March brought us the long awaited signing of our water project “amended” grant agreement. We have worked 10 long months from the approval date to the final signing and implementation of this very meaningful project. Thousands of recipients will be receiving fresh, clean water to their homes in just a matter of months. A long hard effort to bring this to fruition (by us, our partners, and Elder and Sister Blotter, the water specialists), but oh, so satisfying!
A new project with the local women’s shelter is going to be a very worthwhile endeavor. Fifty women and children will be protected while they recover from abuse—receiving vocational training and psycho-social rehabilitation. They are in need of refrigerators, washing machines (imagine the laundry each day), and some furniture. It was so gratifying to meet these victims (many of them pregnant and with toddlers) and see their determination and courage to give their children a brighter future.
Another new project is “Sparrows,” young street children who are alive only because a shelter provides meals and a place to sleep. It is heartbreaking to see their struggle yet heartwarming to see the volunteers who help them survive and thrive.
We are helping a clinic that treats thousands of patients each year who suffer from respiratory diseases. They are in need of modern mobile testing equipment so they can go to the distant villages. There are many who are poor and needy who are unable to come to the clinic for diagnosis and treatment, mostly for bronchial asthma.
The follow-up home visits we have made to our LDS Charities wheelchair recipients have been a very interesting and informative experience. Rarely do we see our recipients in their homes; usually distribution is made at a location where they come to us. We are once again “helping one at a time.” What a tremendous difference this makes in the lives of the disabled.
Our weekly Helping Babies Breathe extension of the 2013 Neonatal Resuscitation Training is proving to be very successful. We have 24 nurses come to the church each Saturday for a five-hour training from our NRT trainers. They are very generous in expressing their gratitude. This will provide 240 additional trainings in a 10-week period without the NRT specialists having to come back to Tbilisi. Dr. and Marcia Bennett are delighted with the self-reliance which has been demonstrated from their well-trained Georgian team. We love hosting the visitors.
We are sorry we lack the vocabulary to express the gratitude we feel to our Father and His Son for this opportunity to serve in such a remarkable capacity. We know He knows what is in our hearts. Never in our wildest imagination did we anticipate how fulfilling this mission would be. What a tender mercy it is to have our hearts protected from the suffering and hopelessness we see in the eyes of our beneficiaries. We see it, we feel it, yet we are able to walk away from it knowing we have been sent to help and knowing Father cares for all of us. Each and every effort counts! Each and every caress, handshake, and kiss on the cheek conveys the love from the Savior we were sent here to deliver.