We made it safely to the city, praise God! We are going to back up a bit in this report and start to fill you in on all that has happened here. Boot Camp started the day after we registered the Canadians.
At the beginning of our time there we had dug out squatee potties to use. We also made our own showers with wood and tarp. Once we got into a routine, we pulled a cylinder stove over to that area and boiled water there. We would mix the cold river water with the boiled water and that way we could have a warm shower! That was a small blessing that the Lord provided for us.
Many people had a role in running this Boot Camp! Kalan was Mr. OC for the obstacle course and Mattie and Hannah A. were Miss Piggy. Morgan and Ariana were in charge of the Godliness Award. Katie and Josiah were in charge of the Special Blessings and the Piggy cleaning. Erika and Karise taught puppet class, Mahala, Katherine, Belauna, Karise, Nikki and Hannah B taught Drama, Belauna taught Don’t Quit, Josiah and Emilie taught Carpentry, Kyrie and Josiah taught Digging, Kalan and Hannah A. taught Layout, Lilly and Josiah taught Concrete, Hannah B and Mattie taught Personal Evangelism, Tallia and Cory taught Purity, Lillie taught Creation, Cory and Lillie taught the Wordless Book, Belauna and Gideon taught the 5 D’s of the devil, Nikki taught the Profanity class, Gideon, Emma and Tallia taught Music, Emilie taught God’s way up is down, and everyone took turns working Kitchen Patrol, getting firewood and collecting water.
The first couple nights of Boot Camp were pretty cold. One of the coldest nights here, it got down to 34 degrees. As a team we were not really prepared for that so we had to make a trip to town to get hats, gloves and eventually some jackets. Water runs became pretty normal, in the truck when we had it and without it when it broke. The first Sunday we were there we went to climb a mountain! Everyone was pretty excited to go exploring. It ended up raining some but Mr. Matt fit in a bit of a sermon before we had to descend. The Sunday after that, we climbed to the tip top of a different mountain with all of the team members from the Mongolian teams. That was a tiring climb but a good one. We all worshiped the Lord when we were at the top. Some people stayed back that day while we climbed so that we could all have pizza when we returned!
We also had some adventures with cows running through our camp area. Most of us began to be pretty good at chasing them off. Some of us really like dogs here. God really blessed us by giving us a puppy for part of our time there. She was a German Shepherd, mixed with a Tibetan Mastiff. We all enjoyed having her around. She slept on our empty tents, rolled over for belly rubs, and hung around for love and snacks.
While we were at Boot Camp all of us could sense the spiritual warfare that was going on around us. As a group, we learned about how we live in war against the enemy and the spiritual powers and principalities of this world. Ephesians chapter six, talks about the armor of God. We have to put on the armor, pray, remember who we are in Christ and know that He lives within us. Through that we have victory in Christ. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us, God used it!
Our diet consisted of a lot of rice and soup while we were there. A favorite breakfast meal that we had was rice with raisins, sugar, butter and cinnamon. There were other times where the group was excited about some American meals. One morning we had pancakes, eggs and bacon. Some of us had some trouble with our health at times. There was one day that around four people had gotten sick. We all thought it might have been from some tea that morning. Others had some coughs throughout but for the most part, everyone was pretty healthy.
The weather during our time there was pretty rainy. There were two or three storms where it would pour and shake our tents. Other times it would rain lightly but would keep up all day. Commissioning night it ended up raining a lot and even hailed some! There were a few girls who had flooded tents. The Mongolian ladies in the camp next to us came over to cram into one of our tents because their tents flooded too. So two ladies went to other tents, and around five Mongolian ladies stayed in one. All of the rain added up and the roads turned into rivers! That made it a bit difficult to get out of the valley. The team worked hard and packed up all of our things as well as Boot Camp in around three hours. Once we had the two trucks loaded and our white one, we began our adventure. The rain caused a lot of flooding and because of that we had to walk to get to the vans that would take us to Ulaanbaatar. Jesus provided a way for us to get across the water closer to our camp, which saved us about a mile of walking, praise God!
