A Friend at All Times: Meet Elina, Baxa, Dima, and Sasha

12 04 2013


In yesterday’s post I invited you to be part of a beautiful ministry opportunity. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. I also promised to come back today to tell you more about A Friend at All Times and to share a few camper photos and interviews. These are some of the “kids” who will benefit from scholarship donations. Prepare your heart for some serious melting. But first, a bit more about camp.

In everything A Friend at All Times does, Jesus is celebrated and exalted. And if you’ve ever been involved with Young Life at any level, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that this special needs summer camp is also filled with all kinds of fun. Many of the campers have severe mental or physical disabilities, but with the help of their volunteer buddies, they manage to play games, compete in races, sing songs, and participate in skits. And they have a blast.





As Catherine pointed out in my last post, summer camp is a life highlight for many of these teens and young adults whose daily existence is marked by loneliness, cultural stigmatization, and poverty. Thanks to the tireless Zhanna and A Friend at All Times, they are not quite as isolated and ostracized as they once were, but there’s really no way to emphasize how much this experience means to them.

Ready to meet a few of the campers who need our support? Each one answered the same simple set of  interview questions, and I love how their personalities are revealed in these brief glimpses. Here we go . . .



Name:  Elina Aliyeva
Birthday: December 31, 1991
I love: to draw, to weave pictures, to sing, to dance, to go bowling.
I know: that there are a lot of stars in the sky, Azerbaijani language.
I do: constantly weave pictures.
I collect: leaves.
I eat: pizza, fried potatoes.
I know how to: cook, bowl.
I read: books about animals and nature.
I watch: educational shows.
I dream: of going to bowling competitions and winning first place, and visiting other countries (Turkey and Belgium).



Name:  Baxhtiar  Jigalov
Birthday:  March 10, 1988
I love: my mom, my dad, my sister.
I know: a lot.
I do: daily exercises.
I collect:  material about the Native American peoples.
I eat: everything.
I know how to: ride on a horse.
I read: the Dalai Lama.
I watch: educational programs.
I dream: of going to America.



Name:  Alexandra (Sasha) Lushova
Birthday:  October 13, 1978
I love: toys and cartoons.
I know: letters.
I do: nothing.
I collect: pictures, toys, photos.
I eat: with a spoon :-)!
I know how to: eat, wash my hands.
I read: I don’t know how.
I watch: cartoons, newspapers, magazines.
I dream: of being the manager of a toy store.

And our final camper for today . . .



Name:  Dima Kosikh
Birthday: August 4
I love: to go for walks.
I know: what is 2 x 2, movies, dogs, how many stars are in the sky.
I do: exercises.
I collect: money.
I eat: everything.
I know how to: draw.
I read: nothing.
I watch: films with Rambo.
I dream: of going to summer camp!

Oh my goodness, don’t you love them? In the days ahead we’ll meet more campers, but for now, Dima’s final answer provides the perfect segue. If you (or someone you know) would like to help send Dima and his friends to camp this summer, here’s the info for interested donors:

Donations can be made by check or credit card.
Please send checks (any amount appreciated!) to:

P.O. Box 1057
Cordova, TN 38088
901.458.9500 ext 223

Include a separate note indicating the gift is for
“Camp Scholarship, A Friend at All Times, Kazakhstan Young Life”
This category is not available for online giving at Orphanos,
but you can give by credit card at the phone number provided above.

$250 covers the cost for one camper
$200 covers the cost for a mom

Your gifts are tax deductible.

Thank you!
(With all my heart.)

 photo credit: Catherine Burns



6 responses

12 04 2013
Jim Leftwich

I love and admire you more than I can say !!
Much love, Dad

12 04 2013

Thanks, Dad. You’re so sweet! I love and admire you, too! xo

12 04 2013

I can’t say it any better than your Dad , Jeanne. I am praying for you – for them.

15 04 2013

Thank you, Linda! Your prayers are effective and deeply appreciated. Love you!

15 04 2013
Autism Awareness Month: Called to Serve | Mama Knows What?

[…] has written some beautiful posts about this here, with information on how to donate. You can read about some of the “kids” who will benefit from your support and be sure to check out the rest of her blog for more […]

15 04 2013

Thanks so much for this mention and for sending your readers here. So humbly grateful. Blessings!

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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