Thursday, November 16, 2017

River of Life Greets Mongolian Alliance

"Sain Baina uu!"
Vote (in comments below) for which one is best in volume or pronunciation:
 Youth Group
 First Service
Second Service

Friday, November 10, 2017

Mid-America District Tour Views

Coming to Grand Junction, Colorado from Omaha and Lincoln churches, I stayed in the town of Mesa and woke to walks with deer and sweeping views.

Also, got to visit Fruita, CO.  One of the mountain-biking capitals of the west, we rode trails overlooking the Colorado River and its magnificent red rock canyons.  Some of the above shots are from the Colorado National Monument.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cooperating with Christ

This morning I had a vision of believers being a bridge between working healthy 'haves' and the hurt, sick or homeless, 'have-nots'.  Such a three-standed cord 'is not quickly broken'.

Most societies, Mongolian included, have understand the need to help the poor.  Most materially secure people also have an understanding you can't just give people money and food irresponsibly, or you can make matters worse.  Taking too much responsibility for people can rob from them their own responsibility to care for themselves and loved ones.  The church can help with that.

Christian people have limited quantities of wealth to share with the massive needs or the world.  So partnering with entities that want to help can be a fruitful partnership.  Union Gospel, and other city missions are right to seek and accept contributions from both Christian and non-Christian sources.

In Mongolia, our efforts to help the poor have been fully supported by the Great Commission Fund of the C&MA, funded mostly by American Alliance people.  Very little buy in from the local Mongolian economy or society can severely limit effectiveness of charity.  I believe we are going to see much more fruit for the kingdom and measurable benefit to society if we seek, expect and see cooperation of the local people in helping their own people.  We don't need the local people's money or control that may accompany it.  But we do need their buy-in, relationship, and possible back-up.

Further, if we do our job well, with culturally appropriate local buy-in and back-up, our 'meaningful impactful presence' should result in trusting relationships with our more financially secure neighbors. Even if they choose not to partner with our efforts to help the poor, they will appreciate being asked and may understand more our purpose more for being there.  That will help them trust us more when we get a chance to help them understand the message of Christ 'to seek and save the lost'.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pretty Good Birthday Card

Fall Family Photo

This was a memorable moment for the kids to recall having grandparents in from Ohio.

Grandma Suzi, aunt Jeanne and baby Michael also joined the festivities.  Their daddy was glad to be home from tour for a while and take part too :-)

Small town USA Fall Scenes

Dropping off Clara for choir at school this morning Johanna and I noticed the fall morning fog. 

Later after dropping off Josiah for kindergarten and talking with my cousin Tim, who was dropping off his daughters too, I saw this other scene.

The hawk that caught my eye took flight just as I snapped this.  The Mongolian song "Amazing Creator" was broadcast from the iPhone that contains the camera that took the picture.

Pretty amazing Creator who created this nature and creatures who created technology to record and adore and share it.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Wyoming Milk Pail Meal (aka Horhog)

Unbelievable, among the similarities between Wyoming and Mongolia (exact same low population density, wide open spaces, herding animals and mining industries) they prepare special food like this:
Meat and vegetables (albeit different kinds) put into a milk can over an open fire.
Feeding of the multitudes.  The only question from our Mongolian friends who saw the pictures was: "Is it sheep?"  In Wyoming, it most definitely was not, rather a fancy kind of hot dog, which they didn't want to be called hot dog :=}

That's okay, our Mongolian leader/friend informed us that Horhog (what they call this meal in Mongolian) literally translates as 'poison garbage'.  

They both taste much better than they sound, and always a memorable meal.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Medicine Bow Lodge

Tim and Debbie Bishop of Saratoga Alliance Church run this dude ranch.
At 8000 feet, the fall colors were early and bright.  My first day I was taken on a hike that reached above 10,000 feet.
My last day there Tim took me on a trail ride through snowy trails.
I rode a 3/4 draft grey Percheron named Pedro.  It was the first I'd been on a horse in probably more than a year.  

The Next of a Holy Generation

Wyoming girls from Saratoga Alliance wearing Mongolian princess hats.

One of them came right up to me after church, sat down beside me, and said:
"I'm going to be a missionary too!"

Maybe we'll see them in a place like Mongolia sometime in a decade or two.  May God bless and Alliance people pray for those who are called to go wherever God guides and faithfully provides.
"You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."  1 Peter 2:9 AKJV

Thursday, September 07, 2017

First Day of School, Smoke, and Family Photo

The kids by grandma's flowers before they begin 10th, 9th, 7th, 4th grade and kindergarten. 

Some pretty smokey days here from forest fires has limited sports and schools in nearby areas.

Hoping this picture might become an updated prayer card for us.  Please ask for one if you see us.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Counting Summer Blessings

We had an amazing summer season in Ellensburg!  Here's Lydia at one of our frequent stops to get 69-cent ice cream cones.  That helped out with those 100+ degree days.

Also enjoyed many visits from Kirkland cousins and trips to take a dip in the local swimming hole, "People's Pond".

Four of our family made it to the summit of Manastash Ridge in about 75 minutes.  And back down again, the hike was only 45 minutes, about 2 hours total for a 2 miles each way.

We stayed in Ellensburg for the big solar eclipse, but were still able to see that historic event.

A lot of time was spent on Camano Island this summer too.  
Here the kids gather logs to make their raft.

Down by placid Elger Bay, still waters restore the soul.

Ellensburg Rodeo and Fair happen every Labor Day Weekend.  Our family enjoyed serving at our church's BBQ Beef Booth - their 40th year in a row serving sandwiches for charity.

The parade features local Native Americans.  Clara is pictured with one passing horseman.

Here are the kids (and cousin) in the Indian Village.

I talked with Wilson about Mongolians always asking about Native Americans.  He in turn asked the same thing about Mongolians:  "How are our people doing over there?"

The kids enjoy cold pickles on the porch of "Frontier Village". 

After all that fair time, a waterfront meal with family on the Yakima River.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Settling into America

Here the kids are with their cousins on our new street in Ellensburg, WA.

This picture represents a lot of fun so far with lots of cousins.  It's great to see family and friends on both sides of our beautiful country.  God Bless America.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

European Vacation

This time coming home from Mongolia, we had to visit Germany.  So we decided to see France, Switzerland and Austria while we were close.  Here are pictures from 10 days of that tour.  At the end is a picture of the purpose for our trip, a visit to Black Forest Academy...