This was supposed to be just another typical Mission:Mongolia trip. We planned for about 30 volunteer health professionals, working in three locations. God had other plans. We are now in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, with 66 volunteers who have traveled from the United States, Malaysia, Canada, and Switzerland—working in six locations! Amazing! Four of the locations are church sites in areas of the city of Ulaanbaatar where health needs are great. The fifth location is in an abandoned schoolhouse in a part of the city where local people simply shake their heads when asked about it—it’s where the poorest of the poor live. The last location is an orphanage where the younger members of our volunteer group are doing a children’s program.
Sunday was our first day of action. The team dealt with the expected push-back from the enemy of God, whose desire is our failure. But by God’s grace and power, the first day’s challenges were overcome and everyone returned to the hotel with a tired smile on their face. My favorite part of the day is the evening when I get to listen to everyone’s stories.
One story that particularly sticks in my mind is about how one of our physicians literally saved a little girl’s life. This little girl came in with her grandmother because she could not hear well from one ear. The doctor who saw her happened to be an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor), and after a close look discovered a tumor beside her eardrum. He recognized it as a of rare tumor called cholesteatoma—and if left untreated will lead to meningitis and eventual death probably within a year. The grandmother, diagnosis in hand, was thus directed to immediately take the girl to the city hospital for the appropriate life-saving procedure.
Everyone who visited our clinics was invited to our evening meetings that included wonderful music, a children’s story, health messages, and Jesus talks. It was a very long but great day for all. We can’t wait to see what blessings God has in store for us today!