Category Archives: Testimonies

News from the Countryside – South Gobi Province

‘Salvation of Jesus’ church and the MSTEE

Natsagdorj pastor

A report by Natagdorj pastor, the Senior Pastor of ‘Salvation of Jesus’ church, South Gobi Province, Mongolia

Users’ Forum April 2011

I love and support MSTEE. In South Gobi we have a great Coordinator, whose name is Haisandai. I don’t lead groups now myself, but I support them as a pastor.

We heard the Good News in 1998 in South Gobi province, and I became a believer. I first came across the TEE course with the title, ‘Abundant Life’. The title spoke to me. I was the son of a family of shamans. I had Buddhist/shamanist leanings myself. But this book was not ‘religious’. I wanted to know more about this ‘Abundant Life’, so I studied with great interest. Later I saw the potential of this material for training. Although we started off meeting in a ger now we have a church building that can seat 200 people. Praise the Lord!

We’ve used TEE materials from 2002 until the present: all the daughter churches we’ve planted also see TEE as a key part of the ministry, and all the church planters we’ve sent out having been trained as tutors. We see that leading Abundant Life and Abundant Light brings people together in a group for discussion and fellowship. This ministry has become a means of getting a church going. Abundant Life and Abundant Light can provide a foundation in faith, and then the beauty of TEE is that it can provide a step by step, orderly theological education. Not everyone can study at a residential college. But the advantage of TEE is that through the tutor, training can be provided where the students are.

TEE emphasizes practical application: there’s some application or practical exercise with each lesson to do together, discuss and evaluate. I think this is one of the ways TEE is effective for each student.

TEE also has the spin-off of reaching those who have not come to faith who see the class going on in their ger.

It is clear that TEE’s structured training results in the growth of churches, and the growth in maturity of believers. The mother church and the church plants are now working hard at the TEE Certificate in Christian Ministry program, which has the aim of training leaders. Among the church plants, those in Bayandalai, Bulgan, Hurmen and Tsogttsetsgii counties (soums) are running the TEE program effectively. We are even running the program among the herders. Our tutor Saruultuul, who is a herder, is leading Abundant Life and Abundant Light effectively in Bayandalai county, and is a student in the Certificate program, studying the Life of Christ Book 3. And in Mandalovoo county, Ganbat and Tsogzolmaa are leading two groups which are going well among the herders.

South Gobi province with 'counties' (soums)

The churches in the provincial centre are using this training effectively, and in the future, we look forward to training at all levels througout the province. There are so many advantages to using TEE!

At the present time we have 19 trained tutors at the main church in the provincial centre, 25 in daughter churches in the provincial centre, and 28 out in the counties. Of these tutors, the numbers who are active in leading groups are as follows: of the 19, twelve, of the 25, twelve and from the 28, sixteen.  A total of 329 people are involved in the groups being led by these tutors. Those who get involved develop a heart for ministry, and a desire to study more.

We’ve trained new tutors in some of the countryside congregations, and they have gone on to lead groups: six in Bulgan, six in Hurmen, four in Servei and four in Nomgon country. We’ve also trained eleven new tutors in the provincial centre. It’s a great advantage that our TEE Coordinator Haisandai has been trained to train Foundation level tutors, and now we can prepare them as the need arises.

Our church’s vision for TEE in the future:

We want to build the capacity, and improve the quality of all our tutors.

We want to introduce the program into all the counties where it is not yet running e.g. Bayan-ovoo, Tsogt-ovoo, and Gurvan-tes counties.

Our aim is that the first countryside graduates of the Certificate in Ministry program should be from South Gobi province.

We want to introduce the Certificate in Christian Ministry program into all the county church plants. At present the Certificate program is only running in Bayandalai, Hurmen, Tsogttsetsgii and Nomgon counties.

We want to prepare many effective ministers in both church and society through the Certificate program – people who will influence and change both church and society.

Difficulties and critical factors:

1. If you don’t choose the right people as tutors, then you’ll see no fruit. The right choice of tutor is very important.

South Gobi province TEE Coordinator, Haisandai

2. We need spiritual people whose hearts are open and ready to serve. Haisandai, our TEE Coordinator, now pays close attention to this.

3. If the local church leader does not understand or value TEE, there will be little fruit. Tutors need encouragement!

4. Potential tutors need encouragement to start. They may well say, ‘I can’t do this!’ We say, ‘No, you can’t now. You need to learn! Then you will be able to!’

