Monday, April 18, 2011

3 Weeks in Mongolia

It's been 3 weeks now that we've been in Mongolia.  It seems like a much longer time than just 3 weeks.  So much has happened.  When you change a country, try to get established in an apartment, and start a new job, all in just 3 weeks, it is bound to feel like months and months.  It certainly does feel very far away from the rest of the world.  Life is so different.  I don't really know how to take it all in and feel "normal".  What is normal now?  I think I'm passing through culture shock in a milder way than first anticipated.  The initial preoccupation with finding housing and starting work is over but now the more realistic phase of living here and blending in with the community or should I say fitting into the community is beginning.  Sounds, smells, sights, the ordeal of going shopping (there is no such thing as one stop shopping), the ordeal of washing clothes and ironing (no dryers), the race to the bus and being stuffed in like sardines with the other 1000 people trying to get to work, is all a bit much sometimes.  There isn't much to look at and relax in.  It is hard living here, not much beauty, and yet the people are lovely, warm, generous, kind, and giving.  If it were not for that one might just faint!  Yesterday, as we took the bus home from work a man and his grandson were sitting together on the same seat.  The bus was full and we were carrying our heavy load - backpack and computer.  The grandfather could not speak English nor his grandson.  Richard took their picture (he often does this!) and the grandfather beckoned for him to rest his backpack on his lap.  So Richard did.  Little hints of kindness we find often as we go through our day.

I find work to be not very stimulating but very challenging in an agonizing kind of way.  I am used to my employers giving me concrete direction with detailed information.  This employer is the exact opposite.  Very little direction, and when he does direct it is not very clear at all. So I need to find the Lord in it and take His leading.  All of this is very challenging, confusing, discouraging, but I suppose the very right atmosphere for growth if I submit it to the Lord. 

We had the most amazing experience on Sunday.  We went to a church of our friend on the outskirts of town, near the airport.  The music was very good at this church, our friends being on the worship team.  They have lovely voices and the music was nice.  They had a visiting preacher from the US but is Chinese and spends alot of his time in the Philippines.  He reminded me of our dear friend, Otoniel in LA.  Well, he preached (shouted) for about 2 hours and then we all had lunch together with the Pastor and his wife and our dear friends.  Actually, the man preaching is very intelligent and informative about world events and has had an incredible testimony himself.  I am leading up to what was so fascinating.  One of the men in the church, newly converted, is one of the 5 top businessman in the country.  He at one time owned 15 very prosperous businesses but lost them all and went bankrupt about 3 years ago.  Recently, he has started up a business again of exporting sheep skins and fur to China and Korea.  After the meeting he took us with this guest preacher to his factory.  As we bumped along the road through a maze of crumpled buildings and uneven roadways we finally came to his office in an old Russian building.  It looked like a concentration camp.  We walked into this nice office had coffee and he showed his coin collection dating back to 1100 AD.  Impressive.  Afterwards he took us to the factory which was in another building close by.  It was like walking back in time about 100 years.  There in a big building were thousands of animal skin,s big vats of green looking chemicals, and tumblers about 24 feet high and about 3 feet wide.  Ladies were pulling off the fur from the hide without any sharp instrument just with their gloves.  The chemical loosens the fur from the hide.  It was all very dirty and muddy and wet but so very fascinating.  I don't know why but it was!

Today we began language study.  We learned the alphabet, the vowels, and the consonants and have to memorize them by tomorrow!  haha.  This is a very intensive course and will be a real boost if we can actually pull it off.  It's all greek to me!

Until another day.....Baryatai (which means goodbye!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Only 3 short weeks left and then we move

Today we had a visitor from Mongolia.  He shared with us many things which we can expect when we get there.  I must admit my heart sank a little as he talked of the many difficulties and things which we might face while looking at the pictures of the starkness and bleakness of winter.  Leaving behind good friends and family, sunny beautiful California and moving to such a cold bleak place with its many problems felt very overwhelming.  The thoughts, "why are we doing this?" came creeping up in to my heart.  He said some things which made me shudder.  He told us about the spiritual darkness, the hardness of the life which takes its tole on the people, and the reality of couples divorcing - these are Christian couples!  The work is hard, the stress is great, and there is need for much prayer for victory and success in God's work there in Mongolia.

