Adventist Frontier Missions

Piercing The Darkness

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: AFM

Program Code: AFM000007

00:12 Hi, I'm Clyde Morgan.
00:14 What does it take to enter a closed country with
00:16 the Good News of Jesus Christ?
00:18 And what results might you
00:20 anticipate from such an effort?
00:23 What you are about to see is
00:24 the incredible account of a young couple who
00:26 did just that.
00:28 They entered a closed country
00:30 more than twice the size of Texas -
00:31 this country of Mongolia.
00:33 At first they didn't speak the language
00:35 and they knew no one.
00:37 Here is a story that truly only God could write.
00:48 This expansive country has always been known as
00:51 wild and untamed.
00:56 Early in the 13th Century Ghengis Khan led Mongolians on
01:00 conquests that resulted in the largest empire the world
01:03 has ever known.
01:05 The great khans ruled from Korea to Poland.
01:10 They governed this vast empire until they were conquered by
01:13 the Chinese in the 17th Century.
01:16 Mongolia remained under Chinese control until 1911
01:20 when the last Chinese Dynasty fell.
01:23 At that time, outer Mongolia became independent of China.
01:29 In 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic
01:33 a revolutionary and communist state was formed.
01:38 Tibetan Buddhism has long been Mongolia's principle religion.
01:43 However, in the 20 years following the Soviet Union
01:46 takeover, Communist persecution slashed the ranks of Buddhist
01:49 clergy from 150,000 to only 200.
01:56 Christianity was also prohibited. In fact,
02:00 in 1990, records indicate there were fewer than 10 known
02:04 Christian believers in Mongolia.
02:09 In July of 1990, something dramatic happened.
02:13 Protests and riots led to the first free elections
02:16 in Mongolian history.
02:18 With a new government in place, the doors that had been closed
02:21 for so long began to open.
02:37 It's been years since I stepped off the train in Mongolia,
02:41 but I remember it all.
02:50 I was 24 years old when I first met Brad Jolly.
02:53 God, in His perfect timing, had Brad's first quarter at
02:56 Andrews University be my last quarter there.
02:59 He made it very clear that if the relationship was to continue
03:04 I had to be willing to be a frontier missionary.
03:07 Little did I know of the adventure God
03:08 had in store for me.
03:14 We were married in 1989
03:16 and we were still living at Andrews University as
03:18 Brad wasn't finished with the seminary.
03:21 But yet, he was concerned that I wasn't enthusiastic
03:24 about missions.
03:25 Well I tried to explain it's hard to be enthusiastic
03:27 about something that's nebulous. So I tried to corner him.
03:30 "Now, where would you like to go?"
03:33 He'd had a good experience as a student missionary
03:36 for two years in Japan, so he thought, "Well, Asia. "
03:39 And so I said, "Ok, Asia's really big! Where in Asia?"
03:44 So finally he thought,
03:46 "Well, there's a lot of need in China. "
03:48 We got Chinese language tapes and we would listen to those
03:51 at supper time.
03:52 At that time, Albania was a closed country,
03:57 North Korea, and Mongolia.
03:59 And I knew that being a United States citizen
04:02 there was no way we could go to North Korea
04:05 and Albania wasn't part of Asia,
04:08 but Mongolia is really close to China.
04:11 And so I said, "Well why don't we go to Mongolia?"
04:14 And he looks at me with that kind of smirky smile
04:16 on his face, "But we can't go there; it's restricted. "
04:22 I kept talking about Mongolia.
04:25 One day the Holy Spirit convicted me
04:28 that I needed to be quiet.
04:31 The deep impression I got from the Holy Spirit was that
04:33 if I were to continue pushing, Brad would turn and look at me
04:37 and say, "Look at this God-forsaken country
04:39 you have brought me to. "
04:42 And so, I decided I wouldn't
04:45 mention Mongolia again.
04:48 That evening when Brad came home
04:52 he had checked out every book the library had on Mongolia
04:55 and brought it home with him.
04:58 And from that time on, it was
05:02 a project we worked on together.
05:04 Brad and Cathie earnestly began researching Mongolia.
05:09 They decided to team up with Adventist Frontier Missions
05:12 and began seeking a way into this closed country.
05:15 Finally they found a German missionary
05:17 who was willing to get Mongolian visas for them
05:20 if they would teach English with him.
05:22 Brad and Cathie wrote a letter
05:24 and mailed it to their wedding list
05:25 asking for support.
05:30 The day that we put it in the mail box
05:33 that evening he called and said
05:35 the whole thing was cancelled.
