One of the great joys of meeting with God's people is singing. This morning I walked for about 10 minutes to Zion Church (some of the churches have very interesting names, at least from a North American perspective: Salvation of Word; Glory of Jesus; Eternal Life; Amazing Blessing; Light of Life; Star of Grace; Jesus' Sheep Herd; Light Future - some of the church names represented from the students in the class)to be greeted by the pastor - one of the students in the class. He is a quieter man, gentle and very kind. As the people gathered, it became very obvious that there were a lot of young people. They opened with a few words and then began to sing with enthusiasm - an older man on the drums (yes!! it is true), a younger man on the guitar, and a young lady all helping with the singing. Singing filled the building - loud, enthusiastic and filled with expressive actions. It was a joy to see the young church of Mongolia express freely God's amazing gift of salvation, to see young people lifting their hands and voices to the Saviour and to see young and old celebrating the goodness of God. I knew two of the songs: Create in Me a Clean Heart and Hosanna, Hosanna. They sang in their tongue while I sang in English - what I consider a foretaste of the glory to come. I really wish that I could take my family and church family and fly them all to meet the brothers and sisters in Mongolia and worship God together, singing the praises of the Almighty - one Lord, one Saviour, one God, one gospel, one family.
They asked me to come up and preach and I began by bringing greetings from my family and my church family - what a privilege to connect God's people with God's greeting, the ties that bind believers who have never met. I preached from the book of Ephesians beginning with Ephesians 2 and the great gospel message - Christ's kindness expressed through his salvation. And then we went to the great prayer of Ephesians 3 and saw the enjoyment of the kindness of Jesus through his great love. We finally ended in Ephesians 4 and saw how we are to express that great kindness in our lives. My goal, by God's grace, was to show by God's Word that the Christian life is not just a list of do's and don't's but is a relationship in the great love of God and the reason we do what we do as believers is because of God's kindness in Christ.
I was just so happy to preach to the people, a people who have so much to teach me in so many areas of my life.
After the service, I was able to meet some of the people and then I had lunch with the leaders and their wives. I asked them how we could pray for them and they responded that the government may take their land to build apartments - please pray the government would not touch the land as God did not allow the lions to touch Daniel or the fire to touch his three friends. They also asked for prayer as they grow as a church in Mongolia - the church is only 18 years old, the freedom of the gospel coming in 1990. Please pray that God may continue to grant them an enthusiasm for evangelism and that they may grow in maturity in the knowledge of God's Word. Almost every church leader I ask about how we may pray for them respond with the need to be taught so they may train the next generation of leaders.
Before we left, they prayed for me - I don't know what they said but you could sense the warmth of Christian love in Christ. I asked if I could pray for them and I prayed God would bless and guide the leaders and the people and that the great gospel would shine bright for the glory of God in Mongolia.
Revelation 7:9: After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. and they cried out in a loud voice:
Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.
Canadians and Mongolians will be together one day even though miles separate now and they will stand side by side, basking in the glory and love of the Triune God, singing: Salvation, this great salvation, belongs to God, who sits on the throne and the the Lamb, our Saviour, to whom be glory forever and ever.