01 July 2015.


Dear Friends,


Greetings to you in the sustaining power of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Six  City Partnership Tour:

From June 5-16, Dr. Wati Longkumer and I along with 3 resource people, Mr. Prem James (Inter Dev. India), Rev. Rio Sibarani (International Partnership Associates) and Mr. Tim Brown (Vision Synergy)went on  a tour of 6 cities conducting one day seminars on ‘Partnership for Missions in the 21st century’. The cities we had the seminars were Chennai (5th June), Kohima (8th June), Imphal (9th June), Agartala (11th June)  Kolkata (13th June), and Cuttack (15th June). About 140 mission leaders and prominent pastors attended the seminars in the 6 cities. They greatly appreciated our coming and conducting the seminars and in some places follow up action is in progress. We praise God for this effort to show the importance of working together in collaboration to reach specific targets. We thank the resource people and Vision Synergy for their support.



The finance of IMA continues to be poor. I request you to pray for IMA and its finances.

·        Membership Fee: I request you to kindly pay your annual membership fee of a minimum of Rs. 5,000/- as soon as possible.

·        Support of IMA missionary staff: I am once again requesting you to kindly consider supporting an IMA missionary staff, to the extent of Rs. 5,000/- per month. This will greatly help us to put IMA’s finances on a steady keel.  I want to thank those missions who have already started supporting IMA staff.


Forth Coming Events:

·        July 14-15: Research workers and Field directors consultation, Vision City, Hyderabad, Cost Rs. 700/-

·        July 15-17: Church planting among the Unreached Consultation, Vision City, Hyderabad, Cost Rs. 1000/-

·        August 5-7: Persecution and Legal issues training, NCCI Campus, Civil Lines, Nagpur, Cost Rs. 1500/-


IMA Annual General Body Meeting – Sept 11 at 2 pm:

The AGM of IMA will be held at 2 pm on 11th Sept 2015 at Ashirwad Global Learning Centre, Jodimetia X Road, Pocharam Road, Behind Medha Survo Drive, Ghatkesar Mandal, R.R. Dist, Hyderabad, Telangana 500 088 India.


Prayer Requests:

1.       Pray for the IMA finances – for membership fees, for staff support.

2.       Pray for the 3 forthcoming programs (given above).

3.       Pray for the IMA AGM on 11th Sept 2 pm

4.       Pray for IMA on IMA Prayer day July 22nd 2015

5.       Pray for the Finance Committee on 29th July.


May the Lord bless you and your ministry.


Yours in His service,

R. Theodore Srinivasagam

General Secretary, India Missions Association





R. Theodore Srinivasagam


The theme of the whole Bible is reaching the ‘nations’ or “ethne”. The word nation or ‘ethnos’ (Greek) means a multitude of individuals of the same nature, race or nation. We already saw that “ethne” has many shades of meaning – namely families, peoples, nations, tribes and languages (Gen12:3, Ps 67:2-3, Matt 28:19, and Rev 7:9).


A quick glance of the Bible shows that “mission” is not confined to a few verses in the Bible... It is not a pickle to the main meal; but the meal itself. The concept of mission runs throughout the Bible and God the Father, Jesus Christ his son, the Holy Spirit, the Church and Revelation are all part of God’s mission to reach the ‘ethne’.


1.       God of the Old Testament is a missionary God

In Genesis 3: 16 – 24 we read of God’s rescue mission of man after he fell into sin. Then we see God’s call to Abraham and his promise that through his family all the families of the earth will be blessed in (Gen 12:1-3). This is extended to the whole nation of Israel in Exodus 6:6-8 and 9: 5-6. Israel will be a light for the gentiles to bring salvation to the ends of the earth (Isa 49:6). God’s longing was that the nation of Israel will be a beacon of light and bring the nations of the world to ‘Yahweh’.


However, we find that except in the time of King Solomon, the nation of Israel failed to attract other nations to follow the God of Israel.

So we see that God of the Old Testament is a missionary God and wanted all people to come and follow him.


2.       Jesus of the Gospels in a missionary Saviour

Where the nation of Israel failed, Jesus came as a perfect Jew to fulfill the Law and yet remain without sin. The genealogy of Jesus traces back to Abraham (Mathew 1) to show God’s promise to Israel is fulfilled. 


