Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You is looking at pics like this that drive me...push me....catapult me...launch believe for the impossible!  Look at this picture.  A child sitting in a dump with a gift bag...sitting beside a a dumpsite.  I cannot explain it.  So please do not ask me.  All I know is that I have experienced it over and over again.  Hope does make a difference.  Our "dream agents" make a difference like this on a regular basis...forgeing relationships with the hurting, helpless and hopeless.  Honestly...I cannot say one more thing.  Look at the pic.  Drink in its richness and impact.
Read more about the Central Asia Christmas Parties here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is it possible?

Please answer this question, "Is it possible to have less than nothing?"

While I was in Haiti with a team (we left a couple days before the earthquake hit) I found myself saying a few times "these people have nothing".   If you have "nothing" before an 7.0 earthquake...what would you have after?  Less than nothing?  Is it possible?
The Canadian International Development Agency is matching dollar for dollar personal donations given to eligible charities for Haiti Emergency Relief.  We are one of those organizations(oh yeah baby).  For every dollar given by individuals before February 12th...CIDA will match it... to a total of $50 million nationwide.  Give what you can.  We have way more than "nothing".... give of your "something" so that folks in Haiti have something more than "nothing".  Help us help the Manaserro Family "rebuild the ruins"...."raise the rubble"..."feed the hungry"..."bandage the broken" and "help the hopeless".
In Canada you can give here.
In US you can give here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time to Change Gears & Make a Turn!

I believe it was not by mistake that I had a team in Haiti just before the earthquake.  I have wanted to do something there for a long time .  There are lots of good people doing lots of good things.  At PI we had a trip planned to Uzbekistan for May that did not work out (more details to come soon) and we were planning to take a team to Ukraine in July.  The Ukraine trip has been postponed so that we can concentrate on Haiti.  The Wright family is planning to go to Kyrgyzstan in March and we are thrilled to send them as we have great things going on there.  The iam1ru Guatemala team is still heading to Guatemala and will build a house there, as well as do medical clinics.
However, we are changing gears a bit, and making some turns.  Haiti needed help before...they definitely need it now.  PI will help in "raising the rubble".  We are just working on some details for trips.  People continue to give...

I will continue to challenge all that I come in contact with to join the growing "nation" of everyday philanthropists.  There is a group of people rising together that believe that we can do far more together than we could ever do alone.  They are giving to "Haiti relief" efforts...they are signing up to partner with us on a monthly basis...they believe.  So do I.
It is time to downshift just a bit...make the turn...handle the corner... then put the pedal to the middle!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pics of Relief!

Here are some pics that were taken of the relief efforts and work of the Manassero's.  They are doing a bang up job.  We are trying to contact them about a relief team coming from PI sometime in April/May.  Stay tuned for more details.          


Bill & Susette....Ari...Ashley...Brooke....Dana...
Keep up the good work.  We are doing our best to raise resources here to help you.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why is it always the negative?

CNN Reports :

"People are becoming hostile at the missionary workers and we now find ourselves desperately trying to get them out," said Mike Maiolo, senior pastor of the volunteers' home church in Mission Viejo. He said he had received urgent messages from Haiti that everyone wanted to leave.

Bill Manassero reports :

Simply not true. The Haitian people have been wonderful and peaceful. We have NO incidents of violence and all almost we are treating are peaceful and cooperative.

CNN Reports : 

the situation had deteriorated to the extent that no one felt safe going outside the compound

Bill Manassero reports :

"All of the Mission Viejo Team members were freely walking outside of the compound up until their departure."

Bill says 
"It's a shame that one would have to resort to such "sensationalized" reporting to get a headline. This is not the first report i have read that portrays the Haitian people as being violent and out of control. This simply is not occuring at our facility. People have been wonderful and cooperative."

