By Nigel Lindsay
I thought I was going to a boring meeting with the elders of the 6 or 7 Churches in that area and knew we had to travel to a village bit remote. It was exciting as we travelled in a kind of Jeep (gipsy), no seat belts, no roof, in fact it looked quite basic, but it did get us to all he places safely. Thank God. I stared by travelling I the front, but after we stopped I got in and sat back and what with my body being so big and legs so long ,I manages to break the seat. Eventually our driver Mr Harkeye lashed a pole behind it ,but from then on I travelled in the back, where I was able to stretch my legs more and wedge myself with my leg so I didn’t get knocked about too much. I held on to the roof bar, but that came off in my hand, I managed to repair that myself and hold on to where it connected.
We stayed the first night at Lachhuas Mothers house in Tankalo Village and I had the chance to preach in the village Church, many people came to hear this strange white man talk about James 2: 14-24. I could hear something running in the roof at night and discovered the next day it was rats, Lachhua recons he got his foot nibbled. We travelled on to Bymari Village where we stayed four nights for this conference that was for all from the Church and not just the elders. The numbers where apparently, higher than usual, as people came to see this white man. I was told I was the first to come to that Village. We were near the Burma boarder and some came from there to see me, or was it for the Rice distribution, by ‘Save the Children’ and funded from the EU?
I was well looked after and they had build a corrugated iron toilet for me out the back, but it had no door so they found a curtain. This was fine for me until after we left I discovered people had been viewing me from above (it had no roof and all the Houses are built on the side of hills).The bed was a tad short and I could just jam in between the foot board and the head board and the big event was me cutting my head on the roof beam, (white men have Red Blood was a revelation). I attended many services and had the chance to preach at one, I did a talk on the field before the Volley ball match and to my complete embarrassment sung ‘The Lords My Sheppard’ saved by a man on the keyboard. For me the most moving time was the baptism of about 12 young people. One mum came to get one to stand back and not go ahead, but he was clear he wanted to acknowledge Jesus as his Saviour. It is difficult to Video when you have tears in your eyes.
We travelled back and stayed in Phura Village where again I preached at the Church and then gave my testimony at the Community singing after. I also had the chance to play Frisbee and football as they have flat piece of land (unusual for MaraLand). I spent the next 8 days in the city of Saiha in Lachhua house and experienced the wedding and reception for about 300 people of his bother in law. I went on walkabout with Francis (Lachhua bother) and preached at one church 4 times, but I did not get to do the training that I had planned.
We travelled to Srkohur the village the missionary had gone to. I stayed there from 20th – 30th January 2009, in the room with Lachhua which was where Rev A.B Lorrain Foxall had lived after his wife died. I had the chance to preach at both the village Church and the Lorrainvill Church on a number of occasions and twice at the Youth Conference. I enjoyed doing an interactive service with the youth in the village Church and talked to the Woman’s meeting about Martha and Mary, or was it Worship and Action? I also told the Woman that like in many situations they have role of mediation, in the church between the split Mara Church.
It is my view that the Congregational Church in India (Maraland) is struggling and that reconciliation with the bigger Evangelical Church of Maraland needs to take place. I have had a lot of informal conversations, but more is needed to help these people. They need you prayers for the Missionary family, for the Leadership, for reunification and for wisdom. I have Photos, PowerPoint, and Video, can teach a Mara Dance, do and interactive talk about my experience, or Preach on a Mara theme that, I have done an essay on incarnation and missionaries. Give me a ring or email to arrange
Nigel Lindsay (Nigel can be contacted by getting in touch with the oversight using the contact form on the website.