Friday, December 21, 2012

Jeremiah House is Official - Helping Youth Aging Out of Orphanages









From Lynn and Ruby....



THIS IS AN EDITED VERSON OF THE EMAIL WE SENT TO OUR BOARD MEMBERS ONCE WE MADE THE OFFER....
JUST NOW - MOMENTS AGO
THE HOUSE IS OFFICIALLY JEREMIAH HOUSE!

Omerbeck is going to have a home!
We have moved forward on Jeremiah House.  Wednesday we shook hands on a purchase and finalized all today!
The location is good, lots of potential for skill building in the different areas of the house....even the potential for a training room or a little business!  The house needs some work, new kitchen, bath, windows, doors.  It was listed for $38,000 in the spring.  She had an offer for $33,000 and turned it down.  She listed it this week for $35,000 and had two interested buyers immediately...us and another couple.Vlady went with Us to inspect the house. And said it was a very good deal and very good house.
Our team had just completed looking at about 20 houses in the last few days.  The other couple just started looking.  We offered her $28,000 and she said yes.  She has just been diagnosed with cancer and wants to go to Russia ASaP to be with her children.  We had a powerful prayer session with her, tears and blessings. 
We can start living there immediately.  We will do the kitchen renovation first, after getting furniture that is most needed.  We have $4,000 extra to work with.  Tomorrow, we are going out to purchase the needed items for the drop in Center as well.  We have funds for that.  We need to raise an additional $25,000 a year for JH. Plus the renovations and furnishings.  Praise Him!Very excited.
Later, we will list the project list for what needs to be done in the house.  However, we hope to open the home BEFORE renovations are completed.  The mayors office is pleading with us to open quickly as they have so many youth of this age that are in dire need of this home.  And we also have youth whom we have been working with that are just hanging on by a thread that would benefit from Jeremiah House.  We are looking at having only eight youth at a time in Jeremiah House.  Although we could take ten - we think as we begin it would be best to start by keeping the numbers a little lower - as staff get adjusted and we begin the program. 

OH HOW WE WOULD LIKE TO SERVE THEM ALL.  We know this little project just might mean life and death decisions and it really weighs on us.

CHANGING STATISTICS - ONE CHILD AT A TIME!
The statistics say 1/3 of the graduating orphans will be successful adults  - the other 2/3 will end up in prisons, suiciding, in prostitution, trafficked out of the country or addicted and living on the streets.
Another step of Hope
JEREMIAH HOUSE - HOPE FOR KYRGYZSTAN







Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So much need

We have been reading news reports that are almost beyond comprehension. The temperatures in Kyrgyzstan have been in the low teens AND the gas and most of the electricity have been shut off for days. We can't get our minds off this crisis. We have many special friends there who are suffering. I do not know what it feels like to not be able to find a warm place to go.

Ruby and Lynn just arrived there today and our prayer for them is that God will use them in very powerful ways. We wish we were there as well.

Please visit their blog     www.lambinternational.blogspot.com    for the latest updates.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Changing Lives

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine, who also is co-author of two of our book projects.  Betsy Smalley just returned from a week of training in Kiev with this exciting report about our book, Wounded Children, Healing Homes.

 
 
While I was training for ILDC in Kiev, Ukraine in early November 2012, a woman attending the workshop, Triggers, What Can Cause Adoption-Related Crisis?, stood up while introducing herself.  She stated, “I feel I must stand while introducing myself to you because your books saved my adoption.”  She began to cry as she shared that her 10-year-old adopted daughter, has serious behavioral challenges.  Prior to the adoption, her daughter was institutionalized for several years following the deaths of both of her drug-addicted birth parents.  I thanked her for her kind words and began to train.  Of course, we discussed the issues of psychological presence and divided loyalties.  I encouraged trainees to bring the birth family explicitly into the adoptive home through open adoption communication.  Several examples of open communication were given, including “Your birth mother would have been so proud of you today.”

