Alumni: We came to the right place

When Baatarsuren “Baataraa” Buyanmandakh (Mongolia), came to Singapore in Dec 2012, he was “heart-broken.” His younger son, Munhuul, three and a half, had passed away the year before. He and his wife Zulaa have another son, Odko, 12. Before the tragedy, the former Mongolia Campus Crusade campus leader had already planned to go for theological training. “We want to build future church-planters for the 200 unreached villages and towns in my country,” he says.

At first, the Buyanmandakhs were offered places, with free housing, to study in the USA. “But after visiting two schools there, we felt that their teaching contexts may not be relevant to our future ministries,” says Baataraa. “So we came to EAST. As soon as we settled down, we knew we’d come to the right place.”

One reason is the warm welcome of the church they serve in, the Bethesda Bedok Tampines Church (BBTC). “Back home we were always ministering to others,” he explains, “but here, the Singapore church is mature, and many believers ministered to us, and helped us in our healing.”

Baatara is grateful for EAST’s focus on missions. “At the same time, there is an emphasis on balance,” he says. “Before, if you took ministry away from me, I’d feel like a nobody; but through classes I took, and professors like Dr Langston, I have been reminded that my identity comes only from Jesus.”

“And people are more important than performance,” he adds. “If our ministry fails, we can always try again, but when people are gone, it’s forever.”

“We don’t love ministry, we love God and people.”

Baataraa graduated with a Master of Arts in Leadership in 2015 and Zulaa graduated with a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies in 2016. They are now both back in their home country Mongolia, serving with Mongolia Campus Crusade for Christ.

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