Though Jesus came to the nation of Israel yet in his life time he attracted people from different “ethne”. At his birth wise men from the East came (Matt 2:1-2, 11). Later during his earthly ministry Greeks came to see Jesus (John 12:20-21), Samaritans came (John 4), Canaanites came (Matt 15:21-28) and the Roman centurion at the cross acknowledged Jesus as the son of God (Mk 15:39).


Finally, after fulfilling all the requirements of the Law, and through his death and resurrection showing himself as the Saviour of the world, he gave the command to his disciples to go and preach the gospel and make disciples of all “ethne” (Matt 28:19).


We see Jesus as a missionary Saviour who wanted all nations to come and enter His kingdom.


3.       Holy Spirit in Acts is a missionary Spirit:

In Acts 1:8 Jesus gave a strategy to do mission to all “ethne” starting from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost part of the earth. But it was to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit, which he promised. Pentecost in Acts 2 is essentially a missionary event, so that when the first disciples spoke in different languages, people who had assembled could hear the message of salvation through Jesus Christ in their own mother tongues.


It is through the work of the Holy Spirit; the church began in Jerusalem among the Jews and later extended to the gentile world. Throughout the book of Acts we see the Holy Spirit taking the lead. He led the persecuted people to Samaria (Acts 8:1,6,7), Philip to the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:38) and Peter to acknowledge that the gospel is also for the gentiles (Acts 10:44-46). We see him at work in the conversion of Paul and his commissioning as missionary to the gentiles (Acts 9:15-17), the formation of the Church in Antioch and sending of Paul and Barnabas as missionaries to the gentile world (Acts 13:1-3), the exploits of Paul and others, the Jerusalem Council that opened the door for the spread of gentile churches (Acts 15:28-29), the Macedonian call for Paul to enter Europe (Acts 16: 7-10) and in the handing over of the churches to faithful leaders (Acts 20:22-24).


The church which began in Jerusalem, later extended to Samaria, Ethiopia, Asia minor and Europe and to rest of the then known world leading to a variety of ‘ethne’ to be part of the church through the work of the Holy Spirit. So we see the Holy Spirit actively functioning as a missionary Spirit.


4.       Church of the Epistles is a missionary Church:

The church in Jerusalem because of persecution expanded its work to Samaria and the gentile world. The first church to send out missionaries to the gentiles was the church in Antioch (Acts 13: 1-3) itself a gentile church. From then onwards we see the expansion of the church through Paul and his network of churches. Churches that were established sent out missionary teams and we see at least 10 teams in the book of Acts.


In the epistles we find the church as a witness in the world and not of the world. We see Peter explain that church to be a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you” (1 Peter 2:9). Paul declares to the church in Thessalonica “Gospel came to you .….you welcomed the message …. the Lord’s message rang out from you….everywhere.” (1 Thes 1:4, 6, 8).


These show that the New Testament churches were a witness to the world and were missionary churches. The church that receives the Gospel must pass it on. Archbishop William Temple said ‘the church is the only cooperative society in the world for the benefit of non – members’.


5.       Book of Revelation is a missionary climax:

Along with John, if we take a peep into heaven, we see a redeemed community, “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people language standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb”. They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to out God….”


This is the climax of all mission work that every ethnic group in the world should find salvation in Jesus Christ and praise our God.


May the Lord help us to see that every community of people will hear and obey the Gospel and they will eventually be found in heaven praising and worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ.


This is the challenge before us.




Bishop John Gollapalli*


Our mission is to reach the unreached and we have focused on the ethnic people groups in 6 Indian states.



The Lord called me while I was teaching in a school. It was a desperate prayer by me asking God to show me my future. It blossomed with an unexpected call for ministry through Psalm 2:8 “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession” and Matthew 4:19, “I will make you fishers of men.”


Soon after that I joined a Bible college where I started to understand what nations meant. I had a better understanding on what it means to ‘reach the unreached’ as I interacted with many mission minded professors and other leaders.


