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.
It was April, and we found ourselves caught up in winter’s last throes. Snow still covered the landscape and the glare made our eyes squint.
We ploughed through drift after drift as we approached the imposing mountains that blocked our way. As we wound our way up the serpentine road, the whine of the van was the only sound in this desolate area.
At last even the four-wheel drive could take us no further. The incline was too steep and the snow was icy from the overnight freeze. We felt helpless, having come hundreds of miles only to be stopped by the last mountain.
We had seen God intervene time after time, but praying for this mountain to be ‘moved’ was all too literal. It was not a prayer for some spiritual change that could only be judged subjectively.
What is this exercise called prayer? It is praise and adoration. Prayer is a recognition of the ‘awesomeness’ of God. It is a time of repentance and preparation of soul for his holy presence.
Prayer is a time to understand on which side of the mountain he wants us to be — it really has nothing to do with ‘the mountain’, but everything to do with his plan for us.
The height of the mountain is unimportant to God, though it may give us some concern. The drop at the edge of the road that could destroy both our van and ourselves is not a problem for him. Does he want us on the other side? That is the only question we must answer.
Then comes thanksgiving. We thank God for flattening that mountain and for removing obstacles that stand between where we are now and where we need to be.
A roll of canvas was tied to the rack on top of our vehicle, used to cover the van at night. It was the van’s ‘sleeping bag’ preventing the machinery and motor oil from freezing.
The canvas was spread on the road and we inched along it. Sometimes we slid back, surrendering some of the priceless distance gained.
Again and again the canvas was pulled to the front and this ‘cotton road’ led us upward and onward. Hours later we passed the Shamanist rock-pile that marks the crest of nearly every significant hill in Mongolia.
As you read this, Christians will be building a dormitory at the four-grade village school. Children who had never learned to read and write, because their herding families constantly moved in search of new pastures, will be able to attend school.
A Mongol believer who is part of the ‘Vet-Net Team’ will be training a young teacher in the community to work with pre-school children. Stoves will be installed in rooms that have been unusable for three years because of lack of heat.
We will begin to witness for Christ in an area that has never seen him in the lives of his people. We will have new opportunities to tell of his wondrous love.
There are many dark corners left in this world, and many people who have never heard the Name above all names. Frances and I will never reach many of these places. We will run short of years and energy.
However, we are seeing a team of young committed Mongolian Christians develop with a desire to reach their nation for Christ. They are growing in their understanding of this all-powerful God and the mountains that block their way appear smaller as they place them beside their God.
I will not mention this village by name but we would ask you to pray for it. Please pray that the ground will be prepared and the seed planted. Pray for a harvest.