It’s early Saturday morning before our teams have even gotten up. What amazing week this has been. Everybody is exhausted but it’s the good type of exhausted—the type of exhaustion where you fall asleep and awaken with a smile on your face. The numbers are in. We have seen over 1,000 patients and our total combined nightly attendance is over 1,200. Praise God!
Last night I preached on the second coming and the excitement about the return of our Lord and Savior was palpable. What you may not realize is that I wasn’t just sharing an account that they already knew in one form or another—for many it was actually the first time hearing about the second coming of Jesus. Let that sink in.
Yes, we’re in a place where most people know next to nothing about the Bible and everything we’re teaching them is new and exciting and life-changing. It gives me chills thinking about it.
Today is going to be a big day. I’ll be preaching at the Amgalan (Peace) Church. During the program our guests will each receive a Bible. For most us this doesn’t mean much because we already own many Bibles, however, for them it will be their very first. Then this afternoon I’ve been asked to baptize nine people (can’t wait). Then tonight our group is going to have a celebration meal with all of the local volunteers from both churches. I’ll complete this update tonight.
Well, it’s now “tonight” here in Mongolia. We’ve just had an absolutely incredible day. The Amgalan Church was nicely full with at least 15 people attending a worship service for the very first time in their lives. Right before the sermon everyone without a Bible received one. The smiles were priceless as people held that precious book for the first time in their hands. Then during the sermon I gave them the opportunity to “test drive” their new Bibles. The sight of church members helping the new people find Bible texts was precious.
The best was yet to come: the baptisms. This was the very first baptismal service held at that little church. What an honor to have been given the opportunity to be part of this moment. I will never forget the people’s smiles as they came up out of the water. The baptistery we used was crudely made just for this event. I wasn’t sure it would hold up but it did. And the water for the baptism was brought in by hand one bucket at a time from the local community water station (the church has no running water). I will never take water or a church baptistery for granted again.
In a few hours our group begins their long journey back to the United States. We take back with us a lot of souvenirs but more importantly the most wonderful memories of people who have touched our lives. We came to give but really we are the ones who received the most. Mongolia has changed us forever.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers. By the way, if you desire to be part of any of our upcoming mission trips to Mongolia (August, 2016 and June, 2017), please contact me at [email protected].