I read many books and searched intensively to know about the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of the ethnic people group people. During summer, I visited them and tried to communicate the gospel to them. My burden for them increased. By the time I finished my studies, I made inroads among some of groups. I formed prayer groups, raised funds for mission work and encouraged them to send native workers to them.


Later Dr Theodore Williams motivated me to join IEM. I served there for 5 years as IEM’s first administrator. 1n 1978, I left IEM with a strong desire and conviction to reach the ethnic people groups with native workers and started COUNT (Christian Outreach for Uplifting New Tribes).



Identifying the locals who will help me to connect with the group was a big challenge. Most often I had to wait for the availability of a person and pay for them to be with me so as to communicate with their people in their own language.


Travel was hectic and I walked long distances. There were no proper places to relax. Sleeping under a tree, eating whatever was available was very common. I risked many things, but it was rewarding. I earned many friends among them.


Power encounter took an important place in the ministry. Many were delivered from the evil spirits and the miracles made these people to believe in Christ. But these experiences didn’t last for a long time. So we started to teach the word of god to believers and to train the new local leaders continually.



·         Childcare ministry: In the early days I was moved by seeing the status of the children of the some of the people groups. Once I brought a needy child to my home and he brought 4 more and they in turn brought 8 more. Within three years the numbers grew to 12 and that’s how this ministry started. Today we have 1500 children in Agape Children Homes in all the 6 states we work. While some have become native pastors and leaders to their own communities, the others are now living a better life.

·         Bible and Vocational Training: Along with presenting the Gospel, we train them with necessary skills so that they can make a living. We train them in carpentry, tailoring, motor mechanics, electrical work, agriculture and other skills. This training is given for one year or two years. We always keep the Bible and vocational training together. We give them the Bible in one hand and a skill in another. This helps them to earn their own living and also be an influence in their communities.

·         Church Planting: I am more aligned with mono-cultural mission work. I’m also convinced about preparing and sending native pastors to their own people, as their language and culture are the same as the people they are going to than a cross-cultural worker going there. Further it saves much time, energy, funds etc. At present we have 350 fellowships with around 350 native pastors.

·         Leadership Development: We train local people to take over the leadership. Training a non-native person is a bit easier, as the native person takes much time to grasp things. But the latter is effective once he learns. This also avoids the dominance of outsiders over the natives. We want the natives to get a vision for their own people and then build leadership among them. 

·         Healthcare and Social Welfare Ministries: Our church planting approach is holistic. We have catered to health, educational and other needs of the ethnic people group people in a big way.

·         Self-Sustenance Projects: The vision is to be self-sufficient and we try to minimize dependence on others. Here in our campus, we grow all kind of trees and vegetables not just to feed the children here, but also to expose them to work with their own hands and help them. We have made it mandatory to have at least a small self-sustenance project in all the states we work.



In the light of national change that is taking place today, we must be alert in raising all the funds from outside. Though we need support from others, but we must focus on self-sustenance. We must find ways to make use of the resources that we have. The more we become self sufficient, the longer will our ministry last.


Missions must focus on sending bi-vocational missionaries. They must use their skills. If someone can start a school in an interior place, then they must do it. This is in a way serving the community. There are so many options that are available and we must be innovative to reach the unreached.


Our Bible Colleges must educate people on power encounter, vocational training and teach Sanskrit. Learning Sanskrit will allow us to engage with the Hindu scriptures among the higher strata of Hindu society.


The most influential group in India today is the upper caste Hindus. We haven’t done much among them. They may know about Christianity but not Jesus. Missions must devise strategies to engage this mass of people. Our presentations about Christ must change. We must prepare suitable people who will cater to the needs of these upper caste communities.


We preach about Nehemiah, Daniel and Esther and so on but fear to replicate it today. We need more people in the education and social development sectors like water development, cleanliness, health etc. to serve the people. World is changing fast and we must update ourselves especially with new technology. Younger generation must rise up leaving their old ways and try to innovate in the face of current realities. We must make use of new opportunities.


Both the souls of rich and poor are important. We need ethnic people groups but also the rich. Along with giving importance to the Unity, Fellowship and Prayer let us also strategize and be specific in our goals to reach the unreached.


