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water filter, washer, stove

water filter, washer, stove

We have spent the past year more or less trying to shed ourselves of what we own.  Its not so much selling your things as adopting an attitude of not wanting to acquire things- “minimalism.”  So we find ourselves in the strange position of purchasing many things this week to set up our household.  As I Cor. 10:31 shows even buying appliance can be done to the glory of God.  On the one hand it seems strange to purchase after wanting to get rid of so much, on the other hand if we are to truly be effective we need to be able to  be here for the long haul and that means equipping ourselves to live here- it’s not a short term trip. Our washer is samsung, our fridge is a Sharp (it comes with a lock), our stove, a glass top is a Beko from Turkey.

We will probably move into our apartment on Thursday as we unpack our trunks and suitcases.  It’s a bit like a treasure hunt as things packed long ago emerge.  We’re hoping to get the internet connection up but its not there yet.  It is amazing how much is available.

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On Saturday we traveled from UB to Darhan, about a 3 hour drive.  The roads are rough but this one is paved.  We braked a few times for cattle and sheep.  The hills are green and beautiful.  As Annika said, “It looks like a grassy sea.”  We are told that its rare to be this green but what a beautiful view.  Often Cinda and I find ourselves saying- looks alot like Wyoming.  We are surprised at how many things are available.  Some are more expensive, much is about the same as the states.

We are currently staying at the guest house while we shop for appliances.  After being in selling mode for so long it is strange to be in purchasing mode.  We will probably move in by the end of the week.  It will take a while to turn the flat into a home but we are looking forward to unpacking.  We do not have internet yet so we are using other people’s computers and can’t post pics.

Toby and Annika are doing well with jet lag and we are about over it- sort of.  Toby slept through the night the last two nights which is great.  Tomorrow we go shopping for a fridge and stove.  We will also be having some furniture made.  Our outfit fund will be going fast, thank you to all who continue to give.

After so many days in UB it is very pleasant to be in Darhan.  Its more quiet here and less traffic.  We went to church this morning (more later). (I sunburned my head at the market- red necks in Mongolia).

Its great to meet many of the team members and get to know them.  We look forward to growing in relationships with them.  Field forum starts Saturday.  Wow- alot has gone by but we are seeing how great the need and task to be done here in Mongolia really is.  Please continue to pray and we really enjoy reading the comments.  Love to All  MCAT

Well after about 20+ hours in the air we are in UB! I’m writing from the Savages apartment.  We took off from O’hare at 9:30 (originally scheduled for 8:00, but that was the only delay).  Toby and Annika are doing great- Toby’s sacked out but they really did well on the plane.  All the luggage arrived well, one trunk was cracked but its minimal, no problems at customs and we sailed through.  It has been great to re-connect with Bernie and Renee.  We ate at Millies for lunch- cheeseburgers and good fries, and yes they have iodized salt.  We went to the American store to pick up some stuff- there really is alot available.  The Savages took us out to dinner at a great Chinese restaurant.  More later.  Its Thursday now we will be heading to Darhan Saturday afternoon.

on the plane

on the plane

I’m a wimp when it comes to pain, I want to get that out there right away.  When the dentist recommended that I have my wisdom teeth removed I was not to excited.  If you have had your wisdom teeth pulled you have a story about, good or bad.  In these stories there is usually the best friend of a cousin who’s girlfriends aunt’ next door neighbor had a really bad experience (Their teeth pulling was the basis for Castaway, a rock and an ice skate- its simple)and not that I would but they want to share it with me anyways. It

The downside of the joy of having teeth pulled is that you have to pay for this privilege.  Ah, the solution was that we would have dental insurance starting July 1 so all bases are covered, right?  Well teeth extraction does not fall under the insurance category for another 6 months and as much as I was looking forward to getting my wisdom teeth out getting them pulled in Mongolia was looking a bit less appealing.

In steps God.  My parents have a neighbor who is a dentist and confirmed that my wisdom teeth should come out.  She gave me a referral to an oral surgeon.  During this time I had been praying for a Christian oral surgeon who would be able to do the surgey.  No one had recommendations so I went to see this oral surgeon.

I wrote down my parents address- now our permenant address in the US.  As he saw the address he asked if it was on a corner or on the street- it turns out he lived just down the block, completely unknown to my parents and myself!  I shared that I needed my teeth out soon because we were going to Mongolia and he was eager to hear why we were going.  Meanwhile the receptionist was wrestling with our insurance papers.  As I left the consult I was informed that there would be no charge.  The doctor is a believer and wanted to honor God in pulling my teeth- Praise God!.

I must say that the procedure was alot smoother and free of pain than I could have imagined possible- it actually was a very good experience and I am healing fine and pain free.

Thank you Doc for all that you did and honoring God.  Dentistry is a big need in Mongolia, I’m praying that God will call this doc to come over to Mongolia for a short term trip- there is a very nice dentist chair in Darhan.  If it takes my four wisdom teeth to make that happen I can live with that.

[Toby enjoys the climbing wall

Annika and Toby enjoy the climbing wall

Our time at Wheaton was good.  It was an opportunity to meet many new friends and get back into study mode.

Second Language Acquisition is a crash course in identifying and reproducing sounds (comes in handy in learning mouth gymnastics to reproduce sounds that your mouth has never made)  We learned phonetics, which breaks down consonants and vowels into categories according to which parts of your mouth you use to reproduce the sound. I now know what a palliative fricative is and a labial dental stop.  From this we were trained in how to transcribe the sounds so we can reproduce them later.  We purchased a new digital recorder to help with this task also.  Other classes included rhythm and tone (I am very thankful that Mongolian is not tonal).  We even got to learn some Korean along the way Anyang haseo! This class really has equipped us to be able to jump into learning the Mongolian language.  One part that was particularly helpful was identifying what type of learner Cinda and I are (visual, auditory, etc.)

As you can see from the picutres it was all study and no time for fun, well Annika and Toby got to have some fun on the climbing wall (thanks Uncle Larry for the use of the harnesses)

DISCLAIMER: the use of the flash in these pictures may cause hair to appear thinner than what it actually is under certain lighting.

Praise God visas came through and we have them in hand.  Yesterday we went and finished up our immunizations.  If you are ever looking for a good way to increase your income may I suggest opening up a travel clinic.  The Hep A and B as well as typhoid came to around $700.  But hey- it beats getting the illnesses they are designed to protect.

We are in the process of packing and weighing and calling around to find out what exactly the regulations on baggage are.  Please pray with us that after we check bags at O’hare that they wind up in UB.  We are probably going to add 1 extra bag.  I am down to making real choices about socks vs. books- or fishing gear.  Hmm, stay tuned for the details.

We have had lots of fun going to the water park in the past couple of days and seeing family (getting the vaccinations with family members was not really a highlight) We appreciate my sister for setting it all up, and in truth it wasn’t as bad as what I had thought.

5 days and counting.

Well we have survived Pre-field orientation and Second language acquisition.  Both were a big help in getting us to Mongolia.  Right now we are visiting family in Missouri and having a wonderful time.  (We’re typing in a parking lot using the free wi-fi).  We will be updating more shortly- including pictures!  Stay tuned for tale of Mark getting his wisdom teeth out and how we made it up to Chicago through Indiana.  There are several things that you can be praying about for us.  There have been several great answers to prayer that we want to share with you.

1) Pray for visas to come through

2) Pray for wrapping up paperwork- registering for different things

3) Pray for good farewells with family

4) Pray for Mongolia, there has been a bit of rioting but not huge, however pray that it would be resolved peacefully.

In Him

Mark and Cinda