What is it that breaks your heart?
That’s a question I’ve been thinking about recently. There are so many, many things. Sex trafficking. Drunks in the street. AIDS orphans in Africa. Suffering caused by diseases like cancer. Suffering caused by evil men such as the recent shooting in Colorado.
Sometimes it seems unbearable. It’s probably a good thing that the Father gives it to us in doses we can swallow. I can’t imagine having to observe all these things all day, every day.
We were reminded by our Field Director, Dennis Maves, in church last week of one of my favorite hymns by Annie Johnston Flint. “To added afflictions, He addeth his mercy…”. I am so thankful that we have a merciful Father.
But I think one of the things that breaks my heart most is broken families. I’m not sure why. The things I mentioned earlier are horrible, horrible things. Maybe because my experience with family has blessed me so much. When I was growing up, my family life was a cocoon for me. And I had not just my parents, but an extended family and my parents’ friends who were more than happy to step in (and did) to offer love and support. I married into a family that has continued that love and support. Now, my own children have blessed me in so many ways.
I have not personally experienced the brokenness of family like I have seen in Mongolia. It almost seems to be the norm. It is another reason why the gospel is so necessary here. Jesus is certainly no quick fix, but the picture of Christ and his bride as well as the idea of God as our Father, evidence the fact that family originates with God.
Sometimes it breaks my heart when I am talking about the concepts of Christian families with the girls I disciple. I can look at the relationships of my parents and my in-laws. I can be encouraged by many friends in the church who are growing their families together, inspired by those who have gone before us in the faith. It is so hard to have to look these girls in the eyes, knowing they have no example, and say to them, “You’re it. You are going to have to figure this out, by grace and with the help of God, in your culture and your context, with no one who has gone before you to show you the way. There are no books, no helps, no classes, nothing. You are the first generation of Christian family and the young in the church will be looking to you.”
I am so grateful to people like our teammates, Richel and Melody Maraat, whom God has called here to UB to minister to families. Please pray for them.
I am also thrilled and excited for a young couple we know, Erka and Doggi, committed to being pioneers in this process. I love having conversations with her about learning principles of submission and teaching her two little boys how to grow up to be godly young men. I love knowing that she goes home to serve her boys and her husband and that together they are ministering the gospel and training Mongolians to follow Christ. They have been faithful servants with YWAM for six years now. Their humility, sincerity and dedication encourage and sometimes shames me.
I have been so hesitant to do what I am about to write. I don’t want to meddle in what God wants to do for them. I hate “raising support.” Always have. It’s the one of most difficult parts of being in ministry to me. I rarely wrote support letters for my short term ministry trips.
Yes, there is a “but” coming up here. Erka and Doggi have been given a wonderful opportunity to study in the US for the next two years. They have been given a scholarship, including room and board, to the Evangelical Institute in Greenville, SC. Yes, this is the school where Bernie and I met and Jonathan recently graduated. But… airfare is not cheap from here to the US. Especially for four people.
I’m sure many of you have heard of stories of international students coming into the US and never leaving, whether legally or not. This is not the case here. They are in full-time ministry and are required to take a sabbatical year. They want to use this time to further their understanding and be able to minister more effectively on their return. They have been granted a one year extension. Erka also wants to use the time he is in the US to learn more about recording and production so that he can return and help young Mongolian artists in their desire to share their faith through music. Both are deeply interested in learning more about the Bible more deeply.
If you are reading this, and would be interested in helping to support Dogi and Erka’s family in any way, please contact us. They need your prayers, your friendship while they are in the US , and your financial support. Let us know if you would like to participate in any way. We have great hope in God’s grace for this family.
Because He gives more grace.