FROM THE IMA GENERAL SECRETARY

 

14th March, 2015

 

Dear friends,

 

I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

During the month of February we were involved in a variety of activities. Some of them are as follows:

 

Programs:

We were able to conduct 2 Consultations

  1. Consultation on “Sustainable Skills Centres” was held in the IMA Vision City Campus in Hyderabad on Feb, 3-5 in partnership with IIDA, Chennai. The over 50 participants enjoyed the teaching and interaction and greatly benefited from this consultation. We are grateful to Mr. Jochen Tewes, Director of IIDA for this partnership.

  2. Consultation on “FCRA and IT Rules” was held in CBCNEI campus in Guwahati on Feb 19 – 20 in partnership with CBCNEI, NIECORD, WVI and CASA. The 52 participants greatly benefited from the teaching of Dr. Manoj Fogla the resource person. Details are given in the INDIA MISSIONS E-NEWS of March 2015.

Visit to Member Missions and Churches:

Dr. Wati Longkumer, AGS, Mr. Zohmingthanga Executive Secretary North and I visited Missions and Churched in the states of Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya from Feb 10 – 18and it was a very profitable time in reviewing and making contacts with the various leaders. Many of them indicated their desire to be part of IMA and support its ministries.

 

 With Rev. Dr. Z. Keyho and his wife (in centre), the new Gen. Sec. of Nagaland Baptist Church Council, Kohima

 

We are grateful to Mr. Roy Chawdhauri, General Secretary of Assam Baptist Convention (ABC), Golaghat, Rev. Dr. Mar Astongchanger, Executive Secretary of Ao Baptist Church Association (ABAM), Impur, Rev Sulamo, Pastor of the Lotha Baptist Town Church, Wokha, Leaders of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, Kohima, Rev. Minlien Singson, Executive Secretary of Kuki Baptist Association, Khaipong, Rev. Lungdapou Riamei, Executive Secretary of Rongmei Baptist Association, Jalukie, Rev. G. Khing, Executive Director of ‘Asia Soul Winners’, Dimapur, Dr. Hakushe Zhimoni of Nagaland Police Baptist Association, Dimapur, Rev Andrew Semp, Executive Secretary of Nagaland Missions Movement, Dimapur and Rev. Luke Rongphar of Karbi Anglong Baptist Association, Diphu for their warm welcome and hospitality to us.

 

Details are given in the INDIA MISSIONS E-NEWS with pictures.

 

Executive Committee:

We also had the IMA Executive Committee meeting in Hyderabad on 25th Feb where important decisions were taken.

 

Finance:

As we come to the end of the financial year we are facing a deficit of Rs 3 lakhs. As I wrote earlier personally to each mission, I will be grateful if you can send all your pending membership contributions. It will be a great help at this particular time.

 

Support of IMA missionary staff:

I want IMA to stand on its own feet financially. A tangible way is to see that all IMA missionary staff is fully supported by Indian Missions and Churches. So I request each mission, which is able, to kindly adopt an IMA missionary staff as its own missionary and give support to the extent of Rs. 3,000/- to Rs. 5,000/- per month. At the moment we need support for 6 missionary staff.

 

I will be sending out a separate letter to you on this matter so that you can place it before your own Board to seek their approval.

 

IMA Programs for the coming months: 

  1. Training on Bhandu Seva (In Hindi); May 9-13, 2015 at Dehradun. Cost: Rs. 2,500/-; Coordinator: Rev Dr V S Bhandari, Dehradun.

  2. Consultation on Member Care, May 27-29, 2015 at IMA Vision City Campus, Hyderabad. Coordinator: Dr Ravi David; Cost: Rs. 1000/-(Please note change of date).

  3. Consultation on ‘Church planting among the Unreached’ for CEOs, July 1-3, 2015 at IMA Vision City campus, Hyderabad. Cost: Rs. 1000/-; Coordinator: Dr. Theo Srinivasagam 

Please contact Mr. Solomon Babu, Training Coordinator for Registration at training@imaindia.org

 

Prayer Requests:

·         For Rs. 3 lakhs to bridge the deficit

·         For support of IMA missionary staff

·         For the upcoming programs

·         For complete recovery of Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, Gen. Sec, EFI

 

As we end this financial year on 31st March I praise God for all that He has enabled us to do as the IMA team in Hyderabad.

 

May the Lord bless you and your ministries.

 

Yours in His service,

R. Theodore Srinivasagam

General Secretary, India Missions Association 

 


LOOKING AT SCRIPTURE

THEME: ‘GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS…TRIBES, PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES” (MATT.28:18-20, REV. 7:9)

 

2. ‘GOING’ IN GOD’S MISSION
 ‘THEREFORE GO…..’ (MATTHEW 28:19)

R. Theodore Srinivasagam

 

Going is easy today. All we need is to have some money and time to go places. Travel has become easy, except to some remote areas.

 

Jesus said, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go…” What is the connection between his power and authority and his command to go. This going which Jesus commanded is not just travelling for leisure, sightseeing, adventure, photography, writing or research. It is not even short term mission trips to get a ‘taste’ of missions.It is going with a purpose under the command and authority of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

 

We shall briefly look at various aspects of this command to “go”.

