the learning house

where everyone (especially me!) is learning . . .

A Privilege???

on June 20, 2013

My husband and I have lived in Mongolia for more than 8 years now. Eight years . . . that’s a long time. Yet that’s how long it took me realize something very important about missions and about our calling to be here. For years I have heard my husband, George, when talking to folks about ‘what we do’ here, say, “It’s a privilege.” I would think to myself, “Well, that sure sounds nice and humble.” But I don’t think I ever really ‘got’ it. I mean, I don’t think that “privilege” is the word I would have used myself. Did I really feel like it was a privilege to leave friends, family, and all that is familiar, comfortable and convenient to go live in a foreign country where I would experience culture shock and basically have to learn to talk all over again? If I were honest, I’d have to say no. A different word was stuffed deep down in my heart where I wouldn’t actually say it out loud for fear of not sounding Godly and humble . . . sacrifice. (See everything I’m giving up for you, God?Β )

My attitude, perspective, and heart changed last week though. Why last week after 8 long years here? Because last week the rug was almost pulled out from under our feet. Last week, Immigration attempted to shut us down. Last week the threat of having our visas revoked and having to leave immediately was very real. We had a short-term team of 17 people here – all of their passports were confiscated. For the following 24 hrs our fate was up in the air as interrogations, accusations, interviews, and meetings took place. And prayer. Much prayer. Crying out to God to have mercy and allow us the privilege of us serving here longer. I wasn’t ready to start packing. I didn’t want to leave. There’s still so much to do! We aren’t finished yet! We just started building the medical clinic. Please let us finish this, God! It was in the midst of these cries that it dawned on me . . . being here really IS a privilege. Missions IS a privilege. Serving God, wherever you are, IS a privilege. Unfortunately it took almost having it taken away for me to realize it.

To make a long story short, prayer warriors rallied, intercession was made, and God answered prayer – our Governor and a Member of Parliament ended up backing us and our work (because of the positive impact our center has on the community, the relief work we do, and the medical clinic we’re building) and even threatened the Immigration official that there would be trouble for him if he didn’t back off.

Pheeeeeeewww. *Deep breath* *Sigh of relief* And a new perspective. A new attitude. Gratitude for the privilege it is to be here for one more day, week, month or year.

Construction is under way for the new medical clinic!

Construction is under way for the new medical clinic!

What are you taking for granted in your life? Pray for a new perspective and a heart of gratitude. πŸ™‚


8 responses to “A Privilege???

  1. Listen — you have to stay there for longer because until I read your blog, I wasn’t real sure there actually WAS an Outer Mongolia any more. And now I can impress all my friends and family by “knowing” (in a blogging kind of way) someone who lives there and tell them, “Oh yes, it’s a real place . . . ” whenever they compare living way out in the country somewhere to living in Outer Mongolia.

    But seriously, thank you to you and your family for the work you are doing to spread God’s love in a far away place! So glad His plan all along was for you to stay there. πŸ™‚

    • Ha ha. Thanks. Yeah, we are really ‘way out there’ . . . my husband used to tell people (joking of course) that were moving to Outer Mongolia to get as far away as possible from his in-laws. LOL.

  2. Terri, are you sure that George was joking? hahaha. Don’t give Chris any ideas! Seriously though, when I first heard of your plans to move to Mongolia (no matter your reason) I thought you were nuts.. Then when you decided to raise children there, I thought you were certifiable. I just could not imagine “sacrificing” all that life offers here – to go where? However, through you, and the example that you set, I have come to realize that “all that we have” here is maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not the convenience, or the endless supply of target nick-nacks or the latest movie craze on a cereal box for the kids that matters. As Connor and Rose grow, I think sometimes I wish there wasn’t a Five Below store tempting them to whine and cry every time i get in the car to buy them another toy they will not play with. What I wish for is less clutter and more meaning in our lives as a family. More time with each other and with other people – learning and sharing with them. Mongolia is not a place I ever dreamt of or thought I might travel to – but the world is a little smaller because you have chosen (or been chosen) to live there. Perhaps someday we will make it there. While your kids might never know the fun of “jungle java” or cedar point. Mine will never know the world as yours do. You and your family are making a mark – a positive impact on the world. It’s something to be truly proud of and thankful for.

    Mark left today for his first “adventure” on Mission. I know this will be life changing for him and I pray that he too feels more “priviledged” in what he’s doing for others there, then when he is at home.

    • Thanks, Vicki. This really encourages me. Praying that Mark’s experience is life-changing. He’s lucky to have parents who encourage and support him to do missions like this. You have three amazing kids – keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  3. becca says:

    great post terri, i’m so glad God worked it out so you can stay.

  4. Angela says:

    Wow! I love this. Today we had a first bday party for my son. When my husband prayed before we ate he thanked God for the first year of our son’s life and the privilege to be his parents. His words resonated with me so much I pulled him aside later and told him I really appreciated his choice of words. And now I read this! It really is a privilege. To serve God wherever you are. Beautiful work you are doing.

  5. Linda says:

    Praising God with you. Thank you for your honesty. I can relate this to something in my life, too, so I appreciate the encouragement on having a proper perspective.

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