FUNDS ARE STILL ARRIVING - AND WE ARE BLESSED BY YOU ALL over $10,000 was raised for LAMb - Christmas for 2000 in Kyrgyzstan (see blog below) over $40,000 was raised for designated use for LAMb matched funds of $25,000 by anonomyous donor THANK YOU SO MUCH - WE WANT YOU TO STAY TUNED TO WATCH THE FUNDS BEING USED - WATCH OUR TEAM MEMBER BLOGS AS WELL TO SEE THE WORK OF MINISTRY IN ACTION:
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM BRAZIL! FELIZ NATAL (Português)
LAMb is in Brazil for Christmas and New Years. Lynn and Ruby are visiting family and ministry does not stop. We have shared here in Uberlandia (NOT FAR FROM BRAZILIA) with the English church about the ministry and on January 2, 2011 we will share again with the Brazilian church. Ruby will give a 10 minute overview of LAMb International and Lynn will preach the service for the church. This is a church of about 1000 and has been in existence for just 6 years.
And of course we are checking out the orphanages and will give a full report soon.
Carrie and Jen - blessing Dayspring with a GREAT CANDLE BUSINESS! RAISED OVER $2800 TOWARD THE DAYSPRING FAMILY LIFE RESOURCE CENTER!
check out the Schooler blog: www.dandjschooler.blogspot.com
TEAM MEMBERS PASTOR DAVID AND JAYNE! have been actively seeking support for Dayspring Family Resource Center in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan and through their efforts of sharing - have been blessed by their friends from Ohio - Jen and Carrie have been making candles for sale, giving profits to Dayspring. They have helped LAMb reach the matched funds. In fact, their $2800 turned into $5600! What a gift.
THANK YOU CARRIE, JEN, DAVID AND JAYNE. YOU ARE TRUE LAMPLIGHTERS FOR KYRGYZSTAN
- blessing Dayspring with their friends from Ohio.
Sergae helping children with a new delivery for their orphanage - a new tv. Thank you Sergae for serving children for us in Kyrgyzstan in our absence!Thank you John and Julie for setting it all up!
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS ARE BEING SENT TO KYRGYZSTAN....
We want to thank you so much for the donations that have arrived for the sharing of Christmas with our dear families and friends in Kyrgyzstan. Our team has great helpers on the ground in Kyrgyzstan getting ready to deliver the love of Jesus to 2000 orphans. Watch our team members blog and get all the updated details:
LAMb INTERNATIONAL THANKS YOU - FROM MEDINA AND HER FAMILY...
The story of Medina is awesome. A family that has shown how hope and dignity restored makes a difference in their lives. After the make over in their tiny apartment - done by a team from Barrie, Ontario, this family continues to stretch for change. We have dropped in on them unexpectedly many times - and find the children well cared for, the home neat and tidy and of course continued needs everywhere. They do not have running water in their home, no bathroom, no real refrigerator, no cooking stove and a very small space for them. Yet, they OWN their apartment. We have given them beds, bedding and kitchen supplies like dishes and pans. We painted walls, doors, windows and put down new carpets, new curtains and made changes in the poor broken floors and walls to bring a fresh look to their surroundings.
Yet - little Median needed more - she needed a surgery to change her appearance - to keep others from laughing at her - to keep her in school and from being sent to a home for disabled children! Now - as Jayne's blog reports - it is done. Our staff - Natasha has done a great job coordinating this in our absence. We are blessed and honored to have donors who step to the plate when needed - just as this need was met. We thank you!
Our team in Kyrgystan is awesome - John and Julie Wright with their girls, Pastor David and Jayne Schooler. We work together to serve - "just showing up and stopping for the one in front of us."
YOU CAN JOIN A SHORT TERM MISSION TEAM THIS SPRING - WANT TO HELP US BUILD A PLAYGROUND? DAYSPRING NEEDS A DONOR FOR THE PLAYGROUND AND FOR WORKERS TO PUT IT TOGETHER!
I am taking this format to answer all of you who have sent information to me or to John about Katya. Let me tell you what I know. There are several people working with her in Krivoy Rog. She claims her adoptive parents sent her back to Ukraine - but gave her two options before sending her back - go to a "boot camp" or go back. She choose to go back as she did not know what a "boot camp" was. She identifed lots of conflict between herself and her parents.
