It really is amazing how small the world of international missions is. My brother picked up a book mostly because of the title, saw that it was a book about church planting and cross-cultural missions, and bought it. He really enjoyed it, recommended it to me, and I thought it was great as well.
I was amused by the central coast connections. The author of the book graduated from Cal Poly, was involved in churches in Los Osos and had family in Atascadero. I realized that I probably had a friend who knew him or his family, and with a little facebook work discovered out that two Wycliffe missionaries that I know are at least acquainted with him. I might just get myself introduced.
The book is titled “There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub” and it chronicles the journey that Brian Hogan and his family took into the world of missions and takes you through their time planting a church in Erdenet, Mongolia.
There are many memorable stories relayed, both humorous, and heartbreaking. Throughout the book Brian tells of God’s sovereign power over our plans and timing, and the trials that missionaries face when they first reach into a new culture with the Gospel. He also reminds you of the power of prayer, the importance of being attentive to the Holy Spirit, and the value of discipleship — simply obeying God in the presence of others, and helping them to understand the how and the why of it. You get stories of cultural missteps and unusual culinary experiences thrown in for good measure. One in particular involving cubed pig fat and noodles had me doubled over.
I wouldn’t be a good Wycliffe member if I didn’t also note that the most valuable tool in opening the Mongolians to the Gospel was an accurate translation that spoke to their hearts, and communicated Biblical ideas effectively.
I only have one month left before my last day with CDM. I’d like to get to Dallas shortly thereafter and start doing the work that God has called me to. I’ve got nearly 40% of my support so far, and I’m trusting in a sovereign God to get me the rest of the way. If you’ve been thinking of helping now’s as good a time as any.