Mongolia: From Mission Field To #1 Missionary Sending Nation

(From YWAM Frontiers, Kevin Sutter, One night in the 1980s, our YWAM staff listened intently to stories from a scouting trip. It was to the mysterious land of Mongolia.  The team had recently returned from what seemed to us “the remotest part of the earth.” 

Communist Russia successfully applied its cruel strategy. They purged the land of religion.  Tibetan Buddhism was nearly blotted out.  Mongolia was a spiritual vacuum.  In this country of  2.6 million, a church had never been planted.  In fact, in modern history, there had not even been one single Mongolian follower of Jesus.   

“Not one believer,” our fellow YWAMer emphasized, “UNTIL NOW!”  Eyes wide with excitement he told how he and his Russian-speaking teammate led a Mongol man to Jesus Christ. 

Time to cheer!    

Also, time to pray.  Who would help this new believer learn to walk as a faithful disciple?  Where would he find fellowship?  Who would pray with him?  With whom would he join for communion and worship?  Who would be his partners in making more disciples? How could he spread the blessings of God’s kingdom throughout his needy community? How could he help spread it throughout his country?   

We had prayed for an isolated disciple, among an isolated people, in an isolated land. 

Years passed since the report of that first Mongol believer. International prayer movements grew. Intercessors stood in the gap for the Khalkha Mongol. They prayed for Dariganga, Darkhan, Buryat, and other unreached people groups of Mongolia.  

Finally in 1990 Communism released its weakening hold. The doors–closed for so long–opened. There were two known Mongol believers.  Thousands prayed for those doors to open, some stepped through them. A young Scandinavian YWAM couple, Magnus and Maria were among these pioneers. 

The paragraphs you finished reading, were written by me as a FORWARD for my friend Maria’s book. They are my words, giving you a glimpse at the beginning of the story. You need Maria’s story. 

In To the Ends of the Earth, There and Back Again, Maria tells the amazing story of reaching the Khalkha Mongols. By reading her book you experience with them the birth of a Disciple-Making Movement. It started in Erdenet and grew from there. 

The adventure continues, and the movement continues to grow. Faithful Khalkha believers obey Jesus’ commands. Our Lord said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations….” In obedience, they go beyond their own tribe and on to the Buryat tribe. 

In the province of Dadal, Buryat people begin to hear the gospel from their Khalkha neighbors. Dadal is near the birthplace of Genghis Khan and it’s there Buryat tribal members began to turn to Christ. Jesus, the Khan of Khans!

These first new Buryat believers learned to obey the commands of Christ. With help from Khalkha believers, they soon formed a simple church. And they began making disciples themselves.

Four years after the birth of the first Buryat church, a delegation went from Dadal to Erdenet. They arrived at the annual Conference of the Mongolia Mission Center (MMC). 

Dressed in traditional clothes they took the stage. Buryats thanked the Khalkha church for planting the gospel among their tribe. They shared how the new movement had spread not only in Dadal but beyond. Then they asked to be trained as cross-cultural missionaries. They too wanted to send workers to the least reached.

Three years passed. Another MMC Missions Conference was held in Erdenet. The stage filled with about 30 more Buryat church representatives. These believers had traveled there from remote places in Mongolia. There were even some from villages in Russian Siberia. The movement had spread there. Amazing the audience, they declared praise to God. They celebrated that He was establishing His expanding kingdom among them!

Passion for God’s glory among the nations, and obedience to Jesus’ commands spreads. It goes from person to person, church to church. In 2012 Mongolia hit a landmark. Mongolia became, per-capita, the number one, missionary-sending country in the world! And this only two decades after the arrival of the Gospel.

What about your nation and people? How long have they had the gospel? It could be time for you to lead people from your country into greater mission involvement.

Here is the Mongol Waiting World Video to watch so you can learn more about these precious people of God: