Tsaatan reindeer herders' tent Mongolia

“It was then…”

Three years ago, Buyana, coming from least-reached people group herself, reached out to the Tsaatans. Now we can hear stories of people who found Christ through her testimony.

When MediaWorks and their partners published My First Bible in 2020 for the Tuvan people in Siberia, local believer Buyana* helped distribute the Bible storybook among Tuvan churches. 

In an interview, Buyana shared how she felt called to go to the Tsaatan reindeer herders in Mongolia who also speak the Tuvan language. She expressed her hopes for them: 

“I pray their hearts would be ready to receive God’s Word,” said Buyana, who knows of only a few Tsaatan believers in the village. “I really want there to be Tsaatan translators, leaders and pastors,” she declared. “Then they can disciple their people further and share the gospel with other peoples!”

At the end of 2021, Buyana and her son moved to Mongolia. They regularly visit the reindeer herders camp where Buyana serves in educational teaching, translation and children’s ministry.

“Buyana came to our taiga with her son. It was then [that for] the first time I heard from her about the Lord Jesus Christ and what He had done for me," shared Kyzyl-ool*, an elderly Tsaatan reindeer herder. Similarly, Tay-mir*, a young Tsaatan farmer, expressed, "It was then the first time I heard from her about the Saviour and the living God Jesus Christ.”

This year, Kyzyl-ool and Tay-mir joined the meeting of oral Bible translators among minority peoples, along with representatives from other groups, including the Tuvans and Altai. For the two Tsaatan believers, it was a very encouraging experience to meet other Christians and hear their stories. It helped them to see even more how great God is. They returned home with a desire to share about Jesus in their local community and beyond. "I will return to the taiga, and I will even stronger tell again and again about God's love for us. I wish that Buyana and other servants of God will go to other nations and tell about our God. Let the whole world know about Him," Kyzyl-ool shared.

Inger from MediaWorks reflects, "It's special to remember Buyana's prayer for the Tsaatan reindeer herders, [especially coming from a least-reached people group herself], and now to hear that individuals are coming to faith. It's an answer to prayer to find that individuals' hearts were ready to receive Jesus, and they have that desire to tell their people and other nations about Jesus." It all started with one person reaching out to others in faith, and now we can hear the "it was then" stories of people who met Jesus through this act of obedience.

Praise God for workers from among the least reached, like Buyana. Pray that God would strengthen them, provide them with everything they need and call even more people into His mission. Thank Him for new believers from among the Tsaatan. Pray that God will keep them strong, especially when they face opposition. Pray for the audio recording of the Bible for this people group that is in production. Pray that all Tsaatans would have their "it was then" story and follow Christ.

*name changed


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