Well, it has been a while ...
My internet connection here is a litle suspect and is very sensitive so I really try to be nice to it but it still cuts out on me for extended periods of time. As well, when I did try to sign in to my blog, I got blocked under suspicion of being a spammer - imagine, me being a spammer - I barely know how to turn on a computer. How exactly does one spam? Does one create a spam or does one just spam and spam just happens to come out as spam? Anyway, my name was cleared, I was pardoned and am now allowed the full rights and privileges of blogging. So I do apologize for not being able to keep up to date.
We just finished our second Monday of classes. So far we have done a lot of work putting together sermons - capturing the flow of the text, looking for the fallen condition focus, applications, illustrations, preaching the text from the immediate context and historical redemptive context, and other aspects of sermon writing. There have been times taken up with questions unrelated - pastoral questions concerning circumstances in their churches, concerning other points of theology, and many others.
This past Thursday night I was able to have supper with Andrew and Liz and some of their family - they work with the organization that helps bring me into Mongolia. It was nice to see them once again as 2 years ago I stayed in their apartment. They are a very kind family and also very hospitable - it was good to catch up with them.
On the Sunday, I had the opportunity to preach out in the "ger" district - a place just outside of UB with about 2000 people. The pastor and his wife are very passionate for the Lord and for their community. They have asked us to pray for their people and for their outreach - a place where they seek to minister to those without showers, without schools, without police or medical aid. They would like to minister to children and families, providing a place not only for the proclamation of the gospel but also for ministries of mercy. After preaching in their service, I met with their church leaders and we had about a two and a half hour lunch where they asked plenty of questions. We also had an enjoyable time getting to know one another and how the Lord saved us.
In order to come back into the city, my interpreter and I had to catch a taxi - I could not believe this guy - he was the Mario Andredi of Mongolia - it did not even matter if traffic was coming the opposite direction (now I have been in my share of taxis in Mongolia so I have already experienced and somehow got used to this unique thrill - but this guy took it to a whole new level!). About 3-4 minutes earlier, we missed taking a small mini-van like taxi. Well, with Mario at the wheel, we caught up to him, passed him, and left him in our pothole dust. When I got out of the backseat (I did look for a seatbelt but they seem to hide them in the backseats or just take them out), I thanked the Lord for bringing me safely back into the city.
Tonight, after teaching I was able to have supper with a pastor, his wife and their lovely 6 year old daughter. I preached at this man's church last year and so it was good to catch up once again on how their church is doing and how they are doing as well. Last year they where concerned that their church building may be removed and apartment buildings would be raised on their land. I asked how that was going as I had been praying for them and they mentioned that they are not going to build anymore apartments in that place - thank the Lord.
It has been good to be in the Word with the pastors and also to listen to their questions. The Lord continues to do great things in this young and vibrant church. I thank the Lord for your prayers - He has been gracious with health and strength.