Mongolia Adventists Gain Visibility Thanks to Health Fair
Thousands visit and enjoy an event that raises the profile of the Adventist Church in the country.
Seventy-four short-term missionaries arrived at Chinggis Khaan International Airport near Ulaanbaatar on July 30, 2019, to help share the gospel in Mongolia. Their passion for ministry deeply touched my heart. Their arrival also marked the beginning of Ulaanbaatar Health Expo 2019.
The first Health Expo was held in 2016, so we as organizers from the Mongolia Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church were delighted to host our second Health Expo this year. This time, we rented Ulaanbaatar’s Crocus Exhibition Hall for four days. With 19 booths, there was a variety of wonderful exhibits, including cooking, fruit carving, oriental medicine, foot massage, and others.
We were able to invite Yoo Rim Kwak’s Nanta (non-verbal performance) team and Sung Beom Lee’s professional hairstylist team to perform on the stage every day, which, according to many of the guests, was a delight to behold. We were also honored to have friends from the Presbyterian Church, Pastor Myung Hae Yoo and her husband. Yoo performed beautiful Korean traditional dances, touching the hearts of those who had the privilege of watching.
Professional activities and services from the 19 booths attracted an average of 500 participants every day. Many of them were repeat visitors because they weren’t able to visit all of the booths in one day.
One of the 19 booths was a Korean culture booth, set up to share about Korea with our Mongolian guests. The guests had the opportunity to dress up in hanboks (traditional Korean outfits) and take pictures. I found it exciting to see how much people enjoyed themselves.
The Mongolian government sent a medical doctor and nurse to help with the Mongolia booth, and the Mongolia Mission provided a dentist and dental hygienists for free physical and dental exams. As you can imagine, it was a very popular booth.
Another booth was an exhibit of Korean food. It was so popular that as soon as food samples were made, they disappeared in seconds.
The hairstylist booth charged 2,000 tugriks (about US$0.75) per guest, donating all proceeds to support the Mongolia Mission. The foot massage booth was also very popular, so much so that our masseurs and masseuses were physically exhausted by 4:00 p.m. each day. The oriental medicine booth also had a lot of guests, as many people came to have their facial moles removed for free. Our volunteers at the registration desk worked diligently to register about 750 guests who desired to do so and connect each one of them with local Adventist churches.
We are a new denomination in Mongolia. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in that country was organized only in 1997. According to 2018 official statistics, there are six Adventist churches and more than 2,700 baptized church members in Mongolia. It is the reason events such as the Health Expo help the Adventist Church to gain visibility.
I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the leaders, organizers, and booth volunteers for their dedication and hard work in making Ulaanbaatar Health Expo 2019 a success.
I hope and pray that in three years, we will be able to host yet another successful Health Expo here in Mongolia so that we can continue to share the message of God’s love.
The original version of this commentary was posted on the Northern Asia-Pacific Division news site.