Holy Spirit breathes life into evangelism in Mongolia
Pastors and church members in Mongolia have shown that when it comes to sharing God’s message with people, one size does not fit all. Recent evangelistic meetings energized and prompted every local congregation in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar to devise creative ways of reaching others for Jesus. Evangelistic meetings were launched in the 11 Seventh-day Adventist congregations across Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolia Mission president Yo Han Kim said he visited the 11 Adventist congregations where evangelistic meetings were taking place.
“We felt the presence of the Holy Spirit at every church we visited. At one specific church, we had more than a hundred attendees each night, including eighty children,” Kim said.
At another church, in spite of travel difficulties caused by heavy rainfall and mud, there were not enough seats in the church. Tents were erected outside for those who came later. At the end of the meetings, six people were baptized.
Another congregation made special plans for the last day of meetings. On Friday afternoon, all the volunteers, church members, and baptismal candidates traveled to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and camped in tents to spend that Sabbath in God’s nature. Seven people were baptized in that beautiful testament to God’s Creatorship.
Another church focused on music as part of the evangelistic outreach. Leaders reported that the church was blessed with a special music team of saxophonists, a classical guitarist, and a vocalist.
“In the afternoons, they provided their audiences with an amazing musical concert and touched many hearts,” Kim shared. “Fourteen people from this church were baptized at the end of the evangelistic meetings.”
At Ulaanbaatar Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, speaker Jo ChoonHo spent the afternoons treating people with his oriental medicine skills. Leaders reported that many guests were very grateful for his healing touch.
“People were moved to tears when they listened to the testimonies, and twenty persons are having Bible studies in preparation for baptism,” Kim said.
Kim said he is thankful for the coordinated and faithful efforts across Ulaanbaatar.
“I look forward to the next Ulaanbaatar-wide evangelistic series three years from now, and I praise God for His bountiful blessings and His protection throughout these meetings,” Kim said. “I cannot thank everybody enough.”
[Yo Han Kim, Mongolia Mission / Adventist Review]
Women in ministry retreat fosters dialogue, fellowship, and prayer
For female pastors, Bible workers, and administrators from across the Trans-European Division (TED), the opportunity to meet, relax, and share at the Women in Ministry retreat was a blessing.
“It was a timely retreat, full of fellowship, a refill of energy and optimism, with speakers that shared positive, uplifting messages but also the challenges of being a female in church ministry,” said Marianne Dyrud, executive secretary and Youth Ministries director for the Danish Union Conference.
This was precisely the intention of the weekend, according to TED ministerial director Patrick Johnson. He was one of only five men to participate in the conference alongside 110 women, who traveled from countries including Iceland, Norway, and Finland in the far north; the British Isles and the Netherlands in the west; and Poland, Hungary, the Balkans, Greece, and Cyprus farther south and east.
Throughout the weekend, a myriad of languages and cultures blended as the women exchanged ideas and solutions with others who faced similar challenges and who, often spontaneously, could lift each other up in prayer.
“New friendship connections have been made that, if nurtured, will continue throughout their lives,” Johnson said, noting how beneficial it was for the women to share experiences, both pleasurable and painful, as a much-needed healing activity. He is planning an online forum that can provide them with additional support.
Women in leadership, particularly pastors, often work alone, so a retreat where they can be together with other women who share similar experiences, thoughts, and emotions proved highly beneficial.
The preaching was also intentional. Marjukka Ostrovljanović, a pastor in the ministerial district of Bavaria, Germany, is from Finland, and her husband, Mike, also a pastor, is from Serbia and ministers in the district next door. With this multicultural background and a deep love for the Hebrew Scriptures, she was well qualified to dig into Old Testament themes. Reflecting that “God is so good,” she shared the story of Job and his recognition of God’s presence even when He seemed far away.
The personalized, narrative preaching style of the female pastors seemed to carry the weekend. Lolly Fontaine, associate pastor of Stanborough Park Church in the United Kingdom, related, animatedly and with great humor, her own experiences to that of Moses and his face-to-face encounter with God. Moses could be considered a failure when, after all his leadership and teaching, Aaron builds the golden calf in his absence.
“Sometimes in ministry, our hopes and dreams come crashing down, and we may even doubt our calling,” Fontaine noted. Moses was very human, and his emotions came through in the story—disappointment, sorrow, apathy, even rage. But in those moments of disappointment, you also find his solution. Entering the tabernacle tent, he talks with God as to a friend (Exod. 33:11).
“Run into the tent,” Fontaine challenged. “It is our only option.”
TED president Raafat Kamal, who attended the retreat as an observer to show support, stated, “I was personally touched by the authenticity and openness of expressions during worship, discussions, and personal exchanges,” he said. “There was a high octane of positive energy that I rarely witness at other meetings that I attend,” he added. “We praise God for the service and witness of our women within the TED. They are precious in God’s eyes and in their ministry for Him.”
[Victor Hulbert, Trans-European Division / Adventist Review]