When Khalkh-Mongolians Reached the Buryats

This is what a Disciple-Making Movement looks like to us:

What a privilege it was to oversee the first-ever baptisms in Erdenet, Mongolia! The body of believers grew from the fourteen young women we first baptized to 400 baptized believers meeting in 27 house churches. There were a handful of second-generation churches in the region, one of which met in 10 homes, plans were being made for a third-generation church. Amazingly, all of this occurred in just over three years! And as foreign church planters, we were able to hand over the work to the Mongolian leaders we had been discipling. 

Most of us remained a few more months to be available to the Mongolian leaders if help was needed. When my family finally prepared to leave for our home in Sweden, the Mongolian church leaders asked us to return as soon as possible. “Please train us to do what you did—to cross cultural and language barriers to spread the Good News and make disciples!”

After six months back in Sweden, we received a phone call from Mongolia. Over a crackling connection, they told us that to celebrate the birth of Jesus, they had just baptized 102 people! The Holy Spirit hadn’t left when the apostolic team did!

Returning after a year away, we discovered that the home fellowships had doubled to 54. Baptized believers now numbered 600. More second-generation churches and a third-generation church had started! The believers had also initiated a number of mercy ministries to help the poorest people in the community.

Our goal was to equip Mongolians to multiply churches in Mongolia and beyond. Our new Mongolia Mission Center (MMC) eventually developed into a Youth With A Mission training base, equipping church planters and international missionaries in Discipleship, Frontier Missions and Biblical Studies.

Let me tell you one of many stories of fruit from the MMC.

A team of Mongolians trained in cross-cultural church planting at the MMC moved to the province of Dadal, on the border with Siberia. Genghis Khan was said to be born on a hill just outside of Dadal. The population is almost exclusively of the Buryat minority tribe. Although Mongolian, they have distinct differences in culture and language from the majority Khalkh-Mongolians. The team served the community, shared the Gospel through words, works and wonders, and saw the first few Buryats come to faith in Jesus. They baptized the new believers and thus launched the first ever Buryat church in Mongolia!

The church-planters from Erdenet, along with the new Buryat believers, gathered one morning outside of the log cabin where one of the church-planters lived. They talked, prayed and worshiped as they waited for the flat-bed truck that would take them to a river about an hour away. To their dismay, the truck never showed up! By early afternoon, the leader of the team managed to get hold of two Russian 5-seater jeeps, and somehow 34 people squeezed in, together with a live sheep (to be served as supper) and off they went!

Watching the baptism was seeing a dream become reality. Khalkh-Mongolians, less than a decade after the Gospel came to them, had reached out cross-culturally and were now baptizing over a dozen Buryats in a river near the birth place of Genghis Khan!

And that is what a Disciple-Making Movement looks like to us!

(Enjoy many more stories from this extraordinary movement in the book, To the Ends of the Earth—There and Back, by Maria Andersson. Order your copy: Alphonce@galacticomm.org )

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