80 Photos - Sep 26, 2014
Photo: Our MTM ministry team L-R, Naomi & Raymond Burkholder, G. Khing (our conference coordinator) Phil & Linda Beiler. Phil & Linda came all the way from Lancaster county PA, USA.Photo: We traveled to a very remote jungle village in Assam state of NE India for the conference. We had an Indian army escort. Recently there have been ethnic tribal clashes in this region and the army was there for our protection.Photo: Roads along the way to the remote jungle village.Photo: Conditions along the way in the jungle. The men in the red hats are military men.Photo: Beautiful scenes along the way to the village.Photo: The Jongpha village property we stayed at. The gospel first came to this village as recent as 100+ years ago when a gospel revival broke out among the Rengma tribal peple in Nagaland state of India. This village is also a Rengma ethnic people. It was American Baptist missionaries that first brought the gospel to the Rengma people.Photo: The barn where the village brother & sister stored there rice & corn foods. Note the metal around the posts to keep out the rodents.Photo: The village home we stayed in. Naomi & I just loved the village life. There was no consistent electricity. They had transported in a generator so we could have evening gospel services. But by about 10:00 PM they shut it down.Photo: The Jongpha village home kitchenPhoto: Mother and daughter and their hospitality was absolutely the best. They cooked the food in this open hearth in house fire place. They even killed the fatted dog as a special treat for their visitors. We also ate snails, crabs as well as pork, beef & chicken.Photo: It was very very warm and there was no air movement due to no electricity...so we slept under these mosquito nets.Photo: We have all heard the term "when the cows come home" ...well every night at about dusk the cows would come home to the village...lots and lots of them ...and each cow would find its way to their owners home. They would go out in the morning to find grazing places outside of the village.Photo: This soldier was the head man of the army battalion that was protecting Jongpha village where we stayed. He came to our village home to meet us and visit with us. I have had the blessed privilege to lay hands on many people and pray for them over the years. BUT THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I LAYED MY HANDS ON A SOLDIER WITH A GUN IN HIS HANDS & PRAYED FOR HIM...BLESSED BE GOD !!!Photo: The road in front of our home. Every time we walked from our village home to the church where the services were conducted we negotiated around this mud.Photo: The Baptist church within the village where the conference and evening services were conducted.Photo: Evening gospel meetings with Pastor G Khing as our interpreter.Photo: Brother Phil teaching at the daytime conference. Note his totally sweat soaked shirt. It was so very very warm and most time there was no power to power the fans. The first generator broke and they had to transport in a second one.Photo: Teaching & profusely sweating were synonymous in the village.Photo: These dear village folks were so hungry for the word of God ...when the invitation was given many would hit the altar ...these men are responding to establishing a family altar in their homes, a great message Phil preached.Photo: As we would teach many would be swinging these village made bamboo fans as G Khing has here to cool themselves.Photo: The soldiers would be outside the church and would be listening in to the Bible teaching. They expressed great interest and appreciation to G Khing, our coordinator, for our Bible teaching. These army soldiers came from a total different region of India for their time of service here ...most all of them would be Hindu.Photo: More of the army soldiers outside the churchPhoto: When this 102 year old man heard that Americans came to Jongpha village...he walked a long way with a cane to meet us. The last Americans he remembered coming to his village was the American Baptist missionaries who first brought the gospel to his village when he was young.Photo: The full group of leaders at the Jongpha village conference.Photo: Their Rengma tribal colors are absolutely beautifulPhoto: Phil teaching at the conferenceVideo: In all my travels here in Asia ...the only Christians that I have ever heard sing four part harmony as we as Anabatist so appreciate are the Rengma Christians in NE India ...a special thank you to the American Baptists missionaries who taught them. There congregational singing was also four part harmony and absolutely beautiful as well.Photo: Our faithful power supply....when it worked and was running.Photo: These dear people know how to organize and handle many people (more than 100) at meal time. This was the cafeteria.Photo: Collecting their food.Photo: Since there are no utensils (they eat with their hands) ... all would wash their right hand before eating. This was free flowing water through bamboo from the mountain stream near by.Photo: Eating with the right hand. The left hand is considered dirty due to toilet practices (there is no tissue paper)Photo: More of the cafeteria ... very well organized indeed.Photo: Photo: The brother holding the umbrella was one of our interpreters. They were a very special sweet couple indeed. Note the baby on the wife's back. They walked for many kilometers to attend the conference. Some attendees walked for up to 7 hours to come to hear the word of God taught.Photo: The larger building was the men's dorm at night. It also was the original church in the village...but they over grew it and built the larger one. The ladies slept in a separate building  on the other side of the church.Photo: Phil & I would teach all day and then in the evenings we would preach gospel meetings.Photo: This was the last evening gospel meetings service, a call to take the gospel to all the unsaved people groups throughout their region. Their altar response (especially all the men) was overwhelming. Here all the leaders are praying for them. Blessed be God !!!  