When my wife and I visited Mongolia in 2004 with LifeQwest founders Jerry and Susan Smith, we were shocked by the unimaginable conditions for the homeless and indigent, primarily because of the dangerous cold. We were also greatly impressed by the holistic care that LifeQwest was providing to orphaned, abandoned, and unwanted children in Darhan, in the northern reaches of the country.
“It’s been a dark time in Mongolia following the change of government and the collapse of the economy,” a local Christian pastor told me. “People have had little consideration for each other, so when we demonstrate the love of Christ for others, it is noticeable, and it makes a difference.”
In Darhan, 15 youngsters swarm visitors at an apartment as a newly rescued child joins their family of orphans and abandoned children. The bounding children are animated and healthy, and they practice their English on anyone who will listen. They are the residents of one of five children’s homes run by LifeQwest. Although the homes are officially full, missionaries never turn away a child whom police have swept from the streets.
Their new sister is a 4-year-old girl with closely cropped hair and an earnest, hopeful look. She didn’t know her name, so she received the name Shanea, which means “new.” Shanea was with a group of children in the market, an open-air series of fruit and sundry stands in a greasy and cluttered area that looks like the back lot of a factory. Shanea’s mother abandoned her.
Fortunately, this group of Mongolian Christians brought her to a place where she will be cared for, nurtured, and loved. There are huge societal ills to cure, but in the lives of rescued children and the efforts of a young national church, the journey to a Mongolian morning has begun.”
The ministry is still going strong. Jerry and Susan report that LifeQwest is still involved in work with orphaned and abandoned children, as well as ministry initiatives that touch the lives of Mongolia’s sick and elderly. They tell us that they are now feeding 344 babies and mothers twice daily in six different centers.