25 days in the mountains south of Ulaangom. One day longer than our original plan, one day shorter than our during-the-trip-revised plan. Each day filled my journal with 2-4 pages of happenings. Filled with new foods, joyous occasions, descriptions of newly encountered people, and frustrations, confusions, and difficulties with personal belongings usually involving the words “damage” and “mine”. It was certainly proved that Mongolia, as I perceived 4 years ago when watching the documentary “Long Way Round”, is a place where one goes to grow up.
Our days were spent sawing wood, splitting wood, milking goats, and loving each-other and all who we encountered. Jeremy and I are blessed and in awe that God gave us these men to bring together and name ourselves Team Mongolia 2012. On four occasions we were able to share the Gospel with large groups of people. Two church-services that we put on - a traditional coming-of-age party for 3 and 5 year olds (to get their first haircut) - and an end-of-the-summer bash. Each time there was one person who caused distraction and forced us to pray and fight for our Lord that his name not be slandered so and each time the Lord answered by removing the distraction. Whether through another, sober Mongolian, or the heckler generally becoming suddenly bored and leaving - distractions were no issue. Gods name was proclaimed and glorified.
The Nomads themselves met us with fierce hospitality and a deep love for music and family that had us continually feeling compelled to tell them that they were reflecting aspects of our Lord upon us.
Through this we were continually reminded that we were not bringing God, not bringing Jesus Christ, not bringing the Holy Spirit to these valleys, but we were coming to utter his name. To put language behind the wonders of his fingerprints. To give him his wholly deserved worship in a family Gher for the first time in any generation because he is holy.
The distractions, the confusions, the damages, the pain -it is all to be forgotten. In Colossians Paul writes “remember my chains” as an encouragement to the church. So someday us 7 brothers will look back to our experience here and the pains we had to share and encourage…but for now I will leave you with this:
Praise the Lord.
Praise to him who alone deserves it was spoken in 35 families Ghers.
Praise will be shouted in 3 more earthly families who whether all of some joined our eternal family. We don’t know exactly how the Lord moved. We can’t give you a solid number of “saved souls”. We can say, however, with confidence, that we are at peace. That we feel we glorified the Lord and shone his name as brightly as our ugly-yet-beautiful, middle-of-sanctification, Kingdom please come fully sooner souls were able to. And when we were at our worst, the Lord shone the brightest.
Our best guess is that 7 souls were saved while we were there.
We believe that we were the first missionaries in this valley, ever.
We encountered a number of Christians in the valley during a small version of Naadam.
God loves Mongolia.