The US Embassy contacted the orphanage.The director said she planned this herself and is very manipulative. No matter if she is or isn't manipulative, she is 18, has not finished high school and was sent/allowed to leave the country of her citizenship with a few hundred dollars in an envelope. She is wanting to return to the US.
I have talked to her mother and the situation has been difficult there in the home for 6 years. Her mother claims she has an attachment disorder and a personality disorder. She was a good student for the most part - although she did not apply herself. She had only a few friends and seemed to be able to make friends but not keep them for long. Her mother admits she does not want her back into the family. She also admits she put her on the plane after a "blow up" in the family.
The people working with her in Ukraine say she is a nice girl and really is distressed over what to do with her life. She knows she cannot do well staying in Ukraine since she does not have the language, connections or even the desire to be there. For someone to care for her - they would need to understand this might be a very difficult situation. If indeed she has an attachment disorder - she might be very distant in the relationships in the family and this can be extremely stressful for someone wanting to serve and give of themselves. This is a situation where LOVE DOES NOT take care of all the issues. I want to be as accurate and upfront as possible when sharing what I know and what is being shared with me.
I have talked to Katya and can hear her confusion, and her desire to be settled. And talking to her mother for a very long time does give another side of the story that clearly identifies Katya as having been difficult to live with. Please do not be discouraged - she needs someone who is realistic and will work with her for a time to get her settled and through her high school education. I don't want to paint a rosy picture where there will most likely be some very stressful days should one of you decide you want to move forward and help her.
And it appears that EVERYONE is telling the truth - both sides of the ocean.
Thank you - please let me know your thougts.
All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words; freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. Sir Winston Churchill
<^)\\\\>< Ruby M. Johnston Director of International Field Operations Institute for Human Services - Canada and <^)\\\\>< J. R. Lynn Johnston President LAMb International Canada BN817007042RR0001 Lynn and Ruby Johnston 406-33 Ellen Street
WE ARE MOVING TO A 100% COMPLETION OF THE MATCHED FUNDS
YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO GET IN ON THE FUN! WHO WILL TAKE US OVER THE $25,000?? Remember - you can dontate for our PIE IN THE FACE CHRISTMAS PROJECT FOR THE ORPHANS OF KYRGYZSTAN AND THIS COUNTS TOO! see: actofkindness.blogspot.com or just hit the button and tell us it is for the PIE IN THE FACE PROJECT WITH JOHN AND JULIE WRIGHT....
KATYA HAS HER PASSPORT. She is with one of our partners in Ukraine, staying in an apartment with another young woman. We have her there until the US Embassy can meet with her. They will let us know about bringing her back to the US. The US Embassy has offered to buy her ticket home - we would just have to pay them back for this. This is what she wants. Keep in mind - she is 18 - likely functioning at an emotional age of 12 - the age when she was adopted. She is likely not able to figure all this out by herself - she is still a child.
Our next step is to continue to hear from you all - about her situation. How might you help? We have been receiving some suggestions of where she might live once she returns to the US. Let's keep in mind she will undoubtably need counseling and help working through the education system. It is not going to be an easy road with her once she is back and with a family. We can all work together to do the best we can - ultimately Katya will need to take some responsibility - as she settles and stabilizes. But first - we need commitment from a family, a place for her to return to - one that is realistic in their expectations. This might be a very difficult placement for a time as all the issues are worked out.
She is in good hands right now in Ukraine. She no longer is under the "rule" of the orphanage. Our staff will work with her to extend her stay in Ukraine until we work out the US return with the US Embassy. The Embassy will do the investigation on the situation - that is their job, not ours. We are focused on Katya and her needs at this time.
Thanks to our partners in Ukraine, our team members John and Julie - together we will not be stopped.
HER NAME IS KATYA. We have been working on a difficult sitution here in Ukraine. There is a young American girl who is presently at an orphanage not by her choice. She was adopted from Ukraine when she was in grade 6. She turned 18 in August of this year and in October 2010 her adoptive parents put her on a plane and sent her back to Ukraine. We have heard her story and it is sad. She is receiving help from a church in Krivoy Rog as well as other individuals in Ukraine. She now has no place to return to in the US and had no idea of what she will do. The US Embassy has been contacted and they are aware of the situation and are planning to do a thorough investigation of the situation.