The following day, this same mother attended a second day of training.  She was very excited to share that the previous evening, her daughter sang beautifully in a music recital.  At the conclusion of the event, the adoptive mother hugged her daughter and said to her, “Your birth mother would have been so proud of you tonight.”  Again, the adoptive mother began to cry as she described the way her daughter’s face lit up, “transforming her features” from an angry, avoidant child to one who was surprised and happy to see her birth family acknowledged and accepted.  It was moving to see how eager families and social workers are receive information that will impact the lives of children as well as the stability of the adoptive families caring for them.  It certainly made the long trip to Kiev very worthwhile!  It is startling to see the rapid progress made in Ukraine by ILDC; they are certainly earning their name: International Leadership and Development Center.
 
We are so thankful for the work of ILDC and for the Institute and Human Services for the role they have played and continue to in getting the books translated into Russian and into the hands of workers and families.
 
 
 
 
Pictures from the ILDC Training Center in Kiev, Ukraine.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It Is So Exciting to Know...

It is so very exciting to know that LAMb International (Lynn and Ruby Johnston) and ILDC (International Leadership and Development Center), a side arm of LAMb has such a key role in the global movement of a world without orphans.  Here is a sample of the influence of LAMb in Ukraine...please take time to watch this video.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h34gcqfgR7I&feature=youtu.be

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Little More Than Green

Just got off skype talking with David. He is currently back in Kyrygzstan for some very important and critical meetings at the International Univeristy of Central Asia.  Anyway, he asked me, "did you see the Wright's blog yet." No, I hadn't had a chance yet.  So why we were talking, I took a look.  Here is what I saw:




Today was reunion day for many of the children we knew at the Tokmok orphanage. Since the orphanage was closed a couple of years ago, the children were scattered to other orphanges, back to relatives or aged out.  I could'nt believe what I saw...and there in the front in the brown jacket was our buddy Victor.   Slavic is here too as well as Nastya, Iback, Maksat,Colya, etc....I have to admit, I am more than a little green with envy. 

David along with John and Julie look like they are having a great time. I understand Emma Wright put this whole thing together.  What an awesome memory for all of them!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Celebrating Hope

 
 
We arrived home early this morning after an incredible trip to Kyrygzstan.  What made it so incredible is that God enabled us to meet and work with orphanage caregivers and social workers who experienced trauma-informed training for the first time. They were so engaged, receptive and appreciative of the information
 
Over these three packed weeks, we were able to introduce the nine essential elements of trauma informed care, combined with the Trust-Based Relational Intervention principles (TBRI) of Dr. Karen Purvis.  Teaching the  "why" of the  essential elements of trauma informed care was only half the equation.  Sharing the principles of TBRI was the "how-to."  It was fun to see the groups process the material and then apply it to their own working situation.
 
 
 We wanted to share this experienced with you...
 
 
video

We are so appreciate to Lynn and Ruby who set up the training oppportunity for us. We made many new friends and our list of who we care about in Kyrgzstan has grown.

Thank you taking the time to read our blog. It means alots..  

Just and FYI.....David returns to Kyrygzstan in two weeks for a time of meetings at the univerisity.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Connections Continue

David and I started our last four day series of training on trauma informed care today in Bishkek.  This is so exciting for us, as this is new material and new concepts for all of us in child welfare. We have been training this material, which combines the nine essential skills of trauma -informed care with the Trust Based Relational Intervention program (Dr. Karyn Purvis) at home and now we are sharing it here.  Just the other day, one of the foster moms said what I hear so often at home, "I wish I would have known this when I started!"

We continue to make awesome new connections with these most interesting people. Today, we began our final training series with the administration and staff of the SOS Children's Village.  They are so receptive and open to what we are sharing.

However, before the day began, I had a promise to keep. Last Monday, I made a promise to ten very important foster moms.  We wanted to give them a gift - our book, Wounded Children, Healing Homes, translated into Russian.  I asked them to come to the training room at 9:30 this morning...and right on time they came.  What fun and what a blessing it was to give them each a book. They wanted a signed copy.

