When Reach Beyond established its first radio station in Mongolia in 2000, the Colorado-based ministry could confirm only about 20 Christians in the nation of 3.2 million. Today, there are at least 100,000 believers in the largely Buddhist country, and observers expect that number to grow.
After nearly 70 years of communist influence, Mongolia has not only opened up to democracy but also the gospel. Wayne Pederson, president and CEO of Reach Beyond, a ministry that plants radio stations in unreached regions of the world, says Buddhist and Shaman priests, and whole families have been coming to Christ since the radio station WIND went live.
Secret believers also began coming out of the woodwork after hearing Christian music, Bible teaching and Scripture reading over the radio. "This has been a very oppressed country for many, many years, and for them to have access to Christian music as they do, it has inspired and encouraged Christians to be bold in their faith," Pederson says.
Pederson believes access to Christian radio has directly affected church growth in the nation. "When people are listening to the radio and decide to follow Jesus, they want to find out where other believers are meeting." he says.
Though not directly affiliated with Reach Beyond, the Assemblies of God has seen its membership in Mongolia grow since missionaries began working there in the early 1990s. A large, three-week outreach in the capital city led to more than 400 salvations and several dramatic healings in 1993. Today the Mongolia AG has several thousand members who meet in churches across the country, including rural areas.
In partnership with the Far East Broadcasting Company, Reach Beyond (reachbeyond.org) now has five radio stations operating in Mongolia, and Pederson believes there's potential to plant more this year. "We don't know how long the window will be open," he says. "But we're all about ravenous collaboration, and we're passionate about getting the gospel to those who have never heard the name of Christ."—Adrienne Gaines
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