Friday, May 15, 2015

Port Charlotte First Alliance Celebrate Recovery Team

Jeremy picked up the team about midnight on Thursday, April 30th.  But it was really already in the wee hours of May 1st we got to “Zaya" Hostel in Ulan Bator.

The team seemed very complimentary of the accommodation.  We prayed to thank God for safe arrival before going to bed after 1:30 am.  The hotel keeper lady J*v*a* even prayed with us!  Surprisingly we found out she was a believer and said she attends a big CR church in UB.

The next morning our host made us breakfast and coffee starting about 7.  We showered, packed and left the hostel a little after 9 am.  We drove a short way over to the CAMA Services Office on the 15th floor of the Golomt Tower. There the team went through Orientation with the Field Director.  He showed slides and talked about Mongolia and the history of the church and Alliance here.  The team changed money and paid their per diem fee before leaving the office after 11 am.

We arrived at Ubean, our field business as mission coffee shop, before lunch and met the owner and operator.  Upstairs on the third floor at the Grain of Wheat Center, we visited the Counseling Center and had lunch with our CR Coworker, a IW colleague and his two Mongolian CR Coworkers. 

We left UB about 2:30 needing to get to Darhan about 5:00 pm for CR at the CAMA Services Center.  We showed up about 5:45, in plenty of time for Dan to share his testimony to the group which followed a lesson taught by Dawaajargal.  Togsoo led our support group time and a homeless man with the shakes was in our group.  The team prayed for him and several others after we dinner of fried mutton pancakes.

We got home to the Darhan guesthouse about 8:30 pm, and the team was tired said they slept good Friday night.  

Saturday morning May 2nd, we went to the Seminar that the Darhan Pastors had organized.  That evening the CR Team hosted the Darhan Pastor’s association leaders to a dinner and Pastor Scott shared his testimony with them and fielded questions about CR.

Sunday morning, Pastor Scott spoke at Nik Dovnihon, the first Alliance Church planted in Mongolia.  Pastor Bob spoke at Living Word in New Darhan at 11am, then again at 2pm in Old Darhan’s “Fellowship” Church.  We all enjoyed a quick bite of Chinese food between services.  

Sunday evening at 4:30 began our first CR Seminar at the HOST hall, the same place where our Alliance and the “Fellowship” churches meet.  We estimate about 180 people attended.  After Dan gave his testimony, Pastor Scott gave a talk on the 7 features of CR.  Then Steve gave his testimony, and the big church divided into small groups. The pastors were all invited to sit with Pastors Scott and Bob.  Dan, Steve and Jeremy were all in the same support group with the translator, Baggie Pastor.

Monday morning was a rest time.  Jeremy picked up the team from the guest house at about noon.  The team toured the International Worker Kid’s school inside the Host building and had lunch with the Host (Kingdom Leaders Training School) Staff.  They spent the afternoon with Mark Wood, Host Director, and bought some souvenir art pieces before they left. Monday night, Dan and Steve shared at Living Word Church’s CR at 6pm.  Pastor Bob also attended. Jeremy translated in the men’s support group time.  The local AA leader sat in our group and said he hasn’t quite believed in Jesus yet, but is learning to appreciate Him.

Tuesday morning the team helped with our CR Center duties at the local sober tank and prison.  Steve’s testimony at the latter was really effective and reaped souls.  God even provided an inmate to translate for him.  His funniest comment was that translating the prayer to receive Christ was hard, because he himself wasn’t’ a believer!

We came back to CAMA Services to a lunch served in the CR Center, especially designed for volunteers serving in CR at their churches.  Once again the team funds for daily meals helped to cover the cost of these Mongolian’s lunch and provided an encouragement to them.  The question and answer period then was meaningful, but cut a little short because the local people didn’t all come on time.  Then the team visited and learned about the financial freedom and family counseling projects at the CAMA Center.

Tuesday evening at 5 our second CR Seminar started.  Pastor Bob told his testimony, took a break, then gave a talk on the 7 Pillars of CR.  Pastor Scott finished off the Seminar by telling his testimony.  We divided into small groups again then team meeting with pastors, this time Jeremy translating.  It seemed a divine time of sharing for many of the pastors battling deep spiritual and physical obstacles in tough places of ministry.  

As after a big day of ministry, the team had dinner in the Darhan guest house, together with Jeremy.  We talked over many aspects of CR, cross-cultural ministry.  It appeared to Jeremy and others agreed that God had showed up in scheduling meaningful moments of ministry in Mongolia.  The seminars and serviced rendered here by the team served to familiarize people with CR, and encourage the pastors and laypeople to pursue healing from the Lord. 

Wednesday morning we packed the suitcases in the car, and came to Jeremy’s home again for a time of prayer.  We stopped at the half way point between Darhan and Ulan Bator for lunch and coffee.  Then we stopped for pictures near a statue of a camel and took pictures.  But the team wanted to see inside a Mongolia “Ger” or traditional wool felt tent.  We stopped to pick up a hitch-hiker, and he invited us to his Ger home, and also two of his nearby neighbor’s homes as well!

We got into Ulan Bator and the CAMA Guesthouse there in the afternoon, rested a while, and walked down to the State Department Store.  There we found the food court and Pastors Scott and Bob ordered Mongolian “Bodes”, steamed mutton dumplings.  Dan and Jeremy ordered similar dishes, but Steve ordered the spicy pork.  That proved a significant event to effect his night’s sleep unfortunately. We spent most of the evening however letting the team shop for souvenirs.  

Thursday May 7th was the last day for the team.  It started at the Field Office across the hall from the guest house, where we debriefed the trip with the Field Director.  Then we went back to Ubean Cafe for more coffee and meetings with Brent Liberda about the CR situation in UB.  We had lunch there as well and talked a bit about future plans for partnership in regard to CR.  We talked about Port Charlotte First Alliance being one of our biggest CR Alliance churches.  

We in Mongolia are grateful for the partnership opportunity that began many years ago with a conversation of our Alliance International Ministries Vice President.  The CR Team that First Alliance sent to serve Mongolia did a great job and made a kingdom investment here.  God bless you in sharing your hearts and recovery through Christ.

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