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All articles in category Eastern Asia

Missionary Spotlight-Building in Mongolia
July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-Building in Mongolia

The words ‘Oh you of little faith’ aptly described us four years ago when we first saw the tiny village of Red Mouth, in Mongolia. We witnessed a meeting there to organise herders into a co-operative, so that they would have better buying and marketing leverage. A left-wing government was in power and, interestingly, a political rally was scheduled at the same place, same time, same date! What developed was a shouting contest that lasted for hours. What a pitiful place – this small community with no jobs, lots of poverty, and poor education. The little school met in two, stale, crowded gers. Twenty children...

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July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-Facts

Area: 604,250 square miles. Neighbouring countries: China and Russia. Environment: Landlocked, with a harsh, continental climate, desert plains (especially the Gobi Desert), grassy steppes and forests. The west is mountainous. There are frequent dust (or snow) storms, grassland fires and drought. Water for irrigation or drinking is scarce. Natural resources: Oil and coal; minerals, especially copper, iron, molybdenum, tungsten, tin and gold. Population: 2.8 million. Life expectancy: 64 years. Infant mortality: 53 deaths/1,000 live births. Ethnic groups: Mongol (mainly Khalkha) 90%, Turkic (mainly Kazakh) 7%, others (including Chinese and Russian) 3%. Languages: Mongolian (official), Turkic, Russian. Literacy: 87%. Capital: Ulaanbaatar (774,000).Urbanisation: 62%. Economy: The economy...

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Missionary Spotlight-A cautionary tale
July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-A cautionary tale

My wife and I came to Mongolia three years ago, to work in rural areas. We knew that much had happened in the country since the end of communism more than ten years ago. A fast-growing church was emerging. Mongolians were reaching out to neighbours at home and to people beyond Mongolia. We heard from some missionaries that we would soon no longer be needed! Having completed two years of language study we moved from the capital, Ulaanbaatar (UB), to a remote provincial town several hundred miles west. Expectations Understandably, we went with certain expectations. We envisaged that we would be strengthening a local church...

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Missionary Spotlight-Mongolia – land of contradictions
July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-Mongolia – land of contradictions

The Gobi desert paid me a visit today: icy wind, sand, rain and snow all arrived together, screaming off the steppe, lashing around me, boring sand into eyes, nose, ears and mouth. I am getting warm again in our apartment on the top floor of a building in the eastern sector of Ulaanbaatar. The sky is now deep blue and crystal clear, except for the trail of an international jet. The trees’ buds are a promising green, poised to make the sudden growth we’ve longed for all winter. That startling, vivid, clear blue Mongolian sky! The Mongols of old worshipped the sky as god above...

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January 2002
China

Chinese puzzle

It can be difficult to grasp the true state of a church from a distance. This is particularly true when we live many thousands of miles away and speak a different language! In recent years there have been reports of great movements of God in China. We hear of large numbers of converts to Christianity and frequent periods of persecution. It is therefore helpful when the situation is assessed by someone who has researched it first hand and can provide a biblical perspective. We reproduce below an edited version of a letter received from Phoebe Ma, former chief editor of the Chinese Reformed magazine Faith...

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Missionary Spotlight – Moving mountains in Mongolia
October 2001
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight – Moving mountains in Mongolia

On the other side of the mountain lies a place of intense darkness. A place where for hundred of years Satan has owned ‘the real estate’, and the power of darkness penetrates the countryside.   Alcohol deadens the minds of the men and makes them easy captives of demonic forces. The most striking building in the village is the decorative Buddhist temple. This supports eleven lamas at the expense of the poor herders who travel miles to pay for prayers to a god who is deaf to their needs. Way blocked   It was April, and we found ourselves caught up in winter’s last throes....

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Missionary Spotlight-Japan Spiritual void
December 2000
Japan

Missionary Spotlight-Japan Spiritual void

As a newly arrived English teacher in Japan, I used to ask my students what religion they belonged to. I was surprised when the responses came, ‘I am not religious’. At first I thought these young people were so absorbed in materialism that they no longer saw religion as relevant. But in time I realised that, although my students professed to have no religious faith, their actions revealed the opposite. They were very concerned with religious matters! On the surface, people in Japan are not religious. There is no tradition of meeting weekly for worship, as in Christian churches. However, people do visit Buddhist temples...

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Missionary Spotlight-Japan Sowing in tears
December 2000
Japan

Missionary Spotlight-Japan Sowing in tears

Like thousands of other British teenagers called to do National Service in the early 1950s, I first arrived in Japan on a troopship. We docked at Kure, a few kilometres up the coast from Hiroshima. Since Japan opened its doors to foreigners in the mid-nineteenth century, Kure had become a major shipbuilding base. When ordinary Japanese citizens travelled through it, even the blinds of the steam trains had to be pulled down, because the port contained many secrets. Now it was open to us as a result of Japan’s defeat. We were members of the post-war peacekeeping force. Thrown together from island countries thousands of...

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