      Our day started out with making these connections again with these caring foster moms.

                     Talking with Burul. She has been a SOS foster mom for over 10 years.


Here are just a few more pictures from today....

                            Costa, our country director, joined us today as translator. 

                       Veronika, the SOS Children's Village doctor was in our class today.

                                             David closes out the session today.

We all decided that on Friday afternoon, we will have a big celebration with all the SOS folks who attended. They told me that will be close to 45 people.  We will give everyone a certificate and celebrate their hard work over these last three and half weeks! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Training and Training and Training...We Love It

We have been on a training marathon since we arrived her on September 4th.  We do feel God's hand of strengthening and empowerment for the journey.   Our next stop for Wednesday-Friday is the administration and staff at the SOS Children's Village in Bishkek.

Please visit our LAMb blog for pictures of yesterday's work at Dayspring with local workers...

http://lambinternational.blogspot.com/

We end our time here with another training at Dayspring on Saturday and leave at 2:00 am on Sunday morning.  We feel so blessed to be here. It has been a very rich time of connecting with so many new friends who care about children from difficult and hard places.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Meeting the Dayspring Five and Remembering


FINALLY, I had the opportunity to meet all the precious five little girls now living at Dayspring.  David and I went over on Thursday evening for a pizza party. Last spring, David had the privilege to meet them and now I know them. 
 David joins four of the girls and standing in the back is also David, the nine year old son of LAMb child advocate, Madlin.
 These two love pizza! There wasn't much left!
 David and Jenia - she makes all A's at school.
Olga is a great mom to these girls. We are so impressed with what we see - Costa, her husband is a fun-loving dad we can tell.


We gathered around the big table for pizza and my mind went to the day that Lynn and Ruby went furniture shopping for that table - envisioning just what we were experiencing that night.  FAMILY.  A little later a couple of them ran and got their school work for us to look at and their grades are amazing.  Again, they experienced FAMILY for that is what families do. 

The evening would not have been complete without a guided tour to their rooms upstairs to the FAMILY room and bedrooms.  I looked at the little decorated school desks and saw the couch and chairs and remembered the day that Lynn did a "sitting" test in a furniture story in Tokmok. As I looked in I saw the beds covered with beautiful quilts made by a friend in Lebanon and remember the day our team came to clean Daypring getting it ready for children to experience FAMILY.

This is a short video we showed probably 18 months ago....the LAMb team getting the house ready and now it is reality.  It has taken persistence and commitment as Lynn and Ruby and the LAMb team have, through God's empowerment, built this wonderful home called Dayspring.


video


Watch for some news regarding a new project - the Jeremiah House. The vision is for a home for those children who age out of the orphanages at 16.






Thursday, September 13, 2012

It Was More Than Training....

Heading off to a new place always brings some uncertainty and this past week presented one of those opportunities.  David and I spent from Sunday evening to Wednesday afternoon in the town of Karkol, a six hour drive from our home base.  Our assignment- conduct three days of training on trauma informed care.

We pulled up to the orphanage on Monday morning and met the most wonderful group of orphanage staff.  This orphanage, which has been in existence for 10 years, is home to 40 young people, ranging in age from 5 to 16. The needs of this place are overwhelming. Over the three days, we shared with them on the how's and why's of trauma informed care.  It was exciting to watch them take in this shifting paradigm regarding how to care for wounded children. It became more than just a training as we observed and heard new ideas come from the group not only in their professional work, but personal as well.

A very meaningful memory for us is the connection we had with this group of people who have dedicated themselves to care for children. Judging by the comments we heard both publically and privately, this was a transformational experience for them...and for us as well. We will remember Tanya and Tanya and Nadia and Askot and  Gulnarda and Sergae and Maxabot and Yrmet and Natasha.

Here are just some sights from these last few days:

                                                 David opens class on Monday.

                                   Natasha talks about the essential skills of trauma informed care.


     Our translator, Alexy, the orphanage director, Andrei and little Aziz, one of the children, with       his kitten whose name we cannot pronounce.

