This is the fifth trip the brothers and sisters from Russia make into Mongolia. The instigator of this project has been the central Baptist church of Omsk, Russia. From the very beginning, a strategy was built that would develop this project over the following three years. The main goal of the project was to aid the development of the work with children in the city of Hovd, Mongolia, where the population is about 90 thousand.
Upon the conclusion of the three years, we saw that our goals were reached. Throughout this time, we were able to have three day camps for about 400 Mongolian children. We were able to educate almost 20 Mongolian Christian leaders. We were able to visit close to 40 Mongolian families who live in poverty, and we were able to gift them with necessities for living as a sign of God’s care for them.
We made plans and we believed they were ideal, but God corrected them in wonderful ways. In 2013, we were able to widen our work, starting with hosting children’s overnight and weeklong camps. This was a colossal experiment. Kids spent 24 hours a day under our supervision and our influence. They were able to be immersed completely in the atmosphere of God’s love.
In 2014, we had 186 children who attended the camp. Across the span of a week, they are taught by Mongolian workers- workers that are educated and prepared. We are truly enjoying the results our Lord has allowed us to see. Halleluiah!
A special goal was made for the leaders of the Russian team. The road to Mongolia, the time spent in a different country, the time spent with people from different cultures, and dealing with the language barrier were all things that helped form a team, and build character. We have been experiencing God’s blessings for more than one year now, when we see how within two weeks girls and boys grow into responsible, disciplined, and truly God fearing people. People, that are full of the dedication to serve Him- no matter what.
I saw how they were bewildered when one of our cars would break and we would try to eat in the darkness, not knowing when we would be able to get to our destination, take a shower, and eat some hot food. However, nobody complained, everybody was patient, and had full trust in our Lord. When we were climbing to the summit of the mountain, one young man said, “I am afraid of heights”. I remember how he was literally crawling down from it. When we reached the bottom, he said, “I was crawling down the entire mountain”, and I said, “It doesn’t matter, as long as you reached the bottom.”
These young men returned completely different people from this trip! This encourages me, as I see how in such a short time, young ladies and men understand what they are capable of, what is important, and their love towards each other grows exponentially.
With young people from the First Slavic Church of Sacramento we went to Mongolia...
On June 24, 2012 our children’s ministry team “Give children joy” went on a mission trip to Mongolia. Our team consisted of 20 people from three churches in Omsk and the First Slavic Church of Sacramento.
When we reached Mongolia we drove into the border city Tsagaannuur to buy groceries. There were several children near the shop and we were able to play with them. Within 10 minutes there were about 15 children that played with us – they were very happy, open kids who inspired us and gave us joy. We continued on our way and made it to a river.
We were unable to cross it due to it being flooded by heavy rain. After we built a fire, had dinner and glorified God, we decided to travel to the nearest town to spend the night there. However, our loving God had a different plan: one of our vehicles got stuck in the mud. Unable to pull it out we placed everything in the hands of God and decided to spend the night in our cars. All went well during the night and we opened our eyes to see God’s miracle: there was a big truck in front of us and its owner offered us help in getting our car out.
Without other delays we arrived at the Mongolian city of Hovd. The local church warmly greeted us. In the evening we had a meeting with the local children’s ministers, where we discussed their help with the VBS we would conduct, and to schedule training sessions.
The children were very excited about our arrival; even in the evening they came to the church to meet us. They were very happy to have VBS again. After having VBS in the mornings we held workshops with Mongolian church leaders - talking about our ministry, the various forms of presenting the truth of God and how to attract children. In the evenings we went to visit yurts of the poor. We helped them financially and supported them spiritually. It was inspiring to see the faith of these people who live in such poverty, but regardless of the circumstances, glorify God.
Our VBS this year was visited by about 150 Mongolian children. We were able to visit 15 Mongolian families who live below the poverty level. In one yurt, we met a family who had three children, one of whom was very ill. A twelve year old boy had a strong psychological disorder that carried over to his physical development. The boy does not move and from being completely immobile his body is covered with bed sores. Due to a lack of funds, the boy was not being treated and the bandages on his body were old and dirty. The boy’s father, who once attended church, gave up on God because of what happened to his son. At first he met us with indifference; his face was gray and gloomy.
We talked to him about God, that He has not forgotten his family, and in the end we all prayed fervently. The next day we bought a much needed medical bed, medical supplies, bandages, and food. When we came back to the yurt, in front of us was a different person. His face shined. We gave him the supplies we brought with us and said, “God has not forgotten you. He remembers you. We are His messengers to you. “
We are planning another trip to Mongolia and ask you not to forget us in your prayers. We will be glad for every donation that you make for the ministry to the Mongolian people!
YOUR LEAST IN CHRIST - Anatoly Nikonov
Since 2010 the church in Omsk ministers to Mongolia. In two years more than 200 Mongolian children heard the gospel and about 20 poor families received social assistance in the form of food. Many of those people now attend evangelical churches.
One of the local Mongolian churches, in just one year, from 2010 to 2011, increased by one hundred members. Over the past two years, we were able to help local churches to prepare their own teams to work with children. In 2012, we plan to expand our missionary activity beyond Khovd.
Mongolia is a country without roads. To get from the Russian-Mongolian border to Khovd, you need to cover a distance of 250 miles. It takes about 12 hours to cover that distance. The only access to Khovd is by car.
At this point, we have a van that seats 9 people. In 2012 we plan a children’s camp for Mongolian children, a ministry of charity among poor Mongolian families and a ministry outside of Khovd, in Mongolia’s villages.
