Friday, July 8, 2016

Final days of living in Mongolia

Goodbye to Mongolia! Well.... just for a short while. Kathy and I made a decision back in the beginning of 2016 to finish our work in Mongolia and begin a new chapter in our lives in Ohio in the USA. We plan to visit our friends in Mongolia from time to time, though, and will always look forward to that. 

Three weeks ago Kathy and I boarded the plane at the airport in Ulaanbaatar after saying bye to many many friends. It was a very busy last few weeks in Ulaanbaatar for us. We will miss so many people. But we thank the Lord for the internet, cell phones and other means to stay in touch around the world in this 21st century!

It was a big decision to leave Mongolia. We lived there for over five years. It was a whirlwind of activity from the day we arrived there. Kathy and I were thrilled to be able to be involved in the lives of so many young people at Mongolia International University. Kathy and I learned a lot, me having the opportunity to be director of LEI and Kathy the opportunity to teach a variety of classes to high schoolers and university students. 

Perhaps the main focus for us was our involvement with Torch Church for the last three and a half years. God blessed us much during that time. It was clearly a time arranged by Him both for our growth and for the growth of the church. After a short while of being in Torch, God brought me into the position of pastor of the church. He also helped all of us to grow as individuals and also to grow in numbers. Jesus is wonderful!!

But as I said, Kathy and I sensed some months ago that it was time to leave Mongolia for Ohio. The church is much stronger than when we joined in with it. The leaders seem ready to take the lead. And through a series of events God lead us to Ohio to focus on having some quality time with family and friends and churches throughout the USA. More on that in my next post :)

And so our new chapter opens in Ohio. We are staying with our older daughter Christy and her family for the next 8 months or so as we await the opportunity in March, 2017 to move into the home we bought just eight houses from them! 

Here are photos of our last days with Torch Church people, MIU friends and others, and also two day-trips to Terelj. 

Torch Church!

Here is a photo of the last Sunday with many of the people in Torch Church in Ulaanbaatar. What a group!

Bat, Nara and Bold, the Mongolian leaders of Torch Church.

With our friend Bogi.

With Esther and Carey Ko, one of the leaders of Torch Church.

With our friend Gerlee.

With Enkh Jin, who has been living in Germany.

At our home with dear Bayarmaa

With Uyanga, ready for some kick-boxing haha


With my friend Odno at Papa Cafe.

With Tsoomoo at his graduation from high school. 

With Marlaa, Muugii, Tengis and Bogi at the home of Muugii. 

With all our friends at Beantree, where I spent much of the last 9 months meeting with people, counseling, encouraging, etc. 

Kathy with a special piece of artwork at Beantree :)

LEI teachers and staff with a farewell gift they gave us. 

LEI teachers and staff with a farewell gift they gave us. 

With Boloroo and her kids. She was the manager of the apartment we lived in.

With Usukh and his dad Erdene, good friends!

With Farasoo, who graduated from MIU. We are proud of him!

With Peter, Seung Eun, Sunigel and Sophia and Munkhzaya :)

With Anu (Miss USA haha), Tsoomoo, a friend we met at the river, and dear Mika.

With Bayankhuu, Yeojin, Oyuka and Anujin, and Mongolmaa.

Day trips to Terelj!

With Tuul, the super LEI staff worker!

With Tom, a great man!

With Sunigel, Tom, a friend, Tuul and Khaliuna.


With our dear friends Nasaa and Davaa :)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Good days in UB

Good days in UB. Our friend Bernard Hull came for a visit. It was good for everyone. It's a shame that his wife Hazel couldn't come because of a bad flu. But we will hopefully see her and Bernard in Alabama in September during our time in Ohio and other places we will be able to visit. 

Bernard spoke often while here to our church, to a small Bible study we have, and to our church home group. We also were able to take some walks around the city and had the privilege of sitting in on a group of contortionists practicing one day. I have always wanted to view a performance put on by contortionists but have never done it. So this was a nice time to talk with the teacher and her students and to watch them do some fantastic contortions. The teacher was one of the first ones in her younger days to perform in Mongolia. We were also able to attend an evening performance of Mongolian and Russian singers and musicians performing some traditional music representing their countries. 

And this week Kathy and I and friends took a hike to the north to Chingeltei. We have been there before, but this was one of the best :)

Our new friends who perform contortion. 2 of the girls are now performing in Turkey.

The teacher Noros. The photo above her is of when she was young.

At the opera house.

Scenes of the city.

Our friend Bernard spent time with us. 

With Bernard and Bobby

Teaching at Torch Church

Wednesday evening home groups together.

With Batnyam and Sarah during a surprise snow.

On a recent walk

Uyangaa, Namje, Naraa, Kathy and I on our hike at Chingeltei.