This was a very special week.  The highlight, and I think of the trip, was Odka and Zaya’s birthday party last Wednesday night.  It was Odka’s actual birthday and we did all we could to make it special because it was the first birthday that he celebrated at his new home.  (Today is Zaya’s birthday!) There was a giant smile on his face the entire evening.  Carlie and I cooked a fine American meal of chicken, roasted potatoes, salad, and a homemade cake.  I was put in charge of the chicken, which I was very nervous about because I’m no chef.  Purchasing it was actually a very eye-opening experience.  The kids very rarely eat chicken because it is very expensive, so we were told.  To buy enough chicken to feed fifteen people, with food to spare, was only $16.  Dinner only cost us maybe $20 and it was a special meal they never get to eat.  It really put things into perspective for us.  The money that you/we give really does go a long way.  Our evening was full of laughter, dancing, and singing Britney Spears songs.  After dinner and presents Carlie and I gave everyone a Beggartown t-shirt.  It was a great night that we will not soon forget. 

On Sunday I shared from Mark 12: 28-31.  I talked about the importance of loving God with everything inside of us.  I was incredibly impressed with the answers given when I asked what it means to love the Lord with our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  Bimba gave a great response to what it practically means to love the Lord with our souls: to worship.  I am not sure if I could have come up with that one myself.  It is pretty amazing to see the understanding that these kids have of the Lord even though their government does not allow them to attend a Christian church- a definite testament to Baatraa and Azaa. 

I must also tell you how sweet these kids are.  The other day I got a few handfuls of potatoes to peel for Carlie.  As I began the peeling process it was pretty obvious that I had no idea what I was doing.  Burnee, Tsengel, and Dulguun promptly took over my potato peeling post.  They shedded those spud skins in just a few moments and then washed them for me.  No one asked them to help me, they just did it.  I felt so loved and blessed to be served by these sweet girls. 

We were able to finish harvesting this week!  Please be in prayer that we will be able to sell a good deal of these vegetables.  Also, please continue to pray for the kids in school.  They are working and studying very hard.  This last week their school got a new principal.  Burnee and Tsengel will be having ear surgery this month to patch several holes in their ears.  Pray for effective and perfect procedures and that they may be comforted during it.  Please continue to pray for Azaa’s sister who has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia.  This has been a very hard thing for her entire family.  But praise God that she received Christ into her life last week when Baatraa and Azaa went to visit her!!

…I also ate horse and drank fermented mare’s milk this week.