 Yrmet, Tanya and Maxabot are  making a plan to incorporate what they learned into practice in the children's home.


                        Several of the young girls from the orphanage with their caregiver, Tanya.


Naida,  Tanya, Gulnarda and Yrmet discuss plans to integrate new ideas into practice.
 
 
                          
                                                       Our traditional end of training photo....


                        David had the privilege of spending some prayer time with a number of staff.


Today we enjoyed a catch-up day at Lynn and Ruby's apartment and begin another round of training tomorrow in Bishkek....foster mothers at SOS Children's Village.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Leaving for Orphanage Training

It is early Sunday morning here and David and I are waiting on the director of an orphanage to pick us up and head to his orphanage. This is an exciting opportunity for us as we will be sharing on trauma informed care of children with traumatic pasts. The staff at this orphanage has had no training on caring for children from difficult places. We will catch up on the blog when we get back as there is minimal internet access as we understand it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Days in Kyrgyzstan

It is amazing to us that we can feel so much at home in a place so far away, with a people whose language we don't understand...but for us, arriving here is like arriving home. We love the people of this country.

With such a short time to be here, we rested a short time after our arrival and then set out.  Our first stop of the trip was to Dayspring.  It was the first time I was able to meet the girls. David met most of them last spring. They were all getting home from school. We walked into a peace-filled, but busy after school household and it wasn't long before they had their homework assignments out and seeking help.

                            Madlin, the child advocate for the children, helps Jenia with homework. 

After meeting all of the girls except Christina, who was still at school, I was again reminded  that God sent these special little ones, out of all the other little girls in orphanages to Dayspring and under the wing of LAMb.  What a responsibility and a privilege for us to be involved in the lives of these precious little girls.   We are planning a special dinner next week with them...we have been told that pizza would be good!

After meeting the girls, we had another mission - to deliver an incredible gift to a young man at IUCA University.   We first met Vitaliy in the fall of 2008. We learned that he had a dream to go to the university, but didn't even have enough for the $100 admission fee.  In David's pocket that Sunday morning was a gift from friends of ours in Lebanon, Linda and Daryll. It was more than he needed to begin. We told him to go get his clothes and took him back to Tokmok and dropped off at the university.

Now, five years later, Vitaliy is graduating as an IT specialist with a BA. The problem is that this soon to be employed computer student didn't even own his own laptop.   Just weeks before we left, we were given another gift - enough to buy him a new computer and to pay this semester's tuition. (Thank you Steve and Cindy)  How very exciting for us as we gave him the gift, but nothing compared to the excitement  he expressed when he received his new computer and awesome backpack computer pack.  He graduates in spring and has a promised job waiting for him in IT.

Vitaliy was so excited, he barely would look up for a picture! (Steve and Cindy, I took a video him thanking you, but something was wrong with the volume)

The last two days, we have been training in Bishkek at the SOS Children's Village. We are working this week.with caregivers who manage the teen residences.

Three of the caregivers are helping with an object lesson - what it is like to look at the world through the lens of a hurting child.


This is a hard working group with a lot of questions.  Our last day with them is Friday and we are hopeful that we have encouraged them and given them some tools and strategies as they care for the teens  in their respective homes.

Saturday is planned as a tourist day to Bishkek and Sunday we leave for a four day trip to an orphanage about six hours from us. We will be working with their staff on the same material we have been teaching this week.  Please pray with us that God will enable us to provide resources and support to these orphanage caregivers so far away from all that they really need.

The Journey Continues.....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It is always about the children

It is Saturday late afternoon and by this time tomorrow we will be on the way to the country of Kyrgyzstan and the people we love. We are excited, as always.  However, the importance of this trip came into more focus this morning when I looked at John's blog.  This is why.

During our time there, God has given us an opportunity to offer training to four different groups of orphanage caregivers, social workers, foster parents and psychologists.   When John posted this picture, it reminded me at even a deeper level of why we are doing what we are doing. It is about the children. It is always about the children.


