Just finished meeting with the team from UNTIL, the ministry here in Mongolia who hosted our tour. Great people, great experiences. And while our week of gigs in South Korea awaits, it’s bittersweet to leave. We’ve seen some great stuff happen here, so here’s the recap.
We and UNTIL partnered with several other ministries while we were here. We did a show with Campus Life, a student ministry. We did a show for people connected to a medical mission which was taped and will be shown on national cable TV. We did a show for a ministry to teachers. We played in a remote prison. We did a gig inside a military base to officers and soldiers.
Aside from concert outreaches, we worked with the guys at UNTIL on another project – they are getting a music and arts ministry off the ground themselves, so we also did some training. Randall, our sound engineer, taught a seminar on live audio engineering, teaching people from several area churches and bands how to better use their sound equipment. I led a seminar teaching them the philosophy of our ministry and how we use our personal stories and our music to build a bridge to share the gospel.
For the 6 shows we were able to perform, we played to over 1800 people. Most of those shows we were able to share about what a relationship with God can look like and how to begin one. The staff here are confident that over 200 people made decisions to begin a new relationship with Christ as a result of our concerts. The numbers aren’t all in from all the shows; it may well be higher than that.
The whole experience has been busy, physically and emotionally draining, and exciting all at once. We’ve had Mongolian Barbecue, once from a BD’s-style restaurant, and once the traditional way cooked over a fire and eaten in a Ger (pronounced ‘gare’ – they are the round houses of the nomadic people). We’ve eaten pretty good pizza and bad imitation American food.
We’ve signed hundreds of autographs and said ‘bayarlalaa’ (‘thank you’ in Mongolian) hundreds of times. And we’ve made many new friends with the folks in ministry here.
And as we travelled to the two remote cities we played in (Erdenet City and Dzuunharaa), we got to see a LOT of the Mongolian countryside, which is beautiful.
All of us have been ill to some extent and haven’t felt like we were operating at 100%, but that has not stopped God. Everyting we have done has had His hand on it, it seems. We’ve been told that training seminars we did really gave the local musicians a strong vision for how they can use their music and stories to reach their fellow Mongolians.
The UNTIL staff have been greatly encouraged by our work and told us that we have given them a greatly expanded vision for how they can build their ministry. They told us that they realized being flexible, light-hearted, and loving each other well were really important things as they launch their ministry – and they learned that by watching us. Wow.
Ryan and Holly were walking to dinner one night and met someone on the street who heard them speaking in English. The girl asked if they could talk to her to help her work on her English, and over the course of the conversation, they connected her to the student ministry here, shared the Gospel with her and led her to Christ. That’s really cool.
There are many more stories and I could go on, but you get the point. We came, we played, we shared, and God moved in people’s lives.
Now, we catch a plane to Seoul to do it over there…