By the way...no one told them to get on their knees and faces before God.Photo: The last day and night of the conference it had rained all day and night. Here we are trying to get out of the village to move on to where our second conference was located. Once again we had a military escort...need I say anything more about the road condition's.Photo: This jeep and its occupants were ahead of us going home from the conference and it slid off the road...and almost slid down the bank and into the raging river below. We stopped to help them out. The truck in front of us also had the village generator on it. The only tow rope they could come up with was a roll of 3/8 steel rodding. So they wired the two vehicle's together and pulled and pushed ... and sure enough we were able to get our brothers and sisters on their way again.Photo: More of the road conditions on the way out from the village.Photo: On our way to the second conference location we passed through a region of Assam state where they grow much tea. The tea fields are simply beautiful. The tea fields are always shaded with many trees to protect the tea plants from the hot sun.Photo: Laborers picking the tea leaves.Photo: Our second conference was located on Majuli Island. This island is the largest river island in the world and it is located in Assam state of India. The only way to get there is by boat. This was our ferry boat to take us and our vehicle to the island. The ferry simply was two locally made boats paired together and a platform laid across both boats.Photo: Vehicles and motorcycles on the ferry boat.Photo: The essence of the security to keep the vehicles from rolling off the ferry :) !!!Photo: Upon our arrival at another remote village on Majuli island...once again we were welcomed as honored guests with these beautiful scarfs. These people were not Rengma ethnic people. They were Mishing ethnic people. Just like the Rengma people...they were very hungry to hear the word of God. No foreigners had ever come to these people to teach them the word of God because the conditions are too difficult & risky. We were the first ones. How we thank God for such honored privileges He grants MTM.Photo: The full group of Mishing brothers and sisters who attended the missions conference on Majuli island.Photo: Sunday morning before the conference began we ministered in this church there on the island.Photo: The dear pastor and his wife at this church. A very sweet couple indeed. This dear brother did much of the interpreting for us at the conference. I wish everyone of you who support MTM could have heard how blessed and honored he was that the MTM ministry team came to his church to minister. Never before had foreigner's ever come to his church to minister. We are ever grateful to all of you who make these blessings possible by supporting MTM.Photo: The pastor brother interpreting for me as I preached at his church. His vest is a Mishing tribal traditional vest.Photo: The sisters side of the Sunday morning churchPhoto: An island village farmer plowing with two yoke of oxen.Photo: I am not sure if I should call this a cow path or a road... but this is what we drove on to get to the church where we preached Sunday morning before the conference began.Photo: The Majuli island conference kitchenPhoto: The food at both conferences was the best. Most Indian food is very spicy...but village folks do not use near as much spices...this makes for the food being very very good for us foreigners who are simply not acquainted with very spicy foods.Photo: The island village where the MTM conference was conducted. Note how all homes are up on poles.Photo: Phil teaching at the Majuli island village conference.Photo: This building is a flood shelter on the island and also where the conference was conducted. The island lies very low and floods at times up to 6 feet deep. People of the island take refuge in this building at times like that.Photo: Most all village homes are up on poles due to the island flooding.Photo: Teaching with the pastor as my interpreter.Photo: These dear Mishing people have little to no medical resources on the island...there are no hospitals. When one is sick they come with oil requesting anointing expressing their faith that God will heal them. Here I am anointing a sister with oil and praying for her healing.Photo: The father of this child came with oil requesting anointing with oil for his daughter due to a hearing disorder.Photo: This is the Majuli island conference kitchen and attendees are waiting inline to get their lunch.Photo: After one session most all the attendees are gathered together and enjoying sweet fellowship.Photo: These dear Mishing tribal people were such a blessing in their hunger for Gods word. Here I am teaching by using an illustration and no one wanted to miss anything.Photo: When it was time to draw in the net with an opportunity for a commitment unto the Lord...all stood in a dedication and response unto the Lord.Photo: Finally the day of our departure came but there was a political ban which means all public transportation is shut down (to help keep peace) ...and there was no ferry boat going this day. Our native coordinator made connections by making many phone calls and we headed off to another region of the island 20 Kilometers away and off we bounced and jolted and when we again came to the river this was the boat that supposedly would take our car and us to the mainland...for $100 USD. But how shall we get the car onto this boat???Photo: They found some boards that were to be ramps to load the car...it was raining quite hard and the boards were very slick ... slip, slide and push they did ... be sure to watch the next video.Video: AM ABSOLUTE MUST SEE & HEAR !!!Photo: Finally we are on our way off of Majuli island and heading back to Dimapur in Nagaland.Photo: The boat was a locally made wooden boat with a four cylinder diesel engine. The boards were pitched inside and out.Photo: The few crew men on the boat drew water from the river as we cruised along and washed our vehicle.Photo: The pilot of the boat invited me up the pilots quarters and invited me to pilot the boat...and thus I did (my hand is on the rudder pole). Two stomps on the roof was the signal to the engine man below to give the engine more throttle ...one sump meant reduce throttle and so on.Photo: A view from the pilots quarters.Photo: Off loading onto the main land...at long last.Photo: After many long hours of driving (and some boating) we finally arrived back in Dimapur in Nagaland state of India.Photo: That evening we ministered at Emmanuel college (a Christian college) there in Dimapur.Photo: Pastor G Khing (our native coordinator) and his daughter. She is a student at Emmauel college where we ministered.Photo: We also had dinner with the Dean of the Emmanuel college family. The brother beside me in the purple shirt is Sono and he is an IGo-ABS alumni student. He traveled 7 hours to come to Dimapur to see Naomi & I.