These youngsters live in an orphanage in Karkol, Kyrgyzstan. This is about six hours from our apartment in Tokmok.  The staff caring for them have had no training in understanding the special needs of traumatized, neglected and abused children. We will spend three days there with staff, get to meet the beautiful children and trust God will enable us to make a difference in the lives of staff and children.

For the last year, David and I have been immersing ourselves in learning how to train caregivers and parents to care for traumatized children. It is called Trust- Based Relational Intervention. It is the healing path for wounded children.  We have had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross and their staff at the Institute of Child Development in Fort Worth, Texas. It has been a life changing journey for us and now for the very first time we will have the opportunity to share overseas. This is our schedule for the next three weeks:


September 5-7 – Youth facility workers managing the care of teens ages 15 and 15 SOS Children’s Village in Bishkek
September 10-12 – Karakol Orphanage - an orphanage about 6 hours from our home base.
September 14,15 and 17– Foster parents at SOS Children’s Village – Bishkek

September 18- Dayspring staff and orphanage caregivers in Tokmok
September 19-21 - SOS psychologist, staff and social workers , SOS Children’s Village

September 22 -Dayspring staff and orphanage caregivers in Tokmok
September 23 - heading home


 
If by any chance we come to mind in the next three weeks, would you pray with  us that the hearts and minds of those with whom we will meet will be made ready to receive this new and paradigm shifting focus on caring for children.  It is a very full schedule for which we will need His strength and empowerment.




Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jeremiah House - A Reality

Just off the LAMB BLOG...

JEREMIAH HOUSE HAS BEEN FUNDED  HOPE FOR TRANSITIONING ORPHANS FROM THE ORPHANAGE TO THE REAL WORLD!



Jenia was a success story that could have gone bad. Yet, after graduation - support from the LAMb team brought this young man to a place of interdependence and family connections. Jeremiah Project is designed to help others find the same success!

BREAKING NEWS ----- As most of you know - we have been moving toward opening our new project to help graduating orphans. Look at this!

1. We have rented an office/center for Jeremiah Drop In Center (see below the mission for this part of Jeremiah Project). This center is now being furnished and is operational at this time.

2. We HAVE JUST RECEIVED WORD THAT WE NOW HAVE THE FUNDS - on the way to purchase the JEREMIAH HOUSE! (see below for the mission for this part of the Jeremiah Project). We will be purchasing this home just as soon as the funds are transferred! We expect to be operational with the residential home soon.

3. AND we are not stopping there - NEXT is Jeremiah Steps! (see below for the mission for this part of the Jeremiah Project)

All our Kyrgyzstan staff are thrilled and ready to begin MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE YOUTH AT A TIME!

FOR A COMPLETE EXPLANATION OF THIS EXCITING LIFE CHANGING PROGRAM JUST IN THE EARLY STAGES - VISIT THE LAMb BLOG   www.lambinternational.blogspot.com  

Maybe God is leading you to support this project both with your prayers and financially.  There isn't anything else close to it in any of the eastern block countries, perhaps anywhere in the world!

Friday, July 27, 2012

I was moved this morning when

Every morning within the first few moments of my day, I read the blogs of our team members - Lynn and Ruby Johnston and John and Julie Wright.  I am always touched by what they say, wishing we could be there experiencing their events alongside.  

This morning, however, I was moved at an even greater level.  Please read the Wrights blog - www.actofkindness.blogspot.com .   You will completely understand the "wow" behind this story.

In just about four weeks, we leave for our training trip to Kyrgyzstan and looking forward to it....blesssings, Jayne

Monday, July 23, 2012

DVD Series To Be Featured Friday on The 700 Club

We were just informed late last week, that the DVD series, Adoption/Foster Care Rx: Solutions for Wounded Families will be featured on The 700 Club on Friday.  Our hope and prayer for this series is that it will strengthen the journey for adoptive families, who followed the call to care for children with a traumatic history, will be equipped for the journey.


