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.....