Our staff are doing what they can do as well. We have found a place for her to stay here in Ukraine until she can return to the US, but she is running out of time to leave the country. Foreigners can only stay three months and then need to leave and then they can re-enter. Although she was born in Ukraine, she is now considered a foreigner. Her citizenship is US and she wants to return, but has no one to help her in the US.
This is where we place the call to our friends, family and bloggers. Is there anyone out there willing to take a risk and help? Her story is one of constant conflict, verbal abuse and lack of emotional support. She claims she was a Magna student (can easily be confirmed). She was to graduate this year, but was sent back before this could take place. She will likely lose most of her school year. She claims she was sent back with only hours notice - afraid of what the alternatives were for her.
All persons working with her in Ukraine claim she is a nice girl - very upset at this, does not know the national language of Ukrainian and speaks "weak" Russian. In fact her Russian is at a grade 6 level. She wants to return home to the US. She sees no hope with her adoptive family.
Please consider this, pray for this siutation and let us know if you have any ideas. You can contact us at our email address - we believe this young woman deserves to have this help. One cannot make decisions alone when you are 18 - in a foreign country - facing the unknowns - and just plain scared.
As we have reported before, we trained four different persons to do a standardized, best-practice training program for prospective adoptive parents. This is something that has never been done in Kyrgyzstan before.
The program we use was developed by the Institute for Human Services - our partner in Ohio. This training program prepares the adoptive parents for adoption and promotes a better understanding of the issues children have who are coming from orphanages, child abuse and disruption in their birth families.
The four trainers we developed in Kyrgyzstan are professionals who have a great desire to change the present process for national adoption. The director of a baby home, her Social Worker, the local state Social Worker and our team member are all trainers for this program.
This is a great update from our "on the ground" person in Kyrgyzstan.
I want to update you. The adoption training ended very well. The parents were very appreciative and grateful to all the trainers. A couple of them said that the training changed their thinking about a secret of adoption. They said they would tell their babies the truth as soon as they begin to understand. They said a lot of warm and good words about the training. Also they said that from the training they got answers to their questions that they had and didn’t know whom to ask to and that now they are completely ready to adopt a baby and don’t have any doubts. We gave them certificates and Janell said that with them the parents wouldn’t have any problems at court, a judge will give them permission with no questions. I took some pictures but when I got home I found out that the pictures didn’t come out, I think the batteries were weak. But Dr. Tatyana promised to take a few pictures for you when the parents get their babies.
THIS ONCE AGAIN - HELPS US BELIEVE - KYRGYZSTAN WITHOUT ORPHANS - PLEASE BELIEVE WITH US!
Anya and Oleg presenting to potential partners of ILDC.
ADOPT UKRAINE IS ALIVE AND WELL! We are excited about the work of Adopt Ukraine. This project/activity of LAMb has been very inspirational and successful. Vika Melinchenko is our person on the ground in Ukraine that keeps this moving. Right now she is working with 10 families -helping them understand the special needs of the orphans and helping them make an informed decision about adoption. We will be gathering her pictures and stories this week as we work together to make our next plans for promoting adoption through presentations in the churches.
Lots happening in Ukraine this week and the weeks to come for the rest of the year!
1. Leadership Training - for the NGO Every Child. 2. Strategic Planning with the NGO - Alliance for Ukraine Without Orphans 3. Working with ILDC staff in preparing for training, consultation, etc. 4. Preparing for the upcoming training with the NGO - AGAPE in Kherson, Ukraine 5. Presentation of numerous trainings around the country - now BEING DONE BY TRAINERS WHOM WE HAVE TRAINED - NATIONALS DOING THE WORK!
Finally, we return the end of the week from Ukraine and then are heading to Brazil to be with family over Christmas. We pray blessings for each of you during this wonderful season celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Stay tuned for another update from KG and the following of the matched funding! Watch our growth on the left side of the blog! We are moving toward a successful completion of the match - there is still a need for more to join in - might you want to take the challenge? Here is how:
FIRST - meet the pie challenge of our team members John and Julie Wright - go the their blog and donate or join the challenge: www.actofkindness.blogspot.com
SECOND - hit the Canada Helps button on the left side of this blog and donate here.
