Friday, February 17, 2017

crops to market

Exciting times .. We have begun selling cucumbers into the market.  The vegetable stand beside our apartment heard about our cucumbers and bought a batch a couple days ago.  Later that night he called Jengish back and said that he wanted more, and will take all that we can grow.  He says everyone loves them and he is afraid that we will start selling to others so he will buy and distribute for us .   That will make things a hole lot easier for us then running around trying to find buyers .. he has connections with many of the other sellers so he will be our wholesaler .    Its exciting to see them in market . 

It seems like almost every day we are getting people contacting the farm to arrange to come out and see what we are doing, and possibly implement this as a model elsewhere.   There is always that struggle between business and Social enterprise , or responsibility.   Over the years We have been blessed with some incredible examples of business men and women who have strong businesses AND a strong care for the world around them.  The example that they have been to us has helped us to understand that it IS possible to do both, in fact by taking on that social responsibility , a business will prosper .. it has to, to meet the demand.  

One of the Universities in Bishkek is examining this, and Jengish has agreed to speak about this at a seminar looking at this very issue. 

As we look at the connection between business and social, we always need wisdom.   Take for example a struggling single father who has faced a long winter and has asked us to buy some of his animals from him so he can meet some needs.  We have to weigh out the balance between the available funds, and the needs of this family.  If we buy everything, we face two isues.. do we have the funds , and what will he be left with.  We would love to just give him the money and tell him to keep the animals, but in an honor based culture that would not be right.  I think that what is best is that as soon as we have the funds we will buy some, but pay top dollar for them.  and trust that we will be able to make some of that money back in the near future.  The other thing we will continue to do is work  to get that daycare / kindergarten  open so that the father can get back to work full time and this sweet little girl does not face the possibility of ending up in an orphanage .  

Something that has always stuck with me is what a friend told me once .. "We are blessed to be a blessing to others "  That is something for any business to remember.  

"God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors. "

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Welcoming Samat and his family to the farm.

As you will all have seen, the farm is continuing to grow, both in size and impact on those around us, Our barns are near capacity, we provide thousands of lbs of meat and produce to the orphanages, institutions and families in need,  the guest house is becoming more and more popular and the support of community projects is increasing.. 

These are all byproducts of the farm's main goal of providing life skills training and social development to those in need of a new start, focusing mainly on kids who have aged out of the orphanages and all government assistance.    To do this we recognise that we have some unique challenges.  This has been very difficult at times for all who work at the farm.  We have been praying some time about this and have had some ideas, and now the timing is right for us to bring on staff a "Child and youth worker"  someone who will have as their main focus working along side our kids keeping them moving in the right direction and helping them to understand and make right choices along the way.  We also were in need of someone that would be assistant to Jengish and Emma and be aware of the workings of the farm and be able to cover for them when they are away or not available. 

Today we are so excited to be able to announce that we have that position filled.  Many of you will know and lots will have met personally our God son Samat and his family.   They will be moving to the farm, and on April 1st Samat will begin working full time with us.  Samat has great management and personal skills.  He is a very hard worker, and already has a good relationship with many on the farm.  They respect him, and he shows great respect for them.  As well Samat  speaks Kyrgyz, Russian, Kazakh, and English. which will be great for Julie and I as well as visiting guests to the farm.  

   Samat in his current position with the TCF , works with  a lot of sporting programs for the less fortunate and struggling families.  Soccer, running and bike riding.  It is his desire to continue to be involved in this, and will be great for our kids on the farm.   

This will be a big step for us at the farm financially.  We know it is such a needed position for the sake of our kids, and can not think of a better person for the job.  If you would like to invest in the kids on the farm along with us,  we are looking for a few monthly sponsors to cover Samat's salary and expenses, as well as a few one time sponsors to help us get there accommodations ready for their move to the farm.   

Please continue to remember in prayer our Key workers ... they are what makes this such a special place. 

Emma and Jengish

They  are the owner operators of the farm.  They are the driving factor behind everything that happens on the farm .  


Samat is the Youth worker responsible for the health and well being of the kids as well as giving direction to them on a daily basis.  He will assist  Jengish with the business of the farm and Emma with the health and well being of the kids  


Aigoola oversees the day to day family operations , including food prep, canning, sewing personal care and other life skills with the kids .  But most importantly, she is the MOM  


Ulukbek is such a hard working man.  He is responsible for the care of the animals on the farm as well as the operation of the green house 


Nick is a full time student, and comes to help on the farm on weekends and holidays.  When he is not in school, working along side the other workers, he is responsible for the gardens .. planting, weeding, irrigating and harvesting.  He also speaks English so does a lot of translating for Julie and I and for visitors to the guest house.  

we are all very excited how things are moving forward, and know that Samat will be a great fit.. please join us in welcoming him to the farm family.  

thank you Samat for excepting this challenge and sharing the burden that will come with it.  YOU WILL BE BLESSED . 


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Week 8 green house update.

Well we are eight weeks after planting and things are coming along great ..  We do have a small problem with some sort of infestation .. it seems that the cucumbers closest to the doors have started disappearing ..  I think that the best approach before we try putting out poison is to just put some locks on the doors with a dozen kids just picking one or two a day it is becoming obvious ...  I can't really blame them .. they sure look good .  soon enough there will be plenty for everyone . 

We have started planting the tomatoes for the second green house.  We still need to put in the  heating system, the lighting and the air exchanges.  We thought it as best to work out ll the bugs with the first green house before we finish the second one .. all seems to be working well now so we are confident to move forward .    

We have started back onto the Kindergarten project in town.   We received a grant from the Rotary club  to do all the kitchen stuff.  Some of it arrived yesterday, and next week the big fridge and the commercial stove will be arriving . 

later this week we will be picking up the bunk beds as well . 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Following your own heart.