05:38 Most people would think,
05:40 "Ok, that means the doors closed we're not supposed to go. "
05:43 But for us, it was a sign that God waited
05:45 till we mailed the letters.
05:47 Because God still had a plan
05:49 and a way for us to go there.
05:53 Months passed.
05:55 Brad and Cathie and the rest of
05:56 the Adventist Frontier Missions staff prayed and continued to
05:59 trust that God had a way
06:01 for them to get into Mongolia.
06:05 While they waited,
06:06 Brad graduated from the Adventist Seminary
06:08 and they were introduced to a man in the
06:10 Mongolian Embassy in Japan.
06:12 Believing he could provide them with visas,
06:14 Brad and Cathie packed their belongings and boarded a plane
06:18 bound for Japan.
06:20 When they arrived in Tokyo, they visited their contact
06:23 at the Mongolian Embassy.
06:25 To their dismay, Brad and Cathie discovered he had no authority
06:28 to issue visas.
06:30 For the next several days, they called and visited the embassy
06:33 trusting that God would open another door.
06:36 A few days later, their embassy contact
06:39 phoned them and told them to meet with a Mongolian professor
06:42 working in Tokyo.
06:44 Perhaps the professor could help them get visas.
06:47 So we went there and knocked on the door.
06:50 And it's only his wife and his grandson there,
06:53 and they don't speak English very well,
06:56 neither did they know Japanese.
06:58 And so we understood he wouldn't be home till
07:02 you know, much later. More like 8 or 9 o'clock.
07:06 So we didn't want to just
07:08 continue being uncomfortable waiting in the house
07:11 so we said we would return.
07:13 Meanwhile we went and found a little coffee shop and
07:16 ordered some hot chocolate.
07:17 And when the time came and we returned and
07:21 very friendly professor.
07:24 He called the university and made arrangements and
07:27 we would have a visa and
07:29 if nothing happened within a few days, give him a call back
07:31 and he would call again.
07:34 God got us a visa.
07:38 It's quite a long train ride from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar.
07:43 As soon as it was light and we knew we were in Mongolia,
07:49 we had our noses pressed to the window
07:50 trying to see what our new home was going to look like.
07:54 It's pretty barren and desolate.
07:56 The people didn't smile when we would stop at little
08:01 villages along the way.
08:04 And they talked in a language
08:07 we could not understand at all.
08:10 God worked it all out.
08:11 There were no Seventh Day Adventists here to meet us,
08:13 to show us around, or anything.
08:16 So God arranged for the professor's son to do that.
08:20 The first place we lived in was the foreign student dormitory.
08:23 I think it was 4 stories, and we were on the top floor,
08:27 last room, and because we were two paying students, we got
08:30 two rooms which were connected with an entry way that had
08:34 a toilet off the side.
08:36 It was very bleak looking.
08:39 There was a communal kitchen.
08:43 And a communal shower.
08:45 At that time, there was not only shortages of food,
08:49 but the electricity and the water was very unstable.
08:54 It was so cold in our apartment
08:58 the window was lined with ice.
09:00 Probably at least an inch thick.
09:03 We were Mongolian language students at their university.
09:06 And the very first class, the teacher writes on the board
09:11 the whole alphabet and tells us the sound of them
09:15 It's all in printing. She erases the board, and from then on
09:18 she's writing in cursive.
09:21 And see, we're painstakingly trying to copy these letters
09:25 and we get back to our room and we're trying to
09:26 figure out now in cursive,
09:28 what letter is this in print?
09:30 And I can look back at our old notebooks and
09:32 underneath all the cursive is our painstaking trying to print
09:36 these letters underneath so we could then
09:37 try to say them.
09:40 Shopping was very difficult at that time.
09:44 There was potatoes when they came
09:46 There were little tiny green tomatoes
09:49 for a little bit,
09:52 cabbage, onions, turnips.
09:58 Everyone had a ration card at that time and
10:01 there were certain items that were on there
10:07 alcohol, flour, rice, and a lot of other items
10:12 that we never saw.
10:15 But you could only go and get your rations at
10:20 a certain assigned store.
10:22 And if you didn't get there
10:23 when they had your rations for the month, then
10:26 you just kind of went without.
10:27 But even the rations supply was not enough to carry a family
10:31 through a whole month.
10:33 We were blessed that our salary was $40 a month
10:36 and we could go to the dollar store
10:39 and buy, you know, white flour, white rice, oil, you know,
10:43 some of the basic staples.
10:46 And we had brought some beans with us.
10:47 We had a supply of that... so beans and potatoes.