ALL GO TOWARDS THE MATCHED FUNDS - REMEMBER THIS FUNDER IS ANONYMOUS AND HAS OFFERED $25,000 in matched funds. So, we raise $25,000 and the funder puts in another $25,000.
This video has been on my heart for some time. Tonight - it needed said. We are returning to Ukraine on Saturday to do training and to work with our team there.
We pray you will join our challenge and reach out to the laborers in the field. This team in Ukraine needs your help, the Kyrgyzstan team needs your help. We have been greatly blessed with the support of many - generous support that is moving us quickly to our match. This is an awesome miracle and we thank you so much for caring and sharing.
We started Adopt Ukraine several years ago as a direct request from Pastor Gregory from the Church of Praise in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine. We had been sharing in his church about the orphan situation in Ukraine. There were over 1000 people in church that day that heard the message of the orphan. After we left, Pastor Gregory was inundated with people wanting to know more about Adoption. He felt lost as to what to tell them. It was then he made a decision - talk to us about what we had started and ask us to do something about it!
So at a dinner one evening he brought forth the question, "Lynn and Ruby, you have caused me some problems. You have talked to my church about adoption and we do not know what to tell them. You need to fix this problem and give me someone to talk to them."
That leD us to Vika Melinchenko. We hired her full time and she became our project manager for what was to become Adopt Ukraine. She has been an incredible asset ever since. She works with people in Ukraine who are considering adoption and don't know how to negotiate through the maze. She haS had tremendous success in keeping children with their birth families where safety could be assured, many adoptions have gone forth with her efforts and she has been in court on countless cases to protect the rights of children to have families. She has fought hard for many different parents who have been challenged by the system and were close to losing their children.
Adopt Ukraine is a success. Vika is the manager of this. Pastor Gregory was the catalyst to this. And we? We are just the incredibly honored people whom God has called to encourage this and to keep you informed of the good work being done in Ukraine for children.
And if you want to help this project? Every donation received from November 1 through December 31 will be matched. Giving $100, becomes $200. Our match is for $25,000. That means if we raise $25,000. There is another $25,000 that will be added to the general fund of LAMb International.
What is the goal? UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS! BELIEVE WITH US. 2015 IS GOING TO LOOK MUCH DIFFERENT IN UKRAINE THAN WHAT WE SEE TODAY.
FAMILIES - NOT ORPHANAGES!
check out the blog for Adopt Ukraine: www.adoptukraine.blogspot.com
Preparing to teach the Cycle of Trust to the prospective adoptive parents in Kyrgyzstan! TRAINING IN KYRGYZSTAN FOR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS – WHAT A SUCCESS…. (Here is the report from Natasha – our on the ground person in Kyrgyzstan)
As you know yesterday and today we were doing adoptive parents training, we are doing it at Dr.Tatyana’s Baby Orphanage. All these two days there were 3 mothers and one father (four families) and one more family is going to join them next week. One mother had her oldest daughter with her to be trained too, because she is old enough to understand that there will be a new baby in their home and the girl wants to be at the training she found it very interesting for herself.
In the beginning the group of parents thought that it would be a waste of their time and that they knew everything they needed to know. But then they saw how excited we were and listened to interesting content of the training and they changed. Now they keep repeating that it’s very useful and interesting information and they say they knew nothing about adoption and needs of children from orphanages.
We do 2 modules a day (6 hours). Janell did Module I, and I did Module II, Lena did Module III, and Dr. Tatyana did Module IV. Everyone was doing well. Now we know the content much better. We all were speaking loud enough and were well articulated.
They gave many examples from their work and experience that matched the content of each Module. Also we showed the parents the “Daddy” video and it touched their hearts. In addition I printed out handouts for them. The parents like to do different activities; they are very active and very excited about their new babies.
I think those were very useful and successful 2 days. Next time we are meeting on Friday and Saturday.
