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a story by Annika

Part One

Chapter One: 

Once upon a time Hello Kitty had a new neighbor.  And the new family had a girl cat her age!  One day they met and decided to be friends.  The girl cat’s name was Strawberry.

So they became friends and played together!  For Christmas they both got bikes.  That summer they rode their bikes.  They had lots of fun that summer.

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To be continued. . .

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Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17 ESV

by Cinda

This morning I was reflecting on how much we have received since we began our journey to come to Mongolia.  Monetary gifts have been and still are being generously showered upon us to help us — with travel, furnishing a new home, feeding and caring for our family, beginning new ministry here, studying the language, and even a start towards the purchase of a vehicle here in Mongolia.  We remember with gratitude those who gave their time and energy to help us prepare for coming, with garage sales, selling our house, and moving (has it really been almost a year already?).  We also joyously receive care packages from many of you with thoughtful gifts and tasty American treats — mac and cheese makes Toby very happy!  As I try to write it down, I realize that I cannot even put into words how much has been given to us and how it touches us every single time.

100_5376 Receiving a birthday gift100_5399 Gift of a pet — A and T’s joy!  Gift of a nap, need I say more, moms and dads?

What an incredibly great gift it is to us also to have 2 full years to study the language.  We appreciate CAMA’s dedication to their workers and ministry that they not only allow us two years of study, but require it.  It’s not an easy job to do and it can be frustrating, but it IS a huge blessing.  Without it we would not be equipped to do what God has called us to do, and to be honest, the very jobs our own hearts desire as well.  Language learning is a blessing and we receive it as a gift from the Alliance and from our supporters.  We receive from our teachers, we receive from our language helpers, we receive from our teammates, we receive from our families and friends back home, and we receive from our Father God.  We are so blessed!

Now that we’ve been here most of a year, we are starting to see that there will quickly come an end to this two year’s of study and then it will be time to give from the abundance we have received (and continue to receive).  Luke 12:48: “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”  It’s exciting to look forward to it, but also daunting.  We passionately want to succeed, we long to be effective and to make a difference for His Glory and in people’s lives.  Yet we face some fears, too, knowing that it is not an easy task, that there will inevitably be failures and setbacks and discouragements along the way.  Your prayers make a difference here.  We pray that we can keep our eyes focused on the Lord, that we will be faithful to the task He calls us to do, and that we will work in His strength.  Please pray with us and for us so that we might be able to continue to be good stewards of the gracious gifts poured out upon us. 

by Cinda

We have been delinquent in posting new blogs lately, but we are still here, still going to language classes and schools, and still thankful for our friends and family!  Toby and Annika have been keeping us hopping the past two weeks with a stomach bug.  Toby was sick for several days and we had to juggle schedules to take care of him, then Annika came down with it over the weekend while Mark was away on a “fishing” trip (the ice on the river was at least 12 inches thick, so there was no fishing!).  It has been a difficult virus to rid ourselves of but it seems like we might be on the other side of it now.  I don’t want to speak too soon, though, so please pray for all of us to be healthy.  Thank you so much to those of you who have been praying during this time — it helps us greatly to know you are there and interceding for us. 

It has already been a month since Annika’s 8th birthday!  We had a big party to celebrate Annika and Isaiah (Liberda) turning 8 and Malachi (also Liberda) turning 10.  It all came together at the last minute and thanks so much to Kirsten and Ali, as well as pretty much the entire Darhan team for pitching in and helping.  The plan originally was to have separate parties for each child, but when Liberda’s received word they were going to the States at any time, we all wanted to be sure we had a chance to celebrate with the boys before they left.  Annika had a wonderful time with all of her friends there together.  Even the Bergevin family was able to be here, which added to the celebration.

balloon tunnel Birthday cakes Isaiah makes a wish

Thank you SOO much! Go, Malachi! game time New ice skates Ms. Kirsten entertains Levi -- sorry, I had to do it!

 

There are many more pictures where these came from, but it’s time to put the kids to bed!  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

by Cinda

We dropped Toby off at tsitserleg this morning as usual.  As usual, he was wearing his light-up Spiderman sweatshirt and his Spiderman shoes.  In the coatroom two Mongolian boys were showing each other their Spiderman caps they wore to school, another boy took off his coat to reveal a Spiderman t-shirt, and one more boy in a Spiderman t-shirt came over to say hi to his friends.  Did Toby start a trend or is it just the in-thing this year? 

We really appreciate your prayers for Toby’s adjustment to school, especially now that Levi Liberda is in the U.S.  Yesterday when we picked him up he was sitting on the rug playing alone while the other kids ate their lunch.  Before we took him back today we asked him to sit down at the table with the other kids at lunchtime and to try to play with some of the kids.  When we picked him up today, there he was sitting at the table with everyone else!  He was wearing his exercise clothes (every Tuesday is exercise day) and he tells us he exercised AND played with some of the kids.  As he was getting ready to leave, 5 or 6 girls and 1 or 2 boys came to tell him goodbye.  They all know his name very well, but we’re still working on getting to know their names!  Keep praying for him.  It can’t be easy for him to go into a room full of kids (and teachers) who don’t speak any English, but he has a much more positive attitude now than he did just a few weeks ago.  It’s all in God’s sovereign hands and we see so many signs of how He has already been working in Toby’s heart, so we rest in His promise that He never leaves us nor forsakes us.  You bless us greatly when you pray for our kids– thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts!       

 

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by Mark

We received word that the Liberda family safely made it to Minnesota!  That’s a great praise.  Lisa is undergoing tests and meeting with doctors over these next several days.  Thank you for praying for them and for all of us! 

by Mark

Makes a noise and no one hears it is it still an earthquake?

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2009duak.php

 

This is a far way from us, didn’t feel a thing or know it happened.  In the Gobi region and Inner Mongolia there seems to quite a history of seismic events. 

PS-

Keep praying for the Liberda Family.  Lisa is clear to travel (praise) and they are on their way to Minnesota. 

Thank you for your all your prayers for our friend and sister, Lisa.  Following surgery, Lisa developed a blood clot below the break.  The doctors in Korea felt that she needed to stay in Korea for further care and monitoring.  She has been there now for almost 4 weeks.  The clot was discovered to have moved when it was checked last week, and further tests revealed an unrelated health issue that needs attention.  Because of the complications, Brent and the children will join Lisa in Korea in a couple of days and return to the States with her when she is released for travel.  Pray that she will be released tomorrow following her sonogram and that she will be strengthened for the trip home.  Pray for the clot to dissolve and for her overall health, as well as for the tests and recovery in the States to go well.  Pray for Brent as he completes all the preparations for their family to travel and be gone during this time.  Praise our Father for the details He has worked out for them and for His continual care for Lisa.  Lisa is very thankful for all those who are praying for her and her family!