Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our LAMb Team In Kyrgyzstan

Although we only had two and half weeks in country this time, I had many opportunities to spend quality time with the LAMb national team.  We were together a total of five times, planning for the future with some training mixed in.   I shared with them a key task and one core principle that we hope they will develop for the kids in Dayspring.

Key task: That they grow, study and learn what it means to be a trauma-competent healing presence in the life of the children of Dayspring. We spent a number of hours talking about what that meant and have a plan of study for them with materials that Ruby will be bringing next week.  They were so tuned in and enthusiastic about learning these new things.

The Core Principle:  Although there are, of course, many principles to be put in placed while dealing with a traumatized child, I asked the group to make this one their theme:  Connect before you correct.  This foundation concept from the work of Dr. Karyn Purvis is key to healing for a traumatized child.  We did several role plays to demonstrate what this means and I told them it would be a skill that would need development.   We will continue communicating with them while home, giving them assignments and discussion.
LAMb staff:  Larisa, Natlia, Madlin, Zuhar, Emma, Acel and baby Emma, of course.
We  were finishing up the renovation list for the Iskra men's home.
With little notice, we also were asked to train a group of social workers from Tokmok.  I was glad to do so and wondered how many of them I would remember. On Wednesday morning, we arrived at one of the government buildings to a room full and I recognized most of them.  One even asked me about how our dog was doing...because way back in the spring of 2008, I had mentioned to them I was concerned about him.  It was fun to reconnect with these folks and share with them some of the new things we have been researching and studying. They asked great questions and asked for more.

Part of the work LAMb does, and we share as part of the team, is training in the area of child welfare.  I really appreciated the opportunity to do that this month.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Winding Down and Heading Home

It is 8:30 pm and in about four hours the van will come to pick us up and take us to the airport.  Saying good-bye is always difficult and perhaps even more so this time.  We were much more personally involved in one-to-one conversations and ministry and felt deeply connected to many people - Mercy Foundation folks and the students. Also, we are uncertain as to when we will be back.  That makes saying good-bye a bit different this time.

However, I wanted to capture our last few days here so as to not forget them.

IUCA Students for Dinner
Celebrating a job well done, we had a number of the IUCA students over for dinner. What we were celebrating is the completion of their summer work in the US and how much they have learned and experienced.  Four of the young people worked in Alaska at a center for the developmentally disabled. Others worked in fast food restaurants, amusement parks and other opportunities. We are so proud of them for giving their best.

Aihan, (Ohio), Ulan, Eliza, Mahabat (Alaska), Daliya(Ill) and Altynai, (Alaska)....
most of them are planning a return trip next summer.

Genyia - my life can make a difference in someone else's
A number of our friends had the opportunity to meet both of the visiting students from Kyrgyzstan that were living in families on our area.   Genyia stayed the summer with John and Robin Wientge and family - neither party will ever be the same.

Last weekend we met Genyia in Bishkek.
We had the privilege of having lunch with Genyia when we first arrived. We talked with her about a number of things, but David asked her a very important question. "How do you see yourself as changed?  She answer, "I now understand that my life can make a difference in someone else's."  She told us that she wanted to do some volunteer work and of course, we were excited about that.  Today, she met us again to make a very important connection.

A Serious Conversation
Genyia had the opportunity to meet Christy Wall, who serves with a work to disabled children and families in this area of the country.  She works in orphanages, helps families parenting disabled children, works in a children's hospital..and much more.  She shared many opportunities with Geniya today.

Geniya looks extremely serious in this photo, but she is really excited about the many things
Christy shared with her .  As we left, we overhead them making plans to visit the
children's hospital after Geniya's classes on Tuesday.  
"My life can make a difference in another."   

We have been involved in some way in Kyrygzstan since the fall of 2007.  We love the people here and are committed to them.  We are looking to God for direction and how He desires to use the love He has put in us to serve these beautiful, warm and loving people of this hurting and broken country.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All in a Day

It is late Wednesday afternoon and in a few hours about 13 IUCA students will be coming for dinner.  However, I didn't want to let the events from yesterday slip by without recording them.

Mid-Morning Tuesday
Right after morning devotions at Mercy Foundation, the LAMb team went to the bazaar for a buying trip for the Men's Home and the Kemin Senior's Home....quick trip though the bazaar, a stop at the wholesale ice cream store for ice cream, and stopping back at the Foundation to pick up some more folks to go with us and off we went.

We arrived at the men's home to the always waiting crowd.  When I think of them is all they have to do...waiting for someone to come to see them, to know that they are there.  As I looked around at the men there, what I really saw were little boys. Although their bodies grew, they remain little boys on the inside - stuck in what feels to us, a hopeless place.   There are many needs here and in a future blog I will share them. One of our translators told us yesterday that the men  are afraid that winter might come.   It was like they hoped there was a way to avoid that reality....Reality is that it will.   Two winters ago over 70 men died there from the cold (inside the building) and starvation.  They have no heat in their dining area..but that is another blog to come.

Here are the pictures from yesterday at the men's home....

The visiting crew - Mercy Foundation staff are seeing the men's home
as a ministry outreach.

 Ludmila is making her second delivery of over 1,000 eggs

Peaches, peaches and more peaches

Ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream

This gentleman is in charge of the art room where many projects are created
and sold to help  resupply the art room.
 This is part of LAMb's mission to restore dignity by rehabilitation and development.
After we finished delivery, we visited some of the project needs in the building, which we will talk about at a later time.

Off to the Senior's Home
LAMb has been involved in the senior's home from the very beginning and every time we visit there we see improvement. This home was established for homeless elderly.  It started with 8 grandmother and grandfathers and now is home to 25.  The greatest need here for them is coal for winter!

We lovingly now call Ludmilla the "egg lady" because she is on  a mission!
 She is bringing scores of eggs to the senior's home as well.
This is her first trip here, but I know won't be her last.

Visiting with Katya...

Lydia really misses Ruby..she asked for her.   A number of months ago, Lydia was able to return home to live with her only daughter. However, a number of weeks ago, her daughter died unexpectedly and she again was homeless.   She is also going blind....."please tell Ruby to come," she said.

Praying with Katya

Touring more renovation on the second floor....  

Stopping for tea before heading back to Tokmok.

A Wonderful Conclusion to the Day
Aihan, a student from IUCA, spent the summer in Waynesville with Ruby's sister, Caroline and her family.   We had the privilege last night of having dinner in her home. It was such an honor to be asked and it was a wonderful, wonderful dinner. Aihan and her mother gave us a tour of their spacious, beautiful home, garden and "mini" farm.   It was so special to us to see Aihan in her home as she has visited with us in America.

Aihan's mom prepared a wonderful meal for us.

Aihan and her mom....her brother wasn't home yet
and her younger sister is studying in Bishkek.

What a surprise and treasured gift!

Aibek came home after his football game for a quick dinner before taking us back to Tokmok.
 He is an incredible young man as well. 
Our very short 17 days here ends very early Saturday morning, but it has been a joy to be here...regretting that we are not staying longer this trip