Feature

Jesus is Visiting Me . . .

Taking the Fourfold Gospel to Mongolia

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Bolto, a 46-year-old Mongolian man, used to make a living driving people back and forth along the border between China and Mongolia. He often carried 15 customers in a junky, four-passenger car. Four years ago tragedy struck. While driving a carload of passengers, he collided with a truck head on. His car exploded in flames. To save his life, both of Bolto’s legs and most of his fingers were amputated.

Bimba, a Mongolian church leader, reached out to Bolto with the gospel message, and as a result, Bolto invited Jesus into his life as Lord and Savior. During my recent trip to Mongolia to teach the Fourfold Gospel, my hosts and I joined Bimba as she visited the bedridden man and his family.

Upon arriving at Zaminwood by train from Ulanbataar, we made our way to Bolto’s ger (a Mongolian tent house). He welcomed us from his bed by pointing his index finger, the only digit left on his right hand. Bolto was so happy to have us in his home that he was in tears while we worshiped the Lord together.

We asked him if he had a prayer request. He told us that more than anything he wanted to worship at the church regularly. For a while, Bimba took him to services by taxi, but since she doesn’t have a regular job, she couldn’t afford to continue providing him a ride each week. Bolto also asked for healing from an infection where his legs had been amputated, which caused him terrible pain and severe headaches. He had had the infected section surgically removed six months before our visit, but the situation had not improved and he would have to have another operation.

Laying our hands on Bolto’s head and legs, we prayed fervently for his healing. Just then, Bolto’s cell phone rang. His wife answered the call and passed him the phone. What Bolto told the caller made everyone laugh: “Hey, hang up immediately. Jesus is visiting me and praying for me now!”

His words are still ringing in my ears. For Bolto, the visit wasn’t just from pastors or church friends but was the coming of Jesus Himself. We often forget the simple truth that Jesus is still with us as He promised before ascending to heaven: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Our ministry isn’t just our own, but Jesus’ ministry to His people.

Mongolia is a rich mission field. I sensed a drastic change in the spiritual atmosphere since my first trip to the nation in the summer of 2008. I had explored the land extensively with an Alliance international worker couple, “Y” and “J,” who were searching for a church-planting opportunity. At that time, people were not very receptive to the gospel. However, during the last four years, the Mongolian field has yielded a harvest of souls. The number of churches planted by my friends has now reached 20.

The country is on the verge of a missiological breakthrough as Mongolian Christians are beginning to evangelize their own people. However, there are several challenges ahead. The government has become wary of the activities of foreigners. Y and J feel they may not have much time left to finish their job there.

They have set a new goal of planting 30 churches in the next three years. However, this will not be easy. The churches planted or to be planted are widespread throughout Mongolia, making it difficult for Y and J to visit them regularly. Y had no other choice than to depend upon the Mongolian leaders he established in each church. Most are new converts without adequate theological training; many are not eligible for seminary because they have not completed higher education. They are like A. B. Simpson’s “irregulars” in the early days of the C&MA movement.

Y and I had discussed extensively about how to provide adequate training to these workers and agreed that we must be simple, practical and relevant in our approach. This mission trip was our first endeavor at applying our principles to training Mongolian leaders. Y summoned the workers to our church facility in Erdenet for training. Eighteen people, eager to learn more skills to lead their churches, responded to the invitation, many of them traveling more than two days to attend. During the seminar, I taught the doctrinal statement of the C&MA with a special focus on the Fourfold Gospel, as well as a Bible review and expositional preaching. Though the leaders did not have theological training before attending the seminar, they picked up everything like sponges absorbing water.

There are many obstacles that seem to block fulfillment of the mission God has placed on Y’s heart. Yet, as we discussed how to solve some of the issues, he smiled, knowing that God would provide. In fact, He had already provided, as there are now 18 Mongolian church leaders on fire and ready to serve.

Like Bimba, they will be prepared to share the good news with their fellow Mongolians. Those who are in bondage need to hear the Fourfold Gospel—to know Jesus as their Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King. We must not neglect our calling to reach out to them, for Jesus has chosen to work through us as His hands and feet.

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