Bill goes on to say :

"The clinic is still operating and as busy as ever. Victims continue to arrive daily. We are seriously low or completely out of critical med supplies and still have had no deliveries. Here is an article that may explain why We’ve had some tough amputations in the last few days and could really use a supply of blood but we can’t even get typing or testing done. It is frustrating.
Spirits are still good with staff, volunteers and the kids but people are wearing thin, especially our med staff. We are praying that we can move the patients soon to a facility that has all the right stuff, supplies and personnel and Brooke and Ashley can rest, as well as our doctors, other nurses and volunteers. Please pray.
Praise God, no patients have passed away.
The Haitian people are incredible. They have been very strong, peaceful and completely cooperative with us under a very difficult situation. There are many stories out there to the contrary but, as always, the news tends to find the few exceptions and then portrays that information as the dominant situation.
The kids are doing well. They are still too afraid to go back into the homes to sleep and continue to sleep outdoors on our soccer field/sports area. Many are hearing reports of family members that have passed away and that has been difficult. Last night, we got our projector and had an outdoor movie. They loved it and it gave them a break from the tense atmosphere. Mother hen Cindy Ahrenzen has been wonderful overseeing the kids and keeping them busy and constructively occupied.
All our staff has been amazing. I cannot begin to name all the dedicated missionaries, employees and MDL kids that are sacrificing under such duress to help. I am humbled be their dedication and hearts.
We are scrambling to rent a home nearby to help with the relief effort and or/relocate kids, staff, patients, etc.
Pastor Dave Beck has been working aggressively to get supplies to us from the Dominican Republic. Maybe we will have something by Monday through friends at YWAM."

You can help us help the Manasseros!  They are agents of hope!
In Canada donate here
In US donate here

Friday, January 15, 2010

Manaserro Medical Clinic

Here is a raw video of the activity that is taking place at what used to be the boys home.  It is now a medical clinic.  It is these folks that we will be helping with the resources you are donating to the Haiti Relief through PI.  Everyday Philanthropists like you are making a difference!
In Canada you can donate here.
In the US you can donate here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

With all their heart!

I am sorry but I am going to get a tad "religious" on you right now.  Not very often I do...but today will be one of those days.  There is a story in the Bible about a man named Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1-5) who is called by God to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls around the city.  The sight of destruction is overwhelming and there are those in the story, that for different reasons, do not want the rebuilding to take place.  Combined with incredible resistance and negativity, was the fear of the people called to help with the rebuilding as well as the overwhelming enormity of the job.

There are many parts of this story that inspire me but none more than this part, "So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart."  It screams out at me that the word is "heart" and not "hearts"...we can do more together than we could ever do alone!  It is at times like this that you see the "heart" of people and countries.  You see....although lives have been lost we can see what is now just ruins and rubble rebuilt.  The hearts that are now filled with disaster, despair, discouragement...

...can once again be filled with hope and joy.  Will it take work?  Yes.  Will there be those that say "why bother"?  Uhuh.  Will it look overwhelming for a long time?  Yup.  Will there be challenges?  Oh yeah!
"...for the people worked with all their heart" That is why here at PI we are thrilled to partner with Bill and Susette Manessaro....people of heart!  Let's stand with them...if every person connected with PI gave  $20...we could have over $10,000 to help them help others.  The truth is many could give a bit more.
No pressure from any of us here at PI...I am a freak I know...but I believe with all my heart that we can "raise the rubble" and that we can see "mourning turned into dancing".  One brick at a time.  One dollar at a time.
....for the people worked with all their you got something...

Canadian Friends can donate here
US Friends can donate here 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Raise the Rubble!

We have people in Port au Prince that are responding to needs as you read this blog post.  We need your help in helping them help others.  In the midst of pain...trouble....rubble....the people of Haiti must know there is hope.  You can help us help the Manaserro Family hand out hope like it is candy in their pockets!  May be fresh water....some food...home repair....medical clinic.  You can donate now to help us "raise the rubble".
In Canada you can donate here.
In USA you can donate here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas with our little friends...

The one thing that grips me about our work in Central Asia is... "If not you then who?" I see things and share stories, and our hearts break, but we don't always do anything about it. I think that we are conditioned in North America to believe that if we do not help, some how some way someone will step up and do the right thing. But in a land with little or now social network and so much poverty, there really not much Hope of change unless we step in ... I am reminded of this ever time I look at this photo of Violeta from the header of my blog.

I just received some Christmas reports from Larissa... Larissa knows where my heart is , and knows the concern I have for my friends who make a life for themselves at the dump... As soon as her party money arrived , one of her first stops was to bring a special Christmas meal and gifts to Violeta and Alena at there home. If you click on this photo for a close up, you will see a nice table set to the left with muffins , salads, tea and lots of other treats......

