Dimapur, Nov. 19 (EMN): Naga Christian missionaries are celebrating an anniversary marking their mission to ‘Himalayan tribes.’ The 25th anniversary of “Naga mission to Himalayan tribes” (1992-2017), logistically north India, was celebrated at Khatima in Nainital district in Uttarakhand on Nov. 12, a press release from a Ari Keyho—no functional attribution to organization mentioned—informed on Sunday.
The event was preceded by the dedication of a church building at Babathan in Nepal on Nov. 11. To attend the dedication, participants had to travel from Khatima by 12 motorbikes through hanging bridges and thick woods, the press release informed.
“Amidst widespread of rumors, fear psychosis, and apprehension of opposition and imminent persecution, the anniversary was successfully celebrated with a crowd of one thousand plus including 30 pastors, local believers and those coming from Nagaland,” the press release stated.
During the event, Rev. Dr. Phuveyi Dozo who was stated to have pioneered the mission, spoke about the occasion, as also Rev. Manen Longkumer, pastor of the 1st Police Baptist Church at Chumukedima in Nagaland. A book, ‘A Journey of Naga Mission to Himalayan Tribes,’ was released during the programme.
The updates offered more insights into the missionaries work: Fulfilling the ‘ten thousand Nagaland covenant,’ the Nagaland Missions Movement of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, for the first time, began a cross-cultural mission in north India, Hindi speaking world in 1987. They stationed at Ganjdundwara of Etah district of UP, the press release informed.
‘The Delhi Naga Christian Fellowship then reinforced the infant mission while NBCC-OCI partnership began to take it off with a broader focus by 1988. After an itinerant evangelistic movement, the pioneers landed at Khatima as its coordinating center in 1992 with a few believers when a proper team was formed with missionaries from Nagaland,’ the press release stated.
According to the updates, the SNAP battalion, a police force, was stationed at Kashipur, adjacent to Khatima during that time too.
“The help and partnership, in terms of physical and financial support, extended by the Christians in the force was a great encouragement to the Naga missionaries in a distant land. The then commandant of SNAP O. Alem Longkumer, inaugurated the first church building at Khatima on November 4, 1992 amidst protest from religious fanatics and Nainital administration. The troop moved to Delhi on October4, 1994 for new assignment. Hence, rifle withdraws but the gospel continues to advance in the region. The story will continue to live for generations.”
The press release referred to a person it called a pioneer, Dr. Dozo, who testified that God had led him to the region of the Kumaonis from where the Kumaon Regiment came to ‘tackle the Indo-Naga political situation’ when his younger brother, an innocent student, was brutally killed on December 19, 1969 at his village, Thuvopisumi.
“He further testified that he was invited to join Naga national movement for vengeance but God delivered him to take the message of love to his enemy land where he began to meet the people who killed his brother in his gospel encounter (sic) at Khatima,” the press release stated.
The ‘mustard seed’ was accepted with growth in magnitude today, the press release stated in gratitude. Expanding from Khatima, the Naga missionaries spread up to different circles and places across north India and central Nepal namely Bareilly, Kiccha, Haldwani, and Nauntanwa, and Mahendranagar and Syangja of Nepal having 470 churches and house fellowships with 15,000 believers across the region, the updates stated.
“The people in celebration rejoiced and renewed their commitment for Jesus Christ to remain immoveable and continue to disciple their fellow people as commanded by the Lord. We learned from Jesus Christ who gave his life for the redemption of the world,” the press release stated.
“May God bless all the supporters, generous contributors, prayer partners and well wishers towards the success of the celebration. We were jubilantly and abundantly blessed by God,” it added.