They call Mongolia “The Land of Five Animals”: horse, cow, goat, sheep and camel. I call it “The Land of Five Emotions.” For that is what Mongolia did to me. Experience after experience brought emotion after emotion. As we drove around Ulaanbaatar to visit families I was struck by the destitution in this country. Hundreds of old, dirty apartment buildings that look abandoned. Roads full of pot holes.
Hills covered with rundown ramshackle homes. Garbage everywhere. It is a sad reminder of what communism does to a country and to a people. It was difficult and heart wrenching (1) to drive around this country. By mere appearances it is depressing (2). However, although these emotions stirred within me I would soon discover that Mongolia was so much more!
We were privileged to meet with families and go into their homes. Their homes, tiny and without a fancy thing to be found, were kept nice and clean. As I entered their homes I immediately felt peace (3). Their small and humble homes were beautiful because they were filled with faith and love. It was a sweet and powerful reminder of how righteousness blesses lives. In what seems a horrible place these people were happy (4). Husbands loved their wives. Parents loved their children. Families smiled and laughed. The power of faith to bring peace and happiness to anyone, wherever they live, whatever their circumstances are, is truly manifest in Mongolia.
And so each emotion stirred within. As I moved from emotion to emotion I found gratitude (5) to be the emotion I felt the most. Gratitude to be in this far away country. Gratitude for faithful families. Gratitude for the opportunity to meet and come to know the sweet, humble and generous people of Mongolia.