Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Different Strokes of Leadership

We're still working on some remodeling at the center and fixing up our home a little.

Today at the market, looking at a new front door for the center, we walked past the new kids' bikes.  There was a family shopping for their daughter.  That was not remarkable.

We are living in a society that firmly believes in forced obedience and fear-based courage. Scolding, shunning, spanking, at home are still in full effect.  It makes leadership with adults tough because you start to realize they were always intimidated into doing things there whole life.  How then is logic, love or mere words going to get through?

What I read yesterday in Provers 29:19 rang true in this context: "You cannot correct a servant with mere words; Though he understands, he will not respond."

What I noticed at the market was a 5 or 6 year old girl getting sort of spanked or swatted on the hind end as she sat on the new bike.  I was surprised, not that it was happening, or really even that it was in public.  What seemed out of place was the her mom was trying to teach her to ride the bike by force.  I suppose getting her over the fear by a bigger fear.

That's the bankrupt end to forced obedience.  Some Mongolians I know even joke that they understand things by beatings or blows.  (Like our school of hard knocks, I suppose)  I've remarked before, living in Mongolia is like I imagine life in America 70-80 years ago.

We don't use physical force of course at work or in ministry.  But there are words, or money, or leverage we can use to lord authority over people to try to get through. But Jesus warned his disciples against this world-wide reality in Matthew 20:25:

"Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 
and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Christian Sendoff Service

"Stone Flower", our sister and leader of our Erdenet church, went to be with the Lord in heaven this week.  Her funeral was the first pure Christian burial ceremony I've seen in Mongolia.

Her family, many who are also believers, honored her life in Christ by granting her this last wish for a Christian Funeral.  "God is so good" was sung as her body was laid to rest.

A wooden cross was installed with the gravestone which said Choka's name, the dates of her birth and death, and the words "With the Lord Jesus Now".

You can see some of what the Lord did for her in her life by watching a 2008 video here.  https://www.cmalliance.org/video/watch/19846/?autoplay=true

Here are
pictures of her graveside funeral and 'home going' service...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Grateful for Work, but more for God's care

Got work?

Living in a place of about 10% unemployment is sobering.  We can only hire so many people.  But we are able to pay the ones we have, about 30 Mongolians, by God.

Many Mongolians find work, do the work, then never get paid by their employers!  Can you imagine showing up to your job every day wondering if you're going to get paid?

It's great to have something to do.  It's and even bigger blessing to be compensated for it faithfully.  The greatest blessing is to know where are our necessities come from...

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
(Matt 6:25)

Even the unemployed people we meet here find clothes to wear food to eat...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Lake Hovsgol Summer Camp Sights

The 100-mile long lake in Northern central Mongolia narrows into this river at the town of Hatgal, Hovsgol Province, Mongolia.

Rain fell as we drove to and from church leaders camp, but we were blessed with nice sunny weather while we were there.

Yaks and reindeer are prevalent in this high-altitude area of about 5000 feet.
 The fishing was fun, but not too fruitful.  We had to settle for smoked fish.

About 40 leaders from all over Mongolia gathered for teaching from Exodus 4, when God asks Moses: "What do you have in your hand?"

Monday, August 08, 2016

Field Forum

Our Alliance of minister families got together again this year for a whole week of rest and rejuvenation from leaders from the USA.  It was a great blessing...here are some pictures..

The weather was HOT, hitting 100 F some days.  Getting in the river was nearly required.