Sunday, October 25, 2009

Something to Focus on

I feel blessed to have an opportunity to focus on something positive during all of this mess and to make a great difference in the world. I am hoping that you all can help to rally some troops and help me out.

As many already know, three years ago I went on a trip to Belarus. It is a beautiful European country that borders Russia. I did not go for a vacation, in fact, our team ended up in a bit of a pickle while we were over there and had an extended stay in Poland that I do not care to ever remember. We went over to help a small church in the middle of one of the outlying towns. The church had begun a special needs program and they wanted some ideas to help make things better. We went and did a sort of camp with them and had a wonderful time teaching the children and adults.

The Belarussian government feels that special needs children are an eyesore. They demonstrate weakness and broken children. When a child for whatever reason is labeled special needs, the mother is forced to quit her job and stay at home full time with her child. The government sends her a very meager check to survive on and she is told that she should not allow her child out into the public, including parks, grocery stores, school, etc.

One very important thing to realize here is that our view on special needs and their view on special needs is entirely different. In Belarus a child with asthma or diabetes is considered special needs. These children can sometimes attend school in the morning, but they are not allowed the opportunity of a full education. It is very rare for a family to have a wheel chair in their home and there are no ramps or other forms of access. The government almost encourages husbands to leave their families when there is a special needs child and there is no respite care for mothers unless other family members come in and help.

Until now, we have only worked with two or three churches in the entire country that help to offer respite care and opportunities for special needs kids. This year a meeting was held by several other churches that want to get involved and help provide a chance for these children to lead normal happy lives.

I have been asked to go on this trip and help teach these churches how to start special needs programs in their community and how to accomodate activities for all levels of ability and development. I am very excited about this and I can't wait to go!

I need to raise the money for my air fare and accomodations while I am there. The total cost of the trip is $2791. This covers air fare, food, and lodging for ten days. I had a second job to take care of this until I got sick. It's been very difficult to work to cover this money on top of everything else although I am trying. My first and largest deposit is due November 30th and it is for $1000. I have several fundraisers in motion, but they do not start until December. I am hoping that you all can pass the word to all of your blogger friends and help me out. Even five dollars will get me that much closer.

I know how wonderful and supportive all of you are and I hope you don't hate me for asking for your help. I have several blankets I plan on raffling and I am very willing to take any crochet jobs you might need me to do as well. I have placed a tip jar to the left for you to click on. Any donations you make are tax deductible. Please tell all of your friends and try to pass this along. Even if you cannot help financially, maybe you know someone that can.

This week I will be posting some of the pictures from my last trip so that you can see what a wonderful opportunity this is. If you would like, I do have a power point presentation and some videos of the trip that I can mail out copies of. Thank you in advance for all of your help, prayers, and support.


The Lynchs said...

Oh my goodness - what an AWESOME opportunity to share God's love with these people! I can't wait to see pictures from the last trip!

Smiling said...

This is something very dear to my heart... I wish I could give something right now (quiting my job tomorrow and living overseas makes a bit tricky this week)...

I am a speech therapist though and there are any visual supports or anything you need like that, I have a copy of Boardmaker and could email you pdf's to print out. To be honest I only read this one post... and don't know if you are going to be doing anything with kids who can't speak, but feel free to send me an email if you wish. It would be the least I could do.

Best wishes!