When I first visited Mongolia more than 10 years ago, there was only one Adventist meeting place in the entire country—the church office in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Other church members met in homes, and in an Ulaanbaatar apartment purchased with Global Mission funds. It was a young church in two ways: the first Mongolians were baptized in 1993, and all the members were young. In fact, when I visited in 1999 the average age was about 22, and I witnessed the first baptism of anyone older than 25.
Today the church has nearly 1,500 members. One of the biggest challenges facing the church is finding places for believers to worship, according to Paul Kotanko, director of the church in Mongolia—a missionary from Australia, who is supported by your tithes and offerings. Pastor Kotanko told me that real estate prices are exorbitant—far out of the financial reach of the church.
We discussed the New Testament model of churches meeting in people’s homes. Perhaps under God’s guidance a church planting movement like we see in the book of Acts will occur in Mongolia as apartment after apartment is opened up for worship.
I asked Paul about Bold Batsukh—one of the first Adventists in the country, baptized in 1993 by Pastor Mike Ryan. I recalled being in Ulaanbaatar the day that Bold and his wife, Otguh, packed their car and headed for Darhan—a major industrial city with more than 80,000 people, and no Seventh-day Adventist believers. They had one purpose: to establish a Seventh-day Adventist church. And that’s exactly what they did. Paul told me that Bold and his family are now back in the capital and providing tremendous leadership in the church.
Please continue to pray for the church in Mongolia. And thank you again for your continuing financial support for Global Mission, which continues to help build God’s kingdom in the world’s most challenging areas.
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