I thought I would try to describe what I see as I look outside my hotel room and as I walk the streets of Banyankhangor. My hotel room is Spartan - two single beds, hard (Sealy would not be happy!), with a TV that carries one channel (mainly repeat NBA playoffs), a stool as a chair, and a dresser desk. The selling feature of this hotel is that it has hot water year round - apparently they turn off the hot water this time of year. It is clean and the real selling feature for me is that as I look out the window, I look out onto the government building with the backdrop of the desert hills (mountains?). This morning the misty sun rose leaving a hazy appearance. There is a rugged beauty to this small city set in the middle of nowhere. As I stood in front of the window, I thought to myself - why here? The desert is massive and they plant a city right here.
After some early morning preparation, I leave the hotel for a ten minute walk to the YWAM building where I have internet access. I turn right, walk 100 metres over gravel and incomplete sidewalks, and then turn right again onto the main street. Here there is a small green iron fence that separates the road from a yellow and red brick sidewalk. Gravel and sand is all around, surrounding this beautiful, incomplete sidewalk. The buildings I walk past hold the banks and supermarkets, the bars and karaoke superstars, apartments and run down buildings. As I walk, I have to be careful as cars have the right of way. I don’t worry too much, though, because the cars cannot move too fast as they navigate the abundance of potholes. I was driving with Jeff the other day and as we went over one particular poor section, he mentioned they built the road right over a spring.
Once I arrive at the YWAM building I have the opportunity to speak with my family and see how they are doing. Tsegmed then comes and picks up Idree (my translator) and myself and drives us to the church. This is the big church in town, and they have new land and a new building. The big ger is still present but we meet in a building donated by churches in Korea. The church is a bright building surrounded by a fence and more dirt. The last few days have been comfortably warm - during the day I step outside of the church and there is a warm, fresh clean breeze sweeping in from the desert. It smells clean, feels clean.
After I am done teaching, I walk home. My route brings me past a gas station, a school, a super market, and many other buildings. My shoes are dusty from the sandy gravel. As I walk past the school a man and woman are having a violent argument in their car - lots of shouting and slapping. Sad, but also a reminder of the great need of the gospel. The children venture a "hi" or a "hello" and with a giggle that they spoke English. I met one little boy in the supermarket who could not stop staring and laughing at me. I would raise my eyebrows and he would do the same as he laughed.