Saturday, June 25, 2011

Train Ride to Erdenet

On Wednesday Ricardo, the director of the Language Education Institute at MIU, and I took an overnight train to the city of Erdenet, the second largest city in Mongolia with a population of about 100,000. Compared to Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet is much more organized, cleaner, more well-constructed, and quieter.

We went to talk to our friend Ruslan, a Russian pastor of a Mongolian church there. We had a good day with him and his wife. We talked of his church, the 17 years they have lived in Mongolia, and of the possibility of opening a branch of LEI there to teach English. It was a worthwhile time and Ricardo and I will be talking with MIU about the next steps we should take.

The train ride there and back was interesting. It was raining Wednesday evening when the train left Ulaanbaatar. It is a twelve hour ride. One can drive there in about four hours, but it was a good experience to take the train. The morning began sunny and cool.. a beautiful day. Beautiful views from the train as we traveled through the countryside of Mongolia!!

We spent the day with Ruslan, had dinner with his wife and him, and then took the evening train back to UB. The trip was worthwhile, though we arrived back in UB at 8 in the morning tired!

The following photos are of the train ride. The city photos are of Erdenet and our time with Ruslan.

Ricardo at the Erdenet train station

Me at the Erdenet train station

Me, Ruslan and Ricard in front of the church Ruslan is pastor of

Ruslan showing us his stuff on the guitar... :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

After 10 weeks in Mongolia..... !!!

Kathy and I have been in Mongolia for 10 weeks now. Wow... so much has happened, and each day seems to be so full, whether working at MIU, meetings with other organizations, talking with students, visiting friends, speaking in churches, having our weekly Saturday evening Bible study in our home, or fixing up our apartment... !! I am thankful to the Lord Jesus as I look back only a few months ago and wondered how things would come together. Kathy and I are happy with all that is going on. Last week was so busy with the graduations and so on, but now we are looking forward to a summer that is a bit easier and that will give us some time to do some things we haven't had time to do up until now. God has blessed us!!

Take a look at the recent photos!!

A group photo of all the LEI staff and graduates!

Kathy and I have gone to a church called Ariun Muur the last two Sundays, where I have preached both times. The people there are dear.

Here are some updated photos of our apartment. I have been thinking how different it is being here in an apartment than what we have experienced for the last 30 years in Illinois and California in the U.S. The last time we lived in an apartment was for 6 months right after Kathy and I got married. Before moving here to Mongolia, we were privileged to live in 5 different homes in the U.S. Sometimes I feel like we live in a hotel in this apartment, because the only times before this that we have stayed in a high rise building is when we have stayed in hotels in Beijing, Xian, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy and other places like that. Kathy and I love the view we have here, and it is beginning to feel like home.

Our bedroom after we finally found time to fix it up.

Kathy and I took our dear friend Munguu out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant for her birthday after our time at the church on Sunday. Munguu interpreted for me when I preached, and did a great job!

Today I visited Amar, a friend of mine who is dean of the School of Dentistry at Health Sciences University of Mongolia. He is very busy in his position there. As he answered calls, stopped to talk with faculty and students, and so on, he gave me a tour of the place. Excellent!

A few weeks ago some of us at LEI went to the wedding of a teacher named Kingsley, from Nigeria, who got married to a lovely Mongolian bride in a Korean church. The wedding was partly "westernized", with many Mongolian traditions included.

Ricardo, director of LEI, with one of his daughters.

The teachers at LEI are a very close group. Last Friday Kathy and I had them over for a movie night. We had a good time watching Galexy Quest, which some of you may have seen. We had some good laughs! Also, it was a going away time for Vica, who has since moved to the Philippines to do two years of study in a Bible school. Everyone will miss her!

And finally, here are some of the latest photos taken from our apartment. You can see that the leaves have sprung from the trees and the grass is growing. The days are usually nice here, sometimes with downpours of rain.