From the vast plains of the Central Asian steppes, legendary leader Genghis Khan launched an ancient conquest that became the largest kingdom the world has ever known. Throughout their long history, Mongolian nomadic horsemen either waged war or faithfully followed their flocks through the harshest climates and most rugged terrain. Now after ages of obscurity, the Lord of the harvest is beginning to call out a spiritual army from among these brave-hearted, warrior – shepherds who have a burning passion to reach the lost in hard places. In the midst of this end times movement and strategic area Mongolian Missions is building an uttermost outpost; a training ground for specialized missionaries who in these last days, can take the gospel to the most challenging and distant parts of the globe.
The Mongolian Missions Team’s primary desire and calling is to preach the gospel, disciple believers, and see God build indigenous churches that are self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating. During their first term, the Cofers were able to plant the first congregation in the north central town of Khatgal. A small band of Mongolian men, women, and children are responding to the truth, getting rid of their idols to serve the true and living God. Folks have believed, been baptized, and are reaching out to others in their community. The Khatgal Baptist Church purchased property from the tithes and offerings of the poor, but faithful members and worked together to build their own place of worship. Mickey and Trina and their partners continue to disciple and prepare these growing believers to evangelize, disciple and send out Christian workers throughout the region and beyond. It is their desire to see this young congregation become a strong base and sending unit from which other local churches can be planted.
Reaching a nation can only be accomplished through training national leaders. While the team works with folks in their local area, they are also preparing a campus for the country as a whole. Despite its remote location, Khatgal is strategically positioned at the southern tip of Lake Khuvsgul National Park. This pristine lakeside mountain region, considered the blue pearl of Mongolia, is the country’s most visited tourist destination for both foreign and domestic travelers. Recognizing the potential of this excellent resource, Mongolian Missions is developing The Brave Hearted Youth Summer Camp Ministry and Vessels of Honor Leadership Training Institute. By reaching youth, preparing national pastors, and equipping specialized missionaries, they hope to plant churches throughout this uniquely challenging field and to help advance the cause of Christ in the most unreached places of the world.
With the gifts of supporting churches and individuals, they purchased an abandoned factory complex to renovate into a leadership training facility. Built in 1933 on 12 acres of lakefront property, the old wool processing mill and adjoining community center served as the main place of employment and town gatherings during the seventy-year Communist rule. After the fall of the Soviet Union, destitute citizens stripped these buildings and left them to ruin. Now tourism is reviving this lakeside town and the government is looking for ways to rebuild. By God’s grace and the help of his people, the ministry team is working to restore this historic site for God’s glory and the advancement of His kingdom.
Having been personally involved in gospel printing, the Cofers believe that Scripture publishing is at the core of worldwide missions and one of the most effective means to spread God’s Word beyond borders. Partnering with Dr. Charles Keen of firstBible International, Mongolian Missions was able to establish firstBible Mongolia at the north central region of the 10/40 window. The Mongolian Prime Minister personally granted them permission to set up the first Bible printing ministry within this restricted country. Such unprecedented authorization is not only significant for Mongolia, but has huge possibilities for neighboring nations. The staff is praying and working with others to not only saturate Mongolia, but one-day reach into the surrounding Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Atheist countries. They recently completed the translation of the Greek New Testament into the Mongolian language, Bible Visuals International Sunday school Curriculum and Good Soil’s Evangelism and Discipleship courses. New Tribes Firm Foundations, NGJ’s History of Good and Evil, various tracts and other ministry helps are printed and being distributed throughout the country. Equipping leaders and providing them with essential church planting tools to evangelize and disciple their own people is the goal of firstBible Mongolia.
Effective outreach begins with and maintains good works that glorify God and build cross cultural relationships in the communities in which we are called. Mongolia, like most of the unreached people groups, is still considered a restricted access country. Though the doors are gradually opening, long term visas are not readily available or easily maintained. Yet, as successful “tent-making” missionaries, Mickey and Trina are convinced that political obstacles to the Great Commission should not discourage, but rather energize the church to become more creative in her approach to ministry and more willing to serve people in tangible ways.
In September 2003, Mickey Cofer and his wife Trina were able to obtain resident visas based on their education and professional experience in the arts. Their particular village is full of craftsmen who struggle to put the next meal on their table trying to sell handcrafts to foreign tourists. The Cofers college education, personal apprenticeships and fifteen years as professional artists enabled them to reach out to poverty stricken artisans. They set up a nonprofit organization called Local Craftsmen, NGO where individuals can receive training in quality craftsmanship and effective marketing. The fruit of this kind of outreach is seen in the relationships built among the people, the favor obtained from civil government and the natural avenues created to communicate Christ.
Local Craftsmen, NGO was also established to provide job skills for Mongolian church planting missionaries. History testifies to the fact that the modern day missions’ movement began with a dedicated band of godly tradesmen, potters, carpenters, and masons who had the call of God upon their lives to enter more primitive fields and naturally integrate into those societies as bi-vocational missionaries. Combining skilled trades with biblical studies at the future Vessels of Honor Leadership Training Institute is the launching ground on which Mongolian Missions hopes to target the most challenging and distant parts of the globe.
The old factory complex is situated on twelve acres of beautiful lakeside property broken up into three sections for different, but coordinated focuses. The front building is allocated for the Vessels of Honor Leadership Training Institute, equipped with dorms, staff apartments, classrooms, offices, and print shop. The second section is designated for the Local Craftsmen Skilled Trades Center, workshops, warehouse and gallery. The waterfront area is closer to completion and already operating as the Brave Hearted Youth Summer Camp consisting of the multipurpose sports facility, chapel, cafeteria and playing fields.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”