I am home, safe and found (I am not sure how sound I am). My luggage isn’t, probably lost again in China, or maybe Newark. But it’s not like I need it now: maybe they will wash it when it is found. It is very nice to be home. I had a loving wife, 2 very excited dogs who wanted to go out running at midnight, lots of mail, a working computer, and a big soft bed. It is nice to be home.

But I still miss Mongolia. Some things you feel connected to, like they are under your skin, like some kind of deep pyoderma, except without the bad. It will probably take some time to digest, like the Mongolian food, but some of it does become a part of you. And you are better for it.

The flight from Bejing to Newark was long. You know it is a long flight when the shortcut takes you over the north pole; the seats were uncomfortable, the air stuffy, and the food not gourmet, but I would not trade it for anything else. Sometimes we need to be out of our comfort zone to get our heart and minds right.

I thought I might just list some of the things I liked and didn’t like about the mission trip, to give it some perspective.

I did not like the long flight, but I liked the destination.
I liked my quiet, simple apartment, I did not like Bejing hotels.
I liked no tv, radio, phone. I did not like no wifi.
I liked my noise canceling headsets, I did not like the smell of Bejing: I wish they could invent a smell canceling nose set, I would like that.
I liked Mongolian food, very meat and potatoes, and all the small family kitchens that served homemade food in a home environment. I did not miss fast food or chain restaurants.
I like real coffee. I do not like milk tea, Nescafé, Ye Ye or MacCoffee.
I liked the countryside, but I did not like the landscape.
I liked being at the “Caring small animal hospital”, and all the wonderful staff who were present. I did not like the devastating effects of preventable diseases.
I liked the Mongolian culture, I did not like the language barrier.
I liked not being short. I did not like being stuffed by the basketball girl.
I liked traveling the country roads. I do not like the Mongolian driving habits, crossing the road, or city traffic.
I like the ease of getting a taxi. I did not like the Russian circus bus.
I liked vet net and the wonderful work they do to reach out to help the people, with animal care, education, church building, Christian growth and discipleship, and encouragement.

And I really liked the people. There is a bond between people that transcends distance, culture, and language. It is the human bond, that connection at the heart level, when we find our bodies and souls are made from the same substance, by the same creator, for the same purpose. That despite all that separates us and makes us different, in the end we all must make a choice, the choice of who we will serve: ourselves or God. And if we make the right choice, there will be nothing that separates us:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 7: 38-39)

May “the Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”. (numbers 6: 24-26)

Until the next time. May God Bless you.
Dr Mike