The report is exciting for many reasons. In Ukraine we are working together with many different NGO’s to bring to reality UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS IN 2015 and we believe we can carry this movement into Kyrgyzstan too. How will this be done? Consider this:
1. We work with the churches and help them to create an orphan ministry. 2. We work with local authorities to help them see the way to recruit and train prospective adoptive parents. 3. We advocate strongly for International Adoption. 4. We gather interested persons and train them on the ways to work with families and children. 5. We distribute lots of literature and books we have in the Russian language about strengthening families and working with children – like: a. The Field Guide to Child Welfare, by Judy Rycus and Ron Hughes b. Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child, by Jayne Schooler and Betsy Keefer c. Wounded Children, Healing Homes, by Jayne Schooler and Betsy Keefer d. Step by Step Booklets e. Life Skills
These are just a few of the ways we can help. Here are the pictures of Natasha and the team on the ground there conducting the THIRD GROUP of prospective adoptive parents in Kyrgyzstan – moving closer to a KYRGYZSTAN WITHOUT ORPHANS!
MATCHED FUNDS ARE FROM NOVEMBER 1 – TO DECEMBER 31. If you or someone you know is thinking of making any donations in honor of loved ones for Christmas, the matched funds will be doubled in their honor!
Our donor is anonymous and has offered $25,000 in matched funds. That means we raise $25,000 and our donor gives another $25,000. That is $50,000 toward the work of our LAMb Team! What a blessing. We hope you would prayfully consider joining in on the match!
Abandoned at birth - adopted at five months! She is NOT an orphan!
WHAT A MAJOR EXCITING MOMENT IN TIME!
Imagine over 500 people at a conference all committed to seeing a Ukraine Without Orphans in 2015! Believe it! There is an environment here of "we can do this!" Families are telling their adoption stories, tears are flowing, hope is building and today - again I see how Ukraine can lead the former USSR in showing others how to divert children from orphanages.
The churches are being challenged to get involved and take on the heart of the orphan. Each speaker is sharing the hope and the passion to see a mobilized partnership of NGO's joining together and creating a NEW REALITY for children waiting for families - for children who would otherwise be quickly placed into an orphanage.
Today - we have made a giant step forward following James 1:27.
James 1:27 (New International Version) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Join us - find the HOPE to support this MOVEMENT - UKRAINE WITH ORPHANS. There is a FAMILY FOR EVERY CHILD. And what then is next? KYRGYZSTAN WITHOUT ORPHANS!
You can help - join our matched funding challenge and help us help them - November 1 - December 31 is the time frame our anonomyous donor gave us. We now have over $7000 and that means $14,000 with the matched funds. Wow and Praise God.
THE RESPONSE IS BEGINNING....THE CHALLENGE IS BEING ACCEPTED. Let's make a difference for children and families - let's bring hope and dignity to those feeling hopeless and lost. Can we believe the matched funds to it's full matching - $25,000 that becomes $50,000. WOW. How do we help those who are lost, hopeless and just waiting?
WE KNOW THE ANSWER - and you can help us deliver it. With the chance of raising $50,000 in two months we can see such a wonderful opportunity for 2011 and the ministry of LAMb International. Just think!
Seniors honored and loved. Children given hope and family. Parents encouraged and shown the true light. The disabled given dignity.
LAMb International has an awesome team ready to take on the challenge:
Pastor David and Jayne Schooler John and Julie Wright with daughters Don and Johanna Buchman Kim and Randy Gebele Adam and Jenny Buchman Katherine Hallick Lynn and Ruby Johnston
Plus our on the ground team members: Ukraine - Oleg, Maxim, Anya, Costa, Olga, and Vika Kyrgyzstan - Natasha, Hymanot, Larissa, Acel, Tanya
Each person has unique gifts and talents. We thank God for each and everyone of them, plus our partners:
Institute for Human Services Father's House Mercy Foundation Alliance Christian Broadcasting Network Dayspring Family Christian Mapleview Community Church
AND OUR MANY MANY SPONSORS - LIKE YOU! PRAISE GOD FOR EACH OF YOU.
$25,000 CAN BECOME $50,000 This is a really big opportunity for each and everyone of our supporters and friends to make an impact for LAMb International. We have an anonymous donor who has offered MATCHED FUNDING FROM NOVEMBER 1 TO DECEMBER 31. This is non-restricted and wll be matched up to $25,000.
