Monday, March 30, 2009

A Day in the Forbidden City

We are learning so much about the “ways “ of different countries. In particular, we are learning so much about the places where we are able to spend time with the missionaries serving there. For instance, we learned that China doesn’t want their airplanes left out of the country. So if they think there is a chance they won’t get back because of weather or I suppose other reasons they will not let their planes leave the original location. Hence our plane that was supposed to leave from Mongolia at 4:30 pm did not leave until after midnight (we had some snow and wind). When we arrived at the Beijing airport it was deserted but fortunately our missionary arranged for us to have documentation that our plane had been delayed and we missed our connection. Through the lost luggage place we made headway and were given a hotel room free of charge. Only one condition, there were 2 to a room and our team member, Gene had to share a room with a stranger. We dropped into bed at 5:30am and got up around 10am. I had my first shower since we left, it felt heavenly!

Since we were here and given a special visa to move around without having to pay for the expensive visa, we thought we couldn't ignore this opportunity. So we went to the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square. It was sobering to think of the history involved here and also the total absence of God everywhere. There is an elevating of man and the nation of China here. We have found food to be expensive here too. Glad this is only a short stop.

We are growing in a deeper appreciation for our missionaries everywhere. In Mongolia there is a cost to their physical bodies as well as sacrifices in other ways. Their dedication to the call and their love of the people is testimony to the grace our God gives when we live eternally. I am so grateful for the opportunity I (Edie) have had to give the women time to share with me, to give me a glimpse of their lives and offer opportunity to hear their concerns. It was a blessing to be able to see them light up as they would share. One lady said specifically that they usually have men visit but it was nice to have a woman come too for a change.

Alan and Gene gave a lengthy assessment of the work they are doing in Mongolia and the priorities they are working on. Their stand for a translation that does not use the same word for God as for Buddha is so important. A fight that won’t be necessarily be won in the near future but worthwhile in continuing to press with love among other believing foreigners. Another issue is foreign money funding pastors for full time work. Because of the culture this is a very detrimental system for the Mongolians. Several groups do it but our missionaries have refrained. It has many points to it’s argument that I won’t go into. The most positive outcome of all of this is that they have a team in Mongolia that is extraordinary. Their love and willingness to work through things together is admirable. A model for us all!! Al and Gene also talked through some things that they saw that would be good to work towards, perhaps some needs for setting up ways to help bring change but overall no red flags whatsoever.

Finally about to board for Bangkok.

So long…Edie


Anonymous said...

Edie, you are doing an amazing job helping us to understand if even in a small way what life is like so far away from comfortable Iowa. I am so humbled by what so many are willing and even desiring to endure to serve our Lord. Thank you for your heart for His Word to reach the world.
Hello to Al and know that prayers are heading out always.

Amy said...

That was a great post Mom. We are learning so much about different parts of the world and spent time the other night praying for persecuted Christians around the world, especially in India. We love you!