The Story of Tasha
Tasha, her husband, children and five grandchildren live in a village far away from the city of Bishkek. Life is difficult in villages. Gas, electricity and water are unreliable, even in the darkest days of winter. Wages are shameful and jobs nearly nonexistent. Families face constant hardship with no end in sight. The steady grind of unrelenting poverty eventually led Tasha’s husband to alcoholism and the rest of the family to defeat and despair.
Then one day seven years ago Tasha was introduced to the Light of the world and became a new creation. She started gathering with others who had come into the Light and soon was sharing her joy with everyone she knew. Five years ago Tasha learned about Community Health Education (CHE) training classes and decided she would do whatever it took to attend them. What it takes is three or more uncomfortable hours each way, sitting on rickety, unreliable, crowded buses that are sweltering in summer and freezing in winter. Since then, Tasha has arrived in Bishkek for class each week. She may arrive late, soaked, cold or exhausted, but she arrives.
Today she is one of the most devoted participants of the CHE program and a knowledgeable, confident woman who touches the lives of many women in several villages, not only leading CHE classes and helping empower them to develop physically and emotionally healthier families and neighborhoods, but sharing lessons that lead to Eternity. She learned to understand the disease of alcoholism, sharing that understanding with scores of women in the same situation. With understanding came a new attitude toward her husband and her love and prayers for him gave him new hope. Alcohol is no longer part of his life.
When asked what CHE means for her, Tasha replied “Very much, really. It expands my horizons, it makes me more knowledgeable, it gives me a feeling of fullness of life, it teaches me to maintain good relationships with my husband and children and it saves me from depression and despair. Through this program, I have met dozens of new friends and likeminded sisters.
CHE has been active with our sisters and brothers in Kyrgyzstan since 2002. Several large seminars each year, along with weekly classes focus on a large variety of topics, including nutrition, pre/post pregnancy, abuse, abortion, alcoholism, healthy family dynamics, the power of forgiveness, growth and development, dental hygiene, heart disease, cancer, and TB.
As many as 50 women have been part of this program over the years. Some of them have died while others have moved to other countries. Currently thirteen women are active volunteers, receiving a small stipend for travel and meals. Only the head trainer, who has been involved since the beginning, receives a salary.
What a blessing it is to be able to help support CHE in Kyrgyzstan!
$6,100 will enable the program to continue for a full year.
$3000 more will allow two trainers to travel to distant areas, where women are asking for someone to come and work with them, so they in turn can reach out to their neighbors and villages.