10:53 Through that whole time we never went hungry.
10:56 God provided for us every day.
11:01 Living in the foreign student dormitory, we had a guard
11:05 at the door before you could go up to any of the rooms and
11:09 Mongolians were not allowed in.
11:11 There was one Mongolian couple that lived just beyond his
11:14 little desk, and I don't know all the details as why they were
11:19 there, but because they were past his desk, they could get to
11:22 know the rest of the foreigners.
11:24 We became friends with them and they became our tutors
11:28 and they even had a dictionary.
11:31 His name was Biasihen and her name was Ghierle.
11:36 They were a really neat couple.
11:39 Eventually the guy in charge of the dormitory decided
11:43 they needed to be kicked out. Well, we had two rooms
11:46 and we were only living in one of them.
11:49 So we said, "Well you come on up and you can tutor us more
11:52 and live in our extra room. "
11:54 And so that's what we did.
11:58 And it was a lot of fun because they had friends
12:03 and relatives they could introduce us to.
12:07 He was very curious about the black book we would read out of.
12:11 So we would we would share a little bit and Christmas came
12:14 and we put up a few decorations so when they asked questions,
12:18 we could explain about Jesus' birth.
12:25 We were unprepared to be able to share much spiritually and
12:30 really close to the university was a Mongolian Christian church
12:34 The Christians at this time were all trying to make it
12:38 a large interdenominational type thing, all the missionaries
12:42 working together.
12:44 So we went there, we found there was a New Testament that was
12:48 translated and we thought, "Great!
12:50 We have another tool to help us learn the language. "
12:53 And so we're trying to look at this New Testament and
12:57 our English Bible and they don't match.
13:03 It was very loosely translated and in such a way
13:09 as we found as time went on, we could not teach any of our
13:13 beliefs from this New Testament.
13:16 Meanwhile we were frustrated living in the student dormitory
13:19 because there was no way to invite people to
13:22 come to our home.
13:23 So we looked for another place. There was a Hope Center
13:28 and it was a home where they took runaway children and
13:31 street children and fed them and clothed them and also had a
13:35 little school for them.
13:38 We found another kind of two rooms with the same kind
13:42 of setup as the first place.
13:44 One room for us, one for the couple that was living with us.
13:48 Then there was this little tiny room that
13:52 seemed smaller than a love seat.
13:55 That was our little kitchen.
13:58 There was no stove, so we got a little plug-in burner.
14:02 We would squat and cook there.
14:11 The couple, especially Biasihen, was sharing with
14:16 his classmates other college friends about the Lord.
14:21 So soon there was a group who could teach them how to have
14:25 a relationship with Jesus.
14:26 So they started coming over and meeting in our room
14:30 till soon, it was very full.
14:34 By May, the group was desperate to learn more.
14:39 It was soon going to be summer vacation, they were going to
14:41 be going home and they wanted to learn all they could so
14:44 they could share with their family and friends
14:45 out in the countryside.
14:47 So it wasn't just once or twice a week.
14:50 It was now starting to be almost every day.
15:01 At this time, we still didn't have the language skills
15:03 to be able to teach.
15:05 Brad was teaching Steps to Christ in a very
15:09 easy way and Biasihen was translating.
15:13 Many of the other Christians started being jealous
15:18 and wanting to pull him to be a part of their group.
15:22 So they started telling him that Seventh Day Adventists weren't
15:25 real Christians and pointing out different
15:30 problem verses, and we weren't following the Bible and
15:33 all kinds of problems.
15:35 Well, he hasn't even read the Bible most likely, and he wasn't
15:39 in a situation where he could respond or even know how to
15:42 study to find out for himself.
15:44 But being a verbal person, anything, doubts or
15:48 these questions he would get from the other Christians,
15:52 he would blab that right out to the group
15:54 until soon there was just confusion in the group.
15:59 And at this time we were also expecting our first child.
16:03 And we were excited about this.
16:05 And we also had our first visit from Milton and Helen Lee.
16:11 They had been long time missionaries in China.
16:14 And it was just wonderful to have some Seventh Day Adventist
16:18 experienced missionaries. I think we talked their ears off.
16:24 The day they left was Friday
16:28 and we again had a group in our home.
16:31 And I began to miscarry.
16:35 The group's in our room. They're sitting all over the bed
16:40 wall to wall, just filling this room and
16:44 I had no place to go. So I was in the bathroom.
16:50 Finally, they got the meeting over and got them out so
16:54 I had a bed.
