How a Year of Sunshine Family Inspires Me

By Alex Maddux

It’s been a long, difficult journey for Munkh and his mother Dolgor, but you’d never know it from her thankfulness and contentment.

Munkh came to Memphis for treatment for a brain tumor in 2010. When he first made the long journey, his condition was so serious that the airlines would not allow him to travel without a nurse. 

Since then, they have travelled back and forth from Memphis and Mongolia for checkups and further treatment.  

A Long Separation and Contentment

However, this year has been especially hard as a result of COVID. Shortly before COVID restrictions were enacted, he and his mom returned for further treatment. But when the world shut down, his father was unable to come to the US for the last year and a half. Just in the last few weeks they were finally reunited when his father was able to return to the US. 

Through it all she has chosen to focus on the positive and not lean on the negative. She chooses sunshine and lives in light of the hope of Christ. 

During this time, Spreading Sunshine has been able to encourage the family with personal relationships, meals and monthly encouragement through Sunshine Boxes and other small gifts. 

Connecting with a Care Coordinator

Getting to know this Year of Sunshine family has been a blessing. Along with Cathy, one of our care coordinators, I have visited regularly with them. Recently, Cathy and I delivered a cheesecake – one of their favorite treats for Munkh’s 12th birthday. 

When we got there, the three of them greeted us at the door. Dolgor welcomed us in and offered some delicious lemon tea. We talked about so many things. 

She shared her fears for those in Mongolia as Covid is revamping and the vaccines they have are not working. Where they live, there is no running water. It is much easier for illness to spread, and they do not have the resources to treat it here. She is so glad to live in the U.S. and to have access to St. Jude. 

Hearing the Gospel for the First Time

She also shared about how she met the Lord. Her answer humbled me more than I could even prepare for. When she was growing up, Mongolia was a communist country, and it was not until 1999 she even had access to hearing the Gospel for the first time. She was invited to church and after attending a few times, she saw her need for Jesus. For years, all she had was the Old Testament, but she soaked it all up and within the last decade, the whole Bible was translated. She says it is a treasure she does not take for granted.

It’s All About Relationship 

Watching Cathy and Dolgor become friends is maybe the sweetest thing, Cathy also has a 12-year-old son named Sam who has special needs. During every visit, Dolgor continues to ask Cathy how Sam is doing. It is so sweet to know that their boys are the same age and both facing challenges. Cathy speaks such encouragement to Dolgor on such a real level, and I feel so privileged to be there to see it. 

Our Sunshine families are an inspiration and a blessing. And I’m blessed to get to minister to them as they face incredibly difficult and challenging times. But the biggest blessing is the friendships we nurture.