Monday, July 29, 2013

Adventures in Ukraine!

     It has been an interesting 9 days since David left for Ukraine.  He went to take part in the Third International Conference on the needs of children with disabilities presented in Kiev, Ukraine.  This is the first one I've missed and  Dave says the last.   He tells me he'll never do another one without me.  Nice to know I'm missed!!!
     The team from the states consisting of Johnny and Alesha Kelley, Cynthia Normandia and my husband David had quite a trip!  Dave tells me it was his worst flying experience and this was his 28th time!  Poor Johnny and Alesha, it was their first!  They were late flying out of Washington and missed their connecting flight in Frankfurt.  Johnny's power chair got damaged and they then missed 4 flights and had to stay the night in Frankfurt.  Now that part I'm glad I missed!
     After staying the night in Frankfurt they finally got to Kiev and were met by our dear friends Sasha and Olya Skripak.  Their first mission was to Znemenka to do some teaching there.      
I know the ladies there were grateful for the time the team made for them as most of them could not get to the conference in Kiev.  This picture is of Cindy Normandia teaching OT skills to these caregivers.



      The team then traveled back to Ukraine to prepare for the big day!
So many great translators who help us communicate and make us look good!    Not an easy job!  Almaz church does a great job in setting up the conferences every year.  Pastor Sasha and Olya work tirelessly to make these conferences a success.  This year we had 320 people attending including 80 volunteers!
These are people waiting in line to register for the conference.  They all get a schedule and check off the classes they want to attend.  At the end of the day they even get certificates of completion!
So many of our team this year were people living and working in Ukraine for the orphans!
The team is now in Zhytomyr where they gave a mini conference to the good folks from Mission to Ukraine.  Tomorrow they go to the lost boys of Romanov.  I found it a rough place to visit last year.  The boys there are from ages 5 to 25 all with some type of physical or mental disability.  Their lives are bleak but things are changing, little by little.  One of the things that promotes change are conferences like this.  We thank all of you who have prayed for us and given to our mission....To change the heart of a country.  God bless you!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Change Our Future!

That is the name of our third international conference...Change Our Future!
Last year it was entitled, We are People First.  Pastor Sasha called the first one, Hug and Do Not Let Go!  He continues to give every conference that title!
Since we had such a large team last year we thought it would continue in the same vein.  We planned on going to 4 different orphanages with 4 different teams, spending a few days and reconvening in Kiev for the conference.

We plan, God laughs.

We were astounded when one after the other from our previous team could not join us this year because of various reasons.  We had a keynote speaker from Virginia and his wife and our friend Cindy, who has been with us for all the conferences, but NO ONE ELSE.  My husband David said maybe there wouldn't be a conference this year.  I said," let's wait two weeks."

In two weeks we had a bigger and better conference taking shape that we hadn't envisioned.

But He had.

Our keynote speaker will be Mr. Johnny Kelley who we have heard twice.  He is a very powerful presenter and Ukraine won't know quite what to do with him.  Johnny has Cerebral Palsy and is a technological wizard.  He has a touch screen and writes his own power points that are delivered by a computerized voice.  Johnny says he can do anything if  he has a ramp.  Ukraine doesn't have ramps but we're bringing some along!

His wife, Alesha Kelley is going to accompany Johnny and be a presenter as well.  Alesha is an Occupational Therapist and this will be the first trip out of the country for them both.  We need your prayers, Ukraine will be rough to get around in for these folks.  We admire their spirit and pray it will be a great experience for them.

Dr. Cynthia Normandia, delights the people of Ukraine with her knowledge of how to work with the disabled.  She breaks things down step by step and they are always hungry to hear more.  Cindy is the head Occupational Therapist for the Chesapeake City Schools.  We are blessed to have her.

Cindy shared a documentary with us called NOT FORGOTTEN when we were in the planning stages.  It is about the children in Ukraine who are autistic.  Two doctors were featured in that documentary.  Guess what?  They're both speakers at our conference!

