The first-ever 'Festival of Joy' had thousands of Mongolians hearing the gospel this past weekend, delivered by Franklin Graham.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) was in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, on September 10 and 11. There were 17,300 people in attendance and over 2,000 people made the first time decision to follow Jesus.
"It was thrilling to see hundreds of people of all ages respond to God’s invitation to repent of their sins and put their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Their lives are changed for eternity—and we give God the glory!"
Mongolia has just over 3 million people living in it, with many choosing Buddhism or even recently shamanism as their religion of choice. The country is sandwiched between Russia and China.
"So many people are searching and have an emptiness that they can’t find a way to fill—they don’t even know what they’re searching for. But God loves us and wants a relationship with us. He’s the only one who can fill that void in our lives."
According to The Christian Post, this event was 20 years in the making as many local churches have been praying for a gathering of this size to share the love of Jesus. About 250 churches worked alongside BGEA to help make the outreach a reality.
"It was an exciting 2nd night at the Festival of Joy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia! I told the crowd that what makes Mongolia special is the people, and I have loved being here again."
The Christian band from the U.S.A, The Afters, joined Graham during the event to sing worship with the crowd.
Before the trip, they posted, "On our way to Mongolia! We will be joining the @BGEA for an event in the capital city Ulaanbaatar. Please pray for us as we lead music and for Franklin Graham as he shares the gospel. Praying that many come to Jesus this weekend!"
BGEA along with 400 volunteers also offered provided basic necessities to the crowd.
"I am grateful we have been able to care for so many precious Mongolian children. While physical needs are important, and I want to do everything I can to meet those needs, I believe the greatest needs of the human heart are spiritual," says Graham.
A census taken in 2020 showed that since the end of communist rule in the 90s, roughly 40,000 people in Mongolia converted to Christian denominations. This makes up roughly two per cent of the population.
"It was thrilling to see hundreds of people of all ages respond to God's invitation to repent of their sins and put their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Our deep gratitude to the churches, the pastors, the general committee, the executive leadership, and all of the many volunteers who have prayed and helped make this evangelistic Crusade possible."