Saturday, May 21, 2011

Coming with Us

Last fall seems far away when I think about getting an email from Aihan, one of our students at IUCA. "Would you help me find a job in Ohio?"  Would we?   Of course.  I first contacted some friends of ours, Ron and Caroline Grewall (Ruby's sister) to see if they would be willing to host a college student for the summer from Krygyzstan. They immediately replied "yes."  The second step was a job and I wrote a note on facebook with the need and within just a few short hours, Aihan had a job at McDonald's in Lebanon.  We were excited.  (Note: Aihan's father was an accidental fatal shooting victim duirng the revolution last year.)

Aihan and her mother - we had the privilege of meeting her today.

Then, along came another request....there is another girl who wants to come and work in Ohio. Short story -  Zhenya is coming and she will be living with John and Robin Wientge for the summer and working in two family businesses.

Zhenya and her mom and dad.  Both mothers (and dad, of course) felt much better after meeting us and hearing more about where their daughters would be spending the summer.

On June 2, these beautiful young ladies will leave with us on our very early flight home arriving in Ohio at 10:30 pm after traveling for about 30 hours.  It will be a life changing adventure for them in every way...and also for us and the families whose lives they will touch. 

The gentleman in the center is in charge of the work/travel program for college students.

If you live in the Lebanon area- visit McDonald's and you might get to meet Aihan!


Last September, a medical team from Alaska visited Kyrgyzstan and the university. They shared about a program, called Hope Alaska, a program caring for the needs of developmentally disabled young adults. The Alaska team shared the vision of coming to Alaska to work and it caught the eye of four of our students. They began to have a dream – Alaska to volunteer for the summer.

Mahabat, Altynai, Eliza and Ulan keep us in suspense  - Did they get their visas?
With dreams come potential barriers and these young people had them. We just found out about three weeks ago that they were floundering in the preparation to go. No visas, no clear cut way of financing the plane tickets, no medical tests, etc…the list was lengthy. The biggest barrier was getting the visas in enough time to buy airline tickets at the lowest possible cost this late in the process.

The students’ visas appointments were not scheduled until late next week. Each day the cost of the ticket was going higher and they had to be there no later than June 20.  David and I and John and Julie Wright made this a matter of continued prayer asking God’s favor. I won’t go into details, but working through the proper channels, their appointments were miraculously moved up a whole week (which doesn’t happen) . These beautiful young people, with visas in hand are Alaskan bound!

David and I have had all four of them in class. They are young people of incredible integrity, vision and dreams. We wish them Godspeed…

Their journey ours continues....