The ger districts of Ulaanbaatar could be considered both slums and developing suburbs of the capital city of Mongolia. Many have moved from the countryside after losing their livestock due to a harsh winter called a dzud. Many come with just a few belongings, their family, their ger, and hope that they can find work and education for their children. But it is very hard to find work due to lack of needed skills and simply lack of employment. Many lose hope and try to escape into alcohol. But alcohol produces addiction, poor decision-making, abuse of all kinds, and financial ruin.
These are the families that Flourishing Future NGO is seeking to assist. There are many poor, but there are also the suffering poor. Such families have to decide between buying food or medicine, medicine or heat, heat or education. These are the families where there just is not enough to obtain absolute necessities.
Flourishing Future runs many programs: there is a head-start program to prepare children who have no kindergarten or preschool to go to. A food program provides basic nourishment such as flour, oil, powdered milk, and rice. A football program is also in place in order to train many young boys in the area. English classes are available too. A Moms’ group meets twice a week for young children to play together and for the mothers to have time to talk and share. There are several social workers who go out into the community and check up on a large number of families they have had contact with and that they are following up. We are also closely connected with Desert Rose, a girls’ shelter that provides a home for about 25 girls who are endangered, homeless, and/or abused.
Flourishing Future also has a long-term relationship with the state orphanage. There we have one full-time English teacher; another of our staff is there several times a week to meet one-on-one with the over 100 children who live there, checking up on them and providing someone to talk to. All these children go to a summer camp where they are housed for all 3 months of the summer. Flourishing Future brings in teams for one month to organize games and activities for these children. But the biggest gift that can be given is simply love and attention. The summer camp is one of the highlights of their year, and for some the highlight of their lives.
The roles Jody and I have are still developing, as we are in the process of getting a good grasp of all of the work here. Currently my role is as an English teacher, while Jody and our children participate and assist in the many activities of Flourishing Future. We would appreciate your prayers for us to gain a clear understanding of the vision the Lord has for us here in Mongolia, and the vision He has for Flourishing Future. Also, of course, your prayers for our language study are essential: we need to be able to speak good Mongolian so much!