Hey family, friends, supporters, prayer-warriors, and all the others faithfully following our team.
Last night marked one month since we stepped off the plane in Chinggis Khaan Airport, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It has been an adventure beyond what any of us imagined so last night we took the opportunity to recap on some of our favorite moments.
In the midst of this adventure our initial torrent of blog posts has turned into a trickle. While it is too late to catch all that has happened, all that God has done in the last several weeks, some of the stories from tonight presented themselves as perfect opportunities to fill you in on some of the details.
Highlight: Meeting with the King
As you may have heard, our friend and leader Ben Moss was seriously injured last Wednesday while playing basketball with a bunch of our friends here. His kneecap was visibly torqued and hanging to the right of where a proper kneecap resides. After being rushed to a hospital and prayed over Ben was left alone in the room. As soon as the nurses and friends bustled out Ben felt the presence of the Lord enter the room.
Jesus walked into the room, stood next to him and Ben heard the words “Benjamin, I love you.” As soon as Ben heard it he felt a click and his kneecap popped back into place!
There is still a lot of healing to go, some of the cartilage that holds Ben’s kneecap in place is torn. So keep praying, but rejoice that God protects and heals His children!
HIghlight: The Arts Meet Justice
Brandon Appearing on National Television!
Brandon is known for his intrepid style of interpersonal communication with strangers, as well as the favor it brings him in connections, however, the favor he has been receiving in connections with influential Mongolians in the arts (specifically music [coincidentally Brandon’s area of focus]) is nothing short of Divine (no joke).
Last Thursday Brandon had a chance to meet with Gee, one of the most popular rappers in Mongolia. While they have not gotten together yet since, Brandon already mentioned the problem of human trafficking. Gee’s response was explicitly and passionately against.
Yesterday Brandon met with a member of one of Mongolia’s first Metal Bands (not a believer) who now runs one of the largest music festivals in Mongolia. While he does not seem particularly interested in Jesus yet, he is definitely interested in the problem of human sex trafficking in Mongolia. Brandon, Ryan Thomas, and Thomas Wilson are planning to meet with him to work on a song to raise awareness for the issue and have also brought up the possibility of starting a festival in Mongolia devoted to stopping human trafficking.
We are bringing a team from America soon to start a branch of Antioch’s anti-human trafficking organization, Unbound. Seeing even unbelievers beginning to rise up against the injustice and the ground for their work being laid before they even arrive brings incredible hope to our team and the few believers here fighting against human trafficking.
Highlight: Seeing Aagi’s life multiplied into others.
Aagi is a Mongolian girl who was befriended by a member of the San Diego team. A week after they left she was at an english conversation group led by Daniel Wallace. Sitting with her in the somewhat dingy Indra Restaurant, Kaitlin Daugherty shared the gospel with her from start to finish. Kaitlin told Aagi how Jesus had chosen her, but also how Aagi had to choose Jesus back if she wanted to have Him in her heart. Aagi explained the entire gospel back to Kaitlin, then said yes-she wanted Jesus in her heart!
Not only did Aagi give her life to Jesus, but she immediately began to share with her family. The next day her sister gave her life to Christ also. Then, at our concert last Thursday at New York New York Pub and Restaurant, she was constantly going up to strangers there to strike up conversation and tell them about Jesus. This sunday she is bringing a friend who does not know about Jesus to church!
Seeing Aagi’s passion to tell others about her savior Jesus is exactly what we have been hoping and praying for-Mongolian young people being raised up to disciple and lead Mongolian young people in establishing a church for the nations!!!
Jeff James, Thomas Wilson, Elijah Maletz, & Brandon Seibert
Highlight: Dulguun meets the Holy Spirit
Hands opened to receive Christ into his heart.
