Coming to Grand Junction, Colorado from Omaha and Lincoln churches, I stayed in the town of Mesa and woke to walks with deer and sweeping views.
Also, got to visit Fruita, CO. One of the mountain-biking capitals of the west, we rode trails overlooking the Colorado River and its magnificent red rock canyons. Some of the above shots are from the Colorado National Monument.
This morning I had a vision of believers being a bridge between working healthy 'haves' and the hurt, sick or homeless, 'have-nots'. Such a three-standed cord 'is not quickly broken'.
Most societies, Mongolian included, have understand the need to help the poor. Most materially secure people also have an understanding you can't just give people money and food irresponsibly, or you can make matters worse. Taking too much responsibility for people can rob from them their own responsibility to care for themselves and loved ones. The church can help with that.
Christian people have limited quantities of wealth to share with the massive needs or the world. So partnering with entities that want to help can be a fruitful partnership. Union Gospel, and other city missions are right to seek and accept contributions from both Christian and non-Christian sources.
In Mongolia, our efforts to help the poor have been fully supported by the Great Commission Fund of the C&MA, funded mostly by American Alliance people. Very little buy in from the local Mongolian economy or society can severely limit effectiveness of charity. I believe we are going to see much more fruit for the kingdom and measurable benefit to society if we seek, expect and see cooperation of the local people in helping their own people. We don't need the local people's money or control that may accompany it. But we do need their buy-in, relationship, and possible back-up.
Further, if we do our job well, with culturally appropriate local buy-in and back-up, our 'meaningful impactful presence' should result in trusting relationships with our more financially secure neighbors. Even if they choose not to partner with our efforts to help the poor, they will appreciate being asked and may understand more our purpose more for being there. That will help them trust us more when we get a chance to help them understand the message of Christ 'to seek and save the lost'.
Unbelievable, among the similarities between Wyoming and Mongolia (exact same low population density, wide open spaces, herding animals and mining industries) they prepare special food like this:
Meat and vegetables (albeit different kinds) put into a milk can over an open fire.
Feeding of the multitudes. The only question from our Mongolian friends who saw the pictures was: "Is it sheep?" In Wyoming, it most definitely was not, rather a fancy kind of hot dog, which they didn't want to be called hot dog :=}
That's okay, our Mongolian leader/friend informed us that Horhog (what they call this meal in Mongolian) literally translates as 'poison garbage'.
They both taste much better than they sound, and always a memorable meal.
Wyoming girls from Saratoga Alliance wearing Mongolian princess hats.
One of them came right up to me after church, sat down beside me, and said:
"I'm going to be a missionary too!"
Maybe we'll see them in a place like Mongolia sometime in a decade or two. May God bless and Alliance people pray for those who are called to go wherever God guides and faithfully provides.
"You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9 AKJV