All Shores Wesleyan Church in Spring Lake, Michigan, has been partnering with the national church and missionaries in Mongolia, a country in eastern Asia, for 20 years. There were two Wesleyan churches in Mongolia when the relationship began. Today, there are seven churches with more church plants being planned. Four national leaders are ordained and leading the Church of Eternal Light (the Mongolian national church) ministry.
Multiple short-term trips between the church and the country have been diverse in practice but unifying in the discipleship of going and receiving teams. All Shores disciples have helped with family camps, evangelistic outreach, men’s ministry, anti-human trafficking, business start-ups, construction projects, theological training and participation in the Mongolian national conference and ordination. Support has also been provided by All Shores for each of the missionary families that have been on the field in Mongolia, including two family units serving today.
The goal of a short-term trip is...how everyone grows in relationship...with the global church.
I was privileged to lead a team to Mongolia in 2016 that included staff member, Jennifer Ellison, and her husband, Cory. Both of the Ellisons are ordained pastors in The Wesleyan Church and joined the team to teach theological education for a quarterly Bible school, of which Jennifer taught classes.
After returning to Michigan, the Ellisons felt called to engage at another level and became Global Partners missionaries with All Shores’ encouragement and support. The couple, fully committed to the work there, is in Mongolia learning the language and culture.
A short-term All Shores team traveled to Mongolia in September 2019, visiting churches to encourage and strategize with staff, assisting missionaries with various tasks and praying over the city.
Brian Wyns, an All Shores member, was part of that team. A mechanical engineer, Wyns questioned the impact he might have but felt led to go. While in Mongolia, he discovered that his engineering training was key to replacing electrical units and installing a much-needed stove.
Another team member, All Shores Executive Pastor Steve Rimes, engaged with missionaries, helping raise up leaders and providing young churches with much-needed organizational insights. For All Shores kids' ministry volunteer Dave Woodrum, who has joined other short-term teams, this was his first trip to Mongolia. He feels led to be a part of a greater work around the world and is praying and planning to serve on the field as God leads. As team leader, I represented All Shores in services and assisted with the ordination of two pastors.
Keith Allison, outreach pastor from Victory Highway Church (Painted Post, New York), was also part of the team. Because of Allison’s time with the national pastors and missionaries in Mongolia, he is taking steps to add his church as another North American partner to the work there.
New efforts are underway for the Mongolian Enterprise Fund, a project with Global Partners that helps local churches apply for microloans to move them to a self-sustaining work. Businesswoman Bethany Grossman, who attends All Shores and participated on a team to Mongolia in 2016, serves on the Mongolian Enterprise Fund board and helped develop strategy to create income-generating activities that support local churches.
Individuals from All Shores have used their marketplace talents and spiritual gifts to help our brothers and sisters globally. No matter what you do or who you are, there are ways to serve on the field during short-term trips. For All Shores Wesleyan, the goal of a short-term trip is not what gets done but how everyone grows in relationship and partnership with the global church.
Short-term opportunities are being planned for business professionals to learn from and strategize with the national church, including theological training, English camps, family camps and vision trips.
I have seen an unleashing of a Kingdom Force, locally and globally as a result of the All Shores-Mongolian partnership. The Mongolian church has taken ownership in evangelizing and sacrificing for the gospel. Likewise, All Shores’ members who return from team trips have become more involved and grown more passionate in serving in global and local outreach.
More than 6,000 miles separate Michigan and Mongolia, but this unleashed partnership knows no boundaries.