From the Dedication to Tend My Sheep . . .
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Ruth 1:16, NIV
This book is dedicated to my wife, Frances. There was no other consideration to whom to make this dedication.
Frances left her family and friends and followed God and me to a land where the earth ended – exactly half-way around the world, in a place called Mongolia. This was a place where lonely herders on distant hillsides had never heard the name, Jesus Christ. The nation was suddenly open to Westerners, after being one of the most closed countries in the world.
“Frances,” I said, “I believe God is calling us to this desolate place where there are waiting ears to hear the Gospel. Come go with me.” And her thoughtful answer was, “Yes.”
When God tapped Frances to be my life-partner, it was a perfect match. She is the love of my life. Describing her stretches my vocabulary. Her eyes are so blue they appear to reflect the sky on a cloudless day; her hair is golden, with just enough streaks of red to season her with a touch of fire; she is tender but tough, caring and compassionate; she possesses a winsome spirit and bubbly personality; and she is strongly endowed with the gift of hospitality.
And it was that gift of hospitality that played a central role in the start of V.E.T. Net. You see, it attracted the young Mongolian students to our home for a taste of Frances’ cooking. This was part of God’s plan. Whether on her knees to pray or to clean the floors – or a combination of the two – Frances was driven to make people welcome and comfortable in our home. Her goal was to gain the opportunity to share her love of Christ with all who entered.
Earthly speaking, Frances gave up so much. And yet, unquestionably, without my dear Frances there would be no V.E.T. Net. Thousands of Mongolians would not have heard of our wonderful Savior, and the Word of God would not have found its way into their world. As has been said before regarding God’s will, “She gave up what she could not keep, to gain what she could not lose.” (Paraphrased quote by missionary Jim Elliot)
Praise God for you Frances! Scripture tells us that when someone comes to salvation in Jesus, the angels rejoice in heaven (Luke 15:10). Thank you, Frances, for the part you played in so many coming to salvation in Mongolia and for causing the angels to rejoice in heaven.
Gerald Mitchum, DVM
Author, Tend My Sheep