It was very loud as we walked in the movie theatre. I was picked up by the pastor, his wife and 16 year old daughter and we drove across the other side of UB to their place of worship. This morning the youth led the service and I will say that I enjoyed worshiping with them despite not understanding very much. They had their words up on power point and I understood one word they sang and repeated often: Ecyc (Yaa-sus or Jesus). At one point I was able to sing with them Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Blessed be His Name, Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Blessed be His holy Name – He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away – Blessed be the Name of the Lord …
It was so exciting to be able to sing together in English. At one point while they were singing a rather joyful song I did not recognize, I turned around and out of the corner of my eye, I saw this older man, probably in his 60’s or 70’s, standing, a bit bent over clapping his hands and singing. I just rejoiced at the goodness of God of being part of their celebration of praise, watching them as they rejoiced in the goodness of our Saviour. The striking thing about the older man is he was one of the few older generations in the building. Mongolia became open to Christianity around 1991 and so these are first generation Christians. I was talking to the lady who helped out with the elderly ministry and she mentioned it is a very difficult ministry because many consider themselves to old to change so they stay with their superstitions. That made it all the more amazing to see this elderly man standing before His God and worshiping Him.
I was able to speak from 2 Chronicles 20 when Jehoshaphat prayed to the Lord because he was going to be attacked and slaughtered by the Moabites and Ammonites. It is an interesting passage as Jehoshaphat prays: We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you. And so I mentioned how we can trust God with our problems and God will hear our prayers. Finally, when Jehoshaphat and his people go to war, they go out singing: Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever. They were praising God before the victory. Amazing to stand before God’s people and be able to say that whatever our circumstances, we can praise God as His love endures forever. After I spoke there was some more singing and then one of their men got up and spoke for about ten minutes. I did not know what he said but as the people around me opened their Bibles I noticed they turned to Genesis. I pray that the book of Genesis will become a very special book to the people of God in Mongolia!
It was a privilege to be able to be able to worship at this church in Mongolia. There is such an evident passion for the Lord. However, while I was worshiping here it also made me very thankful for Grace Bible Church. Whether in Mongolia or Canada I worship with a people who love God, desire to serve Him and long to bring Him all the glory and honour. So while I was worshiping today, I remembered God’s kindness to me that when I come back home, I come home to a church zealous for the ways of God and I can stand alongside of them to worship and serve. I look forward when I can be with them once again.
After the service, I was taken out to a Korean Restaurant with Chinese food (I know, the food situation gets a little confusing to follow but it seems to all make sense when you are here). It was very good but at one point I bit into a seriously hot pepper and my mouth exploded in complete agony and misery and my nose responded accordingly (OK, so I am a little melodramatic but it was hot!!) Thankfully I learned to recognize the little red enemy and swallowed them whole from that point on in the meal. Following the meal I went with the pastor and his wife to an Irish Coffee place named after one of the Khaans. I wondered if that particular Khaan would be impressed that he was associated with the Irish (that one was for you Nick D.!!) Anyway, this Irish descendent of Khaan made a mean cup of coffee and it was good to be able to talk with the pastor and his wife.
Tonight I hope to look over my Hermeneutics course and prepare myself for the week ahead. If I had to choose which course is more difficult for me to teach, it would be Hermeneutics. I have begun to understand that some of these pastors have had very little training and need some of the basic foundations.
I am also thinking tonight that this time next Sunday I will be in Seoul, Lord willing. That will mean that I am very close to seeing my family who I miss very much. But God has been good to all of us so I thank you for your prayers and practical support for them while I am away.