* Bishop John Gollapalli is the Founder and Director of COUNT (Christian Outreach For Uplifting New Tribes) based in Hyderabad, Telangana.




Wati Longkumer, General Secretary Designate


Dr Theodore Srinivasagam, General Secretary and Rev Wati Longkumer, General Secretary designate together with MrPrem James of Interdev-India, Rev. Rio Sibarani of International Partners Associates and Mr Tim Brown of Vision Synergy undertook a vision casting tour of six cities from 5th-16th June 2015. The cities were Chennai, Kohima, Imphal, Agartala, Kolkata and Cuttack.


The purpose of the tour was primarily threefold:

1.       Meeting Member missions,

2.       Making exploratory contact with non-members and

3.       Conducting seminars on partnership in missions.


In all the cities partnership seminars were conducted with the aim to inculcate the importance of working collaboratively in missions. In several cities the seminars helped us to identify areas where the various mission agencies could partner for more effective ministry.  


In Chennai, on 5th June, the meeting was hosted by Friends Missionary Prayer Band in the YMCA, Vepery, Chennai. The 31 participants greatly appreciated the seminar.


6 Cities ‘Partnership for Mission’ Tour – Chennai Leaders Gathering, 5th June 2015


Gathering of Mission Leaders in Chennai Partnership Training, 5th June 2015


In Kohima, Nagaland, the meeting was organized and hosted by the Nagaland Baptist Church council in their premises on 8th June where 31 pastors and other leaders attended.


Partnership Training at Nagaland Baptist Christian Council Premises, Kohima, 8th June 2015


Partnership Team with NBCC Leaders


In Imphal in Manipur, the seminar was conducted on 9th June, in their meeting hall by the Manipur Baptist convention and 17 pastors attended the seminar.


Partnership training at Manipur Baptist Christian Association, Imphal, 9th June 2015


Group work in Partnership Training Programme, Imphal


In Agartala, Tripura, the meeting was hosted by the leaders of the Tripura Baptist Christian Union on 11th June and the 17 pastors from the different Associations appreciated the input from the seminar.


Tripura Baptist Christian Union Partnership Training, Agartala, 11th June 2015


Group Study in Agartala, Tripura, 11th June 2015


In Kolkata, the seminar was conducted in the Baptist Mission society on 13th June with 9 participants.


Partnership Training - Gathering in Kolkata, 13th June 2015


In Cuttack, on 15th June, the seminar was hosted by the India Evangelistic Association and was well represented by three bishops, several pastors and mission leaders with a total of 31 participants.a follow up committee was formed and has started to function.


Partnership Training - Gathering in Cuttack, Odisha, 15th June 2015


Group Discussion in Cuttack Partnership Training


We were generously hosted by partner mission agencies such as the Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB) in Chennai, Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) in Kohima, Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) in Imphal, the Tripura Baptist Christian Union TBCU) in Agartala and the India Evangelistic Association (IEA) in Cuttack. We are grateful to them all for their gracious hospitality.


The tour was sponsored by the Vision Synergy and for this we wish to express our thanks and gratitude to them.





Wati Longkumer, General Secretary Designate


On the sidelines of the 6 city tour, Rev Wati Longkumer also attended the Core Planning Committee meeting of the North East India Transformation Congress (NEITC) in Guwahati from 9-10 June.


 Core Planning Committee meeting of the North East India Transformation Congress (NEITC) in Guwahati from 9-10 June


The NEITC is conceptualized and initiated by the Evangelical Fellowship India :

1. to build capacity of the Church to make greater impact and influence in the society,

2. to have greater mobilization towards missions in the North East and beyond,

3. to build better collaboration among  the Churches in NEI.


The Congress is scheduled to be held in November of 2016. 




Prakash Nayak, Executive Secretary - South


Mr. Prakash Nayak and Mr. Zomingthanga visited several cities in Tamilnadu and met with mission leaders from June 2 -9, 2015.


In Madurai an IMA regional meeting was held on 2nd June hosted by Rev. Dr. Aruldoss Gnanamuthu of India Field Evangelism. There were 10 mission leaders representing 6 different missions. Rev. Dudley Thangiah shared the word and encouraged the leaders to spend time in prayer and be willing to make sacrifices for sake of the Kingdom of God.


