Greetings from unseasonably warm Indianapolis!
Being in this central Indiana January of almost record setting highs and frigid lows brings on the reflection of different extremes in our own lives. Often Jen and I feel caught between two worlds: the world where we are preparing for full time career service in Mongolia and getting excited about our ministry there, and the reality of the world of our daily lives with full time jobs and local ministries.
Perhaps you feel the same way about life. On one hand we have goals and aspirations in many aspects of our lives: careers, spirituality, relationships, etc. Then we have the reality of dealing with our every day existence and all the hardships, minor annoyances, successes, and status quos that come with it. Let us praise the Lord that He is always with us encouraging us to live for Him in every aspect of our existence! I was blessed by a nice reminder of contentment in the Lord that a friend sent my way recently in this Desert Fathers quote:
"One day, while St. Anthony was sitting with a certain Abba, a virgin came up and said to the Elder: 'Abba, I fast six days of the week and I repeat by heart portions of the Old and New Testament daily.' To which the Elder replied: 'Does poverty mean the same to you as abundance?' 'No', she answered. 'Or dishonor the same as praise?' 'No, Abba.' 'Are your enemies the same for you as your friends?' 'No', she replied. At that the wise Elder said to her: 'Go, get to work, you have accomplished nothing.' " - St. Peter of Damascus
So where are Jen and I on this journey? Still a long way off from realizing true rest, peace, and contentment in Him no doubt. But seeking to rely on God’s promises and the blessings we have right now through the amazing encouragement of His Body: both His people and the participation in the Sacraments. What an encouragement it has been for us to feel your prayers and to have people who are really advocating on our behalf. Often they come in surprising ways! Please continue to pray for us that we may have hearts and minds ready to serve and give all that we have as we seek to discern this path that the Lord has us on.
In Mongolia, temperatures have been milder than our recollection of last year as well. I was happy to see this morning that it was only -8 degrees there instead of a -20 or -30 that I was expecting. Speaking of cold in Mongolia: the Orthodox Church there, Holy Trinity, celebrated Theophany at the building then traveled out to a local water source for the blessing and several dared to take a dip, including one of our OCMC missionaries Fr. Job! You can see the pictures on our facebook page even if you're not on facebook: www.facebook.com/chrisjenmooremongolia.
Several people have shared with us a recent article in National Geographic about shamanism on the rise in Mongolia and Siberia. As we’ve shared before, almost 40% of the Mongolian population claims no religious affiliation. With a spiritual vacuum that large, something is going to try and fill it. We pray that Christ would prevail in peoples’ hearts instead of the movements of the evil one - but the message has to be preached (Rom 10:14). You can read the article here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/shamans/stern-text
Please remember specifically in prayer:
-Dealing with the busyness of life and being faithful
-Having hearts and minds ready to serve and give
-Being able to speak into our neighbors' lives as they are going through difficult issues.
-That our mouths may be filled with His praise and be meditating on God's righteousness
May you be filled with the peace of Christ,
Chris & Jen Moore