JUST THINK - A DONATION OF $100 BECOMES $200 A DONATION OF $2,000 BECOMES $4000
If we can raise the $25,000 - then that means LAMb starts 2011 with $50,000.
We are asking - can you help?
This is an amazing gift and opportunity.
THANKS DONOR - WE CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO EXPRESS OUR FEELINGS ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL GIFT. you can hit the donate button on this blog and it is done!
FABULOUS WEEK WITH SOME SUPER PEOPLE! We are heading back to North America tomorrow, leaving this side of the world. We arrived Kyrgyzstan in early September and leave tomorrow for home. Yet really where is home? Is it Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, USA? Where is home.
We leave here saddened yet rejoicing in all that is happening within the field of child welfare. God has called us to this work and we are amazed at how different threads of the tapastry are woven together with so many different people.
Four very young staff here - working hard to make a difference - committed to Ukraine Without Orphans. One very young staff in Kyrgyzstan working deligently to ensure there is a Kyrgyzstan Without Orphans and all the other people who help us on the ground. NGO's, churches, pastors, teachers, volunteers, other missionaries and even the families and children we serve. And of course our wonderful team and partners.
Then there are all of you - our sponsors who encourage us - when the day ends and we put our heads on the pillow and in the dark of the night - and cry out from the deepest parts of our hearts about the hurts we see, the pain we feel and the hopelessness we so want to stop...we think of your words, your gifts and your consistent caring about those we love.
We are ending time with our Ukraine team - heading to a warm, comfortable and beautiful home. But our hearts? We already CRAVE TO RETURN. It is what it is.
THE DONOR FOR ARAFAT RESPONDED IMMEDIATELY. This surgery is COVERED. Thanks so much. Look at the blog from our team member David and Jayne that tells the story: We had visited a number of times in a small village during our time here in 2008, but we never saw him. It wasn't until a visit to that village in the spring of 2009, that we met Arafat, a toddler with a severe cleft palette. He had been kept hidden from the outside world because of his problem. One afternoon, his parents cautiously brought him out for us to see...and the rest is history. We posted the need for his surgery on our blog. Within a few hours, finances came into cover his first surgery and the aftercare. First surgery was completed successfully. Now this fall, our young friend is having his second surgery, which will begin the work on closing the pallete. On Wednesday, the day before his procedure, we stopped in the hospital to see him and his beautiful young mom. Dad planned to come for the day of the surgery as he was home with a younger brother. TO OUR DONOR - WE THANK YOU SO MUCH AND YOU CAN BE ASSURED ARAFAT AND HIS FAMILY THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF THEIR HEART!
Delivering Field Guides to Brovary Social Services Director - Lubov!
Sunshine has returned to SUNSHINE - delivering Field Guide to the director - Annya!
WE GIVE THEM AWAY AND THEN THEY GIVE THEM AWAY - SO WE GIVE THEM MORE AND MORE AND MORE.
Yesterday was a very full day as we continuted taking our Kyrgyzstan visitors to different projects to study how they (Ukraine agencies) are working together to keep children out of the orphanages. At every stop we took more resources for them - some of these resources were written materials that help them better understand how to work with families and children. We delivered many sets of the Field Guide to Child Welfare.
One stop really touched us. We were at Sunshine (a family type home) and took in a set of the Field Guides. I had given them sets some time before, but know that one more set for them would go to good use. When the director saw the guides, she was quick to share her glee - as she was just wishing she had more...as hers were now gone. Why? Well, there had been visitors from Moldova and they spied her Field Guides saying they would give anything to have such resources. So, off the went the sets to Moldova, leaving Sunshine "cloud!" and sad...to have no guides.
Now, no Field Guides were available to their own staff - UNTIL - THE FIELD GUIDE DELIVERER ARRIVED - VOILA! We had stock and it is FREE. Thank you Institute for Human Services for this valuable resource - which is NOW IN MOLDOVA, RUSSIA, KAZAKHASTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, BELARUS, CANADA, USA, UKRAINE, AND WHO KNOWS WHERE ELSE? Until the FIELD GUIDE DELIVERER RETURNS....
A COUNTRY OF CONTRASTS ---THE BEAUTY AND THE REALITY OF THE NEEDS
WE HAD A GREAT DAY TODAY.