16:57 On top of the stress with these other Christians and Biasihen
17:01 and this group and to lose - to lose our first child
17:05 was just devastating.
17:09 That was June of 1992.
17:13 We were burned out. We were broken. We were sick.
17:18 Discouraged. We hadn't even been in Mongolia a whole year.
17:22 We lost that whole first group.
17:25 Eventually God did send two, I think,
17:29 that had been a part of that group up to meet us.
17:34 It was about a couple weeks after I got out of the hospital
17:37 Brad said we were going on a hike.
17:40 I don't feel up to a hike.
17:43 We take a bus down, I think it's by the agriculture school
17:47 and there's a steep hill that goes up and they put some
17:51 Mongolian vining on that hill.
17:53 So we climbed up that and then we went straight along the ridge
17:56 and we kept walking and walking
17:58 till soon we were in the trees
18:01 and we hadn't realized we would miss the sound of the wind
18:04 in the trees.
18:05 And we kept walking around the ridge and it turned
18:08 and there's this big rock and we sat on that big rock and
18:14 there you can see a panoramic view of Ulaanbaatar.
18:20 You can see the apartments that three different places
18:23 we'd lived up to that point.
18:25 Up above us, we could see the hawks soaring.
18:30 And suddenly we could see our apartment's only that big
18:35 It was a most healing experience for us to just step back
18:40 and get the whole perspective.
18:42 You know, our world is only so big
18:45 compared to the whole universe.
18:47 Yet God is in control of it all.
18:50 He's in control of what's going on, this big mess that we're in.
18:56 And He's going to work things out. We just need to
18:59 stay surrendered and keep walking with him.
19:02 And it was such a wonderful experience to be up there
19:07 and to realize we're just a little part of all of God's plan
19:14 When we got back down, we realized
19:18 several things that changed our ministry.
19:20 For one, we needed to not use an interpreter.
19:23 Brad needed to start teaching when he was able to communicate
19:27 properly in the language.
19:29 Also, the New Testament was not suitable and we could not use it
19:34 and we needed to start working on a Bible translation.
19:39 And so it totally changed our ideal of how the ministry
19:43 and how the mission should be.
19:46 Brad began writing baptismal studies at that time.
19:51 By that fall, my brother-in-law
19:55 was making a trip to China.
19:58 He brought in with him a computer for us and a printer
20:03 the whole Old Testament from
20:06 what they had used in Inner Mongolia.
20:10 So he brought that to us and we started transliterating it
20:14 from the old vertical script to the current Cyrillic.
20:20 At this time, I had been asked to teach Kindergarten at the
20:24 international school. They were just beginning.
20:27 And so I had agreed until they could find another teacher.
20:31 One Mongolian student came
20:34 and was trying to talk with me
20:37 and I found out she was studying French.
20:41 I said, "Oh, you've got to come meet Joanne! She took French
20:45 and she can help you. "
20:46 And so Ihe decide she would come and she did come to our home
20:52 on Sabbath.
20:53 And God arranged it so that no other Mongolian showed up that
20:56 Sabbath. It was just the beginning of our second group.
20:59 And we had the picture rolls hanging up on the walls
21:03 in the living room.
21:04 She started looking at those and we started telling her some
21:07 of the Bible stories.
21:10 Dabahu had been a teacher at the Hope Center for the runaway
21:15 children and she was a part of the first group that fell apart.
21:20 Eventually she made her way back up to where we moved
21:23 and visited us and we were able to continue
21:24 our friendship with her.
21:26 When we got the Old Testament, which was all in that old script
21:29 we were able to give it to her and she would write it in the
21:33 current Cyrillic script.
21:36 So she's probably one Mongolian who's written about, by hand
21:40 written out almost the whole Bible.
21:45 We remembered that stack of books Brad brought home
21:48 from the library.
21:50 Well, in there was a story of a missionary before the turn of
21:53 the century and he had spent 30 years in Mongolia
21:55 without a single convert.
21:57 That's the stronghold the Tibetan Buddhism had
22:00 on the people.
22:01 So that was what we were expecting when we came.
22:04 And exactly two years to the date of when we set foot off
22:08 that train was the first baptism
22:15 The next three years, Satan really attacked
22:18 after that first baptism.
22:20 There were some really hard times.
22:23 But there were some highlights.
22:26 Our two children were born. Eventually we also found
22:32 an office to rent, and so the office was able to move out.
22:35 That also made a change in our home, which had been the church
22:39 and the office and the library and everything else.
22:42 Grand Central Station.
22:43 And from that point on, home was able to be a home
22:47 and a retreat.