To watch a DVD promo - click on the picture above.
ADOPTION FOSTER RX

Thanks for all your support....we leave in 4 weeks for Kyrgyzstan!!!! Can't wait!

Check out www.lambinternational.blogspot.com and www.actofkindness.blogspot.com to see the exciting things that happen there every day!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thinking Back - Looking Ahead

This next Sunday, David will have the privilege of speaking at the Lebanon, Ohio Countryside Church of the Nazarene.  I have had a sneak preview of his message for Sunday because I get to create the powerpoint for it.  He also asked me to show a video that we have had on our blog a couple of years ago.

Watching it this AM made me homesick for the beautiful people there.  LAMb's work is growing and making an impact in Kyrygzstan...one child, one family, one social worker at a time.  In July, a number of new exciting things will be hapenning, which I willl share later.

We return the first week of September for a three week, very full training schedule. We will be working with orphanage caregivers and social workers on understanding the needs of the traumatized child in their care.  We so appreciate your checking in on this blog from time to time. 

A Memory Moment

Here is the video we will be showing Sunday...it brings back so many memories.


video

Monday, July 2, 2012

“SUPPORT A TRAINING DAY” Make a Difference in the Care for Children Living in Orphanages

Why the need?
Do you remember the river?

 It is an analogy that our team in Kyrgyzstan uses to describe what we do.   Fondly, we have called John and Julie the “search and rescue team” at the end of the river.  They spend their every waking moment pulling kids “out of the river”, who have been thrown into chaos by neglect and abuse.  Also being pulled out of the river are single parents, homeless seniors and whomever else God places in our path.

Somewhere along the line, one of our team, either John, Julie, Lynn or Ruby, further developed that analogy as they described what the rest of us do while in country.   Lynn, Ruby, David and I work up the river, teaching and training adults how “not to throw the kids or the less fortunate in the river.”

This little fellow is growing up in a orphange in Kyrgyzstan. 
                              
Thousands of children are growing up in orphanages in Kyrgyzstan.  Their caregivers love and care for these children, but also manage emotional and behavioral issues without knowledge and training.  What do these children deserve?  They deserve to be cared for by adults who know what to do and how to do it.  The caregivers need the support that education and training will give them.

Lynn and Ruby have given tirelessly of their physical energy and selflessly of their financial resources in creating a training program for orphanage staff and other child welfare professionals in Kyrgyzstan.   It is greatly expanding. David and I will be going this fall and hoepfully next spring to help in the training effort there.  I asked Ruby recently, what would you think about having a “Support a Training Day” fund raiser.


Arugla, one of our team spends time with these four little fellows at a small orphanage in Tokmok

While in country, David and I will have a very full training schedule.  We will be training orphanage caregivers, psychologists, foster parents and relief staff on what trauma does to a child and more importantly what a “trauma competent HEALING caregiver” looks like.  

Here is our schedule:
September 5-7 – Youth facility workers managing the care of teens ages 15 and 15  SOS Children’s Village in Bishkek
September 10-12 – Karakol Orphanage - an orphanage about 5 hours from our home base.
September  12-15 – Foster parents at SOS Children’s Village – Bishkek
September 19-21  - SOS psychologist, staff and social workers , SOS Children’s Village


Would you consider helping to cover the costs related to training?   About  $50.00 a day will provide materials and resources  to those who impact the lives of orphans whose lives have been tragically disrupted by abuse, neglect and trauma. 

If you are interested, you can simply click on the donate button on the right and designate   “support for training.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Turning to Kyrgyzstan

After a very full work schedule this spring, we are now in the process of finalizing plans to return to Kyrygzstan this September.  We will be sharing the details of this very targeted trip in the days ahead....it has to do with equipping those who care for children in orphanages.  We believe God has equipped us far beyond our expectations through our training experience in May with Dr. Karyn Purvis and her staff at the Child Institute of Development. 

More information coming.....thanks for caring and supporting....

