End of last year, I was planning this year's vacation and decided not to go on a normal holiday cruise but rather do an outreach. Yeah, an adventure trip to some place in this world. On HELP’s website, I found an outreach to Mongolia, however, there was a problem: the outreach should take four weeks. Just recently, a memo was going around in our company saying that we could take a maximum of three weeks of vacation at one time. The first week of the outreach was the Burning Hearts conference in Ulaanbaatar followed by a three-week-tour including a 38-hour-bus-ride to Ulgi, which is 1,600 km into the west. I sent an eMail to HELP Mongolia asking whether it was possible for me to only participate for three weeks in the outreach and thought to myself: It’s not going to work … Then the answer came: »… in case there are other outreach participants who cannot stay for four weeks either, we are considering to fly the team to Ulgi. Great that you want to go on outreach with us.«

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Wow, this answer reflected Joshua 1:9 so well – a verse that has come my way for quite a while: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
The same day I found a newspaper in the dining room of our company in which one of the headlines read: Should I stay or shoud l grow? I took a closer look and then found out it actually said: Should I stay or should I go NOW? To me, this was another confirmation.

Vision for Mission

In the end of January, I attended the Vision for Mission weekend in Lüdenscheid. An awesome weekend in the presence of the Holy Spirit that unveiled more details about the outreach. What I learnt tore me out of my comfort zone …
Flying from Germany to Ulaanbaatar alone, staying at the hotel alone, exploring the 1.5-million-metropolis alone without speaking a word of Mongolian or being able to read words, having to go from village to village by bus in Ulgi, sleeping on an air mattress in a ger (Mongolian tent) without running water. Honestly, I was done and wanted to cancel the outreach.

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Right before that weekend, I asked Jesus where he was going, for I wanted to follow him. I saw a picture of Jesus in my mind’s eye. He was going from Germany to Ulaanbaatar and from there to Ulgi. Everywhere he went small yellow dots sprang up which formed a huge yellow patch in Ulgi. Well, was was about to do something in Mongolia.
When checking on HELP Germany’s website, I came across Anna Renner’s painting that matched my picture – well, hers was beautifully painted and had a poem - »Let us run«.

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Let us run

How exciting, I thought. That was exactly the picture I had and again I asked Jesus what I should do. I opened my English bible and came across Jeremiah 2:2, I remember the loyalty of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
On top of this, there was this incident at the library ...

At the Library

My husband Ralf has gone to the library and looked for travel guides on Mongolia for me. We stood in front of some magazines and he said to me, »I have never ever seen a travel magazine on Mongolia.« The very moment, I opened one of the boxes, and looked at the front page of a magazine, which read Mongolia. »Look here … what did you just say? The table of contents says Mongolia’s West. Look, the west – Ulgi is in the west of Mongolia.« I opened the magazine, found the report and looked at a map of Bayan Ulgi with Ulgi right in the center. Goodness me … if that’s not God, then what should it be ...

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Upps

The shock went right through my body. Back home, I opened my mail and found a message from HELP:

»Dear Anja, the team in Mongolia has considered the outreach once more and thought about shorten its duration hoping and believing for more people to join who would also prefer to come for a shorter period of time. However, it hasn’t happened. Furthermore, while planning the outreach they found that it would be too difficult for individuals to shorten the outreach as the team is going to very remote areas. Therefore, the team has decided that it’s impossible to take someone along who cannot stay for the full period of time.«

Uih, how can this be? Now, that I am certain to go to Ulgi. This completely overthrows everything of how I know God speaks to me. I called my sister Martina after listening in the evening to a sermon on obedience.

Martina is so cool and simply said, »Well, quit your job if your boss doesn’t grant your four weeks of vacation.« Okay, I didn’t actually wanted to quit, however, after explaining my situation my supervisor said, »Good – I am going to make an exception.«

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Mongolia - here I come!

I went to book my flight. Goodness – only three seats left. My passport has expired, however, to book my flight I need a new one. With only three seats left, I simply couldn’t wait for four weeks until I finally got my new passport. I was panicking, however, in the end booking my flight was simple as that. When I am stressed, God says to me, »You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.« (Isaiah 26:3) That’s it … I don’t want to panic and get stressed out. I want to fix my thoughts on HIM and trust in HIM, thus resting in his PERFECT PEACE – no matter the situation and circumstances.

There is one last doubt: I have never gone on outreach. His immediate response, »Until now you haven’t done any of this. As in my name and you will receive and your joy will be perfect.« (John 16:24)
And Acts 1:8, »When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive power. And you will be my witnesses – in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, even unto the ends of the earth.«

Anja Lange
     
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