This prayer guide was written last week. I thought, as you will read, I was going to be in Mongolia when this guide was posted. But instead I’m in Houston saying a final goodbye to my grandma who is in hospice surrounded by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. I have many stories to tell of boat rescues and rising water. But until then I’m going to keep this prayer guide as I wrote it before this crazy adventure. The truth of these words are even more real to me as I read it again. God is with us at all times and in all places, no matter what. As you pray through these requests for our ministries in Mongolia and Nicarauga, please continue to keep my family and my hometown in your prayers. Homes, vehicles, property, and lives have been lost. There is a long road of recovery ahead for countless people and communities.
If you’re reading this guide at the moment of its release (11am ET on 9/1), I’m currently hanging out with the kids and staff at New Hope Children’s Home just outside of Gachuurt, Mongolia. Actually, I might be sleeping due to the 12-hour time difference and the intense jetlag. I would have just arrived in Mongolia about 13 hours ago with Pastor Jeremiah Fyffe and his wife, Sandy. We are here for about a week and have several big things we are hoping to accomplish. But nothing we achieve this week is more important than us being present. We’re gonna play some chess, eat unusual foods, ask a lot of questions, speak truckloads of encouragement, and laugh a whole lot. I pray the staff and kids at our home sense our love and care for them in a very deep way. But there is just one huge problem with our presence. We are boarding a plane just a week after we arrive and it will be many more months until we see each other again. I might spend every day of my year thinking upon these beautiful kids and our incredible staff but I only get to see them for a week.
That is how our trip will go but that is not how God works. You see, He’s got this thing called omnipresence. He never ceases to be encountered for He is ‘present in all places at all times’, as old Mr. Webster says. There is literally no where we can go on this earth where God’s presence is not. As we pray for the specific requests from each of these treasured souls, let’s also pray they deeply know and experience the closeness and comfort of the Triune God who is always present and never leaves.
Let’s pray Deuteronomy 31:8 over them:
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Antioch Church – Ulanbataar, Mongolia
Antioch Mongolia partners Americans with Mongolian believers to reach Mongolians and several other nationalities in Ulaanbaatar. They also run a hub church and a training and sending center in Ulaanbaatar. Their vision is to plant churches throughout the former Mongolian Empire (all of Asia) with Mongolian believers in order to help finish the Great Commission. I had a chance to grab some coffee with their pastor, Joshua Crosslin, last year and love what they are doing in and for Mongolia for the sake of Christ!
How You Can Pray:
1) Pray for more dreams and visions to draw people to Jesus among those in the 10 unengaged/unreached people groups. Pray that the believers among each of those groups would boldly share with their neighbors and multiply out their faith to many generations.
2) Pray that more Mongolian Christians in the hub church in Ulaanbaatar would have a desire to join teams going to reach the unreached in Mongolian villages and surrounding countries. Specifically pray for a strong group of Mongolians for the discipleship and church planting school which will begin soon.
3) Pray for the translation (Mongolian to four other languages) of printed and online evangelism and discipleship tools for Mongolian workers and believers to use in surrounding countries.
4) Pray that our Mongolian team fighting human trafficking will have open doors into schools and government offices and that the volunteer team will be unified and efficient in using every opportunity to educate the public and fight trafficking in and out of Mongolia.
Comunidad de Renovación Familiar Hosanna Carazo – Diriamba, Nicaragua
Hosanna Church is located in Diriamba, a town just a few miles away from where our ministries are located. Several of our WEGO staff members also worship here every Sunday. “Hosanna has 1800 members. The pastor’s name is Bladimir Torres and he has two children. We have services on Wednesday, Saturdays and Sundays. We also have meetings and bible reading in some of the members houses during the week. Every two months we have women and men’s retreats. Next month we will have women’s conference.”
How You Can Pray:
1) Pray for unity in our church
2) That all members would be willing to serve others in all times
3) That we will be able to finish the construction of the church
Dulmaa Namjil – Caregiver, Mongolia
She smells. But not like the way you’re thinking. Dulmaa has this incredibly endearing habit of sniffing people as she greets them. I’m not really positive about the science behind this but I’m sure it has something to do with her getting the sense of a person by the scent of that person. She is the hands and feet of WEGO everyday, selflessly giving of herself like a grandmother figure to the kids in our home. She has two sons and two daughters. Dulmaa has come to know more about God and believe in Jesus through working with WEGO! She says that she loves the kids in our home like they are her own children. She told us, “The children are a gift from the Lord! My job is service to God!”
How You Can Pray:
1) Dulmaa’s son works in technology. Pray he will not get injured.
2) Pray for protection for her pregnant daughter
3) Pray for her families health
Marlene Estaban – Head Cook, Nicaragua
Marlene is truly one of the hardest working and most servant-hearted people I’ve ever met. She oversees our kitchen while investing in the mom’s who volunteer to cook for our feeding program. “I have four kids three of them are married. I live with the youngest one and he studies at New Hope School. I am very faithful in my church and I am one of the leaders there. I help the ladies that cook for the feeding program, at the school, and at one of the churches. I love to work with them and get along with them, too.” In closing, her homemade mango juice is heaven.
How You Can Pray:
1) I need strength to keep working
2) Better health for my kids and that the one I have in New Hope School can have good grades
3) For God to provide finances for my family
Ganbayar – New Hope Children’s Home, Mongolia
Ganbayar is 7 years old and he wants you to know that he likes to play cars and football! I got a chance to hang out with him last fall, soon after he moved into our home. Like all of our kids, he came to live at New Hope after difficult circumstances that no one should have to go through. One of my favorite memories was playing chess and checkers with him. Ganbayar did not exactly stick to the official rules like the other kids. I never got close to winning a game. I don’t think I ever even captured one of his pieces. Actually, I did win once when I started making up my own rules, too. Ganbayar taught me that sometimes you just have to go with the flow, you know? He’s probably destroying me right now in chess as you pray for him.
How You Can Pray:
1) He wants to learn in school
2) Pray that he does not get sick
3) He wants to meet his father
Oliver Francisco Gago Gonzales – New Hope School, Nicaragua
I’m not sure I’m allowed to have favorites at the school but Oliver is right near the top of my list. He recently beat me at an obstacle course in front of the entire school but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray for him! This is what Oliver shared about himself, “I am 16 years old and in the 11th grade. I live with two more people. My mom and dad are not together. My dad lives in Costa Rica. I call him sometimes but we don’t have a really close relationship. I love baseball and football. When I graduate from 11th grade I will love to be an systems engineer. I visit a catholic church with my family. Sometimes I get sad because my mom and dad argue all the time on the phone and I don’t like that. I also love facebook and Whatsapp. I like to do homework on the computer.”
How You Can Pray:
1) I ask God to help me to be able to finish school and to complete the career I want
2) I would love to be a great baseball player because I love baseball
3) That the problems that my mom and dad have can be resolved
1) Please continue to pray as we are in the thick of our WEGO Nicaragua Ministry Director search! Please pray for wisdom and discernment for our search team and the candidates for this crucial role. Learn more about the position and process here: http://wego.org/serve/
2) Please be praying for me, Jeremiah, and Sandy as we spend time this week with our staff and kids at our home in Mongolia! Pray for opportunities for us to show the love of Jesus to our Mongolian family, whether that be through words or just losing in chess.