Posted on March 4, 2024 Cloud of Witnesses – Feature Manje Shira and Benjamin Hurley

Cloud of Witnesses – Celebrating 210th Anniversary of International Ministries

Manje Shira and Benjamin Hurley

Teachers at Mongolia International University


Growing up in Tura Baptist Church, North-East India, I, Manje used to often hear of Rev. Dr. Ben Chan. However, it was not until 2019 when he and his wife Becky visited Mongolia to offer fellowship and prayer support was my first chance to meet and learn of his ministry. The Chan’s, my husband Benjamin and I shared a long dusty and pothole ridden journey across the Mongolian countryside. We also shared a night together in a “ger” (the traditional Mongolian Tent house). While the trip was arduous, the fellowship we shared together more than made up for the inconvenience.

In Mongolia most churches join together as one body in the Mongolian Evangelical Alliance (MEA), and Rev. Dr. Ben’s visitation to the MEA office was impactful for all. Hopefully a strong partnership will continue to grow between MEA and International Ministries (IM) in which church leaders and pastors can work together on Leadership Development or Theological Training.

Benjamin and I are teachers at the Mongolia International University (MIU) which is a private university located in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. It is a great place to work, learn, invest, and experience life. We are continually learning at MIU as we seek to improve our skills, develop character, and build relationships with others. Along being teachers, we have many other roles: listener, coach, guide, co-coordinator, leader, friend, and colleague. We seek to serve and make known the glory of the Lord through our relationships each day on campus.

We truly believe that the Spirit is working and moving the hearts of the people. There are many students who claim Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Some genuine, some seeking marks. When students develop a relationship with their teacher and feel ready to trust them, they open their hearts to share their stories and struggles and ask questions of life and faith.

Before the arrival of our children, I was involved in open fellowship on campus where students take the initiative to lead fellowship. This created opportunities for Bible study, discipleship, mentoring, and teaching. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit was leading us to train our students. During summer and winter holidays, I would usually go on a mission trip, visiting different provinces of Mongolia and traveling to other close countries with the goal of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the unreached people. Our main purpose was to train students to live out their faith and grow deeper in the knowledge of the Lord.

Now as a mother of two young children, my ministry has changed. I am now taking care of our children and mentoring and supporting a growing group of young women and mothers as they navigate life and faith.

Benjamin is the Director of SIM Mongolia, and we share the leadership. We provide vision, guidance, and direction, for the team. As leaders, often our time is consumed with ensuring the rest of the team is effective and supported in their ministries.

COVID was a difficult season for us as a family as we ended up being separated at opposite ends of the world. Benjamin was in Australia for 10 months and we were together for a year and a half in India while we were still holding ministry responsibilities in Mongolia. Our first daughter was born in India while Benjamin was in Australia. This strained our financial resources greatly.  We took the matter to the Lord and shared with Him alone. We were tremendously blessed by IM for providing a financial gift which helped us to return to our ministry field with our children. The gift also allowed us to travel to Australia to meet with our sending church and ministry partners to encourage and participate in mobilizing missional believers and share that the Lord is faithful as they consider how they may serve Him.

My journey in mission began in the Garo hills in North-East India, and led me to the steppes of Mongolia. It has been a joyful, challenging, surprising, stretching, and faith building journey yet always the Lord has been so faithful to lead. The great news is that the journey continues as the Lord has confirmed He is not finished with me yet as He calls me to walk even further with Him.

*Ben Chan: Special thanks to Cathy Holmes for proof-reading the article