Feature

Finding the Father

A teen is transformed in Mongolia

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It was a bitterly cold day in January 2009 when Tabitha, a daughter of our missionary couple “Y” and “J,” met a local girl in a coffee shop in Erdenet, Mongolia. Tabitha was visiting her parents, and the girl was a student at the National University of Mongolia, majoring in English. Her Mongolian name is Nomingchoolong, which means “precious jewel.” She is called “Ruby.”

“Can you teach me English while you are here?” she asked Tabitha.

That’s how Ruby began to visit Y and J’s apartment regularly. And she kept coming, even after Tabitha returned to the United States.

One day J asked, “Since you have studied English with U.S. missionaries for a long time, you know about Jesus, right?” To J’s surprise, Ruby said she had never heard of Him. J then presented the gospel to her.

While J was explaining about the Heavenly Father, Ruby broke down in tears and cried for a long time. When J asked about her family, Ruby said she didn’t know who her father was. Ruby’s mother, who had become pregnant while she was still a student, had left her daughter in her parents’ care as soon as the baby was born.
Ruby struggled with abandonment and felt unloved and unwanted, but the gospel liberated her. Realizing that she was created by the loving God for a purpose, Ruby invited Him into her heart as the Father who has never given up searching for His lost children.

After her conversion, Ruby’s lifestyle was transformed. She found zeal to share the good news with college students who had the same struggles she had experienced. Ruby evangelized seven students within a week.

Ruby was baptized in 2011 and is working as the office manager of the Erdenet Center, the church planted by Y and J. Since Ruby took over the job, membership has been steadily increasing. She is preparing for full-time ministry and was one of the church leaders I trained in Mongolia on a short-term trip last year. Through her witness, 10 young people recently accepted Christ and are gathering every Saturday for Bible study and worship.

Her conversion, however, did not come without cost. Again, it happened on a bitterly cold day. It was about 4 a.m. on a Monday in 2011 when Y and J heard someone knocking hard at the door. They ignored it, assuming it was a drunken man; when the noise persisted for more than 30 minutes, they opened the door to find Ruby there with two old suitcases.

She had been staying at the house of her relative, a local shaman, and his family. But after she came home from the Sunday church service the previous afternoon, the shaman kicked her out. She tried to find a place to stay but in vain. After wandering the streets, Ruby had come to their apartment almost frozen. During Mongolian winters, the temperature may drop to as low as –50 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Certainly it was a test of her faith, which developed her perseverance (James 1:3).

Another test came in her relationship with her mother. Ruby had been angry at her for a long time because she had abandoned her daughter to live with her current husband. One day, as we had lunch with Ruby and the missionary couple, Ruby said that she finally decided to forgive her mother, who had become a victim of domestic violence (a common problem in many Mongolian households). Constant beatings made the life of Ruby’s mom a living hell.

A few months later, Ruby shared the gospel with her mother and said, “Mom, I forgive you and love you.” The peace of God came upon the two, and they became one in the love of Christ. Ruby not only found her real Father in heaven but also is reconciled with her mother in Christ. That’s the power of the gospel.

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