22:50 In 1994 when we were home on furlough, when Rene was born,
22:55 Brad had had medical checkups because he hadn't felt well.
22:59 Basically, he was told it was in his head.
23:02 So we head back over. The first signs of things not quite being
23:08 right was kind of like a flu bug, a stomach kind of flu that
23:12 he had in May of 1996.
23:18 Probably just before Christmas, he wasn't able to eat
23:22 anything. We had just seen the American doctor who said,
23:27 "There's different kinds of ulcers. I suggest you go back
23:29 to the States and they can check you out and have some
23:34 recuperation time, for about 6 weeks or whatever. "
23:37 So he knew he needed to go back but he wanted to get
23:41 some publishing jobs done that were just so close to being done
23:45 And so he kept waiting and waiting
23:48 thinking if he could get well enough, he could get down to the
23:51 office and finish the job.
23:52 It didn't happen.
23:54 They finally put him on a plane. I think it was January 17
24:00 and sent him home.
24:03 I saw him off at the airport. He couldn't handle the two kids
24:07 and I going with him because he couldn't help take care of the
24:10 kids. So it was just easier for him to go alone.
24:14 Then when I heard he was in the hospital
24:16 that was really hard for me.
24:18 Meanwhile, the missionary nurse
24:21 was reasoning with me. She said,
24:27 "Your husband is sick. If they do surgery, it's going to be
24:33 weeks before he's up and around and be ready to come back.
24:37 Do you really want to be separated that amount of time?"
24:39 "No. " So she strongly encouraged us to head home.
24:45 So when Sabbath was over, we packed up all our things
24:50 that we didn't want to leave out for others to use and put them
24:53 behind a door, behind a lock,
24:55 and we got on the first flight out of there.
24:58 On that flight home, the doctors walked into Brad's room
25:03 and said, "You have cancer.
25:05 We're doing surgery tomorrow. "
25:07 And I got to arrive just the night before, and to see him
25:12 before he went into surgery. And God worked it all out.
25:16 It wasn't too long after we were back, that he got another
25:21 computer and started doing the publishing.
25:23 He though, "Well maybe God just wanted me to do publishing here
25:26 in the States while I don't have all the distractions of
25:29 things over there, I can really focus.
25:31 Then when the cancer got too painful, to where he had to be
25:34 on stronger pain medication
25:37 and it would effect his thinking, he backed off.
25:41 And he did more training me of how to do some of the programs.
25:47 Hey, come over here.
25:49 These are for you girls, from Daddy.
25:54 You know what? You won't be able to use them for a while,
26:00 but these are so you can remember
26:05 what I desire for you.
26:08 And what is this gift?
26:11 Bible!
26:13 He was so sweet, all the way up to his death.
26:18 And so loving.
26:21 Just minutes before he died, he asked me, "What's the matter?"
26:24 I was upset about something.
26:26 "I love you. "
26:29 He died September 1, 1998.
26:35 In 1998, Adventist Frontier Missions handed the
26:39 Mongolia Church Planting Project over to the General Conference
26:42 of Seventh Day Adventists.
26:44 Pastor Dale Tunnell and his family moved to Mongolia
26:46 to continue the work that Brad and Cathie had started.
26:49 In 1998, we had one church in Ulaanbaatar.
26:55 Today we have four groups meeting in Ulaanbaatar.
26:58 And we have 18 groups meeting all over the country of Mongolia
27:02 Brad and Cathie really laid the foundation for us in three
27:04 different areas. First, they laid a foundation in the area of
27:07 leadership. The people that they chose to be leaders,
27:10 we are still using today.
27:12 Secondly, they laid a foundation in the area of publishing.
27:14 Thirdly, we are continuing to use the home group method
27:18 that they taught us.
27:19 I think we're called to live for Christ and to die for Christ.
27:24 And as we go back and study missions,
27:30 a lot of them went out, and they weren't out very long.
27:35 Their lives were very short and they gave all they had
27:38 for Christ.
27:39 There's nothing wrong with that. Praise the Lord.
27:43 That's what we're here for, to live for Him,
27:46 and if it includes an early death, the next thing you know
27:50 is going to be Jesus coming.
27:53 Brad and Cathie's experience here in Mongolia,
27:56 working on the front lines is a familiar one
27:58 to Adventist Frontier Missions.
28:00 We've been working among the unreached since 1985.
28:04 Every day our missionaries are at work where there is
28:07 no Adventist presence.
28:08 Our great desire is to see God raise up more missionaries
28:12 for the remaining unreached.


Revised 2014-12-17