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Since the fall of the USSR, Mongolia has been a veritable open door for Christianity to spread far and wide. Starting in the early 1990s, God set the stage for Mongolia Campus Crusade for Christ (MCCC) to facilitate a message of hope and deliverance for a time such as this … when Zula, a young Mongolian mother and MCCC staff member, would forge a lasting friendship with Rhonda, a stateside Christian conciliator and grandmother, through a short-term mission partnership with MCCC.

This story takes you on the journey of God’s design that brought these two women together from completely different countries and cultures and transformed them through heartrending tragedy.


Gratitude has come as I’ve made this journey. I’m thankful that God is using my broken heart to transform me for His purposes and for His glory, and to bring encouragement to the hurting hearts of others who have also experienced loss.

—Rhonda Johnson Wootton


I now consider my grief to be a precious gift.

—Zula Jantsan


“This book is so unusual that it is hard to describe. Its unusual nature makes it stand out, almost demanding that we read it. I am sure you will come to the same conclusion once you read it, which I hope you do. Rhonda and Zula are friends who live about as far apart on this earth as two people can. They were already friends. But their deep friendship was forged through suffering, as deep friendships often are. They both lost sons, and only days apart. Strangely (and providentially), Rhonda was with Zula, comforting her over the tragic loss of her son, when her own son died just as tragically. They suffered together and grieved together. Now they have written a book together, a book full of sorrow, hope, wisdom and light. I commend this book to you, not only because it is so unusual, but also because it is so lovely and deep.”

—Jerry Sittser, author of A Grace Disguised and A Grace Revealed


“God binds us together across continents and cultures to be one body. In the pages that follow you will hear a story of pain, sadness and loss, but also of faithfulness, hope and redemption shared by two women of faith separated by thousands of miles and joined by one great Savior. This testimony is an encouragement to every one of us to keep walking and keep looking up to God through the darkest chapters of life and death.”

—Tim McConnell, Lead Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs, author of Happy Church