The tribes in the northeast part of India in the past, into the 1700’s, were known as “Head Hunters” they were vicious and lived to prove their strength by how many human scalps they could display on the walls within their living quarters. It was in the later 1700’s when the gospel was first heard in the Northeast part of India. Later in the mid 1800’s and as late as the 1970’s by the grace of God revival began to change hearts and lives, men and women were introduced to Jesus Christ and the salvation that He offers to all who will call on the Lord Jesus Christ to repent and believe.
Today there are many villages with churches that are filled with people who are spiritually hungry and thirsty. (What happened to the earlier revival)? Obviously due to a lack of Bible teaching and understanding the scriptures, today the Nagaland region is called “Christian” by (name only). Teaching and preaching the Word of God is stale because many pastors and deacons hold that title for (position only). There is a great need for godly leadership in the homes and community also idleness among men is a problem. The need to be occupied is not taught. There is a need for another great revival.
It was a special privilege to be invited with M.T.M. to come at the request of these dear folks and take part in teaching in the three-week Bible School in Tening Town, Nagaland, November 6-24, 2017. Church leaders and wives, teachers, and young folks came with a real desire to learn the scriptures. The classes offered were Priorities for Pastoral leadership by Raymond Burkholder, “Brokenness” by Merle Flory, and a Book study on James by myself (Eugene Weaver). Daily there was an average of 36 students in attendance. Many questions were asked, hearts were stirred, and commitments were made. Seeing many of the young men making commitments unto the Lord and stepping out of their comfort zone as emerging leaders was very encouraging.
Full Churches & Overwhelming Altar Responses Were the Norm Recently In Nagaland, India
MTM continually receives requests over and over to come into communities like this all over Asia to offer Bible teaching conferences and Bible schools. The Christians in these remote villages do not have the privileges we have in the West. They do not have the means to go to a Bible school, they do not have the understanding of the Word of God and long to know more. Their Spiritual hunger is real. One church leader said the MTM team was like a spiritual father to him. A pastor from another village church said it was like having one of Jesus’ disciples come here to preach to them. We heard words of appreciation many times from the students during the three weeks.
Some of the comments we heard from the students were, before Bible school I was not aware of my Bible! This was from one of the men who has been involved in the leadership team of Tening Town church. He is a married man, has a family, he was very helpful during the Bible school, willing to read scripture. Before Bible school he knew very little about the Bible.
Another comment we heard from a student that really didn’t want to come to Bible school. Janni was enrolled by someone else because she was a church attender. Janni requested her name be erased from the enrollment list. During Bible school opportunities were given to come to Jesus Christ as well as rededicate their lives to Christ. During the last class Janni finally gave her heart to the Lord Jesus.
Our eyes have been opened to how little of this world’s goods these dear remote village people live with. We had the privilege to visit in several of our student’s homes in the village where the Bible school was held. Their hospitality was very generous. While we sat on some handmade stools and visited many of them would offer a cup of hot tea that they made over an open fire. If they could, they would offer sticky rice to eat as you sipped on the tea. Not only are these people open and hungry for teaching of God’s Word, many are starving for Christian fellowship. One dear elderly lady we met in a very remote village told us (through a translator) that today her prayer to meet a white woman was finally answered.
The MTM Bible school was for adults who are involved in church leadership one way or another. Each day there were children who wanted attention after school. After the Bible school classes some children would gather around our living quarters. Elaine enjoyed spending some time with the children reciting Bible verses, coloring, or singing. We could not have done this without the prayers of God’s children near and far, we thank you for your support in making this possible.
MTM is a faith based ministry. The ability to disciple and spiritually equip native Christians is largely contingent upon your prayer support and financial contributions.
Editor’s Note; This article was written by Eugene & Elaine Weaver from Stevens, Pennsylvania. Eugene serves as senior pastor at Martindale Mennonite Church, Ephrata, PA. A very special thank you to both Eugene & Elaine for serving the Lord through MTM as well as giving of yourself and the gospel to the dear Liangmia people of Nagaland, India.