After we hiked up the mountain, we all waited for the trucks to come up the mountain. They had to go a longer route to avoid the water. Unfortunately, that is when we found out that one of our large trucks was stuck in the mud. The people that were with the trucks tried to get it out but could not. There was not much we could do at that time, so we decided to go get some dinner because it was getting late. The team had been dreaming about Pizza Hut for a while so everyone decided that they wanted to pay for their dinner and go to Pizza Hut in Ulaanbaatar. Everyone was really excited to be eating, pizza, spaghetti, cinnamon twits, garlic twists, French fries and chicken wings! It was very late after dinner so we stayed at a motel around the corner. Mr. Matt took a crew early in the morning out to where the truck was stuck to see if they could get him out. It ended up being more of a journey than they expected. They were gone all day; the old Russian truck dug itself into a deeper hole, the other big truck got stuck and the man driving the truck had to spend another night there. While that crew was out, the rest of us stayed at the motel and waited for them. Karise, Gideon and Morgan went to the doctor that day too. Karise needs to see a dermatologist for some blister stuff. Gideon got some antibiotics for bronchitis. Morgan received some antibiotics for a fever type sickness. We all rested that day while we were waiting at the motel. A lot of the team did not feel well at all that day. In the afternoon everyone but Miss Annie went to the store a couple of times to get some snacks. The crew got back late so we all stayed at the motel another night.
The next day we all went to the container in the city and unloaded one of the trucks into the container. Another crew went to try and get the trucks unstuck in the valley while the rest of us finished taking things out and drying them. After that, a group of us packed back into the vans and drove to the orphanage. Those of us that were not with the truck set up our sleeping arrangements here at the orphanage. Then we all looked around. The crew with the trucks ended up spending the night in the valley. They pitched two tents, braved the cold and some slept in the truck. The people here at the orphanage have been so hospitable. That next day the crew arrived around 1pm and we helped them push the truck into the property here. Our white truck had broken also and only drove in fourth or fifth gear. That was the first day that we ate with the orphans!
The people here at the orphanage have been so hospitable. The day we were here the people were kind enough to cook lunch for us. They set out plates for us with a dish of rice, meat and beets. The team seemed to enjoy the food, it was good to have a homemade meal in our tummies after some of the crazy business that we had been through with the truck. On a Tuesday, we sent a crew to go back to the container to unload the truck that had been stuck in the valley. The truck driver and his brother found another truck that could get them out, praise the Lord. It was a process but we were all blessed by the fact that the truck finally made it out of the valley.
Lots of us have gotten to play games like basketball and soccer with the orphans. One of the most time consuming things that we have done here is fix up a building. Everyone took off all of the wallpaper and Katherine, Kyrie, Mattie, Tallia, Cory, Nikki and Gideon put new on. Some have been cleaning the house; Nikki, Mahala, Kalan, Josiah and Lilly have scraped away the old painted walls and repainted them white. Cory, Kalan Kyrie, Mahala, Gideon, and Ericka did some gardening of onions and weeding. Morgan and Ericka have also been working on washing damp clothing that has gotten a bit of a smell to it. The team is grateful that there is a washer here for us to use. Katie and Hannah A. worked on refurbishing a table for the people here and enjoyed it. People are switching out for Kitchen Patrol and we had the opportunity to teach phonics. Tallia, Karise, Miss Abby, Emilie, and Katie spent around two hours working with the kids, teaching them some English.
We have enjoyed getting to eat lunch and dinner with the kids here and spending some evening time playing with them. People who were behind on verses spent a good chunk of time catching up while some mashed potatoes, finished working in the building and cleaned some. Mr. Matt and Miss Guana, the coordinator of the base here, went to go see if they could get the truck fixed. God will provide.
God has blessed us with strength, endurance, growth, and encouragement as it seems like we have had many obstacles. It has been fun to work with the people here and we have all enjoyed the fluid and flexible ride and we raise our hands and just say yay God and praise Him! Please pray for rest for the team, unity, health, strength, wisdom, continued spiritual growth and hunger for the Lord. Please pray for us as we finish up our time here in country. Please pray that the Lord would be glorified and that we would continue to change for Him. Thank you for your patience and for spending time to read. I hope you have enjoyed a little bit of the catch up of what has happened here in Mongolia. Some pictures will be posted soon. God bless you where you are at in your service for the Lord!