The villages that are far away from cities and towns are home to the poorest Mongol families, and most often have many children.
Last trip to Mongolia led to a breakdown for one of our cars that was not suited to the off-road conditions. We really need a minivan that is designed for rough terrain to reach remote areas where many children live.
The cost of on off-roads van is $ 30,000. This is a very large sum. But on the other hand, it will give a 9 person team access to hundreds of people, which in turn would mean that many children will hear the gospel and many Mongolian families will feel the warmth of God’s love.
Anatoly Nikonov - Missionary
When people in the United States think of Mongolia, they think of a huge barren wasteland with persons riding horses, living out the days of Genghis Khan; the feared Mongolian ruler who attempted to conquer the world in the 13th century.
Thus we need to rethink Mongolia as a land of million people who desperately need to hear about Christ, the country is open as never before to receive the
When we arrived in the city of Kovd, immediately we were thronged by children who are curious as to who we were and why we had come. We started our Bible lessons from the old testament story of Noah who was given an impossible task but remained true to Gods call in spite of being laughed at by others. We had prepared for thirty children, but instead found ourselves ministering to one hundred children.
We could not have accomplished these “Vacation Bible Schools” without the help of the local churches and pastors. This summer we decided that we would especially reach out to the poor. One family consisted of nine members, a father, mother plus seven children. The mother was really discouraged because she had lost her government documents and was not able to be employed, even though her husband has a job as a truck loader at the market, he spends all of his money on alcohol.
Obviously the wife and children severely suffer. The good news is that because of our help the mother has begun taking her children to church regularly. Around the city of Kovd are many villages, the families in these villages are even more impoverished than the ones to whom we have been ministering.
We need to reach out to them with material goods as well as telling them that Christ loves them. They will not be able to hear our message unless we give
them our means. Getting to Mongolia is not easy. What we thought should be a two day trip, turned out to be a four day trip. Heavy rains had washed out roads, and we found ourselves on a hundred mile detour.
The border guards were not friendly to our crossing, and we found ourselves cold, hungry and wet. Fortunately our team remembered how to build a fire
from manure. Never did a group of people have better fellowship sitting around a fire and eating only 7 pieces of pastry. The next morning we had to survive on a breakfast of lumps of sugar and lake water.
After four days of travel we returned to Omsk after having driven 1500 kilometers. Needless to say we were glad to return home.
Anatoly Nikonov - responsible for the children’s outreach
A long and difficult drive awaits us across 2000 km of rough roads. Pray for us!!!
In 2010 our team was involved in the project “Gospel to the children of Mongolia.”
In the city of Khovd we conducted a Vacation Bible School that was
attended by 80 children.
Mongolia’s children are very open and friendly and it was not hard for us to establish an immediate relationship.
Despite the fact that we did not know their language, the children were ready to play any game and sing any song that we asked them to. They were ready to listen to the Gospel and to open their hearts to God.
In addition to VBS we were engaging in charity work - helping needy families with food.
Mongolia is very poor and many people are unemployed. The only thing that many families eat is a type of bread, which they bake themselves; therefore, our small gifts brought them a lot of joy.
We were even able to buy one poor family in the local church a yurt (a dwelling made from animal skins) because they have lived in a dormitory all of their lives.
We are getting ready to go to Mongolia again in the summer of 2011 to continue to serve the Mongolian children, as well as Mongolian families living below the poverty line.
Local boys and girls will be able to visit our VBS on a daily basis and hear the Gospel, play fun games, meet new people and get a free hot meal as well as any other help they need.
A long and difficult drive awaits us. We are in need of a vehicle that can survive the rough 2000 km on of-roads. We would be thankful for any donation you could give!
I can’t wait to share with you the blessings that we received from our Lord. This summer, from 5th to 14th of August, we had the opportunity to travel outside our country, to proclaim the Gospel to children in Mongolia.
To accomplish this mission we assembled a team of volunteers from the youths of Baptist Churches of the city of Omsk. Fourteen brothers and sisters expressed their desire to devote themselves for this period to serve the Mongolian people.
The road Omsk - Khovd, 1800 km in length, was not easy. We experienced many surprises, especially on the way from the Russian-Mongolian border to the city of Khovd, where we planned to do this project.
We were pleasantly surprised, that the Mongolian people loved and respected Russians. Their hospitality did not leave anybody indifferent. Even when we went to the poorest of yurts, we always received a cup of Mongolian tea and some food.
When we met with local evangelical believers, many people of the older generation could not hold back their tears. It turns out, they prayerfully dreamed of ever seeing a Russian believer.
Our teams were the “pioneers” of Russian believers in the city of Khovd. We conducted a Vacation Bible School for about 80 Mongolian children. This was the maximum possible number that the local church building would accommodate.
We realized, that even though we did not know the local language and culture, children know the universal language around the world - the “language of love” - and it was easy for us to communicate with them in that language.
During the Vacation Bible School many different characters came to visit the children - clowns, Special Forces agents, as well as angels, to help them to understand the truth of the Gospel.
In the evenings our team visited the yurts of Mongolian believers that had financial difficulties. We came to them with words of encouragement from Russia and with gifts in the form of food.
We concluded each visit with fervent, tearful prayers to our great heavenly Father, Who united us through Christ in one big family. Our team left Mongolia, but a part of our hearts stayed there, therefore, we told our Mongolian friends, “Do svidaniya” , which in the Russian language means - until we meet again.
Anatoliy Nikonov - In charge of the kids ministry