Prakash Nayak shared about the financial constrains that IMA is facing at the moment. As a result, Madurai missions decided to contribute financially to IMA towards IMA staff support starting with Rs. 7000/- per month. They may increase this in future.


 Pastor Paul Radha Krishnan shared about the LAMP-Legal Aid for Minority Protection. LAMP has been initiated to extend the legal help to churches & missions in times of trouble. LAMP which began in Madurai and has now expanded to the Chennai region. It eventually hopes to cover the whole country.


Zohmingthanga and Prakash Nayak met with Rev. Aruldoss Gnanmuthu and Rev. Dr. C. Retnadas to discuss how we can take the regional meetings forward. Both the leaders suggested that IMA needs to get involved with the mainline churches by inviting Bishops and Mission directors to IMA meetings and even have a consultation with the church leadership.  


After the meeting in Madurai we (Prakash and Zohming) visited missions in Coimbatore, Anakati, Erode, Salem and Palani. It was a privilege for us to visit and know their ministries.


With Rev Jeyaraj Krishnan, Indian Christian Mission Center, Salem


With Pastor Joseph, Jesus Mercy Home Association, Omalur


Missions appreciated IMA  leaders visiting  them to strengthen the relationship between them.





India Bible Translators, Coimbatore

Ministry focus of the mission is Bible translation and church planting. They are working in Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Chattisgarh, UP, Bihar & Rajasthan. At present in 39 languages translation is going on in 39 languages. In 2017 they are expecting to complete the Bojhpuri Bible. They work in Partnership with the Bible Society of India.  They have 100 missionaries across North India.

Prayer: Looking for committed translators.


Tribal Mission, Anakati

Their focus is on tribal people. They have a 60 bed hospital, a school, and children’s home. They have planted 30 churches among 36 people groups. Every first Sunday they gather in their mother church to worship.  They are building nine missionaries retirement houses in coordination with MUT.

Prayer: Looking for doctors to join their work.







Bengali Muslims are located in the State of West Bengal in India and in Bangladesh. They are the second largest ethnic Muslim community in the world after the Arabs with a population of 190 million. Majority of them are Sunnis. Significant numbers of them are found in the UK, the USA, in the Middle East and East Asia.



Islam arrived in this region in 1206 with the conquest of Bengal by Turkish forces from Central Asia. Subsequent waves of Persian, Afghan and finally Mogul invaders extended the conquest of Bengal. In the late 19th century, Bengali Muslims formed the second largest community in Calcutta, the capital of British India. Many prominent figures of the Bengal Renaissance and the anti-colonial movement were from the Bengali Muslims. ‘Pirs’ (Muslim mystical men) went into the countryside and villages and preached a mystical form of Islam. This brought about a syncretistic type of Islam, involving a combination of Hindu, animistic and Islamic practices.



Bengali Muslims, both in India and Bangladesh are in a state of turmoil due to the current political difficulties in both these countries. Political instability and a perceived threat from Hindu fundamentalist groups (in India) have caused them to feel insecure about their future.


They are a very poor community, and though the caste system is not official, it is rigidly adhered to in terms of one’s social circle. They are divided into three classes: Ashraf (upper castes), Aljaf (lower castes), and Arzal (untouchables). It is not acceptable for middle class families to mix with the lower classes and vice-versa.


The family is of major importance to a Bengali Muslim as they are group-oriented rather than individualistic. Visiting neighbors is a common social activity. Relatives often tend to be neighbors, as family groups live in the same communities. Family honour is very important and to bring disgrace is the greatest shame one can inflict on one’s family.


Bengali Muslims practice a form of social organization known as the ‘samaj’. The word literally means “going together” and refers to the council of elders which links various extended families. A subsect is the ‘Khana’, which refers to one’s eating group. This important group links together families that depend on one another for their livelihood.


It is a patriarchal society with women taking a servant role. Though they are not as orthodox as the Muslims of Middle East, they still impose restrictions on the female members of the family. Some observe “purdah” (veiling) but the majority do not. They are, however, expected to cover their head in the presence of a man or in public places.



