November 19, 2019

Adventist School Goes from Closing Ultimatum to Government Award

Diogo Santos, Northern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review

October 2, 2019, entered into the history of Adventist education in Mongolia as one of the most memorable days. On that day, Tusgal School, the only Adventist mission school in Mongolia, was chosen as the best private school in the Chingeltei District in Ulaanbaatar.

Being the only Adventist school in Mongolia, Tusgal School carries an important role. It opened thanks to the local leaders’ bold vision 10 years ago and has now built a good reputation and a heritage to carry forward. Leaders reported that in the last decade, balancing expenses and mission has been a constant challenge but that it has helped the school to mature.

In March 2018, after a long inspection by the Mongolian government, the school received a disappointing final report. It had to meet the government’s demands within six months or risk losing its license. Meeting those government requirements meant practically building a new school, and this was far from feasible. At the same time, the school administration was dreaming of a boarding school for Mongolian children.

Thanks to the support of the world church and what leaders said was “the grace of God,” the school went through major renovations. By September 2018, Tusgal School reopened in time for the new school year.

Leaders shared that throughout the process, school faculty and administrators were driven by the conviction that the school had not come about by chance.

“We have dedicated our land and our building to God, so the school belongs to the Lord,” leaders said.

During the past year, faculty also set out to renovate the school interior, well beyond the government’s demands. This was done without any intention of winning recognition, leaders explained.

“What we were looking for was the certainty of being on the right track despite our mistakes and successes,” school administrators said. And on October 2, 2019, the same government officials who had given the school a six-month ultimatum 19 months earlier, named Tusgal School the best private school in the district among 30 schools.

The Adventist school has about 200 students enrolled, and school leaders are intentional about Bible study not only in classrooms but also in teachers’ meetings. The few teachers and supporting staff from other denominations are also becoming acquainted with Adventist teachings and doctrines.

“Tusgal School is doing its best to bring people to Christ,” leaders said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Northern Asia-Pacific Division news site.