Adoption Foster RX: Solutions for Wounded Familes

It began with a phone call 18 months ago from Terry Meeuwsen, co - host of The 700 Club.  "I have just finished reading a book called Wounded Children, Healing Homes and would like to talk with you and your husband about an idea," she said.  We met in Virigina Beach in January of 2011 and what resulted was a video teaching series for adoptive and foster families. 

This 7 session DVD, which features Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. Wendy Flowers, Michael and Amy Monroe along with David and me, can be used as a support group study or for individual families struggling with parenting children with a history of trauma.  To get more information about this DVD project, click on the link below the picture. 


                                                   http://www.orphanspromise.org/adoptiondvd/

We are so thankful to God for the opportunity to participate in this support tool for adoptive/foster families.

Monday, May 28, 2012

One Never Knows - An Update on a Komoz

It all began with a simple question from a little girl living in an orphanage in Tokmok.  "Would you buy me a komoz?"  (the national instrument)

We replied,  "we have a more fun idea - let's learn to earn."  So, working with the orphanage director, the children spent a week "learning to earn."


Here are the pictures from last spring -
                                                                       The director
                                            The children's work plan - successfully completed
                                                            Waiting for their komozes
                                                         The instruments arrive....

NOW THE UPDATE

We just received this from one of the professors at IUCA who works in the orphanage:

Hello Jayne,

Hope you and your family are doing very well. I know that I don't write to you very often due to work load, but today I just cannot stop myself. I have a piece of news for you and I couldn't wait to share it . A couple of weeks ago I was visiting our kids from the "Beikut Yiu" orphanage and when we were talking about their hobbies they remembered about two komuzes "they have earned". According to them it was difficult but worthwhile :). They also said that someone have presented them a piano, and now some of them are taking piano classes. On Sunday when I was observing students teaching the director asked one of the boys (Syimyk) to leave the class and send him to banya. When I asked her later what was going on she told me that Syimyk was going to Turkey to take part in an international contest. A few best komuz player from Kyrgyzstan were selected and our boy is one of them! It would never happen if your weren't there! Who knows, maybe those komuzes will give him a chance in his life and Syimyk will become a famous musician one day!

Best regards,
Natasha


We are so thrilled to hear from Natasha....and just ignites a bit of homesickness for us! Those instruments were purchased with financial gifts from our friends at home.

An Incredible Time of Learning

Over the past number of months, David and I have been on a different type of journey.  It has one in which we have had the opportunity to learn from some of the most dynamic teachers/trainers dealing with childhood trauma- Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross and the team at  the Child Institute of Development in Fort Worth, Texas.

We just returned from a five day clincial intensive on trust based relational intervention (T.B.R.I.). Our learning and experience there will transform everything we do.  During the summer months, we will be integrating this into our trauma training here in the US, with the hope to be able to train this same material in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and beyond in the months ahead.

Although we have been "assigned" the homefront right now for this period of development and work, our hearts are never far from the precious folks in Kyrgyzstan.  We are planning a September trip in 2012 and more in the spring of 2013 as God leads.

Please check out the Wright blog and the LAMb blog for the exciting things happening every day...

www.actofkindness.blogspot.com         www.lambinternational.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Amazing Week and So Proud of ILDC

Time has flown so quickly, and we wanted to get pictures up of David's time in Kyrgyzstan, but that has slipped by us.

This week we had the opportunity to do some training in northern California before heading to the Christian Alliance for Orphans conference in southern California.  During the conference the DVD series entitled Adoptive/Foster RX: Solutions For Wounded Families was released by CBN's Orphan Promise. David and I had the opportunity to share on this teaching series, which will be available to the public in June. During the conference, we both had the privilege of sharing in two workshops - Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child and Four Things Your Church Needs to Know about Being a Safety Net for Foster/Adoptive Families.  Our friend and adoptive/bio mom of four, Heather Bench joined us in this workshop.

