Friday, May 27, 2011

The Wright Recipe: How To (Divinely) Ruin Your Daughters

John Wright is a chef. He is gifted at creating the most delicious meals. I don’t think he follows a recipe, he doesn’t need to. It is always a masterpiece.

Well, I was thinking today about another recipe he has – and he probably doesn’t have it written down anywhere either. Julie helps him with this one. This recipe: How to Divinely Ruin Your Daughters.

Initial Ingredients:

  • A call by God to Central Asia
  • Two parents committed to spending their lives serving God and people in Central Asia
  • Two teenage daughters -14 and 16 of age (three years ago – this recipe grows better over time - now 17 and 20)
  • A vision to restore hope and dignity to children, families and the elderly in a 3rd world country
  • Four airplane tickets
  • Hundreds of supporters around the world who believe in the mission and vision
Add:

  • Six months of working many days a week in orphanages in 2008 and seeing the heartbreaking needs
  • Six months of visiting the dump in 2008 where families struggle to survive every day
  • Six months of meeting and learning to love ten special children whose lives were harder than they had ever experienced
  • Six months of exposure to hard time, heartbreak, poverty, child abandonment
  • Six month of living with “sometimes no water, sometimes no electricity”
Add some seasoning

  • Three more months in 2009 of exposure to hard time, heartbreak, poverty, child abandonment
  • Three more months in 2009 – returning to those places and beginning to see hope restored
  • Three more months in 2009 – meeting more orphans, seeing more sad, tragic need, yet having the opportunity to bring hope
  • Three more months in 2009 of living with “sometimes no water, sometimes no electricity”
Top it off with….

Three more months in 2010 and more in 2011 – meeting more orphans, seeing more sad, tragic need, meeting university students who, amidst incredible trials exhibit joy, teaching English to young people devastated by riots in Osh, revisiting everything listed above and seeing more hope restored

The Result
Two incredibly beautiful and talented teenagers who would much rather live in Kyrgyzstan – forget the ease of living in Canada and pour themselves out to the children and families of this beautiful yet devastated country. Emma and Bekah Wright have been divinely ruined for the life they knew in Canada. “Ruined” is a permanent reality. David reminded me when we were talking about this sometime ago that once something is ruined, it cannot be restored.


                                                        The Wright family


Emma

John and Julie have dreams for their daughters and God has the recipe – and His are always masterpieces.

They will never be the same again.


Video created after our first trip to Kyrygyzstan in 2008. Now,  seven trips later for us and it is still true today and for the entire LAMb team.

video





Thursday, May 26, 2011

Graduation is Historic Event for IUCA

The class of 2011 is now in the history books. Wednesday marked the first graduation for the International University of Central Asia...and it was an exciting day.

For one to fully appreciate the significance of this university and this day, one must understand that most of the students who attend IUCA come from homes that are at or below the poverty level.  For most students, it is not thinking about the next music video to buy, or outfit to purchase - it is thinking about having enough money for lunch the next day  We have come to love these students...they bring us incredible joy with their enthusiasm and joy, even amidst challenging times.

We had the privilege yesterday attending the graduation. Here are some pictures of this historic event:


With us, Krgyz and Russian teacher, Damaria, behind her the Chinese teacher and business administration department head in front of David.

Natalia is head of the education faculty, and she is joined by the head of  IT and Chinese. 

Tatyana is head of the linguistics faculty - we met her our very first week in the country in April, 2008.  Nuria is the head of international relations and new vice president and the registrar is next to her.

David is waiting to be introduced as the new chairman of the board, next to him is John, president of Mercy Foundation and James, out-going chairman of the board. 


Part of the crowd..it threatened rain all day, but stayed away until later in the evening.


Ulan and Sonya, the first IUCA graduates. I have had both of them in class and they are outstanding young people with a bright future.  When I asked Sonya what she wanted to do after graduation, she said, "Serve my country."  She will spend the next two years in Taiwan getting her masters in public health and returning to this country.  Ulan plans to work in a university in Bishkek in the international relations area after getting his masters.

Elder Yang, founder of Mercy Foundation and IUCA. He will be 85 his next birthday and continues to serve God throughout Central Asia. 


David addresses the gathering as the new board chairman. 

Camilla is the university president.
The coveted diploma

Off on a new journey
 After the ceremony, we enjoyed a concert and dancing from local students. We love the richness of this culture.

 Playing the Komuz.
Dancers from Bishkek


Now....how does the board president say no when the university president asks him to dance.....well, you don't!!!

David was caught off guard when Camilla got up and walked over and asked him to dance --- just the two of them in front of everybody.  All you who know David can only imagine what he is thinking at that moment. We loved joining in the celebrations.

After the evening's activites, a beautiful young lady, the one who told us she prayed for us everyday, walked over to David and said to him, " I love our university. May God bless this university."

This is Acel...when she began singing, everyone stopped.  She was amazing and gifted by God.

That is our prayer, too.  We love this university -  we love the students who have come across our lives.  May God's hand rest on this very special place. May it make a life-changing impact on the young people who come.  May these young people change the course of their country and their generation.

Our Special Friends Were Honored

Central Asia has been the second home to the Wright family since 2005...maybe longer. They have worked in difficult places, horrific orphanages and homes for the disabled. There are not many places that they will not venture with the purpose of restoring hope and dignity.  John cannot talk about it without crying.  God has used this family in a tremendous way.

Yesterday, the mayor's office of Tokmok extended a tremendous honor with the Hononary Social certificates....I think it is very close to being made honorary citizens of Tokmok. 

The Wrights are special friends. We share a common passion and vision. David and I just love watching them think through challenges and always come up with an answer.  It is our joy to call them friends.

Here are some pictures from yesterday....

 Getting ready to walk into the cermony at the mayor's office.


The mayor thanking John and his family for their contributions to the community and the welfare of its citizens.

After the ceremony....it was a special, special occasion.

For more fun pictures of the event...visit their blog:   http://www.actofkindness.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Evening with the Journalism Staff

During dinner the very first night we arrived last March, we were sitting with the Wrights and some of their friends from Canada. I was thinking about my journalism class starting the next day and a thought came - we are not going to do a newspaper - we are going to do a yearbook - in seven weeks.

The next morning, ten young people greeted me at the 8:00 hour and I told them our plan.  Most of them had never heard or seen a yearbook. Well, it is finished. The students and faculty alike are thrilled.  We celebrated tonight with dinner at our home.

Here are our incredible young journalists:

 Bekah Wright helped us tremendously and we couldn't have done ut without her. Azamat is a gifted young man. He will be spending next year in America.

Jibek was one of my most committed students....she is helping to serve dinner to Lumila.

Aida (l) is a quiet spoken and extremely competent student as is Zalina. About three weeks ago, Zalina came to class and asked if she could help with the project and we, course said yes!

These beautiful young ladies all have incredible talents and enthusiasm. L to R - Altynai, Jibek, Nellie and Ludmila. 


Eliza (l) and Aijan have been in a number of our classes and are delightful, dedicated students. Eliza, along with Altynai will spend the summer in Alaska

 
Nurisa worked extremely hard...plus she was the light of the class...with her humor and smile.

This is the yearbook cover, designed by Altynai and Bekah.



We are now just a week away from flying home.  We look forward to seeing family and friends soon, but will be leaving some precious friends here....to see them again as the Lord allows...thank you for your interest and support as this journey continues..