Thursday, August 21, 2014

Openings for the Message

Our internet has been bad lately.  After signing back up for the same service, they claimed the speed had doubled from 1MB to 2MB/second.  This was great news.  But then we started experiencing about a tenth of that speed and frequent outages of service.

So we complained and they said our phone line was defective, the same word we use to describe human's sinful nature.  So we had some fun saying our phone line was sinful.

But the sent out a repairman the next day, and he found that the line inside our house was almost completely severed.  No wonder the phone wasn't working!

I was grateful and offered the guy some tea.  I asked him how long he had been working for the Mongolian post office.  He answered 26 years, the offered "I'm doing my work and then I'll die" as kind of a joke.  So I had my opening to talk about eternal things.

"What happens after you die?", I asked.  "I think I'll probably become an animal", he answered.  I have heard and read about Buddhism's belief in reincarnation for years, but never actually heard someone expect to come back as an animal.  He was mostly serious I think.  As he drank his tea, we found out we are the same age.  Which means he must have started working when he was 18.  He said he married early so his kids were grown.

I really liked the way he opened up to me.  Finally he asked what I do for work.  Mongolia is a simple place and men especially subscribe to the Solomonic view:  "The more the words the less the meaning".  (Ecclesiastes 6:11)  So I have learned to get my answer about my work down to one word like they usually do: 'Carpenter', 'driver', 'teacher'.

I might have done any of these jobs in my work in Mongolia, but none of them really captures the purpose of my coming.  Neither does saying 'I work at a project center that helps people and families'.  So I just say one word: 'Esus', which is pronounced YAYsus in Mongolian.  People understand immediately that my job and purpose is spiritual.  The name Jesus means "the Lord saves", and opens ears to do my job, deliver that message.

He responded that he has a relative who follows Jesus.  Then I asked him if he would like to go to "the eternal country" as most Mongolians like to say.  He acted like he couldn't conceive of that.  So I tried to say to him gently the truth Jesus said about himself: Yasus bol monxiin amiin zam'...  (John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life") "Jesus is the road to eternal life".

Many people who have been in Christianity for years still cannot say for sure that they are going to heaven.  But that's why Jesus came to earth, to die to forgive our sin, and rise again to secure our place in heaven.  Jesus' own words recorded in John 3:15 have jumped out at me again lately: "so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life."

I am glad for the opening I got to point someone to the truth yesterday in Mongolia.  For that is the main purpose I was sent here.  It is hard when you get distracted or darkness dampers people's desire to hear about light.  But sometimes God gives us a good opening to deliver the message of life.  Another Mongolian friend of mine said recently when we were reading and talking about eternal life, and I asked him 'does this sound good to you'?  He answered: "Of course! I'm going to fear death aren't I?"

Not any more will he need to fear, because the Lord gave him faith to trust Jesus for eternal life.  And now he can say he is saved from his sins to live forever in heaven.

Let's hope that the same thing happens someday for the guy that fixed my phone line.