Mongolia | January 14

The Runaway

Jagana

Jagana sat down in her usual seat in the Adventist church. Worshipping God had once filled her with joy. But sometime during her busy years of university she had lost touch with God. She still loved God, still believed in Him. But she felt that she was no longer living a life that honored Christ.

The church will be better without me, she thought. For the sake of all that I love, I must leave.

Jagana had worked hard to do well in school; she had high grades and looked forward to graduating with honors. She had been so busy working on her degree that she hardly noticed that she was losing touch with Jesus.

She thought back to when she had first met Jesus. She was studying English with some Adventist young people. If her parents had known that she had become a Christian, they would have objected. Jesus became more precious than anything in her life.

But when she entered the university, the glow of success drew her eyes from her Savior, and slowly she drifted away from God. Worship had become routine. As she sat in church that Sabbath, she thought, This is my last worship service. It’s better to leave than to live a lie.

But God had other plans for Jagana.

Golden Angels

That evening Jagana’s phone rang. “Jagana, I have good news for you!” Pastor Joshua’s familiar voice soothed her. “You’ve been chosen to be part of the Golden Angels!”

Jagana was stunned. Ever since she had first heard the Golden Angels sing, she had wanted to be a part of this select group of young Adventist singers. They traveled across northern Asia serving God for a year.

“N-no, Pastor,” Jagana stammered. “I can’t.” She quickly recited her reasons. “I’m graduating; I’d lose my scholarship if I took a year off school. I can’t sing well enough to be a member of the Golden Angels.” Jagana thanked her favorite pastor and said goodbye. She didn’t mention that she was spiritually dying.

Pastor Joshua called again a few days later and again invited Jagana to join the Golden Angels. Again she said no. Pastor Joshua called back a third time. But before she could answer, he said, “Jagana, stop saying no. Just pray about it for 24 hours.”

Jagana agreed to pray. But in her mind she recited all the reasons why she couldn’t join the Golden Angels.

The Fleece

She prayed as she had promised. “God, I thought You were smart; I thought You knew everything. How could You choose me to be a Golden Angel? But . . . if You really want me to do this, give me a sign. Let my parents—and my teachers—agree to it. Then I’ll know that You want me to go.” Jagana smiled. She was sure that her parents would be angry, and her professors would never agree to let her leave school.

Dutifully she called her parents to tell them of the offer. “Ask your father,” her mother said, and she gave the phone to Jagana’s father.

“Ask your teachers” her father said. “If they agree, it’s OK.”

Stunned by her father’s answer, Jagana hung up the phone. Even though her primary professor was a Christian, she knew he distrusted her religion and wouldn’t agree to allow her to take a year off from her studies just to sing. He wanted her to win the medal for top student as much as she wanted it. But when she told him about the Golden Angels, he said, “Congratulations! Go!”

As Jagana waited for Pastor Joshua’s phone call that night, she wondered what to tell him. Then she realized that God was calling her to serve Him. He still loves me, she realized. He still wants me.

Joyfully Serving the Lord

Jagana withdrew from school and joined the Golden Angels. She was not a trained singer, and she struggled through the difficult practices. She felt God helping her to sing beyond her ability.

As the group began its ministry, Jagana saw how God was using the Golden Angels to reestablish her faith. And during an evangelistic series in Mongolia, Jagana’s mother gave her life to God. “God has shown me that He loves me and will never leave me,” she says. “I’m thrilled that He sought me out at the very time I was planning to leave Him.”

Jagana completed her studies and is teaching in Mongolia’s first Adventist elementary school. She finds her greatest joy in reaching out to her family, friends, and students to introduce them to her wonderful Savior.
Mongolia is a young mission. The first believers were baptized fewer than 20 years ago. Our mission offerings help expand the message of God’s great love throughout Mongolia. Thank you for giving.

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