Monday, September 24, 2007

Moday In Mongolia

Monday morning we met at the church after a 10 minute walk from the apartment. It was a little chilly and windy so the sand and dirt would swirl around causing your eyes to fill up with sand every once and a while. We passed the infectious disease hospital on one side and empty construction lots on the other. We then turned the corner were numerous “gers” or tent houses were which led to the church.

The day began at 9:00 with singing. There is one song that I recognized – You Are My All In All. So while they stood and sang in Mongul, I stood and sang in English. 2 languages, one God, one faith. It was, I think, a glimpse of glory when people from all tribes, nations and languages (Rev 5) will gather before the throne of God and praise him together. I sometimes wonder if we will all be singing in our own languages but somehow be able to understand one another. Then we can look around and say – he is from Mongolia and she is from Canada – and we would be reminded that God saved His people from all tribes and languages.

After the singing, they introduced me and I only know this because I heard “David Robinson” and “Grace Bible Church”. I was then invited up but sat there because I did not understand that part at all. Someone then motioned for me to come up and I took that as the universal invitation to get off my seat and start.

I prayed for the men and women who came – there are around 20-24 – and I began teaching from the book of Genesis. One of the things I wanted to show is that you can preach through the Bible and a book like Genesis and it is not only truth but it is relevant, Biblical truth. So we talked a lot about context and how to take a message from the context of the Bible, the book and then the passage. I had one young man talk to me at lunch and he mentioned that there are different philosophies of doing ministry and preaching is not always necessary or relevant. I appreciated his honesty as he talked more about building relationships, etc. As I listened to him, while agreeing that “church” can be done a variety of ways in a variety of cultures, there is the absolute importance of preaching the Word of God faithfully and relevantly.

We finished at 4:00 and I walked back the apartment with Andrew. I had been inside all day so I mentioned to them that I would go for a walk and set out for about hour and a half to explore part of the city. One of the things about Mongolia is the traffic and the driving, In Canada there is a walk sign at the lights and the pedestrian has the right of way. In Mongolia, the walk sign really means nothing at all. Actually, I think it means: Good luck as you try to dodge the cars that are coming at you full speed. I successfully avoided traffic and at times found a crowd of people and followed them. The other interesting thing is how much people honk there horns. There is wall to wall traffic and nobody can move but people are honking their horns as if someone could move. All very interesting.

Now it is 8:15 and I have finished a stir fry meal – my second big meal of the day. Mongolians have their big meal at lunch and I was served a delicious bowl of soup (would compete with the proud Dutch tradition of soup making) and then a plate of rice and I called them hamburger balls but that is probably not what the Mongolians call them. I am tired and plan to head to bed after I email my family and see how they are doing.

Thanks for your prayers and also for looking after my family yesterday. It still takes a while to get used to the thought that I will be going to bed and you will be beginning your day – a day I have already completed! Anyway – have a good sleep – I mean a good day.


Janice Van Eck said...

Hi Pastor Dave
I am loving your reports... you are giving lots of detail and that helps to imagine what it must be like. I hope you are taking pictures too!
Appreciated your reminder, and that amazing thought, of one Lord one faith and the many nations who will be gathered around His throne one day!! What a spur to our service and confidence that as men preach and we tell people about Christ, God WILL save!!
blessings, Janice

Sonya & Josh said...

Hi DRob!

Glad to hear you're having a good trip. How amazing to think that perhaps one day we will all understand the different languages and celebrate it as a sign of God's glory. I hope you enjoyed your hamburger balls... sounds.. interesting :) You are in Josh & my prayers!


Dave and Janet said...

Glad to hear your first day went well and already one young man has approached you with questions.

We had the opportunity to zoom around Ulaan Baatar on Google Earth and view pictures of various sites. Interesting Soviet style buildings and grand avenues. Also saw many "gers" or "yurts" dotting the hills heading up into the mountains. Hope you get time to look around a bit.

Dave, we're praying that the Lord will strengthen you as well as those that you speak to. What an encouragement it must be to these people that God would send a brother from so far away to minister to them.