TRIBUTE TO DON
Years ago while in Ukraine - a large snow storm hit - we managed to get stranded at a church in Kiev. As we were waiting for and hoping for a taxi to get us to the place we were staying, we met Kristi Weber - wife of CBN Ukraine President, Steve Weber. Through the course of the long wait and long conversation, we were invited to attend a strategic meeting at CBN to contribute to the development of the Life Skill program for Ukraine. At this time, there were hopes and dreams, but not too many specific plans for the development of this program.
Tatiana Kristyenko was the person in charge of The Gift of Adoption at CBN and was coordinating the Life Skill meeting. We were asked to take the lead role in the writing and content part of the development of the program - to work with a guiding team in Ukraine and to produce a program that could be taught to orphans. The team in Ukraine, along with Don, Johanna, Lynn and Ruby worked for one year to produce the now widely used Life Skill training program.
Lynn and Ruby trained over 600 leaders in Ukraine, 65 in Kyrgyzstan, 45 in Russia. CBN and the Life Skill program continued to grow and the new leader Karen Springs along with her Ukraine team has carried the program to Moldova, Lithuania, Russia and all over Ukraine, teaching hundreds more. Last week, Johanna taught the program to trainers in Mazaltan, Mexico, And this week Ruby is teaching the program in Managua, Nicaragua.
During the development year Don spent hundreds of hours formatting, editing and working on the Life Skills before they were sent to Ukraine for review and further editing and cultureizing. Life Skills was a deep passion for Don. He strongly believed in the work and committed his year to this project, working with voice recognition into his computer. Don's disability did not hold him back. He lived with quadriplegia, he did not succumb to it. The last two weeks would be causing him to rejoice in his heart and spirit. Although he is not with us anymore - we rejoice for him. We honor him as being the "father" of our Life Skill program. If heaven allows for glimpse of this earth - I pray that God will give him the pleasure of seeing his efforts and the fruit that continues to grow. THANK YOU DON.