On Sunday, April 2, the city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, had a blizzard with strong, cold winds and a sudden temperature drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 °F) instead of warm spring weather. However, the snowstorm could not cool the enthusiasm of 16 missionaries who applied to be part of the first batch of trainees for the Mongolian branch of 1000 Missionary Movement (1000MM).
The Mongolia Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, led by mission president Suk Hee Han, held the opening ceremony at Suut Resort. Guest speaker Jae Song Jeon, director of the 1000MM Training Center in the Philippines, addressed the first group of trainees.
The launch of the 1000MM program was a historic moment for the Mongolia Mission, regional church leaders said. About 20 years ago, there were intermittent and sporadic activities for the 1000MM in Mongolia, but programs were suspended for a long time due to various circumstances. With the active support of Jeon and Ho Young Choi, youth director for the Northern Asia-Pacific Division of the Adventist Church, the Mongolia branch was formed. Now, according to leaders, the mission work in Mongolia has entered a new era.
In his opening remarks, Han shared his background as a member of the first batch of trainees for 1000MM in the Philippines. “When this movement began in the Philippines about 31 years ago, it was a weak and seemingly insignificant movement that had to make something out of nothing.” He further recalled, “However, this movement, which started in a barren environment amidst numerous challenges, has produced around 14,000 missionaries, brought about 74,600 baptisms in over 1,500 meeting places, and 800 churches.”
Han thanked God for being part of these historical events and expressed his hope for the future. “I look forward with eyes of faith, that the same amazing results and great blessings will be realized in Mongolia through the new Mongolian branch,” Han said.
Jeon reminded those present that “the 1000 Missionary Movement, which serves as a channel for God’s blessings in each mission field of the global village, is a movement that trains and sends 1,000 elite young people every year and supports these missionaries to be active bearers of the Gospel to barren areas of the world.” He added, “Congratulations on the historic opening of the Mongolian branch, which will carry out this century’s greatest challenge on Mongolian soil.”
Pastor Abba, who oversees the 1000MM in Mongolia, said that “the current general atmosphere of Mongolian society is being rapidly overtaken by secularization, materialism, and selfishness.” These are very worrisome circumstances, he said. “I fear that young people will lose their innocence and be easily swayed by secular influences,” Abba said. “At this time of crisis, the 1000 Missionary Movement training program — that seeks to turn young people into an army of Gospel-bearers by making them missionaries, sending them to different regions, saving souls, and planting churches — is the timeliest movement for Mongolia. We ask for your interest, support, and prayers.”
The group of 16 is scheduled to complete the six-week training program by May 13. After that, they will be sent in pairs to strategic church-planting areas designated by the Mongolia Mission. These young missionaries will receive a monthly stipend for living expenses as they serve as missionaries for one year.