Larissa shared with me how the kids all still talk about their great day when we brought them skating and to the resteraunt... they are still excited to tell about it like it had just happened... but she finishes her letter to me by saying ..
"Ther childhood spend on the damp with her mother to find food and things.Her toys she find from dump.John maybe somebody could support her .She need normal food and warm things . Thank you for all. Larissa"

Monday, January 11, 2010

We need your help!

We are trying to raise funds for 200 family care packs while we are in Guatemala in early March.  One of the things we are trying to do is post this project on a website
We only need 15 more votes to have this project go live.  If you have not visited the site and voted for us I would ask for you to do that.  The link to our page is here and in the top left corner is the vote button.
Once we are up and running on "givemeaning" you can sponsor some family care packs or you can visit and do the same.  BUT first things first....we need your vote.  Visit the site us here...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Upside Down World

Yes...I took this picture in the airport. This lady...for some reason
(do not want to speculate) assumed this position. Struck me as funny
so I snapped a photo with my iPhone.
Upside down. This picture sort of sums up many of my thoughts in
regards to this last trip to Haiti. So many needs...was a bit
overwhelming...found my mind and heart all over the place...some days
literally upside down and all messed up. I am so glad we have
partnered with the Manassero's. Their hope filled long range plans
helped keep me right-side up!
Stay tuned to this blog as more stories will follow about Haiti,
Central Asia, Kenya & the Philippines.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sensory Overload

Back in Miami. The girls had to have a treat. I must was

Sensory Overload!

Back in Miami now. The ladies could not resist. Had a great trip.
Nothing like an ice cream...peanut
butter...caramel...nut...extravaganza like dessert!

Every child NEEDS to know they are loved.!

This Christmas party is Celebrated with another very special group of kids. This orphanage is one that is privately run, and specializes in children with learning disabilities... They do a tremendous job here... We do not spend as much time here as I would like, but that is because it is so well run, that we do not have a lot to offer, BUT like everywhere else in Central Asia, places like this will be the first to experience the hit of a recession, and the last to come out of one.. The organization that runs this orphanage has had to be very resourceful to maintain all of their commitments here, that is why I was so thrilled that we could have this Christmas Celebration with them... Some of the Children have gone home for the holiday, so the ones that are left are pretty much those that are truly orphaned... They all thought that this was awesome...

They certainly were not expecting it.....

For myself, and by now I am sure some of you, all of these photo's from the thousands of kids that we have celebrated Christmas with over the past few weeks, are more then just photos... I find myself blowing up and scouring every picture to see how my kids are doing..."Oh good Victors front teeth have finally come in..... Aisolo is still not growing....Aibek is looking sad"... and the list goes on...I have had emails from many of our readers telling how excited they are that they have been able to see there special kids as well....

That is what is so special about what we have here... Dream agents Like Anya and Sergey, shown bellow, who can be there physically for the kids when we can't be. I am so thankful that they are there to share my burden... but wait... the reality of this hits me again ... This was their burden first... that they have shared with me. That is the key to what we do, we don't hire people to work for us. We look for people who are doing the work without us, and we work for them... That is what makes this all so special....

Sergey here is standing with a young man that many of you will have seen grow up on this blog over the last 4 1/2 years since he first arrived at the orphanage....

Here is a re post of the storey from when we first introduced him...
On a couple of occasions this fall we had the opportunity to take teams to the village orphanage. We brought treats for the kids and even cooked them a good Canadian meal which is becoming a tradition (hot roast beef sandwiches, mashed potatoes and veggies) there are always a few kids that stick out, usually for their outgoing personality. One young boy stood out because he was not comfortable like the rest. He was almost in a panic mode, he ate everything he could find, cleaning up the plates of everyone around him. One of the teams
named him Marshmallow because of his appetite for marshmallows. It almost felt like a survival instinct for him. It makes you wonder what went on in this boys past that would make him this way. I wanted to know, but I did not want to ask,
Maybe I did not want to know the answer.
Over the next couple years he began to soften, and even warmed up to some of our friends who visited.....
He took a special liking to our driver Isar.... Isar is such a kind gentle man... it was good for our young friend, but he still remained a bit of a wild child... school was out of the question for him
Then we were able to get him transferred to the orphanage he is in now... last spring we went to his class , and he came up to the front of the class and demonstrated how he could now add and subtract.... we are so proud of him.... he is settling down now.. he is able to concentrate better, and he is feeling much more secure then he ever has before... you can really tell that it is not just us that love him, but that his new orphanage has been a true blessing to his development....
Today he stands not as just one of a couple thousand nameless unknown, unwanted kids, but a special individual , he reminds me that every child deserves to be loved, and every child needs to know that someone loves them.... sometimes we just need to "stop for the one in front of us"

