I imagine when you hear “Mongolia”, your minds-eye conjures up images of Chinggis Khan (Yeah, it’s pronounced Chinggis not Genghis) and his mighty empire of horse-riding and bow-wielding warriors. Mongolia still holds the award for “Largest Continuous Land Empire Ever”, amassing 15 million square miles of real estate throughout Asia and Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries. They ruled and conquered many nations with devastating force and military ingenuity while casting rightful fear on Popes, world leaders, and peasants alike. But since my family’s arrival in Mongolia about a month ago, I’ve experienced a far greater force than Chinggis Khan and his warriors could ever have hoped to become. What is this great force? A new emerging super-dynasty equipped with inventive military strategies and cyber-combat drones? No, it’s a house church of 9 people that meets at our orphanage every Sunday morning at 10:30am.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 16 that not even the gates of hell will overcome His Church. You see, Chinggis and his family line of Khans (Mongolian for “Kings”) are long gone but the ruler of our house church is the Creator of the Universe. I’ll put my money on the indestructible, resurrecting, atom-creating power of God over man’s empire any day. The re-birth of the Mongolian Church is less than 30 years old. The fall of communism in the early 90’s ushered in a fresh era of Christ’s work in this beautiful and historic country. It is said that you could count the number of Christians on one-hand in 1990. Now there are an estimated 300 churches spread across all of Mongolia. My next-door neighbor started one of those first churches in the early 90’s and it is still flourishing today. In a country of less than 2% Christian, the Church is far inferior in numbers than the great Mongol Empire but its capacity of strength, power, and fierceness is far greater in Jesus’ name.
Attending our house church has brought such deep joy to my soul and such hope for the future of Mongolia. The church, mainly made up of our staff, meets every Sunday to sing, pray, tithe, give testimonies, and hear God’s Word taught and proclaimed. It is led by our Ministry Director, Puje, who was among some of the first new wave of believers in the 90’s. I’ve heard how the power of God has delivered our church members from grief, sorrow, and idol-worship. I’ve listened as all nine people sang their hearts out to God in a foreign language that God receives as incense and praise. And perhaps, what is most beautiful, when the service is over the congregants walk outside and get back to work serving Mongolians most vulnerable children (who they also lead in Bible lessons every Saturday).
The Mongolian Church is young and it is still finding its way towards autonomy and self-sufficiency. I am hearing that most churches in Mongolia rely on foreign funding for survival. But what you will find is a Church chock full of national leaders with a deep deep heart for Jesus, His Word, and their fellow countrymen. They hold within them the Spirit of the Living God, a force that far exceeds that of every world leader and former empire. They have been birthed through and are dependent upon the power that rose Christ from the dead and I can’t imagine a better place to be.
Let us join the Mongolian Church in powerful prayer for the future of their country and come alongside of them with overwhelming encouragement and support. You can find specific prayer requests in our monthly prayer guides here. Mongolian leaders are praying that the 2% Christian mark will raise to 10% by the year 2020. Let’s join them in praying for that. I have a whole lot to learn about and from the Mongolian Church and its leaders. But if what I’ve read in the Bible and experienced in our house church is any indication, the future of Christ’s kingdom in Mongolia is brighter than the sun and no army will ever defeat it. May we believe and pray Psalm 33 for our Mongolian brothers and sisters:
“No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love”