By the discipleship coordinator for Children’s Heart Project
We flew into the remote Mongolian province on a blustery winter morning. As I left the plane an icy wind cut instantly through every layer of my clothes. I took a moment to look around and took in the beautiful snow-covered mountains, in awe that I was here and getting to journey to the homes of two of our precious Children’s Heart Project kids.
A smile filled my face as joy filled my heart (instantly causing a brain freeze sensation as the cold went through my teeth!).
We would first visit Norjinsuren, a teen-aged girl who underwent surgery in the U.S. in February, and then see Shirnendorj, who had surgery in 2011. After purchasing food, drinks, and treats for each family, we headed out of town.
The road was merely a tire-dented track that had iced over weeks ago. We arrived at Norjinsuren’s door over two hours later, and were warmly greeted by the whole family. It was nice and cozy when we walked in. After warming up over some milk tea we started to ask about the last few months.
Norjinsuren is excelling in school and reads her Bible every day. She was excited to share about Heart Camp, the follow-up program for Children’s Heart Project patients after they return to Mongolia. The camp provides a week full of worship, stories, games, crafts, and activity times all centered on the Scriptures.
I asked her what she enjoyed and what should be changed at camp next year. She proclaimed that it was wonderful and that the only thing to change was its length because it was far too short!
Ariuna, Nojinsuren’s mother, was far more open this visit to talk about the Truth of Christ and had even taught her daughters to pray. She had a Bible and daily devotional on the mantelpiece when we arrived, and Norjinsuren’s youngest sister prayed for us to show what she had been learning.
Later, Norjinsuren and her three sisters serenaded us as one played a song on the Morin Hurr (a traditional Mongolian instrument made with the tail hairs of a horse). It was a time covered by the Lord as we sought to bring light into their home.
God has chosen to bring Norjinsurn into our lives. Because of Christ, Children’s Heart Project is able to bring true love into a dark place in great need of true light. Continue to pray for them and their neighbors. They are in deep need of Christ!
The next day we headed to Shirnendorj’s home. He lives with his grandparents while school is in session and out in the countryside with his family, helping with the flocks and herds, when he is on holiday. His parents move as much as seven to eight times a year and their current location at the time of our visit was about 25 miles away.
Shirendorj attends the school closest to his parent’s area of herding. Before surgery he struggled in school but now he is thriving. He loves reading. He longs to become a teacher one day and his favorite subject to study is mathematics. Shirnendorj is very sharp and learns new things quickly.
Grandpa told us how very nervous he was when Shrinendorj went to have surgery. He shared about his fears, and how they were released when Shrinendorj returned from surgery with the American doctors.
“I used to stay awake and watch him sleep,” he said. “Before surgery his breath was always labored, and when I put my hand to his chest I could feel the harsh beating of his heart. It was so hard to watch him sleep. After he returned I was so worried that the same would be true, but when I watched him sleep his breath was no longer labored. Slowly I put my hand to his chest and when I did the heart no longer beat hard but normally.”
Gany, one of our staff members, offered a devotional to the grandfather and taught him how to find the right page each day and how to read it. Later he asked her how to pray. Soon Grandma joined us, and she too was open to the truth. We talked about Christmas and the birth of Christ. Grandpa had never before heard about this man called Jesus, while Grandma said that she was familiar with the name but not the truths around him.
There is a significant openness in the home. They are so close to believing. Christ has used the surgery to deeply touch this family, opening up a home that was so very closed before.
These children live in a very spiritually dark area with little influence of Christianity. There are no churches nearby their homes. The families live in a very harsh environment but they are adapted to it and it is their home. They need the Lord Jesus. They need to be followed up on as Jesus is indeed softening their hearts.
It will take time, prayer, and further visits by our staff. Please join us in praying that they will come to faith in Christ, and that God will use them to spread the Gospel to their neighbors.