For the nomadic lifestyle, a change in season means more than a change in weather – it means a new camp, a new beginning, and a new life. The move to new pasture often includes a celebration of some kind. That’s why, some Mongolian seasons begin with a celebration party[i].
On May 30, 2015, a pretty special celebration took place at Ulaanbaatar (UB) Central Church. This spiritual ceremony is called “Spring Baptism”[ii]. And both, the spring[iii] as the baptism, symbolize rebirth[iv], as for Christians being baptized is born to a new life in Christ. This remarkable Sabbath was characterized by baptisms of children, youth and teenagers, being the ‘spring’ of life, representing the youth age.
But to make an important decision like this is necessary preparation, so it’s important that the person goes through a Bible class for youth and adolescents to be fully prepared for spring baptism. The biblical study of this young people was made to suit this age group (pathfinders, adventurers, Sabbath School classes of Youth, Adventist School students, pastor’s children etc) with their own language and activities. After completing these studies, those who decided to make the decision to be baptized, and they already had age to make such a decision, participated in this baptismal party during the Spring Baptism Special Program.
“We had around 18 children and youth attending the baptismal classes during 3 months in UB Church. And at the same time, Nalaikh Church was also conducting baptismal classes. Pr. Nyamsuren (UB Church) and Pr. Namjildorj (Bayankhair Church) gave us a huge support teaching our fundamental beliefs. Our goal is encourage and prepare children, teenagers and youth to give themselves to Jesus”, said Purevdulam Jugderjav, the Children’s Ministries Director in Mongolia Mission.
Spring in Mongolia always brings strong wind. Somehow, it is another good illustration for the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in human heart. As Jesus said, the Holy Spirit is like a wind that “blows wherever it pleases, you can hear its sound, but nobody knows where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (Jo 3:8).
Encourage and prepare your children and youth of your church to surrender their hearts to God in the best time of their lives, “springtime”. Remember that, for Jesus, they are much more precious and beautiful than the “lilies of the field” (Mt 6:28-30).
[i] Mongolians celebrate the end of winter with a three-day feast called Tsagaan Sar – which translates as Lunar New Year.
[ii] In Mongolian, Хаврын Усан Баталгаа (translit. Khavrin Usan Batalgaa). The “Spring Baptism” was originally created in 1963 by Pastor Ademar Quint, at that time responsible for the Adventist Church of Madureira, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is held annually in the churches in Brazil in September, month that marks the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere. In 2013 this event celebrates 50 years, and more than one million people have been baptized in this special date. Therefore, for over 50 years the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America has been dedicated the month of September for this very important date: The Spring Baptism. But in Mongolia this celebration occurs in another time.
[iii] With more than 260 sunny days a year, Mongolia is known as the ‘Land of the Eternal Blue Sky’. Spring in Mongolia lasts from March to mid-May and has an average daytime temperature of 12°C.
By Yure Gramacho, MM Communication Director