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The Ends of the Earth

Imagine if God woke you up one night and gave you a Jonah-like command: “Go to Mongolia”. You might be tempted to give a Jonah-like response and run the other way. Moving from Australia to Mongolia is like travelling to another world, a very, very cold and strange world. Yet one Aussie family have answered that very call, and if you take a couple of flights to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, and then drive west for about 8 hours, you might just find them. 

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5 things you might not know about Mongolia:
  1. Mongolia enjoys more than 250 days of sunshine per year. But don’t be deceived, blue sky does not necessarily mean warmth.
  2. Mongolia is home to the rare Bactrian two-humped camel.
  3. Mongolians welcome visitors with a bowl of warm, salty tea.
  4. In winter, frozen fish is sold just laid out on tables on the side of the road, and at -30 degrees there is no doubt that is has stayed frozen! 
  5. Horses outnumber people in Mongolia, which is considered to be the home of the world’s best horsemen.
So how does an Aussie family make a home and find their place in a small city in central Mongolia? God gave Murray and Elizabeth an awesome opportunity to take over a business that has allowed them to become part of the local community, making a genuine contribution. The business includes a Guesthouse, Cafe and Bakery and employs locals people who are trained in the various hospitality roles required. Murray and Elizabeth have been able to develop and expand the business which also organizes tours through Mongolia and provides mountain bike hire for the many adventurers that travel across the country.
The move to Mongolia was a whole family decision, each member needing to embrace the cost of leaving Australia and the challenge of being in such a remote location. For the four children (3 now in their teens) there is no amazing international school to attend here, and no western friends. They live as part of their local community. 

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The families’ days are filled with home schooling, the business to run, investing in friendships within the community, participation in the local church, and all the practicalities of life in an extremely cold climate. Yet each family member finds unique ways to connect with the local people and within those relationships look for opportunities to encourage faith. Jack and Rosanna, the two older teens, have started a teens English speaking club. Keegan has developed a love of parkour and is running, jumping and flipping around town with a bunch of local lads who are also keen on the sport. Elizabeth has surprised everyone, including herself, by starting a women’s exercise class. Murray is continually interacting with the business staff and guests, with local officials, and with local friends. And the Lord is doing what He does so well: changing lives, and impacting the community with the life-giving truth of the gospel.

When this family said “Yes” to God’s call they entered into a lifestyle of hard work and many challenges, but also a life filled with adventure. Let’s be inspired by their example and be quick to say “Yes” when the Lord asks something of us.

You can check out the guesthouse on Facebook “Fairfield Guesthouse Cafe & Bakery” or the website.

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