Sunday, March 27, 2011

Five Major Initiatives...

The church, as many of you know, has 5 major initiatives. They are:

1-Accessibility to clean water.

2- Accessibility to mobility..wheelchairs.

3- Vision care.

4. Neo-natal resuscitation .

5-Food production.

1. Clean Water, So far in our mission, we have participated in one clean water project, working with the Croatian Red Cross we have supported the ongoing project that was set up by the previous humanitarian couple. This year the church budgeted another water project as well. We have met several times with the Red Cross representative over clean water and I believe this week we will sign the contract to clean another 1,000 wells. That will keep 5 teams of workers busy for the entire year. If you could see the beautiful Croatian countryside, you would understand the need for clean wells. These little villages are so spread out and far away from a central water source so they depend on a family well system. We are working in Eastern Croatia where the wells were contaminated by evil doers during the homeland war. After raping, torturing and eventually killing those who lived in these little villages, they disposed of their bodies and the carcass of farm animals by throwing them in the wells...thus polluting the water. Fast forward 16 years. The decomposed remains are still in the wells, but those who fled their farms are coming back. And they are using the wells. They feed their livestock and themselves with this contaminated water. The Red Cross teams, funded in part by our church, comes in, pumps the water out, puts a man down the well where he brings up whatever the source of the contamination is, they let the well fill up again, test the water and repeat the process again if necessary. Spring flooding is also a problem. Some of the wells that have been cleaned, need to be cleaned again because of spring flooding. It seems like a never ending problem, but again, the area is not conducive to a central water system. We are looking at one little village however, that we hope to figure out a better way. We will go visit with the mayor of the city, the Red Cross Representative and some of the residents in the next week or two.So that is our work with water.

2. Wheelchairs. Many of my previous blogs have been about wheelchairs. We have been privileged to work with several different partners in bringing wheelchairs into both Bosnia and Croatia. The wheelchair program is changing a bit this year, however. Gone are the days when the wheelchairs will be just handed out. From now on the church is spending a lot of time, money, and effort to train our partners in how to fit and dispense the wheelchairs. We look forward to that new training, sometime in May.

3. Vision Care. We have not done anything with vision care. We would like to do something in Bosnia, so it is on our radar. One of the Doctors that we visited with in Prijador, said his wife was an eye surgeon, so we have a little bit of an in there and plan to follow up with it. We suspect that they don't have a great screening process for lazy eye. We see many children and adults that look like this might be a problem.

4. Neo-natal resuscitation. One of my most favorite projects thus far that we have been a part of. It was amazing, and if you missed my post on this project, here is where you can go.NRT

5. Food Production. This is the newest of the major initiatives. This last week we had our Agricultural Specialist come out from Salt Lake City teach and to train us about the food production initiative. We are hoping to start a gardening project in a city about two hours south of us. Karlovac is like so many Croatian towns, surrounded by farm land and rich with an agricultural culture. We have 6 L.D.S. families who want to start a garden project. The church will provide the start up monies, land lease, tools, seeds, fertilizer, and anything else that is needed for the first two years. Then all costs are turned over to the members. The project will be directed by, not us, but the local branch president. Yeah! But we will be involved as much as we are wanted and our time allows. We need to write up the project and submit it to Germany when all the numbers and plan is developed by our little branch. Hopefully that will be this week sometime. We met with the families involved and could tell they were really excited about it. We need to work fast as spring is right upon us and time to plant is not far off.

We had 10 other people, besides us, at church in Bosnia last week. Of course we had our  Agricultural specialist and his wife and our translator, Predrag (that we paid) , but this week....drum roll PLEASE !!!! We had 9 investigators and us, okay, all nine are in one family, but they all came! Yeah! We loved it! Mom, Dad, Grandma and all the kids! We taught about the Church of Christ during His lifetime and the apostasy, next week we have conference and we tied in the lesson to apostles and prophets to help them prepare for conference. It should be a good week. I can tell you, our music is pathetic, oh how I wish I could sing! Oh how I wish I could sing in Serbian, and Oh how I wish we had a piano, a piano player and a few missionaries that speak the language. Our little gathering in Bosnia is truly an infant branch. But their hearts are pure and they are like sponges. We love our Sundays in Bosnia! They have committed to baptism in June.

We miss you all, love to hear from you and appreciate all your support! It is such a blessing to us to be able to be here and serve this mission. We are forever changed.

Our meeting with the interested families that want an augricultural project for Karlovac.

Elder and Sister Cullimore in front of our church in Varazdin.
They are the short term specialists that came to visit this last week

After the meeting at the church we went to the sight where they want to lease the land.
Every one of these strips of land might belong to a different family.
Hopefully we will be able to reach a lease agreement with the owner of this land.

This is the only picture of the van that we got. It was filthy dirty, gross with cigarette smoke , 250 kelometers on it and leaking oil.  Live and learn in Croatia. Never trust the lowest price on anything. You get what you pay for.
Tina...Her first day at church.
We have a nursery manual that I try to have something for her to do while Sacrament meeting is going on.
She loves it!
We had dinner after church. I made jello, and chicken creapes.
They had never had either one before. It was a hit!

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