Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 1, Almaty

Our team of 8 met in Chicago on Friday around 6 pm. Together we flew to Frankfurt and then on to Almaty. This time together was very significant for our team building. We were able to start bonding and get excited for our upcoming work. Our flights were great, service was good. The flight was rough from Frankfurt to Almaty and one team member, Lori, got sick.

We arrived in Almaty and got to our hotel around 3 am. We slept for 3 hours, had a wonderful breakfast, went to purchase paint supplies for Karakastek and then headed to church. It was so awesome to worship with other believers half way across the world. We all agree that singing and praising our Lord in Kazakhstan was the most awesome experience.

After church we went to eat Shashlik and headed to Ark Village, a private orphanage outside the city. Ark Village is run by a wonderful Italian man named Papa Guido. The village is home to 65 children. It is a beautiful place with lots of love but still a "Kazakh orphanage." The kids come to this orphanage many different ways. Some are dropped off and some arrive from government orphanages. 2 "new" boys (they have been there a year) were brought to the village because someone found them living with dogs, no one else. The village is run like a family. The children are happy, polite and they look and feel alive.

We handed out sidewalk chalk to the kids and they decorated the entire sidewalk without us prompting them. The loved the Beanie Babies and the chocolate was a huge hit!

Ark Village gets no government help. Papa Guido is trying to build a new house so he can house 20 more children. Being in his presence you can feel his love for these children and the way the children love him. He needs to continue doing his amazing work.

Tomorrow we are headed to Chilik, a special needs baby house 3 hours from Almaty. We started supporting them last September but this will be our first visit.

Please continue to pray with us, we are feeling them.

Love to you all,
Stacy and the team!

Enjoy the pictures

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