Nomadic Church

Ganbaatar listened intently to the visitors’ words. Moments before, he had prayed to receive Christ. Now, two Mongolian seminary students were explaining the futility – and evil – of his profession as a fortune teller. After pondering their words, Ganbaatar joyfully thrust his superstitious talisman into the stove fire. He was a new man in Christ.

Ganbaatar had previously related his beliefs in the mountainous rocks as being “divine.” Baka, one of the seminary students, began to ask questions about these beliefs. “If you move the rocks, are they still a god?,” “If you throw the rocks, do they hurt?” Ganbaatar soon saw the hollowness of his beliefs. He no longer wanted to worship the rocks; he would worship the Creator of the rocks.

Down in the Valley 

The students found Ganbaatar while hiking through an icy cold Mongolian valley. The previous year, a team led by an worker had led a group of nomadic herders to Christ. This time, the team wanted to follow up on these new. After asking around, they discovered the herders were nine miles up the valley, much of which was a ravine covered by a frozen river.

The seminary students asked their leader if they could hire a jeep to cover the ground more quickly. It was doubtful that they could even find a jeep, but even so, the leader took the opportunity to explain 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”

He explained to the group that their ministry should be done in such a way that others could repeat it. Local believers in Western Mongolia were unlikely to be able to hire a jeep. Besides, they were used to traveling long distances either by walking or riding horses. The students needed to contextualize and set an example for future effective ministry in this region.

And so they set out, walking across the long valley. Some of the miles were pure ice. One of the team members fell, but wasn’t hurt. According to the worker leading the team, the long journey turned out to be a joyous time: “Much of the way, we walked arm in arm. Amidst the rocky mountains – home to wolves and snow leopards – we sang praises to God, learned more about backgrounds and even had a little fun.”

The team eventually found the Christian herders, who eagerly welcomed them. They then began teaching the herders the Bible, baptized three of them and led Ganbataar to the Lord. It was a good day – “What warm fellowship we had eating hot goat soup, along with fresh goat curds. To make the day better, a goat was born. We returned that evening rejoicing in what the Lord was doing,” wrote the worker.

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