As Mongolia Mission (MM) leaders focus on strengthening local churches across that Asian nation, Seventh-day Adventist leaders took some time to visit rural congregations in the northwest region of the country.
MM president Han Suk Hee, executive secretary Nyamdavaa Dovchinsuren, treasurer Angelina D. Pagarigan, ministerial secretary Nyamsuren Myagmar, and Ministerial Spouse Association coordinator Eun Kyung Chun headed to the west region of Mongolia and to the farthest north to visit six rural churches.
In late March 2022, leaders drove more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) from Ulaanbaatar to reach the local church in Khovsgul. This church was built by foreign missionaries who worked there many years ago. One of the biggest challenges of the Khovsgul church is the outflow of youth members from this region to the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. This challenge is not unusual for local churches outside Ulaanbaatar, as many young people move to the city for their university studies. But Khovsgul church owns a large land area that can still be developed. One of the main projects is to build an outreach center at a beautiful lake frequented by tourists, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Khovsgul church.
The second destination was Bulgan church, one of the historic Adventist churches in Mongolia, built by early volunteer missionaries and church members. The church has been well maintained by its leader, Saran Bolorgegee, and his wife, and they have established a good relationship with the local government.
“It is inspiring to know that they are connecting with the community by teaching Korean and English at the local court office,” leaders reported. The church building is large and has space on its second floor that needs finishing to accommodate visiting evangelistic teams. Before COVID-19, an active Pathfinder program was appreciated by the parents in the community. Now that the church can resume face-to-face gatherings, it is expected the program will restart.
Erdenet Province is the third province in Mongolia where a church has been built. Most of young church leaders who are now serving in various capacities in churches were first converted through evangelistic series conducted in this city. Church leader Gantugs Dashdendev has been teaching guitar lessons to attract young people to the church. His wife, Otgontuya, has started a soap-making project. For this project, she wrote a proposal to the government and was successful in receiving support. She is using this activity to meet people and connect to the community. MM has two properties in the area, leaders reported. One is the location of the current church building, and the other one is located at the main highway near a hospital. “We are discussing how to use the property near the hospital to develop the presence of the church in this fast-growing city,” they said.
From Erdenet Province, the visiting team went to Sant, a small town where the Adventist Church also owns property. Church leader Munkhtuya Natsagdorj expressed her need for further support in this area. “She asked for an evangelistic team to preach the Word of God and share the good news of salvation,” leaders shared. “The church is well-known and respected in the town, as she has formed a good relationship with the community.”
The next destination was the Khutul church, a growing congregation led by Baljinnyam Dolgor. Church members are still meeting in her apartment, but MM purchased a plot of land in 2016 with plans to build a church and a community center. “This church has about 30 active members with community connections, who are faithful tithe givers,” leaders said.
A fifth stop took place at the Adventist church in Darkhan, the second-largest city in Mongolia. This church includes a second-hand clothing store where members sell clothes donated by Korean church members. The money they generate from the initiative is used to support local church members in need and to run the church community service activities. As the city is developing very fast, Jung Chul Kim, one of the Pioneer Mission Movement missionaries in Mongolia, has requested funds to buy a bigger plot of land in a strategic place for a community health center. The MM leadership visited this property and prayed for the Lord to guide every step, as the church pastor continues to find the needed funds to develop the land.
Selenge Province was the last destination of the leaders during their visitation trip. In that area, MM has three plots of land. One is where missionaries built a church. The other two properties are farmland, where agriculture projects can serve as sources of funds to support local church operations.
“The local church visitation was very engaging,” MM leaders said. “We sat down with each church pastor and lay leader to discuss their victories and challenges in their respective areas of ministry. We also received a comprehensive report and gained a fuller view of the needs for physical development of the local churches, as well as a need for professional training and support of the assigned church leaders.”
MM leaders reminded church members that it is with prayers and continued supplications that the work in the countryside of Mongolia will grow and prosper through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “We continue to solicit your wholehearted support through prayers and benevolent donations for the progress of the work in Mongolia, until all people in every local area are baptized and accept Jesus as their personal Savior,” they said.