Dr. Irina Galina, lives in Odessa, Ukraine and opened a center for these kids 20 years ago.  She gets government support which is incredible, and she now has 200 young adults she serves.  She has written three books and wants to open another center.  Dr. Galina started the first one at the age of 60.  Don't you want to be that active at 80?

Dr. Jim Peipon is the other doctor who appears in the documentary.  He and his wife are American and have lived in Ukraine for 10 years setting up medical missions trips and ministering to the orphans of Ukraine.  We are so delighted he is joining us with his expertise!

Chris and Mary Malone are an American couple with 9 children who decided to move to Ukraine after adopting 4 boys with Down Syndrome from Ukraine.  We met Mary at last year's conference and knew she was a kindred spirit!  They have 5 birth children, one of whom has DS.  They're like us...but younger!!!  Delighted they can join us!

The Down Syndrome group in Kiev are sending two young men to tell us more about their wonderful group.  The more we read about it the more impressed we are!  The DS group have sent letters to 220 social workers in rehab centers across Ukraine asking them to come to the conference for training.  We are amazed!

My husband David will be presenting as well as helping to make sure everything runs smoothly.  I will REALLY  miss not being there this year but I cannot leave the children for 12 days and come back only to leave again in two weeks for our adoption appt.  I will be there in spirit.

Pastor Sasha Skripak and his lovely wife Olya are our partners in Ukraine who put this all together.  The young people from their church act as our interpreters, techno wizards, set up and break down team, promotional team, program printers, and all around amazing workers!  We could not do this without the months of work they put into it.  Pastor Sasha is a wonderful speaker and will close the conference.

I forgot, we have a Ukrainian mom and her daughter with DS who will be sharing with us.  We met them last year and were so impressed with them both.  They have gone against the flow and have accomplished amazing things!

We started out giving them Hope.  Americans showing Ukrainians what we do.  This year Ukrainians will be showing Ukrainians how to make a difference. 

Isn't that a better plan?  God is so good!

Blessings to you all,  Jane

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summertime and the living is easy?

At the Daulton house the living in the summertime is not exactly as the song says.  We are a full house here with 8 kids schedules to juggle... that means camps, doctor appointments, summer school......  I truly don't know how you homeschoolers do it. 
We travel soon we hope, maybe mid august.  We should be fundraising for our Molly but are caught up in fundraising for our 3rd annual conference in Kiev.  We only have 10 days until departure so all our efforts are going into meeting the budget for this conference.  We partner with Almaz Church in Kiev and they find the hall, do the promos, take reservations, arrange for our stay, do the printing, and send us the bill.  It has gotten so big.  Use to be a ma and pa thing but it's grown beyond us.  Thank God.
This conference sprung up from one presentation to the young adults at Almaz who wanted to work with special needs orphans but knew little about them.   We covered the basics.  One of the questions was, "What do kids with DS look like?"  All we had was a scrapbook which we shared.  It had all 7 of our kids with DS who are all different.  These kids are not seen on the street, if they are kept at home then they are kept at home.  Ukraine does not have any handicap accessibility to speak of so travel for these kids is hard.
Pastor Sasha asked us to please come back and do a conference in six months on the Needs for Children with Disabilities.  We said, "Right.  Come here in the winter in just six months.  I don't think so."  But God had a plan and we were back in six months presenting with our group of 5.  We took our Anya with us because she was the first child with DS to get out of Ukraine as far as we know and she is a charmer.  She was our photographer but she mostly took pictures of the ladies boots.  Many people got their picture taken with her.  There were even a few moms who were brave enough to come with their disabled child.  It was wonderful!
Anya taking a picture of herself.  We get a lot of these!

The next year we had 15 presenters!  Such a great group who worked so hard!  Our keynote speaker was Jenny Jensen,  a young lady with DS who delivered a great message and brought the house down!
I will write about this upcoming conference very soon.  It's bus time!!!  God bless!