Monday, May 24, 2010

Between Hello and Good Bye

It is about 9:00 PM on Monday night and in a few hours we will board our plane and head for home. It is hard to explain, we are heading for home, but, we feel like we are leaving home. I guess that it is okay.

This morning, I had the privilege to speak to a large crowd of staff and many visitors at the Mercy Foundation here in Tokmok. There were probably 8-10 nationalities present all of whom had the main thing in common—personal faith in Jesus Christ and a desire to serve Him.

I started the morning talk with how Jayne and I like to walk if we have time here in Kyrgyzstan. There are three reasons, I said, why we like to walk. The first is we need to do so—so many simple carbs and sugar here. Secondly, when we walk, we are able to take in the details of houses, yards, symbols, and so many other things that are missed when one speeds by in a taxi. The third reason we like to walk is that we like to see the children who are at play in every block through which we pass. The children are beautiful and we love to see them.

The children do something when we walk by that has taught me a great lesson. As we pass, they say “hello” and then in a few seconds they say “good-bye.” Of course, we always responded in like manner and they were so pleased that they apparently were able to communicate with the “foreigners.”

I shared this story of the kids with the group this morning by saying that last March we said “hello” to our friends here and now, this morning, we are saying “good-bye.” The lesson I wanted to share is that each one of us says “hello” to life, and some time later, each of us says “good-bye” to life and how the most important thing to consider is what we do between the “hello” and “good-bye.” A favorite song of mine came to mind. It is When It Is All Said and Done.

After sharing the story of the children and making the application to life, we showed a video and power point presentation as to what God had allowed and enabled us to do here from the day we said “hello” to this morning when we are saying “good-bye.”

Between Hello and Good Bye

We were with the children at one of the Foundation Orphanages - A Weekend at Kara Balta
The teens and children had quite an entertaining program. This is the orphanage where the children from Tokmok that we know so well were moved in December. They all seem to be doing well.

      The three teens in this picture have special pen-pal ties to friends in the US

Having lunch with them on Sunday before returning 2.5 hours to Tokmok.

We were with the young people at the university
One thing David enjoyed was sitting outside under the trees talking with students.  They sought him out reguluarly. We have truly grown to love these young people as we have spent many hours on campus.

Afternoon of the last exam - what a great feeling for everyone.

We were involved with the ministries of the Foundation

Speaking on Sunday...

  Leading a seminar on character studies for the school system

We were with children and adults within the community living in difficult situations
This precious baby represents many children living in orphanages in need of medical treatment. The work of LAMb has started "Babies Bound for Blessing," which is a sponsorship program that will enabled babies to be taken to the capital city for much needed medical treatment.  Please visit for more information on this criticially needed program.

When the team from Canada was here, they minister  in a prison two hours from home. This picture was taken shortly before the riots broke out in Bishkek and the team had to detour around the city in order to be safe.

The LAMb team, including an incredible group of folks from Canada, did a complete makeover in the home of this family. We talked about it before on the blog.  We are so excited that the mom pictured here, has taken the leadership to get her children to church.  She came yesterday, asking for nothing.  We see God really working in this extreme inpoverish family.

Our team continues to be involved in the home for invalid men.  Once a dark place, light has come and one can see the difference.

We blogged just recently about the on-going work at Kemin.  Our prayer is that the community will step up and support this much needed home for homeless elderly.

As the time approaches for our van to pick us up at 2:30 am....we prepare to leave, again enriched by our encounters with this beautiful people...encounters between our hello and goodbye. 

It Was More Than Just Getting Out A Newspaper

About eight weeks ago, an enthusiastic group of young people arrived in the journalism class to begin something brand new - the publication of the university's first newspaper. The one barrier we faced is that our class was scheduled for 8:00 am on Monday mornings!  But they came.

On May 20, the first edition of the paper was released on campus and the student journalists were excited.

First edition of the IUCA Today campus newspaper.

Students get ready to distribute the papers.

Editors, Dasha and Michael give the college president the first look.

This newspaper project wasn't about getting out the first edition, but rather giving young people a new vision for what they can accomplish.  From the responses of these beautiful teens, I think they got it!