Hello Everyone,
It has been a long while since I last wrote and so much has happened.

I turned 50 last June.  I’m now mid-way through life.  Wow.. How did that happened.  It seems like it has only just begun and in many ways it has.

A heart for children was build into me when I was formed.  I dreamed when I was a small child of living on a large farm with lots of animals and kids running around.  Now, my vision back then did have this farm in the rolling foot hills of Virginia.  

In 2000 I first traveled to Kazakhstan with Interlink Resource on a short term trip.  That is when I first fell in love with the children of Kazakhstan.  That trip took me an entirely different turn then I could have ever imagined and it has been a wild adventure since.  In 2009 I moved to Kazakhstan to live and work full time as the Youth Department Manager with Interlink.  I loved my job, the wonderful people I had the privilege to work with and absolutely loved working with the children.  

It didn’t take long to realize how much more needed to be provided for the children to give them a chance to build productive lives.  It is all about relationship build over time.  People who are committed to the long term process of teaching/mentoring and coaching these children.  They have nothing but mountains of “baggage” filled with pain, hurt, distrust, and stories no child should have to live through. They need a safe place to be loved, encouraged, some tough love with people who are committed for the long haul.

That first year way back in 2000 I knew the call on my life was to care, love and be a voice for these precious children of Kazakhstan.  Most of the children are not legally free for adoption and would never even have a chance to be adopted.  I am called to care for these children.  I dream and pray for each of the children to find their forever family, but am now moving forward with a vision that will  provide these children a place they can call home.

In December after much internal struggle I resigned from Interlink to pursue making this a reality.   It is a huge project and I knew this could not be accomplished alone.  It will take a large number of people being committed to it.

Beth Turnock and I spent many hours while we lived and worked together in Kazakhstan talking and planning for the ranch.  Beth too dreamed of a ranch since she was a young girl.   Beth was the Director of Operations for a large residential facility in Indiana before moving to Kazakhstan.  The last part of her 7 and a half years she was the Director in Kazakhstan.  The end of January 2012 she decided that the calling on her life was to be part of this vision too.  I am so thankful for her friendship, partnership and for the wealth of experience and knowledge she brings to this project.

One chapter has closed and a new chapter has begun or it may be the next book in a series.  Which ever is the case it is a God size project and will only be accomplished in HIS strength.

In February Beth and I went to Kazakhstan to pack our belongings up in the Interlink house and put into storage as well as share about this vision.  It was encouraging to have it be so well received.

We took time to drive to Karatau to visit sweet Saule who use to be at Ulan Orphanage but was moved after I left to a Boarding School for disabled children about an hour and half north of Taraz in the village of Karatau.   It had been snowing and was extremely cold during our time in Taraz.  But that day it dawned bright and sunny and off we headed north with a friend.   The first hour of the trip was uneventful as we drove mile after mile through barren snowy landscape.  It all changed dramatically when we rounded a bend in the road into full white out conditions with wind blowing the snow side ways.    The wind was blowing so hard it blew the car sending it sliding out of control.  Thankfully when it got to the side of the road the snow bank stopped the car from plummeting down the hill.   We thought about turning around at this point.  Then though the village was only another 30 min drive and more importantly a 7 year old young child was waiting for us to come visit her.  So we inched forward.  What should have been a 30 min drive turned into a 2 hour Epic Adventure with scares and detours around each bend through the mountain pass.  

Me walking in front of the car making sure the snow isn’t too deep.  

Saule and me after we arrived

If you would like to read the long version of this trip please email and I’ll gladly send it to you.  But the short version is we finally made it.  And one sweet small girl with a club foot and face disfiguration knew that she was loved enough to come a long way in a snow storm to see her.  The staff didn’t understand why anyone would go to so much trouble for an orphan child that they could see no value in.

I think the experience is going to be a great example to us as we move forward with this vision.   It is a huge project that is going to take lot of people being committed to the children as well as resources.  At times we will not be able to see two steps in front and will have to slowly – inching forward.  The sky will clear at times giving us a glimpse of the long winding road ahead then just a quickly clouds will fall low blocking the view.  We will have to persevere with patience and determination. Never forgetting who is waiting for us.  Saule had sat on a sofa from early morning till 3:00 pm waiting for us to arrive.   The children who have no one else are waiting for a place to call home.

The Vision
The Ranch will give hope to children who are no longer able to live with their family of origin.  The ranch provides a safe place and loving community for the orphans in Taraz, Kazakhstan and surrounding areas to call “home”.  At the Ranch children are surrounded by people who are committed to pouring into their broken lives as they heal and learn how to build productive lives knowing they are valued and uniquely created for a special purpose. More than just meeting needs like food, clothing and shelter, the children’s spiritual, emotional, medical and educational needs will also be addressed.  The goal will be to give children the solid foundation along with the vocational and spiritual preparations needed to fulfill the call on their lives.  Incorporated into each “home” will be a core set of family values with an emphasis on the arts and how the process of creating; whether through dance, drawing, painting, writing, singing, or any other creative endeavor can give insight into living life to the fullest and finding joy and a positive future.  

Stay tuned for how this adventure unfolds.  If you would like more information please feel free to email me at kazakhvictoria@gmail.com  

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