Psalm 96:3 – Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
This year Frances and I wanted to send you a Christmas greeting with an extra special meaning. So this letter comes to you following our month-long trip into the Mongolian countryside, during which we witnessed first-hand the glory of what God is doing via V.E.T. Net in the lives of people in the remotest regions of the country. What we saw filled us with memories that will be with us for the rest of our lives.
During our month of travel, we witnessed God doing miraculous things in a nation where He had been unwelcome for hundreds of years. Now, the curtain has been torn, and the Spirit of God is living in the hearts of people across this land. Some of the nomads we visited live in places — and in conditions — you could not imagine in your wildest dreams. One family we visited had their closest neighbor stop by for tea while we were there. When we asked, “How far away is their ger?” we were surprised by the response: “Oh, they live about 10 miles from here!”
Ulaankhuukhen is the “old” woman in the burgundy del sitting next to me in the above picture. Just to be clear, she is the same age as me — so maybe “old” is not the best term to use here! Ulaankhuukhen is the leader of a large family, some of whom are seen in this picture. Although her husband is dead, she has 12 children and a large number of grandchildren. The grandchildren go to school in the town which serves as the county seat, where they live in dormitories or with relatives. Ulaankhuukhen also spends time in town, where she helps look after a number of the children while they are attending school.
V.E.T. Net works in this county through the Claim a County project, even though this village remains a dark seat of Buddhism. Through the efforts of Claim a County teachers and the local pastor, Ulaankhuukhen came to know the truth about the Christmas Child. Like her, the first visitors to the Messiah were nomadic shepherds, so it was easy for her to accept this aspect of the Christmas story. In due course, she asked the Savior into her heart. Now, all 12 of her children have claimed Christ as their Lord.
Tamara is the V.E.T. Net teacher responsible for the Claim a County, Watering with the Word, and Gift of Love programs in the far eastern state of Sukhbaatar (Tamara is on the left, in the front row of the picture). During this year, we were busy implementing the Gift of Love in several of the counties in this state. The gift of giving is an amazingly powerful act. Hard hearts melt as some of the poorest people in the world receive a gift of sheep, bringing hope into their desperate lives. Although they butcher some of the animals, they keep most of the sheep and join them with the flocks of family or friends, thereby ensuring a steady supply of food for the future.
Tamara has friends across the state, and we met many of them as we stopped to provide training in schools and to offer our support in the local churches. People’s lives are being touched by the love of Christ, which is shared freely by those working with V.E.T. Net.
As we approach Christmas, the Holiest of seasons, we wish to express our gratitude to those of you who have given so sacrificially to make our work at V.E.T. Net possible. Perhaps simple pictures such as this one can help you understand how your gifts are making a difference in the lives of those who have been largely ignored as unreachable in the past. Please place this photo where you can see it often, as a reminder to pray for Ulaankhuukhen and her family, and for the other isolated people of Mongolia.
We wish you a joyful and spirit-filled Christmas as we celebrate together the birth of Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Together in His service,
Gerald and Frances
2 Thessalonians 3:1b – Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored.