A few years ago, I was so encouraged to receive the following letter from a friend of mine who was a missionary to Mongolia at the time. It reminds me again of the importance of having our children interact with missionaries....and email makes it so easy.
My daughter Grace had written Christine with some questions (an assignment in her Awana class). Here is Christine's heartfelt response:
This is Christine, one of your mother's friends. I would love to take some time here to answer your questions regarding missions. :)
1. Where do you work? I am working here in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (outer Mongolia). Mongolia is sandwiched between Russia and China.
2. What is your job? My job, just like you, is to let Jesus shine through me. It's to let these people know how much Jesus loves them. One of the ways I do that is to share what I know and have. The Bible says, "do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it". Proverbs 3:27. God is allowing me to practice this verse everyday, here...by helping the existing church grow even more. We are spending a lot of time with developing leaders here in Mongolia, as we are walking with them to discover more who they were meant to be to make a difference.
3. Is it hard to be a missionary? This is a tough question. :) There are times it is hard, but it's been so rewarding. My family and I have only been here for 2 1/2 years now, so since we are still learning and adjusting culturally, there have been difficult moments because we don't understand a lot of things about the culture. Also, we are learning getting to know the people here, their ways of life, the way they think...and many times it's so different than what we are used to. So in that way, it's been hard. But the beauty of being here has been that I have been able to experience and find more treasures...that's God's love...and how high, deep, and wide His love is for me AND for Mongolia.
4. What kind of food do the people eat? Mongolians really enjoy lamb meat. So, most of the food they eat is with lamb...fried dumplings w/lamb (called ho-shurr), noodles w/ lamb and some vegetables (called cho-woung). Mongolians love meat, and don't like vegetables. But now, you can find many restaurants where the Mongolians are getting a taste for foreign foods. And because their are more and more foreigners here, they are learning to eat healthy, which includes eating vegetables. Before, they thought that only animals eat vegetables, and humans eat meat. But this thought is changing.
Grace, I hope this helps you with your AWANA homework. I hope that you continue to really grow to be a beautiful woman who really is not ashamed of the gospel, but continue to "march for truth...building lives for Jesus". Ultimately, whether I am here in Mongolia or there in the USA, God calls us (you and me) to behold His beauty...because Jesus truly is the only TRUE beauty. We are responsible to share God's love, this good news with those around us, so they can also be beautified. Who doesn't want to be beautified? We want people to experience the true beauty..of Christ.
God, thank you for Grace. Thank you that she is learning and growing in you. Thank you that you are teaching her about the nations and different peoples...that there are so many people still needing to hear about you, but also grow in you. Thank you for teaching her that about Mongolia and your love for these people. God, continue to make Grace more beautiful as she grows so that she may shine even more for you. Teach her your ways, guarding her heart, keeping her pure and holy, and so near to your heart. Keep her strong and yet tender, Jesus. Thank you for loving Grace so much!!! May she experience your love even more and more. In Jesus name. Amen.
OK, Grace. Let me know if you would like for me to answer any more questions. Bye for now!!!