What Happens When A Mongol Refuses To Give Up On Her Dreams?

(Editor’s Note: It is appropriate that we finish our 3 weeks of focused prayers for the Buddhist World on Saturday the 10th with a nation that is over 50% Buddhist: Mongolia.  The following story comes from Youth With A Mission, Frontier Missions and it is written by C. Anderson, Coordinator of Multiplying Disciples Among the Least, Last, and the Lost.)  

For 70 years, Geriel’s* country, Mongolia, was under Russian Communism. They were not allowed to believe in any religion. In spite of this, many hid their faith in Buddhism. When the Communist regime collapsed, Mongolians embraced democracy. For a season, they  experienced a new freedom. They were now open to consider different religions and beliefs.

Mongolia then opened the door for foreigners after being a closed country for many years. The gospel was shared by missionaries who went to Mongolia. After hearing the gospel, Geriel became one of the first Mongolian Christians.

In September 1992, a YWAM team set out to launch a Discipleship Making Movement (DMM) in Erdenet, the third largest city in Mongolia. Geriel joined the movement. They went into neighboring villages, counties, and cities, sharing the gospel with unbelievers.

They planted several church fellowships within a couple years outside of Erdenet. The missionaries taught them many things. They learned about the regions in the 10/40 Window, with the majority of unreached people. They started praying for them. They made plans to send Mongolian missionaries westward into Central Asia. They kept their word, and a few years later missionaries were sent from the new movement to share the gospel in Central Asia.

Geriel served the Erdenet Church as an elder for over a decade. After that time, she and her family moved to Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. They wanted to reach nomads and unreached people groups beyond Mongolia. One day, they received a message from Central Asia after starting the church-plant in Ulaanbaatar.

The message was from a missionary lady. She told them that several young people from a remote unreached people group had recently come to Jesus. She was sending them to Ulaanbaatar to study at the Mongolian International University. Her desire was for them to be trained as faithful and fruitful disciples. She entrusted them to Geriel and the Ulaanbaatar Church. Eleven students received discipleship over a period of five years. The students took Bible classes and were taken care of in many ways. Some of the young disciples continued to pursue degrees in other countries. The others went home to share their faith in the places they had come from. In this way, new missionaries were sent out to unreached areas.

In 2012, Geriel’s team successfully planted a church in a new area outside Mongolia. They trained two leaders. Over five years Geriel and her husband paid regular visits to that area. Every week, almost a dozen disciples gathered together in secret in the church. Many unpleasant incidents happened in that area during those difficult years. The police forbade them to meet, so many of the believers scattered. There was an occasion where false teaching began in the church. Many people followed the false teachers, but the main church leaders remained. It was indeed challenging!

Through these trials, however, the new leaders became strong in the Lord. The church leaders restarted the home church, and it began to grow. The leaders committed to not give up, even in the midst of government persecution. Two more churches were also planted and they, too, continued growing.

Geriel’s story of starting churches in these remote locations is exciting. She faced many challenges but refused to give up. Among the unreached, the laborers are still few. Many unreached villages remain in Central Asia.

Do you believe God could use you in an open harvest field? The Bible challenges us to be bold: “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field.” What if you offered yourself to God? Like Geriel, pray and take the next step. You will be amazed at what God will do!

*Name changed for security reasons.

If you would like to know more about missions and overseas opportunities, contact ywamfm.org today! And, in case you haven’t seen it, here is the link to video we feature on thewaitingworld.net re: Buddhism…