You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 24, 2009.

posted by Cinda


Our teacher called it a party, but we think it was a lesson in disguise!  Whatever it was, the food was tasty, everyone was dressed up, and the singing and dancing were terrific.  Toby wouldn’t wear his dell after the first five minutes, but aside from that, he had fun.  The kids weren’t sure about most of the food, so thankfully there was plenty of fresh fruit and dessert to make up for the things they wouldn’t eat.  Mark was called upon to answer a few Tsagaan Sar history questions, for which he was well-qualified since he’s gathered a lot of information about it lately.  Some things never change!

Teachers, students, foodAunt Krista with some of the kids meat, potato salad, hoshur

We mingled, we wrapped and re-wrapped our dells, then we had the teachers re-wrap us, we learned about the foods, we ate the foods, and we enjoyed the traditional music and dance.  Then, when we were sated and lulled into complacency, they tested our Tsagaan Sar greetings.  I think we did okay.  We find out tomorrow when we start visiting for the actual holiday.  We have 3 days off school for the holiday.  We have at least 4 invitations to visit Mongolian homes and will get to practice our language while we celebrate with our friends and their families.  Everyone says we will be expected to eat boadz and drink milk-tea nonstop.  We joked about having a weigh-in today and another one next Monday–too bad we don’t have a scale at our house . . .  Maybe just “before and after” photos will work!  The kids will be given a lot of candy — anybody know a good dentist? 

 Annika and Mommy Annika and Daddy Ms. Kirsten with Annika Toby and Mommy

It’s a huge privilege for us to be serving here.  We are very thankful for so many things, among them the opportunities for our children to learn about Mongolian culture.  Mongolia is a beautiful place with an intriguing history and amazing people.  There is no doubt it isn’t easy to live in Mongolia, but God has used difficult circumstances to create incredible strength and perseverance in Mongolia’s people.  

Mongolian singer and fiddler Mongolian dancer

Mongolian Singing and Mooren Hor (Horse fiddle)

February 24, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Alliance launched a multipurpose ministry center, including a student outreach, in Ulaanbaatar, the cultural hub of Mongolia. The grand opening of the Grain of Wheat Student Center took place on February 16, 2009.

Each year, 250,000 students pour into Ulaanbaatar from across the country to attend university. “The center is located in the heart of the city, close to several major universities,” says Bernie Anderson, who serves with The Alliance in Mongolia. “The center exists for the benefit of students who come to the city to study.”

Many students enter the university dormitory system, which consists of up to 10 students sharing one room with no furniture. “They have no quiet place of their own to study,” says Anderson. “There is no place in the city to simply ‘hang out,’ with the exception of the abundant number of bars and pubs. Alcoholism is a huge problem in Mongolia, and much of the time it begins with university students.”

The Grain of Wheat Student Center will help meet some of these needs, providing a warm and inviting environment for students to gather. It will feature a library and eventually computers for research, a quiet study area, and a coffee shop. Students will be able to attend English and vocational classes as well as movie and music nights.

The Alliance ministry team in Mongolia believes that the best way to build relationships with the people of Ulaanbaatar is to have a visible presence in the city. Dennis Maves, field director for Mongolia, says, “Our first priority is to establish a beachhead in this strategic city by purchasing a permanent location for a multipurpose ministry center that will serve as a tactical hub for student outreach and outreach into communities throughout the city.”

The Alliance is a fellowship of evangelical believers joined together in local churches, dedicated to caring about the whole person and meeting people’s needs. The Alliance maintains a “big tent” stance in reference to many doctrinal matters, encouraging believers of diverse backgrounds and theological traditions to unite in order to share the love of Jesus Christ through tangible acts of compassion. 

go to and for more pictures