Cup of Cold Water Ministries has servants who represent Jesus in ten countries, around the world, including Bolivia, Ghana, Thailand and Mongolia. This terrific organization, though small, supplies a niche service to international workers, most of whom are doing “tent-making” and combining social services along with Gospel presentation; living out Jesus’ instruction, “whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
Recently, they began facilitating the ministry of Tuvsho whom my wife and I met when we taught at The Mongolian International University in 2013. We saw first hand the change in the environment of Ulaanbataar (Ulan Bator) from the early autumn to the wintry pollution when temps reach down to -30F (-34C) and residents burn almost anything to stay warm in their gers (yurts) and unheated houses. Below are pictures of Ulaanbataar in summer and winter, and of the ger districts. The city, originally planned for a population of about 200,000, now houses 1,500,000, over a third of them living in urban areas with inadequate solid waste management, limited water supply, and no utilities other than electricity.
But the largest challenge is the young people who often seem to have no hope of a viable future in Ulaanbataar. That is where Tuvsho and Quinnie come in with a HoME, a Heart of Mentoring. They have a team, a Board of Directors and a system of accountability to do the work to which Father has called them. You can find out more about them and the service they are providing to at-risk youth in Ulaanbataar at https://www.ccwm.org/tuvsho.
I encourage you to consider a tax-deductible Christmas gift to HoME this year so that Tuvsho and her team can complete construction of the post-“orphanage” residence she is building, and the provisions for guidance and job-skill development for children as they grow too old to stay in the social-welfare system.
It is a custom in Mongolian families to decorate a Christmas tree as a symbol of a New Year celebration. Because we are a post-Soviet nation, Christmas, which is considered a religious holiday, is not something many celebrate.
I used to have a “New Year Tree” too, and it was always the most exciting time of the year to put the tree up, decorate it with ornaments and see its lights glitter and shine with different colors. Guests would come and put some money on the tree as a gift and we would collect them when we took the tree down after New Year.
Now I call my tree a Christmas Tree. Most of my family has not yet chosen to follow Jesus but they all know that I have. This year I found my six year old nephew praying to the tree and making his wishes right after we finished putting it up and turning on its lights on. Although I knew his prayers to a tree were pointless, I sensed a genuine prayer full of pure joy and hope, and that was not pointless. I believe God hears those prayers. I remember when I was a young girl praying out to anything or anyone that would hear me saying, “God, Buddha, Jesus, Mohamed…whoever is the real God please listen!” I know that the real God, the true Creator, heard my prayers.
Something about that tree caused my nephew to want to pray. I believe it is the message behind it all, the true Redeemer who has come for all of us. My Christmas tree and the star on the top brings my family and many others together just like that star, the star of Bethlehem, brought people to Jesus. May many little hearts be guided by the message of the star and even the excitement of Christmas to find Jesus in this New Year.