This year that is happening all over the world because


I'm leaving on a jetplane...

There is much to contemplate after a visit to Haiti.  Scott Helps is doing exactly that sitting by the pool at Wahoo Bay.  We had a little R&R during our last full day here.  One of the things that is incredible to me is that while we are doing our best to impact a few lives here in Haiti in partnership with Bill & Susette Manaserro....there are incredible things happening in a Central Asia at the same time.  All of these things are taking place because of the partnership we have at PI with "everyday philanthropists" like you!  Thank you so much!
Carrie Underwood wrote a song that she sings called "Change".  The lyrics of the chorus go something like this..."Just a fool, just a fool to believe you can change the world...don't listen to them when they say, you're just a fool, just a fool to believe you can change the world".
I let my son Scott listen to the song and after he heard it he looked at me and said these words, "Yup, that is a Sam Welten kind of song"...I took that as a compliment.  Call me a fool if you like, but I believe that we can raise a "nation" of people that can see our world changed.  We can do far more together than we could ever do alone.  While children from the street are being blessed here in Haiti....children, adults and the elderly in Kyrgyzstan are getting the "mother" of all Christmas's...and the list goes on. me a John Wright a the nation of "everyday philanthropists" we are building all fools if you like.  In every place we do these types of things we partner with folks that are there long term...we are not "one shot" wonders....we are just fools that believe we can change the world.

Thank you Brianne....Scott & Heather Helps....Sarah Helps...Scott Welten....Dan Helps.
Fools....everyone of you!
Yes.....I believe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nothing says we care like a Kit Kat

We begin today's Christmas Celebration post by bringing you to the bed ridden section of one of the orphanages in Central Asia... These are kids that are often forgotten ... left out. In this orphanage, they have an incredible staff that loves them and cares for them, and along with our friends wanted them to have a special Christmas this year... Just because they are severely disabled does not mean that these kids will be forgotten or left out... Every child in this section received a new soft stuffed animal that they could hold ...
What child does not want a puppy for Christmas ?

Those that were able to get up and around met in the meeting room for a special treat...

I love this next photo... I see the Kit Kat in the bag... that bring back memories from when I was a kid... chocolate bars / pop / restaurants... these were all things that were for special occasions... one of those occasions was Christmas when my grand parents would come for a visit... They would bring with them a box of Turtles... but often the long train ride would be too much for my grandmother and she would eat them on the way.... then be up sick all My Grandfather was never a man of words, or affection, but he would always come through with a Kit Kat..... It was his way of saying he cared .....

Today these kids know that someone cares for them too.

At the concert, they were treated to some special break dancing... something that thrills the kids in Central Asia...

What a wonderful day for everyone involved with this event... Thank you again to everyone who rose to the Challenge to help make this a special day for our little friends... Stay tuned tomorrow we will be bringing photo's from another Christmas celebration in the region...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Merry Christmas to all or friends Celebrating today

This is Christmas morning in Central Asia .... 
Here is a short video with our dream agent Anya as she celebrates with the kids in one of the orphanages.

A day of firsts!

Here I am in the market taking a break from the hectic pace of racing through a market and helping children buy clothes.  The party started for the kids an hour before that when they were able to have a hamburger and fries and a soda.  It was cute to watch this young lad below love dipping every french fry in his tasty ketchup.
I moved from table to table to see how the children were enjoying their food.  It did not take long for this silly monkey to realize that for many of these children it was the first time they had ever had a hamburger.  One boy ate the buns first and then sat and ate the meat.

