Though nomadic ways have all but died out among Mongols in China, more than 140,000 families in Mongolia to the north still follow the centuries-old lifestyle of their forefathers. The traditional nomad dwelling is a round felt tent called a ger (yurt). Life can be very harsh, especially during the long, bitterly cold winters. Following their livestock to find fresh pasture, each nomad family will pack up their ger and relocate 2-4 times a year. This life of ‘no fixed abode’ presents a particular challenge to those called to make disciples of Jesus Christ among nomadic Mongols.
Bayarmaa looked up warily at the approaching jeep as she milked the goats by her ger. She was tired after a long horse ride. And she was grieving. Her oldest son had died a month and a half ago in a motorcycle accident. So, today the family had rode horseback up to a mountain for a special 49 day Buddhist ceremony, to help their son achieve a better reincarnation.
Two men, a Mongol and a foreigner got out of the jeep. Bayarmaa’s mother immediately came over and invited the strangers into the ger. As they entered, Bayarmaa pulled her mother aside and asked, “Why did you invite them in on such a day?” Bayarmaa knew that she would now have to make tea and possibly serve a meal. “See the rain?” her mother replied. “This is a good omen; they must be good people!”
The Mongol talked about a ‘god’ named Jesus. Her mother had never heard of this god before, but Bayarmaa recalled seeing the ‘Jesus’ film back when she was at secondary school. After serving bowls of steaming salty milky tea, Bayarmaa pointed to the back of the ger where a photo of her son had incense and a 10,000 Tugrik bank note in front of it. “Can your Jesus help our son have a better reincarnation?” she asked.
- That more and more nomads will have opportunity to hear the gospel, and also have open hearts to embrace it.
- That gospel workers will commit to revisit nomads time & again until they come to faith and maturity in Christ.
- That the Lord will send out many more workers to reach the nomads.