In Isaiah 6, the Lord says ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ Isaiah responds: ‘Here am I. Send me!’
That enthusiastic response is echoed by a couple considering long-term service with OMF in Mongolia, a place they’ve never visited before. So we asked Zszusi* and David* to shed some light on their calling, passion for Mongolia and their mission journey so far.
With all the needs here in the UK, why consider going overseas?
David Servant-heartedness was something I was taught to live by. It started by serving in my home city but also took me to South America for six months, to explore my calling to overseas mission. In my early twenties I was part of an international Christian community that ran a retreat centre. There I met people from all over the world with powerful testimonies of how God had worked in their lives. This echoed the call that had long been in my heart to pursue God and his people to the ends of the earth.
Zszusi Not everyone is called to stay where they are. I’m originally from Hungary and my country has needs too. But we heard the call to go and we will go. One important verse for me is Isaiah 6:8 ‘Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here am I. Send me.’ Initially I trained as a nurse, a skill I knew would be useful later as a missionary anywhere in the world. After serving in Hungary for the last few years, we feel ready to use those skills and gifts further afield.
How did you become interested in Mongolia?
David My heart was always for remote places and Mongolia couldn’t be any more remote. People laugh when I tell them where we plan to go and ask the inevitable question ‘Why?’ I believe God is Lord of the whole earth; the vibrant cities and the steppe. The more we read and met people who had served there, the clearer it became that Mongolia was where God was calling us to go. Though it has a harsh climate, a tough diet and complex politics, it is the place I know God is calling us to.
Zszusi My husband heard the call first, and through prayer and fasting, it became clear to me too. Also I want to serve in a place where relatively few missionaries have gone before us, somewhere we can really get involved in the work on the ground. Mongolia fits the bill perfectly.
What made you apply to go with OMF?
Zszusi As a teenager I read about Hudson Taylor and his philosophy – to dress like those you go to serve and become like one of them. I don’t want to bring the western ‘solution’ to the people’s problems. I want to teach them and enable them to resolve their problems, just as Hudson Taylor did.
David It was only in my twenties that I realised that my parents had once considered going with OMF, an organisation they had long supported through prayer. When I heard this, I wanted to pursue that option too. To me, OMF has always been an organisation that steps out in surrender and walks by faith.
How have your church and friends and family responded?
Zszusi My family have responded better than I expected. My father retired recently and is keen to come out and join us! Also, as we’ve shared our plans with our church and friends, we have discovered more people who have been to Mongolia. We have been able to learn from their experiences.
David Friends have been bewildered by the choice of Mongolia, yet inspired by our decision. Our church has been eager to support us and expectant to see what God will do.
My family is already very multi-national, so they are aware of the difficulties of different time zones and lack of Christmases together, yet that doesn’t make it any easier. They are encouraging and in some ways expected it of us.
What advice would you give to anyone considering long-term mission?
Zszusi Don’t rush! Study the Bible thoroughly and listen to the advice of others. Be ready to learn the local language. Coming from Hungary, I have met missionaries who don’t speak my language and ones who do. I find I respect those that do a lot, and we want to become missionaries like that.
David Pray as often as you can. Dedicating time to prayer and fasting has been a really valuable and eye opening experience for us.
Listen and learn from those who have been before and then pray some more!