Really the entire team should be listed in this testimony because everyone played a part. This guy was a miracle. Elijah saw him with his friends on the street and felt like he was supposed to ask them where a store was. When he talked to them, Dulguun spoke great english and immediately asked Elijah if they could hang out. Eli didn’t even have his number, but Dulguun called him and wanted to come to our apartment. The next evening when he came over, our team just happened to be in the middle of an intense prayer and worship session. We were, in the truest sense of the phrase, going for it.
Dulguun stood there with Elijah, a little wide-eyed and confused, but really intrigued. Elijah explained what we were doing, and invited him to go to another room to talk, but Dulguun stopped him, “I feel something…so much peace in here. I want to stay here.” Then he got out a video camera and started videoing us.
After our team finished worshiping, they left for a night outreach, leaving Thomas, Elijah, Brandon and Jeff for a band practice. But we never practiced.
Dulguun was showing us youtube videos of Mongolian rappers, and so we showed him a couple of Jesus-loving hip hop artists’ videos. Dulguun was intrigued because he felt something different from them. Then he stopped talking. He almost seemed frustrated.
“I don’t understand! Why do I feel this? Only one hour ago, I was outside, coming here, and I felt so…overwhelmed, and so many things on my mind, and so stressed, and just…I don’t know. But then I come here, and I feel so…at peace, and good! Why? Why do I feel this right now? I don’t understand!”
We told him plainly that the Holy Spirit is with us, and in us, and around us. Our house is filled with God’s presence and peace. It’s Jesus! Dulguun was amazed, and said he felt like he was at home, even though he was in an unfamiliar place. He wanted to know more about why he felt this way. This is when Brandon showed him the World Mandate 2012 dance video.
By the end of the video, Dulguun had a blank expression of awe on his face. As soon as the video stopped, he slowly turned to Brandon and, without saying anything, shook his hand. He was awestruck by the presence of God and didn’t know what to say.
While Dulguun was still in awe, we explained the gospel. Brandon showed him the gospel using a Mongolian bible. Dulguun read each verse out loud, understanding the truth more and more. Then we told him the reason Jesus came- because he loves us. Brandon looked Dulguun straight in the eyes and told him, “Dulguun, God loves you. Jesus loves you.” Dulguun sat silent for a moment, and then said, as if to himself, “I think…for the first time in my life, someone actually loves me.”
We told him more about the love of God- so much that Dolguun became overwhelmed. “There’s just one thing I cannot understand,” he said. “Why? Why does He love me? Why would he love me?”
Thomas told him he had been following Jesus a while and still did not understand. Only a perfect, holy God, could love people who are so broken. Dolguun told us that although he doesn’t quite get it, he can tell that it’s right. He could feel it to be true. He felt like it was too good to be true though, and said he thought he was dreaming.
Brandon asked him if he wanted to commit his life to Jesus, and thoroughly explained the weight of the decision. Dolguun understood that everything in his life would change. And he was hesitant to commit his life to Jesus. “This is so crazy,” he said. “I’ve been here for two hours, and everything has changed. I am not sure…but still, I want to trust this feeling.”
We told him to trust the truth. Feelings come and go, but the truth remains constant. Dolguun finally made his decision. “I want to follow Jesus.”
He prayed in Mongolian and accepted Jesus as his savior, and then we told him about the Holy Spirit. After laying hands on him and praying for him to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we also helped him hear the voice of God. He was blown away that he could have such a close relationship with God, to be able to hear his voice and be with him constantly. He kept smiling and looking around with wide-eyed wonder.
Since that day, he has begun sharing the gospel with friends and family. He hangs out with us, Elijah reads the bible with him and teaches him how to follow Jesus, and he still has the wonder of a child.
[The testimony of Dulguun was first posted on Thomas’ blog, http://thomasjameswilson.com/2013/06/19/four/ and reposted with his permission]
As you can see, there have been incredible things happening here in Mongolia. God is on the move and where His presence is there is freedom. Praise the Lord we are blessed to be chosen as part of this adventure, and thanks to all of you for supporting, praying, and believing in all of us. We love you and hope you having great summers!
ACM Mongolia Team!