Friday, April 4, 2014

Mission Trip, Day 3

The first thing we do of a morning, once everyone gets up (which happens relatively smoothly since you are all in the same room and once a few people are up you pretty much need to wake up, unless you are Davka), is have a devotional time. We sing a few songs, then someone shares a bible passage (Acts 6:1-14 this morning) and everyone has some time to think and reflect and then everyone shares some thoughts, then more singing and simultaneous prayer.

Then we get to breakfast. It is a relatively affair involving bread, jam, a kind of soft flour biscuit (боов), and of course salty-milk-tea.

About 10am we headed outside. Not much usually happens in Mongolia before 10am anyway. The first stop was to visit the local governor/government official, I don't really know what his title is. But there was a town meeting on, so we had to wait. So we waited. For about 2 hours. People came into the local government building. Some also waited. Some came and went. Our team talked to some people. Enkhtsetseg and I went out and visited a few shops and came back. Still waiting. And then it finished and we went to meet the local boss-man. Erka shared about our programme and who we were and gave him a gift, and told him of our desire to bless the community, and then we prayed for the director and went on our way.

Enkhtuvshin shares the good news as we wait for the town meeting

Next stop was to meet the school principal. Again there was more waiting involved. This is the Mongolian way. He seemed a little less friendly to my understanding of what was going on. Later someone explained that while he had no particular objections to our activities, other parties might have some. Also the timing of some of our events had to be renegotiated.

Davka, Badril and I discussing the possible afternoon program

After lunch back at the house I went along to the church with Davka and Badril. We were to meet some people. Who? I just had to wait and see. One man came who expressed that he believed, but he did not have a clear understanding, so Davka shared the gospel from Romans 5 and gave a good explanation. I caught that the man's name was Otgontsog or something like this.

Then 3 elderly people came to the church. I'm not sure who they were or how they heard. Anyway, Davka and Badril again shared the gospel with these people and answered several questions, particularly about how Christianity differed from Buddhism and Shamanism. The two men seemed to be understanding and a little interested, while the women was less interested and saying things about how it was pretty much the same.

Some of the team visit a local family

Those three left and we talked some more with the first man, until he also left. Then I helped with preparing some material for the kids' programme. This mainly involved cutting out paper hearts. The rest of our team showed up later, they had gone out visiting some local families. We heard that some other people were meant to come to visit the church but for one reason or another they didn't show up.

One local believer

So the team had a time of prayer and praise at the church before heading back to the house. Enkhtsetseg decided my hair was too dirty and so insisted on helping me wash it.

In the evening there was some free time after dinner, before our team meeting for the evening. Team meeting is a bit like morning devotion time, except there is also "sharing about the day"; I noticed that the Mongolians seemed reluctant to be too critical in their review, and I decided I should probably adopt this pattern myself for the time being. There was a lot of discussion about the programme since particularly the childrens' programmes had to be rescheduled. There was also much discussion about whether we would go to Tosontsengel on the following week or not. Bed time was quite late.

Now, I feel I should also introduce my team mates, so today we'll start with Davka. Davka is about 25, he is from far western Mongolia. His father became a believer after falling from a camel and becoming at first a bitter alcoholic. Eventually led to Christ, he and his mother become quite transformed, and Davka was so curious about this drastic change that he needed to check out what had transformed his father so dramatically, so he went to church. There he heard the gospel and became a believer. Davka also serves in my church back in Ulaanbaatar. I think his plan is to head back to western Mongolia after graduating and serve the church there. He is quite a smart-alec too.

Davka being a little bit cheeky

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