Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Friends in Armenia

Before we landed in Armenia to join Orphan's Promise Centers staffs, we sensed it was going to be a very special and unique time. It didn't take long to realize why.  We were so humbled and challenged by the stories of the men and women who work for Orphan's Promise. From severe life circumstances in soviet times through the devastating earthquake in the late 1980's to now, the older folks demonstrate the power of the gospel of Christ.  The younger ones, children of the previous generation are following their parents's example in serving the children and families of Armenia.  They are bringing the light of the Gospel to dark and devastated places and people.

We spent three days with them on how to minister most effectively to children who come from difficult home situations. It is the trauma series that we have had the privilege of sharing in a number of countries.  There was a lot of hard work, but a lot of laughing, too.

Here are some the picture highlights of a people we will remember and hope to see again.
Beginning the day...asking for God's favor and direction


LOTS OF GROUP PROCESSING ON THE SKILLS NEEDED TO BE A TRAUMA
 INFORMED OP STAFF MEMBER






CREATIVITY EVERYWHERE


Samson, one of the OP directors, demonstrating self -regulation technique

Members of one center's team

Karen Springs, the regional director of  Orphan's Promise shares.  

Pastor Rafael closes the training.  We listened to his incredible stories about life in soviet times. What strength these people have.

Our wonderful and competent translator, Liana.




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Orphan's Promise in Kiev

Orphan's Promise, a ministry of Christian Broadcasting Network,  is now ministering in different ways in over 60 countries around the world.  We have been totally taken aback by the breadth and the depth of the ministry. We have had the privilege of just a glimpse of the tremendous work that is going on.

Last week , we spent three days with the Ukraine Orphan's Promise staff. We followed up our trauma work from last year, focusing on teens and trauma and also training the group how to conduct Nurture groups, a focus of the work of Dr. Karyn Purvis. So much learning amidst so much fun!

Here are a few shorts videos of our time there.

video



An amazing group of young men serving the gypsy villages in western Ukraine really embraced the nurture groups. It was so much fun to see them use their creativity to teach new skills.  These men work in very difficult situations, extreme, extreme poverty and deprivation.  We saw pictures of their work - before and after.  When the light of Christ comes in, dark places become places of Light. 
Here is a short video of them teaching the nurture group rules: stick together, no hurts, have fun!




video




The Power of Yes and Connections Enhance Relationships

Trust based relationship principles, the power of saying yes and simply making connections are two powerful principles.  Two young people shared their stories on the third day of training after they learned these concepts.


Alonya's story

"Every night when I get home from work, my younger brother, who is 13, always asks me to use the computer.  always say no, because I don't want to get up and put in the password or even give him the password.  Tonight, after the training, he asked me the same question again when I got home. Tonight I said yes, got up and put in the password. He spent about 30 minutes on it and then turned to talk to me.  This was the first time in a very long time we had a meaningful conversation. It all happened because of the power of yes!"




Andrei's story -

"I have a 14 year old brother who has pretty much shut me out. Won't talk to me, just kind of mumbles.  I always thought it was his responsibility to initiate the conversation. After the training the day, I realized it was mine to connect. So last night, when I got home, I had making a connection with my brother as a priority. I sat down, started asking him about his day, his friends, school, etc....He opened up to me and we talked for over an hour. " 


We just love these stories and there were many more.  It is Wednesday afternoon here in Armenia and we leave very early in the morning (4:30 am flight) for Poland.  We will have pictures of the beautiful people of Armenia over the weekend.  Thank you for your interest and prayer support.