5. Tutors have a heavy load. There’s the danger of burnout. We need to protect and help them.

6. There is the need for finance to pay for the courses.

How did we overcome these issues? We pray with fasting. There’s early morning prayer, and there’s night prayer. We overcame by prayer.

Natsagdorj pastor, Users’ Forum 26 April 2011

Lhagvasuren

(Translated from the ‘MSTEE News’, distributed May 2008.)
An interview with ‘House of Prayer’ church pastor, Damdin Lhagvasuren

MSTEE News: How are you? Thank you for agreeing to this interview with MSTEE News. Would you like to introduce yourself?
Lhagvasuren: My name is Damdin Lhagvasuren, I am 46 and I live with my wife and five children. Having gone to the Military College, I worked for 15 years in the army as an officer. By the grace of God, all of my children have become Christians.
MSTEE News: Would you tell our readers about the beginnings of ‘House of Prayer’ church, and particularly the way that you started using the TEE programme?
Lhagvasuren: As far as the start of ‘House of Prayer’ church goes, in January 2004, together with my family, I was sent out from ‘Holy Way’ church to the 2nd horoo of Bayanzurkh district, usually known as ‘Dari Eh’. This is an area with a population of around 27,000 people, and from January 2007 onwards, we began sharing the gospel a family, and gathering the few people who came in our ger for call meetings. Then from July onwards, around 30 people gathered for Sunday worship in an 8-wall section ger. From October of that same year, we began using the TEE program with two groups of 12 studying ‘Abundant Life’, the first course of the Foundation Program. From that time, the story of the gaining an education in the things of faith and God in our church began.
MSTEE News: Does that mean that the whole church began to pay attention to Christian education?
Lhagvasuren: Certainly
MSTEE News: How is the church growing? What are you experiencing of God’s blessing?
Lhagvasuren: We are being filled with God’s love and mercy. Now the church has over 170 believers, and is running a children’s and young people’s work. So far as the TEE program goes, through the many tens of group leaders that we have grown, we’ve been able to run many groups at Foundation and Certificate level, and even have the first Diploma level group running in Mongolia.
MSTEE News: What do you see as the results of the priority that you have given to theological education? How many elders and leaders have you trained?
Lhagvasuren: I can testify that over the past few years, the result of the TEE training is that we have been able to prepare 18 local elders and leaders. These leaders have not only served in ‘House of Prayer’ church, but one family has answered the call to mission, and been sent out to plant a church in Hujirbulan, also in Bayanzurkh district. ‘Jesus’ flock’ church is now training workers using the TEE program there.
Looking back over the years we have used the TEE program, many tens of Mongolian families have been built up, many, many, of the Lord’s sons and daughters have been turned to the right way of living, and many hundreds of people are giving glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, have a heart to minister for the Kingdom of God, and a desire to be good disciples in God because they have found the meaning of their lives.

MSTEE News: What would you like to say in conclusion?
Lhagvasuren: I am so thankful to God that through the study of the TEE program according to its methodology I have been able to see a neighbourhood reached, and hundreds turning to God’s kingdom, and committing their lives to Him. To our Lord God be the glory!

Urtnacan

Everlasting Dawn church member

Starting in 2003, I began studying the Foundation and Certificate level courses that I have now completed. I am now over 60 years old. I really love the mighty Lord who created all things. This training is suitable for all age groups, well-organized and applicable. I am really happy that after persevering with my studies I am now one of the first graduates of this program.
I have learnt so many things from my studies in the area of my personal relationship with God, spiritual growth, the life of faith, and life in society; in terms of character, about obedience to the Lord, humility, getting along with others, and patience; I’ve learnt about ways of improving my ministry to the Lord in intercession and encouraging others – there have been many things!
I think that what program has to offer in knowledge and skills, ministry, faith in Christ, and spiritual growth is very significant in helping new believers to gain a secure foundation.
Since obtaining my MSTEE tutor’s licence, I have tutored three groups at Foundation level, and nine groups at Certificate level. At present I’m tutoring my tenth Certificate level group.
I thank my Heavenly God for giving my the blessing of reading, meditating on, and applying the living word throughout my life. Thank you to those at ‘Everlasting Dawn’ church, the MSTEE staff, and my fellow group members for supporting me. Through the faith of everyone in the world may our Lord God be glorified.