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August 28, 2009                                                             Issue No. 7
In this issue  
Report from Guatemala on our most recent projects
Malawi wheelchair story with heart
Teaching English as a Second Language in Vinogradov, Ukraine
A few updates about United Church of God fundraisers for LifeNets
Greetings,
Last Sunday evening we held a quarterly LifeNets Board meeting here in Indianapolis, Indiana. While we discussed our normal business, we did focus attention to our next and biggest project of all. This is to build a secondary school in Blantyre, Malawi. We are now in the process of acquiring land and drawing up architectural plans.  
     I'd like to say a few words about our wonderful committed Board of Directors that has worked together to move LifeNets mission forward.
Tom Peine, retired engineer and businessman in Indianapolis has been our chairman and committed to keeping things MOVING on all of our projects.
Cathy McClure is our our treasurer and accountant
Don Turgeon, CFO of Indianapolis firm and very helpful with budgeting and other financial matters. 
John Wagner, former president of two colleges, director of non-profits -- committed invaluable mentor for all of us. Now lives in Washington D.C.
 2008 Annual Report Cover
Cover for or 2008 Annual Report mailed on August 6th. You can see it and latest paper newsletter at www.lifenets.org/newsletter 
Mark Rorem, San Francisco attorney who has generously helped us with legal questions.  Fluent in Spanish. 
Beverly Kubik - LifeNets Office Manager and Grants Coordinator.  She has been the engine driving LifeNets.
Victor Kubik
     Our faithful secretary is Sharon Swanson keeps impeccable records.  We always enjoy her optimism and cheeriness at our meetings.
     I thank our board for all they do.  On September 1 we will be ten years old. It's been a long time and we have been awed by all the wonderful outcomes in the lives of so many people during this period.  We thank YOU for your support and encouragement.
 
     Earlier in the month we mailed out 1550 Annual Reports and also enclosed a current newsletter.  We want to encourage as many as possible to read this eNewsletter as it comes out much more often as is much more complete.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in being on our eNews list, please let us know. 

 

 

 

                                                                    VK signature
 

                                                                     Victor Kubik
                                                                     President
Report from Guatemala On Our Most Recent Projects
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 Guatemala habitat
LifeNets made a grant of $3684 (from the Izabal Project) for the needs of disadvantaged families under the administration of LifeNets director Dr. Luis Mundo.
     Most of the projects that involved improvement of habitat for families are complete.  They included pouring cement floors, methane gas producers, installation of electricity and bathrooms. Most individual projects cost in the $500 to $900 range. Dr. Mundo thanks the donors who helped with these projects that have measurable improved the quality of life of people in Guatemala. 
     You can see a much more complete report about this well-managed project at http://lifenets.org/guatemala/060309update/report060309.htm
 
Malawi Wheelchair Story With Heart
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 How Merekina got by before
         Before 
Four years ago disabled Merekina Filipo was pushing her hand-operated wheelchair in Salima, Malawi.  A moving vehicle ran into her damaging the chair. The driver then ran away leaving her in painful wounds. This woman has two children and two granddaughters.
     No one, not even the government, wanted to help her with her broken wheelchair, Her wheel chair was a nice one because she could cycle it using her hands.
 The wheelchair after it was repaired
                    After
She approached Wordsworth Rashid, one of our LifeNets representatives in Malawi, if we assist her with the repair of her wheelchair. This was in February 2009. 
     We were glad to help and provided the funding to repair the chair that she had been without for FOUR years. The repairs were done and Merekina Filipo is able to be mobile again.  We are so happy to help this lady completely change her life!
     Miss Melekina Filipi is proud of the wheelchair that LifeNets has helped to bring back to functional use. She said her appreciations is to God the Merciful Eternal One. Orientation and mobility will now be easy for her. She is able to go to many places within a single day. She thanks LifeNets so much.
     What did this cost?  Only $129!!  This included enlarging the door to her house so she could bring it inside. What a difference it's made!!  We want to thank all our LifeNets supporters to who bring happiness through the simplest means.
Teaching English as a Second Language in Vinogradov, Ukraine ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         
                                       by Cherie Zahora
     From July 5 to 17 a LifeNets delegation of Dan and Cindy Harper and Ken and Cherie Zahora taught English and helped with a day camp in Vinogradov, Ukraine, for the second year. We learned several lessons last year, not only about curriculum, but about culture, schedules and the children themselves.
 Boy at monitor
       The Genki English Program 
 Unlike last year, this year Victor Kubik was with us the first week, which was a huge plus as he speaks Ukrainian fluently. We only had to ask, "Now what's happening?" And we got answers. He translated the daily Christian living classes, which followed the theme of the week of creation.
     This year two classes were taught simultaneously in adjacent buildings. Ken and I taught 18 to 20 beginners with the Genki program of pictures, video, gestures and song. Dan and Cindy Harper taught the next level of 20 children, who had a smattering of English already. They learned additional vocabulary, conversation and even delved into pronouns. We came armed with very clearly outlined curriculum maps prepared by Cindy.
     Each day we arrived at the Light of Love Mission that Vasyl and Irina Polichko began more than a decade ago. Our day began at 10 a.m., when we were all treated to tea, bread and cheese to start. Then came the 90-minute lesson. The lesson began with a warm-up song, review of the previous day's lesson, then new vocabulary using pictures, computer, song and lots of physical action. Games to reinforce the lesson were also used, and the children glued picture words into notebooks. Ukrainian children really enjoy singing, so they really soaked up the Genki lessons.
    
