Video: WJXT Shares Jonathan’s Story & The Mongolia Bound Mission

Donate to Next Year’s Mission Online!

Thanks to the support of our beloved friends at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, you can now donate to the next Mongolia Bound mission online here.

There is so much work to be done, from helping to get essential medicines to proper equipment to medical training; your contribution will help establish a life-saving pediatric oncology program in Mongolia’s only children’s hospital, Mother & Child Hospital.

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, our family experienced the most painful day of our lives. We lost the precious little boy with the brilliant smile you see above – our son, brother, and friend. Not having him physically with us hasn’t gotten any easier; pangs of longing to hold him haven’t gotten any duller.

But today, we marvel and rejoice at how much Jonathan’s enduring spirit continues to help us accomplish. During his all too short life, he showed us how to be kind, how to be positive, and how to reach out to others in need. Even though we cannot see him, he continues to make waves of good that ripple outwards.

Because of Jonathan, the medical team at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and our family visited Mongolia, one of the places Jonathan most wanted to visit.  Because of Jonathan, Dr. Sandler and the Wolfson medical team are helping the doctors at Mother & Child Hospital build a pediatric oncology program and will be returning again next year to further the project.

Jonathan’s kindness, compassion, and desire to help others are qualities we want to spread as far and wide as we can. He inspires us all to be better; his presence in our lives has forever changed us.

If you would like to contribute to the next trip to Mongolia, you can send your donation here:

Kerrie Slattery
Development Director, Wolfson Children’s Hospital
Baptist Health Foundation, Inc.
841 Prudential Drive, Suite 1300
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Please note that your donation should be earmarked for Jonathan Soud / Mongolia Mission.

An Afternoon at The Children’s Place

We’re back from the countryside (more on that later) but still have lots to share about the past week!

Last Wednesday, after we had a very American lunch at Broadway Pizza (in celebration of July 4th), we got to spend an afternoon at The Children’s Place before the afternoon soccer session at 4 pm.

Paul, Justin and I got a glimpse into an afternoon of fun and games, the same kinds of songs and activities one might see in day camp or after school program in the U.S.

The kids at afternoon playtime

Mmm…snack time! Soda and cookies are special treats.

Me with a sweet little friend

Margie told us repeatedly during the week we spent with the kids that she was really proud of the job the Children’s Place’s ‘mothers’ were doing; it was abundantly clear from the way the staff interacted with the kids that not a drop of love is kept from these kids.

One song that was particularly touching I think of as ‘The Hug Song;” I have no idea what the words actually said, but over the course of the song, a helper or mother made sure to go around the circle and give big, warm, soul-nourishing hugs to each child, even if he or she didn’t ask for it. The song starts around the 45 second mark below; every time I watch this one, I am incredibly touched.

We also got to take a peek into the other areas of the center, where things like physical therapy happen. Many of the kids who come to Rita and Margie are severely malnourished or have other disabilities. We learned that one of our most energetic little soccer campers was so malnourished when she came to the center as a baby that she couldn’t even lift her head. It’s incredible to think that with the dedication of the staff, the resources she needed, and heaping amounts of love and affection, she’s made a full recovery.

Shoes sit next to therapeutic braces

The Children’s Place has touched so many young lives; from the time they arrive there to the time they are placed with their permanent families, they are never without an abundance of love. That fact became clear to me when Halliuna, one of the girls I played with often (and who was very good at English) pointed around the lunch table to the other children and said to me “My home. My family.” The orphanage has managed to make children who may have previously felt they had no true home, or whose homes are irreparably broken, that they are safe and loved until they go to their adoptive homes.

-Natalie Soud

Fourth of July in Mongolia!

Man, Justin knew how to keep those kids happy at soccer camp! On the first day, the Silly Bands were a HUGE hit (as they were in the US). On the Fourth of July, he had the very clever idea of bringing mini-American flags as the special treat. I was in the middle of handing out cookies during the second snacktime (which usually makes me the most popular person on the field temporarily). As soon as Mr. Justin (as the kids call him) called out “Who wants an American flag?” as he waved one, the kids left me and the cookies in the dust!

We got some great shots of the kids waving around their flags and playing with them:

There is so much more I have to say, and I know the rest of the team does as well. I can’t wait to share our afternoon spent during playtime at the Children’s Place, as well as my day at the hospital with Eric and Sally.

We are headed to the countryside to explore, do some horseback riding, and stay in gers, but will have plenty to say when we return!

-Natalie & the Mongolia Bound team

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