Far North

It all happened so quickly.  Before we knew what happened, an off-chance conversation at church turned into a skype conversation with an interested company.  And within just a couple weeks, flights were booked, winter jackets were bought (and subsequently, stupidly, left behind in the airport), and we were saying goodbye to subtropical heatwaves and hello to somewhere both of us were excited for, but also dreaded and feared…

The far north.

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We arrived in Ulaanbaatar late Monday night, bundled in as many layers as we could manage while still maintaining at least somewhat of a dignified presence, picked up by our new friend Odbayar holding a sign with our company name – and within an hour, enjoying the warm hospitality of Mongolian down comforters and hotel bathrobes.

The following morning we moved into our new apartment, which was an ENORMOUS step up from the previous 30 odd places we’ve stayed in since we’ve been married.  The company had found an apartment for us before we had arrived, which made us nervous – we were whispering to each other in the elevator how we were going to break the news that maybe this place wouldn’t work for us – until we walked into our Mongolian dream home, fully furnished, completely affordable, and wonderful in every way, from the rug to the bathtub to the chandelier in the living room.

We have to admit, we were worried about moving here.  We were second guessing if this was really what we wanted, where the Lord was leading us, and what was best for us.  Sure it was something, but was it really the right something for us?  We worried about the money, about being good stewards of it and about being able to make enough of it here to sustain ourselves.  We worried about the work, committing ourselves to a job and a cause that we weren’t 100% sure was a good fit for us.  We worried about the location, committing ourselves to a place that wasn’t really on our radar, that we didn’t really have any intention of being in.

But from the second we walked into this apartment, there was nothing but surety, that this was exactly what the Lord had for us.  We were smacked in the face with His provision.  And who were we to doubt, that the Lord didn’t have our best interests in mind, and His utmost purpose, when He orchestrated this move for us?  We are feeling His provision so tangibly right now, which is such a blessing, since we weren’t even able to fully see it until we stepped into it, despite our hesitations.

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Sheri posted an add on an expat job postings page, and within 24 hours, had 12 clients lined up and someone looking to hire her for their salon, one of the best in the country.  She’ll start work this week, an opportunity we never even dreamed of, to use what the Lord’s gifted her with to meet people and keep busy and get plugged into the community here.

My job will be mostly networking with the expat community here, to meet potential clients that my industrial goods company might be able to supply the needs of.  I’ve been skyping with Steve, my boss back in Seattle, and will meet the Mongolian national who heads the branch here on Monday.

We’ve even got a church all lined up for tomorrow.

In short, the move here, while filled with its fair share of stress and anxiety, has been so smooth, and the Lord has been providing an overwhelming number of opportunities.  We’ve been meeting people, finding supermarkets and learning how to cook here, arranging work schedules, exploring the neighborhood, finding Bactrian camels to ride, climbing the surrounding hills, bringing home half a cow’s worth of meat from the market, braving the bitter cold, holding eagles, and enjoying the thrills and adventures of settling into a new home, something we still thought might be a ways off for us.

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In our haste to leave the States and find the perfect occupation that the Lord would lead us to here in Asia, we at times would almost forget to let the Lord do the leading.  And while being here couldn’t have been further from our expectations just a mere month ago, we are so thankful for where the Lord has brought us for this next season, however long it lasts, and so confident in the work He has prepared for us to do.  Mongolia has been nothing but wonderful for us.  From the people to the scenery to the living conditions to the opportunity, we are doing so well here.  Thanks so much for joining us on this journey, for encouraging us, believing in us, praying for us, and staying in touch with us.  In a lot of ways, we’ve made it.  At least for the time being.  Keep us in your prayers, and stay connected!

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead us; let them bring us to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

Psalm 43:3

Love,

Danny and Sheri

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2 responses to “Far North

  1. Danny & Sheri,
    As always…I enjoy following your posts. Grandma and Grandpa Ray would be sooo proud…(I’m sure they are!) Be safe, be warm. Hugs, kisses and prayers! Much love from your Okie Ray family! 🙂

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