Sumpteretc's Blog

What's on my mind at the moment

Month: September, 2009

September Newsletter

Sumpter Sentinel

September 2009

Dear partners,

Winter is already upon us here in Mongolia. After a few balmy autumn days, we were hit with lots of wind and snow this weekend. It makes us thankful for a warm apartment and stores close to home. Pray for those who were killed or lost in the snowstorm and for the farmers with 10,000 tons of wheat under snow right now.

We have returned to language school this month. Both of us have several new teachers. I (Chris) have four teachers each week and Tiffany three, only one of whom is a believer. This gives us lots of opportunity for sharing about our relationship with Christ and about the Bible. With one of my teachers, I am reading through the parables and miracles of Jesus. I am fairly confident that she has never encountered these stories before. Pray that Ariunbolor and our other teachers will understand that these are more than just stories, and that Jesus wants to be their Friend and Savior.

We have also begun homeschooling Elijah. This is a bit of a challenge, but he seems to be doing fairly well so far. Pray that Elijah’s attention span will lengthen J and that we will be patient as we teach him. Pray also that he will be able to make some Mongolian friends. Cold weather means more inside time, so this will be increasingly difficult.

As we become more acquainted with the people at church, we are asked for greater levels of involvement. Our intention is to focus on learning the language and culture right now, but we do understand the importance of some of the things the church is trying to accomplish. Pray with us that we will have wisdom to know where to get involved and where to step back and keep working on our studies.

Thank you so much for faithfully standing with us to build Christ’s church in Mongolia. We are thrilled to be your partners in this work.

God bless you!

Chris, Tiffany, Elijah & Joel Sumpter

Homeschool Report

Well, our first week of homeschooling is behind us. Tiffany has been mostly doing things to warm Elijah up for starting handwriting, but she’s also taught him all about the letter F. In history, we discussed dinosaurs, the first people and a story of the gospel spreading in Africa. In science, we learned about the earth’s rotation and revolution, seasons, the air around us and in the atmosphere and tadpoles and frogs. In math, we’ve been mostly reviewing things, like counting to 10, colors and shapes, left and right, top and bottom, same and different. So far, so good.

Lawn Care

Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened
to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand
drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and
flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these
Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and
poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it — sometimes twice a week.

They cut it? Do they then bale it like

Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

Yes, sir.

These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of

You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new
circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

And where do they get this mulch?

They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It’s a story about …
Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Bubble Creek Canyon