travelling thoughts...

The lady looks over her shoulder as she pours the fresh yak milk into a large pot. Can I keep him? She grins. He has no idea what she is asking. My son, that is. Eight years old and taking it all in. The new, the different, even the strange. He squats down near his friend and drinks the yogurt that she has just served him. We’re in Mongolia. Very far from home, we are in one of the most landlocked areas of the world. This gher, a white domed portable tent, is home to a precious family and some of their animals. The rest of the animals live in a pen next to them. There is no sign of other families around them for as far as I can see. Over the hill I have been told are a few more families. It’s amazing. We live in a complex with over 6,000 people. 45 buildings and lots of people. This country of 3 million could fit into a small part of our city, our city that numbers close to 11 million.
Bumping along dirt roads with only a compass, we made our way via a four-wheel drive from the capitol city to a small town in the northwest part of this lge vast land. Twelve hours of bumping along at 100 km/hour was unimaginable but we had to do it. It’s almost a rite of passage. One small way of entering into our friends’ experiences. They tell me that it was so much worse with their Russian jeep they just got rid of. I can hardly imagine.  During our week there, we shared in the stories, laughed over memories, and told of God’s faithfulness. Though in different circumstances and afar, we have journeyed with this family and many others like them who have given up much for the sake of the kingdom. 

A place known for extreme alcoholism and promiscuity.  Despair is rampant. Our friends moved there 18 years ago and settled down. They dug in their tent pegs, committing to live and love the Mongolians until Father told them to leave. Leaving the simple and important conveniences of their home country, they chose to live as the Mongolians did. Their home was simple and crowded as their family grew. Only until recently did they add on to the house, and it was only after their local friends commented on how run down their home was getting!
Sunday morning worship is one of those moments when I feel so close to heaven I can  almost taste it. Closing my eyes, I worship along quietly as I listen to my Mongolian brothers and sisters sing loudly. Amens pepper the service, and tears are silently wiped away. What is in the lives of these sweet ones? What are their stories? One single woman in her late 20’s, beautiful yet tired, she tells me that she will wait for God to bring her a godly husband. Her teenage son walks up and puts his hand on her shoulder. I guess her story and in broken English (for my Mongolian is not quite there!) she tells me that she wants God to be enough for her. I hold her hand and gently the tears fall. Precious.  John and I bring greetings to the group from our group in this country. Unaware of what the Spirit was doing, we both began challenging and encouraging the brothers and sisters to pr-y for their Chinese brothers and sisters across the border. Later, the elder stands up and confesses his disdain and hatred for this people. They exploit resources and hurt their people. But he knows that in the kingdom of God there is no room for such sentiment. Several wipe away tears and nod their heads. I can’t help it. Tears rolling down my face, I praise God. This is the way the church will be built. This is one of the ways His kingdom is coming on earth. When brothers and sisters disregard differences and love each other. This is one way the world will know we are His disciples. Jesus told us that.

We leave this country with the hearts of the people weighing heavy on us. Names and faces swirl around in my head as I remember those believers  along with those who don’t  yet know Him. There truly is no hope outside of Jesus.


  1. beautiful post, jenn.. so so so true. there is absolutely no hope outside of Him! Thank you for sharing your experiences. so humbling and challenging.

  2. My first thought was some things never change but I know better! I'ver seen it; I've heard about it. I'ver shared the storeis pass on of His faithfulness. And I am encouraged.


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