|TOP|In the 19th century Welsh Presbyterian missionaries pioneered the Mizos hill region in north-east India with many of the people accepting Christ into their hearts. Now in the 21st century the Mizos hill people are sending their missionaries back to Wales.
The Rev. John Colney, the second missionary from Mizoram, is due to start work with the Presbyterian Church in Wales next month.
Rev Hmar Sangkhuma has already been working for some time as a “mission enabler” for the Presbyterian Church in Wales, which many of the Mizos hill people consider to be their mother church.
Rev. Dafydd Jones explained to the ENI how Welsh Presbyterians conducted their first mission trips to the Khasi Hills in north-east India and then Mizoram in 1897.
|AD|He said: “It is quite moving for us to hear and see how the Mizos describe us as their mother church.”
Based in Wales with his wife and four children, Rev. Sangkhuma’s work is part of a partnership scheme between the two churches under the Council for World Mission.
He told Ecumenical News International: “Because we are rich here in the West, some people think they no longer require God. We have drawn away from the presence of God, whereas when people are poor, they rely more upon God.”
Rev Sangkhuma regards his principle task as filling up the “spiritual void” in society and his responsibilities in Wales do just that.
Much of the 49-year-old’s time is divided between counselling young people, including school children with problems at home and also young offenders in institutions where they are prone to depression.
In a separate initiative, the Presbyterian Church in Wales is calling on its members to donate £1 each to a fund that will be used to send a fully equipped medical team to Mizoram to work in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Indian Church Sending Missionaries to Wales
First missionaries from the Presbyterian Church in Wales pioneered the Mizos hill region in north-east India in the 1800s. Now the descendents of these first Christian converts are returning to their mother church in Wales to help in mission there.
Published 22 March 2006 | Maria Mackay