In West Bengal, they are mainly urban dwellers. They are involved in various trades such as textile workers, jute manufacturers, leather tanners and professionals. Most Bengali Muslims subsist from wet-rice farming and small-scale fishing. In rural areas, their homes are simple bamboo huts with grass roofs, elevated several feet off the ground.



They eat rice, lentils and fish. They also eat beef, which is skewered and cooked on red hot coals as “kebabs”. They enjoy soccer, literature and music.



Their form of Islam is strongly influenced by local Hindu and animistic practices.  Islam was introduced to them in the 13th century through organized missionary effort. By the 16th century over 50% of the Bengal region was converted. Next to the Punjabis, the second highest percentage of conversion to Islam in a major South Asian community is among the Bengalis. Missionary work was achieved primarily through Sufi missionaries, which is one of the reasons for the high degree of syncretism in Muslim Bengali belief and practice. Both Sunni and Shiite elements can be found in their version of Islam. They practice Sufi mysticism and folk Islam. They visit “masers” (tombs of dead Pirs) with the hope of finding final answers to their prayers. They celebrate Ramazan, Id, Korbani Id (sacrifice Id) and Urs (anniversaries / feast days of Muslim saints).



Given the high degree of syncretism among the Bengali Muslims, it is not surprising that contact with Christianity has also produced a syncretistic movement within Islam, whose followers call themselves ‘Isahin’, followers of Jesus. Recent surveys among these followers demonstrate that many have a genuine faith in Christ.


Opportunities for outreach to Bengali Muslims abound and NGOs are welcome almost everywhere. Muslim Bengalis are perhaps the most responsive and receptive Muslim population group in the world today.


- from different sources





·        July 14-15: Research workers and Field directors consultation, Vision City, Hyderabad, Cost Rs. 700/-

·        July 15-17: Church planting among the Unreached Consultation, Vision City, Hyderabad, Cost Rs. 1000/-

·        August 5-7: Persecution and Legal issues training, NCCI Campus, Civil Lines, Nagpur, Cost Rs. 1500/-


Please apply to Mr. Solomon Babu, IMA Training Coordinator at




The following are the needs of IMA: 

  • Prayer Coordinators: Missionary work needs much prayer. So IMA plans to develop a nationwide volunteer Prayer Leaders & Coordinators who will organize prayer for IMA, its member missions and the needs of India, in their homes & local areas. We welcome your involvement.

  • IMA Staff Support: 5 staff members need full financial support. Need: Rs. 18,000 per month per staff member.

  • IMA Staff Health Endowment Fund: To help IMA staff and their families in the high cost of healthcare, it has been decided to have a Health Endowment Fund with a corpus of Rs. 10 lakhs. You are requested to donate generously towards this.

  • IMA Staff Children’s Education Fund: This is to assist IMA staff to educate their children in good schools. We will appreciate your generous contribution to this fund.

  • Training & other Programmes: These need subsidies to make them affordable to missions. Sample subsidies needed are -

    • 2 days event for 35 people : Rs. 50,000

    • 3 days event for 35 people : Rs. 75,000

    • 5 days training for 35 people : Rs. 1.2 lakhs

  • IMA Infrastructure: Some of the urgent needs are -

    • Laptops, LCD projectors & IT equipment : Rs. 4 lakhs

    • 4-wheeler Vehicle : Rs. 8 lakhs

    • IMA Accommodation & Conference facilities upgrading : Rs. 10 lakhs

    • IMA Campus Farming : Rs. 1 lakh

For details you may write to Ms. Sharon Solomon at


  • By sending your DD/Cheque drawn in favour of India Missions Association

  • By online transfer to IMA Bank Account - Name of the Bank: ICICI Bank; Branch: S.D. Road, Secunderabad; Account No: 004801044534; IFSC code: ICIC0000048.

Please inform us by email/post after you send your contribution to help us send you a receipt.



India Missions Association, 5-47, Kundanpally Village, Keesara Mandal,
R. R. District, Hyderabad - 501301, Telangana, India.
Phone: 91-8418-202064/65/66; Email:; Website:


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