For centuries, nomadic herding and raising livestock have been central to the Mongolian way of life. Even today, as Mongolia undergoes rapid urbanization, livestock still outnumber people by almost 12 to one. Meat (especially mutton, beef and goat) and dairy products are the mainstays of the Mongolian diet and also form a good percentage of the country’s exports.
Herding, however, is hard—and risky—work. In the winter of 2009-10, more than 20 percent of Mongolia’s livestock died due to the effects of yet another dzud, or harsh winter disaster. Droughts have also taken their toll in the vast Mongolia steppes. The traditional Buddhist and shamanistic rituals and sacrifices have not prevented suffering. Who will bring hope to the Mongolian people?
How about veterinarians? Bat-Zorig, a Mongolian government official, is a veterinarian who likes to upgrade his veterinary knowledge, even though he is no longer a practicing vet. He heard about a seminar offered by Christian veterinarians where he learned about the treatment of livestock and improved methods of animal husbandry. After the seminar, he took home some Christian literature. He thinks that Christians are good people and that their message offers hope.
Due to the important place that animal husbandry holds in the Mongolian economy, veterinarians are in high demand. Opportunities exist for foreign veterinarians to come and complement the Mongolian veterinary system already in place, to train other vets and to treat Mongolia’s livestock. Workers may live in an urban setting and travel out to rural regions where nomadic herders tend their flocks. It would be challenging—but rewarding – work.
Christian veterinarians can meet two crucial needs in Mongolia. The first is the need for high quality care for the country’s animals that are so vital to Mongolia’s well-being. Second, and more importantly, Christian vets bring the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the hope of salvation and of a life lived for an eternal purpose.
In doing so, Christian veterinarians can join one of the most exciting and fastest-growing church movements in the world today. In the early 1990s, only a handful of Mongolians believed in Jesus. According to OMF International’s workers, today there are more than 50,000 believers and about 400 churches in Mongolia. God has done an amazing work—and there is much more work to be done.
Will you pray for Tibetan Buddhist Peoples?
- Give thanks for the growth of the Church in Mongolia in recent years.
- Give thanks for opportunities for Christians to meet needs in Mongolia.
- Pray for God to raise up Christians with the skills and opportunity to serve in Mongolia.