Suddenly I felt 3 feet tall and very unprepared for what we will face.  I can truly relate to the children of Israel when they said, "there are giants in the land!"  That was one man's perspective.  The others said, "the land flows with milk and honey."  But Caleb said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."

I've been thinking alot about that word, "possession."  The Lord wanted the children of Israel to "possess" the land.  To own it.  To live on and in it.  In the spiritual sense He wants us to"possess" the kingdom of God within.  It is a good word to consider what Caleb said...."Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."  With God we can do all things. 

This move is to me like what the children of Israel faced - a new land which has to be possessed.  However, the GREAT thing is that God goes with us and fights for us.  We are not alone - this is not a battle of flesh and blood but of His Great Spirit and life and it will mean an enlarging, a time of growth, a time to prove His faithfulness and power.  So we are cast on Him and rely on His steadfastness.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Living in between can be challenging!  Not quite out and not quite in ... so we are in between!  We haven't left California yet but are moving steadily in that direction.  Boxes are being packed, our house is now rented but we are still here!  New leadership in the church yet still an active role in the church.  I am thankful that God does things slowly.  Can you imagine if we were to enter change immediately?  No time to adjust to the idea, nor time to prepare physically and spiritually but to just enter into change?  God leads us with grace.  He is not a task master but a loving God.  He knows our frame and does what is best for us.

We probably have 3-4 weeks left in California.  They will be busy weeks packing, cleaning, seeing friends, etc. I hope that they will not be too stressful because living in Mongolia will be stressful, I think!  At least at first.  But the good thing is that God enables.  If He gives us a task to do, He first enables us to do it.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Someone in our church said recently, "God is-and all is well."  That's a good thought to dwell on.  The good thing about transition IS change.  We all need it.  Change brings newness, challenge, deeper dependence on God, growing in faith and proving His faithfulness.  The underlying peace of moving in His will is the anchor and bedrock of our stability in God when change is afoot. 

So, though we are in transition, we are at peace.  Though we are very busy, we are at rest.  We are at rest in Him.  I am glad that He is an anchor for our souls - not a run to Him and feel safe kind of thing, but a continual knowing that we are in His will and He is going before us.  "God is - and all is well."  Praise God!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Changes are the order of the day for the Porowski household.  We finally got our contracts for Mongolia and the letter of invitation has been sent to the Mongolian Embassy in LA.  They say we've got about 4 weeks to wait.  Then we buy our tickets, Richard gives his 2 weeks notice, and we are off!  It is exciting and scary all at the same time.  Yet, we both feel God is in this and so we move forward. 

We've rented our house out to a lovely couple from Alabama who will join the church and use the house as it has been used for the church and hospitality.  They've already moved here and are now part of the Porowski household.  Laura and Jonthan and little Caleb (1 year) arrived last Friday and Jonathan started his new job on Monday.  Its amazing how things have developed and we are so blessed to have such a lovely couple here.

Changes....a new country in which to live, a new language, new culture, a new much more can one change?  This will be a challenge to the highest degree for us.  Even the weather is extreme!  We value all prayers!

A word which has blessed me incredibly which was spoken at our church recently is taken from Matt 22:  "Be of good cheer, It is I; be not afraid.  What a comfort and joy to hear such a word as this as we set forth on a year full of changes!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I love being home and not working!  I absolutely love being home and not working!  It is such a relief after 3 1/2 years of dragging myself out of bed, going to a place and sorting out everybody else's mess and then coming home and haphazardly cleaning up my own!  I feel fresher, more alive, more restful and at ease and I enjoy life more.  No more do I feel chained to a clock and a schedule.  No more do I see the many things needed doing around home and think, "oh well, someday!"  Now I can tackle it with gusto!  It feels good.  I don't know for how long I will have this luxury but you can bet I am going to enjoy it to the max!