan storm

My husband and I have been ministering in Krygyzstan now for a month. Many of you may have caught the news on the toppling of the government here as a result of riots throughout many cities on the 6th and 7th. The government offices were taken yesterday in our town by the opposition party and they are within a block from our home. We were not at  home at the time, and after many hours of delay, we were allowed to return. A ministering team from Canada had to make an emergency exit out of town to get to the airport before all roads were closed. After a frightening mobbing incident, they thankfully made it safely to the airport and out of the country.

Today things are calm here, but there is an unsettling sense of what is ahead.  The events of the last 24 hours will have a deep impact on our work and ministry here. For example, a speaking opportunity with Krgyz women and men on Saturday was canceled out of concern for our safety in the capital city of Bishkek. Our work with government officials on child welfare and foster care issues is in question because the people we worked with are probably no longer there. We have no idea of what is the future for this country. It is unclear who is in charge and if there is any rule of law from anywhere.  We appreciate your prayers for many people who now are without jobs due to the destruction of many business and offices. Also many families are burying their dead as a result of the riots yesterday. We are staying very low and out of sight at this point.

Kyrgystan news video footage from events of yesterday

When David and I got up yesterday morning, he was preparing to go with the LAMb men's team to a prison and I was preparing to be with the LAMb women.  I thought early yesterday we have so much to blog - the extreme makeover of a home for a destitute family, the visit to the prison and seniors home.  How a few hours can make such a difference.  We will be sharing these stories sometime over the weekend. 

As we have said...the journey continues and we are here for such a time as this. Our prayer is that God will use us as we minister to these precious wonderful people. Thank you for sharing our journey with us.