Ankha is a pastor in Ikh Tamir, Mongolia, but this is not where she expected to end up. After high school, she left her village to go to the city 10 hours away to attend a university for engineering. Influenced by her pastor, she transferred schools and began Bible college where she prepared to be a church planter. Her parents were upset with this decision and fought her. Nevertheless, Ankha persisted.
After completing her four-year degree, she anticipated following her dream to plant churches in unreached villages. Instead, God led her back to her hometown to pastor the church she grew up in—the church where she met Jesus.
This church is the only church in the village. From its steps, Ankha can look out over the hillside dotted with small cinderblock homes and the more traditional gers (yurts). She can see a harvest that is ripe and is painfully aware that the workers are few. The neighboring village is without a church and her heart breaks with the need and opportunity.
Ankha prays for new leaders and eagerly looks for new ways to train them. There is a Bible college in the capital city of Ulaanbataar, but because of its distance from many of the villages, it is impractical for most leaders to move to the city and support their families while attending school. There is also the Quarterly Bible School where the Mongolian Wesleyan pastors and leaders gather at a centralized church location for training provided by visiting professors and missionaries. However, even more opportunities are needed to train and develop church leaders living in these far-off villages.
During the March 2017 Quarterly Bible School, Ankha was interviewed for ordination by Reverends Cory and Jennifer Ellison, who have recently been appointed to serve as Global Partners missionaries in Mongolia.
“I was nervous to come here and learn about Wesleyan theology,” Ankha said. “I was afraid that, after pastoring the church for this long I would learn that I was not actually a Wesleyan and did not fit.” She laughed and said, “But I agree with what you taught. I believe it. I am Wesleyan.”
“We heard from her heart—truly a pastor’s heart,” said the Ellisons. “Ankha deeply loves God, sacrifices daily for her congregation and begs God for more workers because she sees the great opportunities. She knows the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. Her desire is our desire—to see the gospel flourish all over the world. We will continue to work to provide creative, affordable and culturally appropriate ways to partner with God to raise up workers for the harvest.”
On September 16, 2017, Ankha, along with Naraa, another Mongolian pastor, was ordained.
“The Kingdom of Eternal Light Wesleyan Church of Mongolia is passionate about multiplying disciples. We celebrate the ordination of Pastor Naraa and Pastor Ankha,” said Rev. Ben Ward, Asia-Pacific Area Director for Global Partners. “Both of these women are gifted leaders who have devoted their lives to seeing lives transformed and churches reproduced, in one of the last and least reached countries on the planet.”
“It was a profound privilege to travel to Mongolia and meet our Wesleyan sisters and brothers who are totally focused on God’s kingdom by making disciples and planting churches across their country,” said Reverend Anita Eastlack, director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church, who conducted the ordination. “As we brought encouragement to them, we quickly realized they have so much to teach us as we join efforts around the world to reach our generation with the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ.”