Mongolia District held its 6th annual Holiness Gathering on 3-7 August 2023 at the Suut Resort, Bayanchandmani, Mongolia. More than 300 people from the eight local churches participated in the 4-day event. More than half of the participants are children and youth.
The Holiness Gathering is a special time that the Nazarenes in Mongolia look forward to every year. The first Holiness gathering in 2018 was only attended by 28 people. And in the span of 5-6 years, the Nazarene church in Mongolia continues to grow and multiply. Currently, the Church of the Nazarene has 107 members and 29 district-licensed ministers. There are also 56 various small groups meeting for discipleship and equipping every week.
The camp meeting was a time for church members to build relationships, connect with other believers, encourage one another, hear testimonies from the Mongolian leaders on what God is doing in their local ministries, learn from the various workshops, and most especially, worship together as one family.
The activities were divided according to the age group. Maximum Missions Team presented workshops to youths and adults. Maximum Missions Team is a group of young people from around the Asia-Pacific Region who desire to serve cross-culturally. The workshop topics were: What does it mean to be a Christlike disciple; Simple evangelistic tools (What is in your hands?); Spiritual Disciplines, and How to lead a small group. The team also helped with the children’s program and activities.
Worship services were also held daily in the morning and evening. During the worship time, local churches participated in leading the music, sharing testimonies, and special presentations through traditional song and dance. Rev. Paul Bold, a Mongolian pastor living in the United States, gave the message every morning via Zoom. In the evening, the East Asia Field Strategy Coordinator and Asia-Pacific Regional New Initiatives Coordinator shared the Word of God. The participants were challenged to live a life that is Christlike, focused on loving and serving others.
“I want to be a good person. I challenged myself to live in this principle every day. Before attending the Holiness Gathering, I always thought Christianity was a religion that was very confusing to understand. That is why, I do not accept when people talk to me about God. But in Holiness Gathering all the teaching was so simple to understand and is helping me to live in the way. I also understood that God can help me to live the right way. And that God is always there for me even when I do not recognize him. He loves me and is teaching and guiding me every day in the right way. I am so grateful and happy to find him and his purpose in my life. – Bayantug (HG participant)
“At first I could not accept the term “Holiness Gathering” because when translated into Mongolian it means “a gathering of holy people,” I thought that no one is holy. After I had attended 2 or 3 HG meetings, listened to the preaching, and had fellowship with other congregation members, I realized and understood that even if we are sinners, God always loves us, and He cares for us and we are very precious to him. All of us does not deserve to be called to holy people but He calls us to live sanctified life through His grace upon us. Therefore we cannot judge other people and even myself. I felt the peace to accept myself and others for who I am and who they are. I am grateful that we are all loved by God equally, just like the rays of the sun.”- lziitogtokh Erdenet (Local church leader)
The Holiness Gathering culminated with the baptism of 22 people and a celebration of the Holy Communion.