We are all doing well. Teresa & the kids have been able to fight off their colds/flu, but mine is still lingering. The kids are doing well & have made new friends. Esme is enjoying homeschooling & learning a lot. Please pray for Esme. There is only 1 girl her age that lives close to us, she only speaks Mongolian & they don’t really get along. I find it difficult when she starts crying saying that it is not fair that Kiel has all the friends & she doesn’t have any to play girlie stuff with. Kiel is doing really well making friends with the many little boys his age that live close to us. Homeschooling is going well & they both amaze me with what they are learning. Kiel is a great big brother because most of the time lets Esme play with him & his friends. My heart fills with joy when Kiel asks his friends if Esme can come over to his friends with him so they all can play. Deep down our kids really love each other & as their parents it fills us with joy. Oh, & then they become normal brother & sister & start arguing, but still love each other.
Mongolian language is coming for both Teresa & I. It is hard because of the time it takes to learn. Deep down we both have asked God for a miracle to automatically know the language so that we can move on to “doing” things. But even before I have finished thinking this God comes in & reminds me to stop thinking "faster is better." God reminds me that in our struggles of learning the language he is teaching us to be more like him & to have his character; patience (when nothing seems to be working & it takes all day to accomplish 2 things on your list it doesn't discourage you.) Kindness (when you are struggling to get through a tough day & a friend comes for encouragement, you place your struggles aside to encourage your friend first.) Perseverance (when you are sitting in class or trying to talk to a Mongolian & keep forgetting words. When your head is just sore from your previous language lessons & you want to give up you keep trying.) Self control (you haven’t had hot water for over 2 weeks & all you want is to wash the dishes or have a shower. Instead of complaining you choose to keep your mouth closed & your actions to yourself knowing it will not encourage the people around you.) Humility (you try your best to speak to people & they laugh at you many times a day because you have totally mispronounced words. Instead of choosing to be upset or say something, you choose to laugh with them at yourself because over time laughing will allow you to build relationships.)
God is also bringing Mongolian people into our lives to build lasting relationships as we are learning Mongolian. Lasting relationships take time. I never really thought about it, but we are starting all over again with these people only we can’t communicate well because we have been studying their language for 6 months. We are so thankful many Mongolians are patient & want to build friendships/relationships with us even though they feel like they are talking to 5 year old children (us) many times. We need lasting friendships/relationships with Mongolians to walk alongside/help them. A Mongolian friend, language instructor & church leader shared with me that when he gets married he wants our family to be at his wedding. He wants our families to be close friends & share life together. He comes over to our home once a week to teach us, learn from us, share with us & enjoy our family. This is only one example of the lasting friendships God has given us here thus far.
We want to thank God & you all for the many ways you help us learn & live here in Mongolia. We think about & pray for many of you. It means so much to us.