“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17
Bordered by China to the south and Russia to the north, Mongolia boasts some of the highest peaks in the world, and it is also the home of Haggai leader Lkhagva-Erdene Namkhaidorj. An extreme mountain climber, Lkhagva-Erdene is no stranger to setting audacious goals and pushing through adversity. When she attended the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in 2017, she realized that her passion for climbing could be woven together with her desire to advance the Gospel.
“Since I trained at Haggai, God opened my eyes to Mongolian mountaineers. I have been hiking and climbing mountains since 2012. Before Haggai, I climbed by myself for sheer pleasure. After I came back to Mongolia, I started to contact some mountaineers and hike with them. I wanted to witness through my life and behavior.”
Through the National Program, she has helped equip over 100 leaders. And when she unexpectedly lost both of her parents in 2019, Lkhagva-Erdene’s work in sharing the Gospel comforted her as she processed her grief.
In 2020, she climbed Khüiten Peak, the highest summit in Mongolia, with 30 other mountaineers. The adversity they encountered along the 14-day journey, especially due to adverse weather conditions, provided unique opportunities to dig into spiritual concepts.
“Because the mountaineers are trapped in ‘religious rites,’ they have no relationship with God. When they get to the top of any mountain, they worship that mountain.”
Many mountains are considered sacred in Mongolia, and when members of her expedition team asked why Lkhagva-Erdene didn’t participate in their religious rituals, she was able to share the Gospel: “As soon as I get to any peak of the mountain, I worship the Creator of the mountain, the living God.”
“Within two weeks I climbed three high peaks . . . During those two weeks, I faced so many difficult and dangerous situations. By God’s grace, I survived every danger and went through those days and situations smoothly and with power.”
During this expedition, Lkhagva-Erdene was the only Christian among over 60 mountaineers in the group, though half did not attempt the highest peak. Empowered by her love for Christ and her strong faith, she boldly shared the Gospel with her team.
After this particular expedition, Lkhagva-Erdene felt even closer to the Lord, and she poured that passion into her work with Haggai Mongolia.
Today, Lkhagva-Erdene still climbs, leading trips with other mountaineers, and using her experiences with them to demonstrate the Gospel.
“My country is not at all open to God. But thanks to the HLE, we are still sharing the love of God, trying to make disciples, and trying to wipe out Gospel poverty.”