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Opening of Youth Training Center in Mongolia
April 24, 2017

As if reflecting the national median age of 27.9 years, the average age of Mongolian Adventists is in their twenties. There was not a single Adventist in Mongolia until a couple of lay missionaries arrived in 1992. When there were two young women prepared for baptism, Pastor Robert Folkenberg, then president of the General Conference (GC), was so impressed, he flew to Mongolia to baptize them in 1993. Since then, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mongolia has been greatly blessed and currently has more than 2,200 members.

As a church that consists of youth members, the biggest challenge is training youth members for the future. When Mongolia Mission (MM) was asked what kind of project they were interested in if they were given the 13th Sabbath Offering, they began to dream of building a Youth Training Center with a camp site. The Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) recommended this project as one of the 13th Sabbath Offering projects in 2012.

While the MM was looking for land for the future Youth Training Center, the GC Adventist Mission Offices and the NSD were busy promoting the project. Church members around the world prayed and gave generous offerings for the project on the 13th Sabbath of the first quarter of 2012.

The first land the MM contracted for purchase was in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, which is approximately 66 kilometers away from the Ulaanbaatar city center. Although it appeared to be the best location from human perspective, God had prepared a better place for His people. The new land they found is only 45 kilometers away, more than 20 kilometers closer to the Mongolian Mission office than the first location that they had prayed for a couple of years. It is located only two kilometers from the highway and the highway in the near future will be developed as the main highway of the country, which will connect Russia and China, crossing Mongolia for transportation, pipeline for gas and oil, and electricity.

As we were looking for the land, God also prepared enough resources. God moved a lay member in Korea, Mrs. Kim HyoSoon, to donate her apartment so that Mongolian Mission could purchase the land. At the right time for construction, the 13th Sabbath Offering was given. Three divisions, the North and South American divisions and the NSD, supported the project financially. Dr. Im BongSoon, music professor of Sahmyook University in Korea, organized a special concert with the Zion Choir to raise funds.

The project started with former MM president Pastor Paul Kotanko, who was from Australia, and his successor Pastor Elbert Kuhn from Brazil, who raised much funds and started construction. Finally Pastor Kim YoHan, current MM president and former director of the 1000 Missionary Movement (1000MM), who constructed most of the buildings for the 1000MM Campus in the Philippines, finished the construction of the Youth Training Center.

The Youth Training Center has a gym, many seminar rooms, a large dining room which can accommodate 200 individuals, guestrooms, and a two-story building with 32 small personal prayer rooms. Pastor Hong GwangEui, director of the NSD Leadership Training Center, raised the funds to build the annex prayer building.

Pastor Bold Batsukh, the first ordained Mongolian minister and current MM secretary, prayed for wisdom on how to maximize the use of the offerings from many of our faithful members of the world church. God gave him an idea of using containers for the walls and pillars of the gym and for the annex prayer-room building. The use of 21 forty-foot containers saved a good amount of construction cost.

Eventually the construction was over, and the Mission celebrated the opening ceremony on March 22, 2017. NSD president Jairyong Lee and 140 lay leaders, local pastors, and guests from the division gathered together to celebrate the goodness of the Lord who made the dream of Mongolian Adventists come true.

After the opening ceremony of the Youth Training Center, a five-day lay congress followed immediately. The Youth Training Center will serve the church for camp meeting in the summer, the training of Global Mission Pioneers, and many other training and church events.

Article by Kwon JohngHaeng, Stewardship Ministries Director