Seven. That’s the number of years since God inspired a new work in Mongolia. Seven. That’s how many churches now grow here like trees beside streams of water. In this arid, windy country, trees are precious few. Seven fertile ones can make a difference. Over America’s Thanksgiving weekend, Seven Mongolian churches gathered in thanks to God – For Seven years of abundant life and blessings to come in eternal worship.
They gathered at the first church planted by the Alliance in Mongolia’s second city, Darhan – about a three hour drive from the Capital. People from churches in Ulaanbaatar and other towns came by train, which doubles travel time. Many began arriving Friday night. Some spent all Saturday preparing food for the big feast Sunday November 27th.
The building pumped with energy well before its scheduled 10 am start. Kids dressed for a creative drama darted up and down halls, in and out of rooms full of people. A few young people were putting shoe polish on their faces to complete their costumes. Later, they depicted spirits of darkness in a drama of conflicting kingdoms. It resonated through the crowd with cheers for the victorious outcome of the spiritual struggle.
Energetic singing and dancing filled the room and fogged the windows – which had to be opened. Even the icy outside air could not cool the lively room. Every chair filled to capacity, people crammed in the aisles and sat on the floor. Each church was introduced and stood to cheers from the crowd. Then someone said “KAMA”. The Missionaries took their turn, stood and were also heartily applauded.
Field Director for the Alliance (known here as KAMA) Dennis Maves delivered the central message. He preached the gospel and emphasized making disciples. Afterward, visitors were introduced. More than 400 hundred people stretched out their hands and serenaded the chorus, “We love you, we’re so glad you’re here, God loves you.”
The party is just getting started. Another church group has taken the platform. Bouncy dance music turns heads from the foyer. Up front about 10 people perform their choreographed routine. The mood of the room gets even lighter. Now up the stairs and into the packed room come platters of food. The servers squeeze up and down the aisles giving each person a meal of celebration food: roasted sheep, goat or beef, and salad.
In a celebration of food and pilgrimage in Mongolia on a Sunday in late November –
God’s people gathered to give thanks and worship. These churches will worship the Lamb Who Was Slain at the greatest Thanksgiving of all – around His throne for eternity. In Mongolia, Christ is gathering for his glory worshippers to fulfill that final celebration.
Seven years ago, God inspired the planting of a church in Mongolia. In seven more years how many Mongolian churches will give thanks in happy worship, on earth or in heaven?