 Cindy Harper teaches ESL
As the children became comfortable with the songs and with us, they were excited to lead the warm-up sessions and the closing each day. They were becoming very confident "teachers." The children then had free time to jump on the trampoline, play volleyball, badminton, Ping Pong, swing, bounce or kick balls around. They also had 30 to 40 minutes of Christian living class with lots of singing. Then it was time for lunch with more free time, then off to an excursion that included some type of swimming in a river or lake. We interacted with the children in all these activities, encouraging them to use the English they were learning.
     The children, many of whom come from difficult family backgrounds, are growing in many ways. They are calmer than last year. We could tell all the patience and hard work of surrogate "parents" Vasya and Maria is paying off. All of the love they receive from the Polichkos is showing results in their lives. We were surprised how much English they remembered from last year. The seven boys that live with Vasya and Maria Tomaschuk also receive two hours of tutoring in English a week.
     It was a real plus to have Ken, Dan and Cindy return as the children had already developed a relationship with them. As the week wore on, the warmth and smiles of the new kids increased. The children love the attention and want to please. The boys reminded Cindy and me to fasten our seatbelts. The children began to put forth the effort to converse with us in casual settings using the phrases they have mastered. "What's your name?" "How are you?" "What's the weather like?" 
    
 Angelica leading class
Young Angelica leads the class in warm-up exercises  
Yuri, age 7, had difficulty at first fitting into the group. The first two days he did not attend class, but played alone in the yard. Ken invited him to join us and he sat in the back of the class, but did not participate. As the days wore on, he moved closer to the front and was totally engaged. He joined in with the other children, and even played the games with them. The socialization and acceptance motivated his participation.
     LifeNets was able to supply four new robust computers to the ESL program and the Rosetta Stone English-language software was networked to these to create a lab for English lessons. This program is very interactive, using headphones and microphone to listen, look and speak. The children could not wait to try out these lessons, even before Dan totally had it all installed. One of the boys had difficulty speaking the word women and the computer would not accept his pronunciation. He listened carefully and repeated the single word almost 20 times, but he did not give up.
     The next day one of our students ran to me in the yard and beckoned me to come with him. Vladislav had sent him to get me, so he could show me that he had scored 100 percent on his lesson. I snapped his picture, and he was very proud of this achievement. We can't wait to see how the students progress with this new tool in the next year.
     Some of the children come from the immediate neighborhood and love to stay at the mission as long as they can. They go there to sing, pray, work in the kitchen and enjoy the warm company of the Polichkos. They wash dishes, serve the other children their meals and mop the floors at the end of the day. The mission provides light in so many ways: food, shelter, Christian foundation, love and hope for a brighter future.
Updates about United Church of God Fundraisers for LifeNets
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 Silent Auction Table
      Silent Auction Table 
On March 15 107 women gathered for a seminar weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. The theme was "Learn to Love in Deed."  Event coordinator Merrie Elliott addressed the ladies on "The Heart of Giving," which defined the weekend's intent of promoting love in action. RaeAnn Dowd engaged the ladies with "Deeds on a Dime," teaching the art of making gifts for others in a thrifty fashion.
     $1,800 was collected from silent auctions and donations of which more than $1000 was given to LifeNets. 
     On January 24th the Columbus, Ohio congregation held a Caribbean Island Social which held included a silent auction.  More than $800 was raised.  Pastor Randy Stiver commented, "We have been raising money for LifeNets while having a lot of fun with our annual fun show and silent auction." The church made an afghan and Connie Seiffert donated paintings to sell. High quality birdhouses were also a popular item.  
     On March 28 the United Church of God Canton, Ohio held a fundraiser that raised more about $725.  
     The donations from both these fundraisers will be used to for scholarships, education and computers for our young people on our Developing Nations Scholarship Program.
     LifeNets thanks everyone for these generous efforts to provide for education and other LifeNets projects.
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