We Do Not Grieve As Those Who Have No Hope
A Mongolian testified of how she was brought to the knowledge of Christ after watching Brian Hogan mourn the death of their child with the certain hope that there shall be a resurrection someday! The Christian faith became real to her at that point.
"That means a lot to me. We all cried a lot that Christmas," I assured Baika.
"That is not why we were crying though. We were crying at our understanding through your grief."
I was completely confused, "What...?'
"Your grief over the death of your son was the most miraculous thing I have ever experienced," Baika explained.
As he said this, the memory of several of the believers in Erdenet saying something very similar when we saying our goodbyes a year and a half earlier came rushing back to me. I had quickly forgotten their statements about our grief being a miracle because it made no sense to me. I had felt that my grief, which I couldn't hide, was a bad advertisement for the Kingdom. I had begged God to allow us to grieve in private in the States with family, and had been completely puzzled when He had made it clear to both of us that we were to stay in Erdenet during the worst months of mourning. I began to get a strange buzzing sensation as if I were about to open a door into a room filled with mystery.
"Could you please explain that for me, Baika?"
"Brian, you can't really understand what it is like for Mongolians. In your country everyone seems to believe in life after death. But in Mongolia no one has any hope for this at all. When loved ones die, they are gone forever! You will never meet or see them again. Mothers in my country sometimes lose their minds when they lose a child.
But you were different. You were the first people we had ever seen, or even heard about, who grieved with hope. It came across in what you said about going to where your son is, even if he wasn't returning to you here, in the song you taught during the funeral meal at your flat, and the statement of faith you made at Jed's memorial service. You were being watched, then and over the months that followed. Seeing you and your family grieve with hope filled the gaping hole that has always been in every Mongolian heart. When I heard about your grief I knew it was all real. The Bible, Jesus, heaven, all of it. That's why we were weeping that New Year's Eve—we had just had our faith confirmed.
I was filled with extreme joy and overwhelmed with love as I realized how far out of His way God had gone to make sure we understood. It was all worth it. God had redeemed even our deepest sorrow and turned it into glory and worshipers. As tears ran down my cheeks, all I could think was "Jesus is worthy."