We went to three major partners today. Stop 1: Soros Foundation to introduce our Kyrgyzstan visitors. While there we talked about a project to help Kyrgyzstan - first starting with another exchange - bringing about 10-12 Kyrgyz to Ukraine to learn from the Ukraine experience - doing this in possibly February and then in March conducting a conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to further the work in diverting children from orphanages. Soros is very interested in this project.
Stop 2: We met with State Social Services Deputy Director and she gave a very thorough overview of the Ukrainian foster care system - its strengths and weaknesses.
Stop 3: We met with the Director of Kiev City Children's Services and had another very thorough overview of what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Ukraine child welfare system. The team was overjoyed with the information they have received and are eager to put into action some of the suggestions and strategies discussed.
Tomorrow - we will take the team to Brovary - a town in the Kiev Oblast that has an integrated social services program - where partnership and collaboration are more than just nice words. We will hear how they have made collaboration a success and learn how they have been successful in keeping children from being placed into orphanages. Brovary places NO children into orphanages!
And then our final stop for tomorrow will be a model program called Sunshine, started by a couple from Switzerland. It is a wonderful program where children are living in a family environment. This home has had great success in the years it has been in existance.
Each day we are just praising God for His Grace and Mercy in allowing us to host these wonderful Kyrgyz professionals. Each day we see one step closer to realizing a KYRGYZSTAN WITHOUT ORPHANS AND A UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS.
WHAT A DAY. WE MET WITH TWO OF OUR PARTNERS AND DID WE EVER SEE THE INFORMATION FLOWING IN OUR "RIVER OF KNOWLEDGE!"
Our guests arrived from Kyrgyzstan yesterday without a problem. We have two professionals who work directly with children ensuring the rights of these children are protected. We met early this morning and started our week long learning time with them. First stop - Father's House. Here they met with the founder and president, Roman Korninko. A full presentation was given of how they work with street children, about their rehabilitation program and their family homes. The group even visited a family home and left Father's House amazed with the impact they have had on both children, families and the laws of Ukraine. This was a visit that clearly was just a beginning of the relationship between Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.
Second stop was lunch at McDonalds for our visitors. Not too educational, but there are NO McDonalds in Krygyzstan - so you might say this was just a cultural experience.
Third stop was to meet with the staff at Every Child - another one of our partners. They presented a top notch information program to help our visitors understand the full spectrum of child welfare where they work as an NGO to keep children out of the orphanages. It was an exciting day and tomorrow will be filled with three stops beside lunch.
We will visit Soros Foundation and discuss a project for the spring, visit state social services and learn about the Ukraine foster care system, and end our visit with Nickolai Kuleba who is director of Kiev City Children Services.
What a day we have planned...stay tuned for only more and more exciting possibilities for the changing of the lives of vulnerable childen.
A ROOM FULL OF PSYCHOLOGISTS eager to know more and learn more about working with families who adopt children and the children they are adopting. This was an action packed day with activites on disengagement, loss, a child's history and the reason it is important to tell children the truth about their adoption. The day was full of questions, stories and sharing. In addition there were many activites to help participants experience some of the feelings of children who are experiencing the loss of their history.
Perhaps the most important comment of the day was the person who said - "wow, so many things to think about, things I never thought about before." Might we say change occurs one little step at a time. We have always said the work of LAMb is one child and one family at a time - one person at a time! We are not looking for numbers - we are looking for change.
To each of you our supporters - you have made possible the influencing of all these psychologists during the training. Each one of them works with many families and children.
In the pictures you see the presentation of the Field Guide to Child Welfare being presented to the President of the Association of Psychologists. In addition, each person received a full set of the filed guides. Ruby and Lynn packed the sets and delivered them to the thrilled group. Each person also received a copy of the book Telling the Truth to Your Foster and Adopted Child - by Betsy Keefer and Jayne Schooler. You might say this group was just handed "JEWELS" for their future. We trust and pray every book will be the beginning of great things for the children and families these professionals serve.