Things like this don't just fix themselves, or go away.  The problem is even that much greater when you are just barely surviving as it is, then your village is destroyed in the middle of the winter.  

Where do you start when this is what is left of your main street .  This has been so difficult for so many .  Even things like the first respondents do not have the necessary supplies and equipment to do the job  The first round of donations collected included things like food and gloves for the people helping with the rescue and clean up.  

I am really impressed with how so many have come forward to help out.   Even people that have so little realize how much they do have compared to those who have lost everything.   There are many including myself that would like to help, or would  help if asked.. the problem is how can we help ? 

 We have a friend in Tokmok that has taken an active roll in the efforts. 
You will recognize Marat as a community leader / activist that has been seen here on the blog many times helping families and people in need like Bubba Nadia who's home burned last spring.  

Marat is continuing the efforts  weeks after the disaster.  The collection of things is now on some basic supplies to try to help those who survived start over .  Today he shared about how a school in Tokmok has raised money and supplies to help kids from the village get back to school.    Marat writes ....

"Students and teachers at school gymnasium #1 collected school supplies (Notebooks, pens, pencils, albums), a bag of things, Soap-washing and cleaning products, and transferred 12700 Som,($185) also our friend-Canadian John Wright again Wired us $ 100"

Twice now we have been blessed to have some funds to send him in support.  Jengish has been helping out buy bringing the funds to purchase items that are in current need, but not collected in the donations.   I am sure that there is so much more that we could do to help. We have given $200 so far and I am starting to feel bad about that.  

I am almost afraid to get into the entire refugee debate here , but would like to point out that to resettle a refugee to Canada is upwards of $48 000 a person. This figure is based on the governments projected budget of 1.2 billion to resettle 25 000 of the current 65 000 000  refugees in the world.   It is great to be able to offer this fresh start to people, and most of all it makes us feel like we are doing something, but with the move comes a lot of stress adapting to a totally new way of life and new culture.  Now lets put this into perspective .. a family of six in Kyrgyzstan could be resettled into a new home with furniture  for about $10 000   to $12 000.     $2000 a person is just a fraction of the cost, and WAY less stress and disruption to what they know. 

I know that not all refugees have the option of being re settled in their own country or one with similar culture.  I know that for some the only option is to get excepted into refugee programs around the world. I am NOT in disagreement with our government working to help bring vetted refugees.   I would just ask that as we are fighting for the rights of refugees, we not over look some very real and tangible ways that we can make a difference. This is a global issue. People around the globe 
( including some in our own cities and towns ) need our help. 
We can't always wait for the government to do the right thing, that is such a difficult task as we all feel differently so it would be impossible for them to please everyone.  BUT we can all follow our own hearts and do what WE can do to reach out to the hurting, helpless and the lost. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We do not take it for granted .

      I am always grateful for all that we are able to accomplish through the support of so many, but about every thirty days that is exemplified for me.  I do not take it for granted when the end of the month comes and all the salaries and expenses are paid.  Every month when those needs are covered, I start to think about all the other things that were covered during the month ... and do not take them for granted. 

    I don't take for granted that when a few  families needs food and fresh milf for their babies that Jengish and Emma are able to pick out the best milk goat and give it to them. 

I don't take it for granted that when a family runs out of coal we are able to meet that need for them .

I don't take for granted that when there are so many families who don't even have any food to eat, we are able to bring them bags of groceries including a fresh duck.  
                                                                                 I don't take it for granted when the orphanages are facing a long winter we are able to deliver dome fresh meat to them 

 those late night calls when we hear of people in need and we can get there right away and bring food for them. I don't take that for granted.
 I don't take for granted that when the government makes it mandatory for all kids to have a different colour of uniform to attend school, we can move quick and make sure the  kids from the orphanages can go. 

 I don't take for granted that we have a freezer at the farm and that it is always full of meat ready to help out any families in need. 

I don't take for granted that the cellar is full of food put away for the winter, and ready to provide for others in need. 

I don't take for granted that we were able to support Aigoola when she was able to step in to keep a wonderful young boy out of the orphanage system.  He is doing so well on the farm, back in school, and the top of his class.. 

                                                         I don't take for granted families like Sidoola's who are such a blessing to us, heading up the building of the green house, and pouring into our kids on the farm every chance they get. 
                                                                                                                                   I don't take for granted all the vitamins that we are able to give out to people in need through our friends like Olga at her center, or Acel through several different organizations in the city 
I don't take for granted those that have donated so that kids like Marat not only is still able to see, but in a few weeks will have a final operation, so that he may even have his vision fully restored . 

                 I don't take for granted that we are able to be one step ahead of the needs so that when we are contacted by a young man saying that he has just turned 18 and wondering if he can still come to the farm, we can say yes. 

I don't take for granted our many co workers who daily reach out to those around us in the orphanages and institutions , and families in need. People like Acel and her family, Sergey and Anya and her family, Larissa and Tanya, Oleg and Vera, Vlady and Tatyana. all working tirelessly to be a blessing to others. 


 I don't take for granted that the farm is a place that has become a welcoming hub for people from all over the world,  where care and respect are shown to all. 

 I am thankful that in a couple weeks when the funds clear the bank, we will be taking possession of the ranch, a place were we will be able to continue to grow and be a blessing to so many in the years to come . 

I don't take for granted that every month we are able meet the payroll on the farm helping provide a sense of stability for our kids. kids who have had so much to worry about in their lives do not worry about what they will eat, where they will sleep, if they will get payed.  The will have a hope for the future.  

I don't take for granted that we are living in a land flowing with milk and honey !