Of all the exciting things, a highlight to us was seeing and hearing our friends from Ukraine represent the work there.   Oleg, who is the Director of the International Leadership and Development Center (a branch work of LAMb International) spoke in a workshop talking about ILDC's training work in that country.  I was so proud of him as he spoke with such authority and clarity.  Ruslan, the president of Alliance: Ukraine without Orphans project, and also a dear friend spoke both in a workshop and in the closing general session.  What is not known to that crowd is the major work done by LAMb International in terms of training and bringing best practice to this country.  It just was awesome to see them and hear them and know what LAMb/ILDC has been able to accomplish.

Here are just a few pictures of our time there-
 While walking through the exhibits, I had the chance to meet and talk with these children, part of a children's choir touring the US.
 Ruslan, Oleg and Ivan from Russia, address the workshop on orphan care in the former soviet union.
 Oleg share the mission and vision of ILDC!
 Our friends from Ukraine address the general closing session.
Ruslan shares with the large crowd that 6,000 churches in Ukraine celebrated Orphan Sunday last November.

What did we gain from the conference?  We now understand at a greater depth the explosive work of God throughout the world as He is calling His Body - the Church - into action to do something about the massive orphan crisis around the world.  Again, we come away with a deeper level of being "divinely ruined" and a desire for God to continue to use us in His kingdom work.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Major Changes for LAMb In Kyrgyzstan

We are excited for the new  and exciting changes ahead for LAMb...

Please visit the LAMb blog for the latest: www.lambinternational.blogspot.com

Just a few moments ago ( Friday evening 10 pm here), I talked with David via skype. He is having a tremendous time.  He had to leave as the LAMb team, all of them, were heading to visit a new orphanage to serve.  He has had a number of opportunities to speak, including this Easter Sunday at the Chinese Church.  David also shared that some exciting days are ahead for IUCA as more support is gained from around the world.  What a privilege for us to be in on the beginning steps of this young university.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Don't Miss These Updates from the LAMb Team

Today, Ruby and Lynn met our little girls at Dayspring.  Please visit their blog to see these beautiful little girls.

http://lambinternational.blogspot.com/


David is in Kyrgyztan with the Johnstons and Wrights so I will be posting their daily blog (with a lot of envy:) )  David's time there will be shared between Mercy Foundation needs and the IUCA (International University of Central Asia.)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Strengthening Families Ukrainian Adoption Conference Finished Today

What an incredible joy to be here. David and I spent this weekend at the "Strengthening Families Christian Adoption Conference" in Kiev, Ukraine.  Over 200 adoptive parents from all over Ukraine journeyed to Kiev by car, bus or train to attend. Most of these families are parenting wounded children and came looking and hoping for support and encouragement. We pray that is what they received.

For details of this weekend's events, please visit our partner's blog - www.lambinternational.blogspot.com

Here are some of our pictures as well..


We arrived last Thursday afternoon and had dinner with the conference organizers.  L to R  Ruby Johnston, co-founder of LAMb, Galina and Oksana, from CBN Ukraine, Kristy Weber, adoptive mom and wife of CBN Ukraine president, Steve Weber, Dr. Ronda Weber from the US and Karen Springs, conference chairman, from CBN Ukraine.



                                                                Registrations begins.


                                                      Opening night on Friday night....

 
Translation of the events...


Dr. John  Bergeron, Lynn Johnston, co-founder of LAMb and David share on a panel.


I had the opportunity to do a general session on the factors of success for healthy adoptive families.


Families from southern Ukraine... Vika in pink next to Ruby, is LAMb, adoption advocate throughout Ukraine. She not only shares about the need for adoptive families through churches in Ukraine, but trains new parents and provide post adoption support. She is amazing.


                                                                    More families

Our book, Wounded Children, Healing Homes was translated into Russian due to the generosity of a donor and was placed in the reception bag of every participant.


What a privilege this weekend has been.  I head home in a few hours and David, Lynn and Ruby head off to Kyrgystan for ministry there. We sat making plans today for the potential of a training trip in September to Kyrgyzstan and in 2013 to  Ukraine. The foucs of those will be on building a trauma informed program for social workers and families.