Last Friday, just before we flew from Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine, Mercy Foundation celebrated their tenth anniversary. The children from many of Mercy's Christian schools came to the gym at the School of Blessing to perform. It was truly an amazing show. What is truly amazing is what has happened in ten years under the leadership and direction of Elder Yang. Mercy Foundation maintains several Christian schools, a school for the disabled, a resistential facility and a university, IUCA - International University of Central Asia. These schools are all registered with the government and provide a level of education that exceeds much of what is available in the country. We have had the privilege of working as consultants to Mercy Foundation in concert with M.F.'s president John Tsai and his wife Christa. As their programs continue to impact children in character building and life skills, we have begun to see "hope for the future" radiating from the faces of these children. It was a benchmark moment to see this celebration and the recognition of Elder Yang as the founder and inspiration for this vision.
Two weeks ago, we headed into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan for lunch. We are continually struck by the sharp contrasts in this country. Roads that are lumpy and bumpy, houses that need repair, are all surrounded by the unsurpassed beauty of snow capped mountains. After only a short drive from the highway, we found a green meadow by a mountain stream. A good place to have lunch nestled in a small valley surrounded by mountains. The only access was a very rutted, twisty gravel road. During lunch we were treated to sheppards at work, as their flock passed by. It comes as a bit of wake-up call to realize that a very common occupation in this country is being a sheppard. As we travel about here, we continually see sheep, cattle and horses on the roads as they make their way to and from pasture and, by the way, the animals have the right of way. It definitely redefines rush hour.
The sadness of children breaks our hearts - children who cannot live with their families due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Yet we pray to bring hope and happiness to the hearts of children who would otherwise be orphans in this country of Kyrgyzstan. This video speaks of the hearts we all have for children who will soon come to our Dayspring home....Let us prepare the best place possible for them. Let us teach and prepare them for families and for adulthood. Let us help them know who they are in Christ and what their special purpose in life is. Join us and dream!
Her name is Lubov and she is the director of the Brovary City Social Services - an integrated social services program. This program "shines" in how they are working in partnership for the benefit of families. In her city, no children are sent to orphanages!
Every Child leadership - Zanida,Vice Director from Every Child with Sveta the new Program Manager and our team working together to refine a Life Skills program for youth who are leaving the orphanages at 14 years of age. Starting one year before they leave, this will be a comprehensive, training, planning, and mentoring program. It is a BEGINNING of what they might/can do.
The entrance of our office - the reception area - ILDC is a reality. Our office in a central part of the city is a blessing for us. This office is owned by one of our founders and has been rented to us. We use this for space for both offices and for training, as it has a small training room in the center of the offices.
WHAT AN EXCITING TIME IN UKRAINE - the reality of ILDC is more than we could have ever imagined in 2004 when we first started working in Ukraine. At that time, we would show up and do training for those requesting this; working in churches, with Bible colleges, orphanages and workers who were committed to working with children and families.
Today, there is an organiztion, with national staff who are leading the same iniative. They organize training, consult with NGO's, work with leaders and provide services that will equip others to do the work necessary to strengthen families and protect children. This organization was founded by the Institute for Human Services from US, Father's House in Ukraine, CBN (Emmanual) in Ukraine and LAMb International from US/Canada.
Working in partnership and working to ensure quality, competency-based training and consultation is available is the goal of ILDC. The development of the ILDC team, the materials being used and the program model are all from the consultation, tools and resources that have been given by the Insitute for Human Services, based in Ohio. IHS published materials are being used all over Ukraine, most specifically the Field Guide to Child Welfare. IHS staff have traveled numerous times to Ukraine to provide training and consultation to help in the growth of ILDC and the work in the country.
Together with our partner organizations in Ukraine, we are working for a UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS. And we SEE PROGRESS.
Pictured above is Lubov - and they DO NOT SEND CHILDREN TO ORPHANAGES FROM THE BROVARY CITY SERVICES! They are committed to integrated services and keeping children in families. They do some amazing prevention work. She is a model for other cities and much legislation has been changed as a result of the work she does.
Also pictured above is a meeting with ILDC and EVERY CHILD leadership - working with together to clarify and strengthen a LIFE SKILL program for youth who are 14years of age and leaving the orphanages. EVERY CHILD has worked hard to help the different regions understand the need to keep children with families and to be the "gate keepers" from the flow of orphanage placement to a minimum. The success is evident and together we will move closer and closer to a