Seventh-day Adventist leaders in Mongolia say a weeklong evangelism series held in Ulaanbaatar earlier this month signals a new focus on urban outreach in the region.
Some 860 people met in nine Adventist churches in and around Ulaanbaatar from September 15 to 19 for a series exploring how Adventism offers hope for the future.
Over the weekend, Adventists wrapped up the series with messages from the region’s top church official. Jairyong Lee, president of the church’s Northern Asia-Pacific Division, which oversees Mongolia, called joining the Adventist Church family “the best choice of your life” during his Sabbath sermon.
Adventist Church leaders in the division said the meetings set a foundation in the region for next year’s major outreach event in Tokyo. The capital city of Japan is one of 21 key cities worldwide where Adventists will hold coordinated evangelism events next year.
Called Mission to Cities, the initiative was launched shortly after Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson called on church leadership worldwide to prioritize outreach to urban centers, where half of the world’s population now lives.
“This Ulaanbaatar citywide evangelism was a historical event that revived our churches in Mongolia through mission and outreach,” Lee said.
The series resulted in 246 Bible students completing a correspondence course offered by Adventist radio broadcast and Bible School supporting ministry Voice of Prophecy. More than 100 attendees chose to join the Adventist Church through baptism.
Church leaders in Mongolia said the outcome was significant, especially in a country whose citizens are largely ambivalent toward Christianity.
Adventist missionaries first came to Mongolia in 1990, shortly after the end of socialist rule opened the country to religious expression. Today, about half of Mongolians are Buddhist and more than a quarter are atheist. The Adventist Church continues to grow in Mongolia, with close to 1,700 members now worshipping in the country.
“Over the past week, we have seen the involvement of our church members, HisHands missionaries, all the pastors and [regional] leaders working together to accomplish something great for God,” said Elbert Kuhn, director of the church’s Mongolian Mission Field.
“We are very happy but we don’t want to stop here. We want to revive ourselves first and then move forward to share the hope that we have in Jesus Christ,” Kuhn said.