“So far Mongolia has been great for unplugging. There are no distractions here, at least not the same as in America. Because of that it has given me a lot of time for prayer and listening to the Lord. Because of this great freedom I have grow so much in the Lord and (still praying about this) have felt the Lord calling me into working in missions of some sort in France. The complete and utter peace and trust in God I have with this decision is amazing and freeing. Thank you Teen missions, for giving me this opportunity and time to learn and grow in the Lord and to know with complete certainty in the sovereignty of God”. –Tallia Bowie
“One of the many blessings from this summer was when we met the little boy named Onno. He was one of the few Mongolian children who could speak English. One day, when I was running the SB’s at the boot camp, I noticed that Onno was hiding during his SB. I was frustrated because he was also making trouble in many of the other classes as well and I wasn’t going to stand for it. As I was marching over to give him another SB, I heard God say “take it easy on him.” By the time I had made it over to the tree that he was sitting in I was more willing to listen to why he had skipped his SB. As he saw me coming over to talk to him he jumped out of the tree to look like he was actually doing something. I asked him why he skipped his SB that day and he said that he wasn’t aware that his team had one, so he didn’t know that he had to go. I started talking to him a little more and was able to find out some things about him. Turned out that he absolutely hated boot camp and he wanted nothing to do with Christianity. I started questioning him some more and he told me he just wanted to go to hell. He was fascinated with demons and wanted to interact with them. He continued by saying that he had summoned a demon to the boot camp. At that point, everything had made sense. I had understood what my purpose for being in Mongolia was. Previous to my conversation with Onno, I had just accepted a call from the Lord and put my trust in Him. When I was little I was able to see spirits that would scare me every night, but after my Pastor prayed for God to take that away from me, I never saw them again. During the Florida boot camp I was talking to my leader Mr. Matt about what I used to be able to see. He told me that it was a gift from God to be able to see spirits. He told me that I should ask God to give me the ability to use my gift again. I completely pushed that thought away and wanted nothing to do with it. I forgot about that conversation until we got to the boot camp in Mongolia where I heard God telling me to trust him. So, trusting God blindly I told him I was ready to accept this “gift” that he wanted me to have. As soon as I did that, my life changed. I was able to see things that I haven’t seen in over 12 years. Going back to Onno and the conversation I was having with him, I believe that he was the reason God wanted me to use my “gift” again. I don’t know how, but I was able to connect with him so much easier.
Going through the week, he continued to push everyone away, especially God. He wanted nothing to do with this religion that we had. I was able to talk to him one more time during the week about why he believed what he did. I started to understand him a little bit more and I used that to tell him about Jesus. Commissioning night comes around and the lighting of the candle ceremony. Mr. Matt came over to me and told me to go lay a hand on Onno and talk to him because he didn’t light his candle. I did as I was told and put my hand on him and just started praying. As I started talking to him he confessed he didn’t want to light his candle because he just wanted to go home. He wanted nothing to do with Jesus and he wanted to go home. I took him outside and talked to him while the ceremony is still going on and started asking him questions. I asked what Hell had that Heaven didn’t. I also started to ask him about the most important person in his life, which was his little sister. The next question I asked really got his attention. I asked him if he wanted his little sister to go to hell. His answer was a quick “NO!” After asking more questions and explaining more about the grace of God, I asked my final question. “If God came to the earth today to either send us to Hell or bring us to heaven, where would you want to go?” Shyly he said that he would want to go to heaven. Excitedly I asked him again and got the same response with more confidence. I then asked him if he would light his candle. The only way that he would consider lighting it was if it was in private so everyone didn’t think differently of him. I ran over to my leader and asked for a match, there was only one left. No box. So she quickly ran over to her tent to see if she could find a match box to light the match, and there was only the box left. No matches in it. It was God’s plan for Onno to have the very last match and the only match box to light it. We walked behind the big top where no one could see us, and he told God that he wanted to go to heaven. This was an amazing moment and definitely my favorite moment that has happened this entire trip. I believe that little boy was my reason to be here, and he will forever hold a spot in my heart. Please continue to pray that God will work in his life and that he will only grow closer to God. Thank you for all of your support and I can’t wait to tell even more success stories from this trip! I also wanted to say hi to my family and friends. I miss you all very much and I can’t wait to see you soon!” –Katie Bosch