The fun really kicked into gear at the restuarant when the ice cream cones started pumping out! I have not seen such wide eyes since Momma took my cousin Phil and myself for our first time to Bananarama! These children were so was crazy. We were ready to go and one little girl had not finished her cone and would not think of leaving it behind. You see her in the pic on Brianne's knee. The ice cream was everwhere...but the little girl was happy....and she was fading in and out of dreamland in between licks.

Now about the was crazy!  You know....when I was a young "vine swinging, fur scratching, tale twitching" youngster, I thought about no one else but Fred.  I watched one boy today make sure he used his portion of the money to buy clothes for his brother and sister.  When it got to the end he wanted a pair of jeans and did not have enough for them and then quickly settled on a couple shirts instead.  This fun loving, prankster monkey, had to find a private place to contemplate such care, love and sacrifice!  I also had some real fun watching Scott (Son of the Freakshow) handle the vendors and his children.  It was chaos...he would just look at me with a crazy look and laugh.

All in all it was a good day!  A special thanks to "everyday philanthropists" that made this possible for these children....for some...first time in a truck....for some...first hamburger...for most if not all....first time picking out own clothes.  Dignity was given....hope was was found.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The results are in!

If you remember I posted a pic a few days ago and asked you to send in quotes as to what you think may have been said....Here is the pic again with the quotes that we received.

She said..."Are you seriously wearing stripes?"  J.S.  Petrolia
 She said...."Listen dude...I am too legit to quit"  R.T. Milton
She said..."I am not into long distance relationships" S.V. Toronto
He said..."Your dance moves do not mesmerize me"  D.S. Kingston
He said..."You really need to work on your tan"  K.D.  London

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's a Zach Attack!

This is my friend Zach!  He is heading to the northern United States for some schooling and had no "cold weather" clothes.  PI helped him out with a nice warm coat, pants, boots, hat , mitts, underoos, jeans, shirts, sweater...he was very happy.  And he thanked me for the help from caring people( he had trouble with the everyday philanthropists

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brianne's connection!

Everytime I turn around Brianne is talking to a child or holding one. Here in this pic she thought it would be good for me to be introduced to this young boy named Joshua. He is the young boy you heard about a couple days ago with cerebral palsy. He loved getting his hands all over me!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bring on the Haitian Party Baby!

I am back from my trip to LactoseIntoleranceville! Feel good now. Can you imagine my excitement of being part of this huge party with all these children? Thank you Rachel Mary for letting me tag along once again on a trip with the Freakshow. The children were "peaking" as they waited to be given the go ahead to line up to have the plates of food dispersed. This was no normal meal for them. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for all you "everyday philanthropists" that gave to the "Christmas Parties". I hear that awesome parties and events are happening in Central Asia also as well as in Kenya...and soon to be happening in the Philippines.
The pic below is one I had taken with the ladies responsible for all the food. The ladies were awesome.

A little well deserved R & R

Not just the kids in the orphanages and institutions are getting visits from our team, but here Talant is bringing gifts to one of the families that Sergey supports.... It has now been about 10 days strait that our friends have been doing the Christmas blessing thing, and I am sure that their own kids are starting to get a little ency, and with still another week of Christmas parties to go... it was time for a VERY well deserved break... So this afternoon, Sergey and Talant brought the kids to the mountain to go skiing.

Aurture was all decked out and having a great time.....

Melodi on the other hand found out that skiing was not as easy as it looked, and she was not so impressed with the idea of spending so much time falling down......Talant and Davina give us a wave from the top of the mountain

this is a photo of Emma and Bekah when we were there... I put it in so you could see the valley bellow.... it is about 4 miles wide and about 40 miles long... the Capital at one end and the seniors home at the other.. and every where we help in between, in fact Aigoola's house is right at the bottom of this hill, and in the summer, this is where Torat brings the animals.. the Valley is also on the north boarder of this Central Asian country... in fact the mountains you see in the distance are the neighboring country..

Hope in a Pot!

New Years day here in Haiti means "pumpkin soup". We delivered several pots of the "makings" for this celebratory soup to families. What a joy! The two Scott's loved making the deliveries.