In A.D. 1266, the great Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, asked two Italian merchantmen to return home with a letter requesting 100 well-educated Christian missionaries to come back and teach his people about the gospel. Unfortunately, Kublai Khan’s desire was not fulfilled at that time; in fact, it seems his petition was never truly granted.
Well, at least until now!
The Great Khan could never have guessed that 750 years later, a ministry called It Is Written (IIW), in partnership with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mongolia, would respond to this ancient request, focusing its attention on Mongolia with a life-saving message of hope.
A Carefully Crafted Plan
After three years of spiritual preparation, planning, and ministry, the IIW team, along with the Mongolia Mission, held a large evangelistic campaign from June 4-11 under the theme “In What Can You Trust?” Altogether, more than 120 volunteer missionaries came from abroad, and 14 churches and companies in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar got involved in this bold missionary challenge. On the last day of the series, 71 people were baptized.
“Since 2015, IIW has been actively involved in humanitarian and gospel work to help Mongolians get a clearer picture of Jesus as their help in this world and their hope in the world to come,” said Erik Flickinger, associate speaker for the ministry.
The humanitarian work began in 2015 by drilling water wells at two local churches where the local community had no access to fresh and clean drinking water. To get water, residents of Ger districts had to push carts of empty water jugs to a water station, sometimes located a mile away from their home. Today, three churches have hot and cold running water and can attract people who otherwise might not take notice of them.
The “Mission: Mongolia” project involved medical, dental, and optical clinics as well as nightly Bible presentations by IIW speaker/director John Bradshaw.
Organizers wondered how many people would show up for the evangelistic meetings in a country with 97 percent non-Christian population. On the first night, we had the answer: more than 700 people attended! People continued to flock to the nightly evangelistic meeting at the Union Cultural Center Palace in Ulaanbaatar.
A Successful Delivery
Starting on Sunday, June 4, IIW carried out a major health project in Ulaanbaatar. The team of more than 120—including around 80 medical professionals from at least five countries—conducted clinics at several locations around the city, providing a wide range of free health services. In cooperation with the city government, physicians, ophthalmologists, dentists, nurses, physical therapists, and many others ministered to thousands of people.
The medical missionary team was divided up and went to hospitals, nursing homes, a school, a blind center, Adventist churches and even to a jail, offering dental, vision, surgical, and multiple other services touching many lives through this work. They provided medical services that in many cases people here would not otherwise be able to receive.
Missionaries sacrificed vacation time and money to travel to the other side of the world to make friends for Jesus. At the same time, evangelistic meetings were held in downtown Ulaanbaatar each night, giving people the opportunity to know Jesus as not only Healer but as Lord and Savior.
“Our journey to Mongolia could not have ended on a better note. More than 70 precious souls publicly confessed their love for Jesus through baptism,” said Yves Monnier, IIW evangelism director. “There may not have been much water in the Tuul River, but there was enough for us to completely immerse every person.”
Monnier kept sharing a special moment he was part of.
“I had the honor of baptizing a young lady with muscular dystrophy. I just cradled her small body in my arms, and we both went down in the water,” he said. “You should have seen her when we came up out of the water: smiling and crying all at the same time.”
Monnier asked church members around the world to keep praying for Mongolia, as locals keep working with others who are continuing to study. “Hundreds more are now being prepared for future baptisms,” he said.
In Mongolia, it seems that Kublai Khan’s original request is being fulfilled thanks to the efforts of Adventist missionaries who proclaim a better, everlasting empire, and the coming of a new Khan (King)!