Thursday, 5 February 2009

MIzo Mission: 'from head hunters to ... heart seekers'

head hunters of Mizoram  

'Mizoram is one of the smallest states of the Indian Union, situated between Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh it is only 21,000 sq km and a population of less than a million (8,91,058 in 2001) God blessed this small state with a fine moderate climate. It is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in the winter. The land is extremely hilly with narrow ridges and valleys.'

It is the scene of an amazing mission story, of a church and a nation changed, an outcome of the Welsh Revival. 
‘In the year 1891 Welsh missionary Rev William Williams and a Khasi Missionary named Aitken came to Mizoram to see the possibility of mission work there, but they could not stay long and went back to the Khasi hills. Then he reported the matter to the Welsh Mission. So the Welsh Mission board appointed him to start work in Mizoram. However before he could go to Mizoram he suddenly died. Then in the year 1894 Arthurington Aboriginal Mission, without knowing this development sent two missionaries, Rev J.H.Lorrain and Rev F.W.Savage to start missionary work in Mizoram. Later in the year 1897 the Presbyterian Church of Wales adopted Mizoram as its Mission Field and successfully worked in the whole territory. A series of revivals swept through the entire land from 1906-1945. Within the period of 50 years, the whole Mizo tribes had become Christians. So now the Presbyterian Church of Mizoram has become self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating. 
It has become a giving church, a praying church, a singing church and a reviving church as well.’ 

From Synod Mission Board report by Rev Lalchhuanmawia, field secretary

Paul Hattaway of Asia Harvest (author of the Heavenly Man) has written more on this phenomena in nearby and more famous Nagaland  in 'From Head Hunters to Church Planters: an amazing spiritual awakening in Nagaland'  (Piquant 2006) 

In Mozoram they went from village to village and shared a simple message ‘Dear friends, you also believe in Jesus Christ’ and the numbers just continued to grow. Now many Mizos are themselves extending the invitiation beyond their borders. Mizoram has more missionaries per capita than anyhwere else int he world. You could say mission is their main export.

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