Sunday, April 26, 2009

Talking to People

Yesterday we spent some time talking to people. I know, sounds riveting.

First we drove up to Penrith and spoke to a couple who are team leaders for a team working in Mongolia. We were meant to meet them at Penrith Plaza, but it was shut for ANZAC day, so we drove down to a park next to the weir, and spent a good hour and a half chatting with them. They gave us a bit more of a picture of life in Mongolia, and were keen to confront us a little with the grim realities: indoor living most of the year, a singularly unattractive capital city to live in, changing teams and circumstances, and so on. That was, I think, fairly constructive for us. We're not unaware of the significant challenges Mongolia will hold for us, but we do need to be reminded of them.

They also suggested we think of other places! That felt a little backward for us, having already gone through a process of narrowing down to one place, and now to start widening our options out again. But they made some good points about opportunities falling through, strategic thinking, and so on. So we're prepared to start entertaining some other possibilities, which clearly would make the blog-title redundant, but Mongolia is still our aim.

They were positive though! But it's up to us, we're the driving force here.

In the evening we went to Reach-Out e-track (silly name, methinks), a mission awareness/mobilisation night at SMBC. Rachel was quite keen to go to one of the workshops, on personality and mission, which was by a woman who had authored a book which she had read. (too many subordinate clauses in that sentence). The night was good overall, even though the american speaker kept allegorising the Bible.

Anyway, naturally various mission agencies had representatives there, so we went and spoke to one in particular, who didn't quite know what to do with us when we fronted up and said, "We want to Mongolia, we've been talking to your missionaries there." Anyway, we got the conversation going, made our seriousness apparent, and I guess we are now into the stage of serious-inquiry.

What's next?
- Conversations with mission agencies
- Contemplating alternative plans/places
- Finding out more about the official application process, and deciding when to commit to that
- Contemplating and planning a survey tour within the next 1.5 years to places we'd be thinking of going to (incl. Mongolia)

Friday, April 17, 2009 Mongolia!

That's our motto and we'd love you to get in on the ground level and embark (metaphorically, or literally if you're up for it!) on our exciting adventure with us.

Where? Mongolia! Mongolia is a country of almost 3 million people with a growing church. It is landlocked by Russia and China. It is very cold! And they are not vegetarian-friendly! Specifically we hope to go and work in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, which is Mongolia's largest (and main) city.

What? Seumas is hoping to teach at Union Bible Theological College (UBTC), the main Protestant bible college in the country with around 130 current students. The college is looking to offer more advanced degrees, with the eventual aim of being able to staff itself with indigenous Mongols. Seumas' MTh, and in years to come (we hope) PhD, should be of great assistance in this regard.

Rachel... we're still figuring out. After speaking to some missionaries there it seems there are a number of good opportunities which we'll explore when the time comes.

Why? Glory, Strategy, Gifts. Our overriding reason is our desire to glorify God through Christ with our lives on this earth. More specifically, we believe this is a strategic opportunity. Mongolians have freedom of movement into a number of neighbouring and nearby countries, and God is doing great work through the Mongolian peoples. We believe that in terms of gifts and calling Seumas can best serve by teaching, training, researching and equipping, and in a mission context a place like UBTC would be an excellent fit.

What next? We've had an initial meeting with an Australian couple serving over there in a very similar capacity at the moment. From here we plan to meet with their team-leaders, who are in Australia at the moment, and then start talking to mission agencies. Rachel will probably spend 2010 at SMBC while Seumas will finish up his MTh and continue working at Macquarie Fields. We hope, plan, and pray to be heading to Mongolia in 2011.

You: can begin a partnership with us now. At this stage we are asking people to come on board our supporters' bandwagon and commit to praying for us and for Mongolia regularly. In return we'll be supplying you with regular news, updates, prayer points, the usual. We really want to encourage people to get alongside us now from the very start, to journey with us along the way, and to share in the exciting things Jesus is doing to advance his Kingdom in this world.

We'll be sending out email newsletters and updating this blog regularly as our plans progress until, God willing, we truly are Macdonalds in Mongolia1

Contact us:
email: macdonaldsinmongolia at

1 There is no McDonalds store in Mongolia. We believe there is one in Kazakhstan. Just if you were wondering!