 

1.       Where to go?

The prophets of old were restricted where they could go. Except Jonah all the prophets were confined to the boundaries of Israel or to the places where the Jews lived as in the exile. This was because Jehovah was considered to be the exclusive God of Israel and his message of salvation was to his people Israel.

 

Further, when Jesus sent out his disciples on training mission (Luke 10:1-4), he sent them to the villages and towns of Israel. Why? This was because Jesus came as a perfect Jew and as he himself said, “I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfil them” (Matt.5:17).

 

As Calvin says, “the prophets under the law had limits assigned to them”, but now after the death and resurrection of Jesus, “the wall of partition has been broken down (Eph. 2:14)”. Jesus now sends his disciples with the words, “Go into all the world” (Mark 16:15). No longer was Jehovah confined to the portals of Israel and the message of salvation was available to all. Jesus sent his disciples to a world of people, people of all colours, ethnic origins, languages and cultures.

 

2.       Why to go?

What was the purpose of Jesus sending his disciples?

 

a)   It was to ‘preach the good news’ (Mark 16:15). What is the good news? The good news is what Jesus explained in Luke 24:46-47:  “The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem”. So the good news is the gospel of salvation.

b)   It was to make disciples of all nations’ (Matt.28:19). Jesus was very clear about the end result of going. The going is not just to be involved in evangelistic activities such as preaching, distribution of literature, showing films, having TV and radio programs,  meeting social needs etc. but ultimately to make disciples of Christ.

 

3.       Whom to go to?

 

a)    Jesus commanded his disciples to go to all nations (ethne) (Matt.28; 19).That means to all ethnic groups, tribes, people (communities) and languages as we see in Rev.7:9.

b)   Jesus also gave a geographical dimension to this when he told his disciples to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the utter most parts of the world (Acts 1:8). 

So we can see from this that Jesus wanted his disciples to go to all kinds of people in every location.

 

4.       When to go?

When Jesus gave the command to ‘go’ to his disciples, he also asked them to ‘wait’ (Acts 1:4) till the coming of the Holy Spirit, the comforter, the counsellor and who will empower them with his power (Luke 24:49;Acts !:8). The disciples obeyed and the Holy Spirit came on them and filled them on the day of Pentecost (Acts2:4).

 

After the Holy Spirit filled them, the disciples immediately preached the good news of Christ and began to spread out of Jerusalem. The book of Acts is the story of the expanding missionary enterprise.

 

As the Holy Spirit has already come, we no longer have to wait, but ready to go any time. The only thing we need to be sure of is that it is God who is calling and sending us and we have the assurance of the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

 

5.       How to go?

 

a)  When Jesus sent his disciples on his training mission (Luke 10; 1) he sent them two by two so that they can work together help and care for each other and disciple and plant churches together. So partnership has been a key element in Christ’s pattern for mission. We need to emulate this.

b) Further, we see from the Book of Acts, the churches taking responsibility of sending missionaries to the unreached people and geographical regions. For example Paul and Barnabas were sent out by the church in Antioch and they in turn were accountable to the church (Acts 13:1-3).

 

As we think of “going” or “sending “and be involved in missions, may the Lord help us to follow the pattern given by our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in Scripture, for a God honouring and successful ministry.

 


FROM THE MISSION LEADERS...

 

BIBLE TRANSLATION AND CHURCH PLANTING AMONG GONDS
Leslie Nagarajan*

 

As air is necessary for the survival of any living being, so is the Word of God for the Church. To expedite the growth of the church and make effective disciples among various people groups, we must make sure that the Bible is available in their heart languages. 

 

In January 1989, my wife Sheela and I committed ourselves to work among the tribal group Muria Gonds [1]or Magu[2]. Initially our focus was only to translate the Bible in Gondi, but we ended up planting churches too. We started worshipping with 4 Gond people, which has now grown to more than 5000 people with 20 congregations. At the same time we were also able to translate 12 books of the New Testament in the Bible.

 

My conviction to work among the Gonds could be traced back to my theological college days, where a testimony by a Canadian, motivated me. She had committed herself to work among this people group and learnt their language. But after a decade of ministry among them, she was expelled by the then Madhya Pradesh government that forced her to leave this people group in 1978. The vacuum that was created and the absence of workers pushed me to make the decision to go to the Gond people. I didn’t wait for any specific call, but sensed the need and acted on it.

 

When we moved to Chhattisgarh to live among the Gonds, our primary aim was to learn the  Gondi language, design the grammar and translate the Bible. We used to visit the Gonds every day and have conversations with them in order to learn the language. We did not share the Gospel with them at that time. This act helped us to connect with them well, without them getting suspicious of us. It took around 3 to 4 years for us to learn and write the language. Then, we slowly started to share the Good News and the people began to believe in Christ.  We felt the need for a worship group and so we sent the seekers to a nearby Hindi church. But that didn’t help in bringing them to Christ, as the pastor was unable to relate to them because he didn’t know the Gondi language. This prompted us to initiate our first worship fellowship among Gonds and then onwards nothing stopped us from making progress in both Bible translation and Church Planting.

 

The growth of the church demanded my full time attention, and so in the year 2000, I left the Bible translation work to Sheela and started to focus on evangelism, counseling, bringing people to Christ and baptizing them. Thus I concentrated on church planting and Sheela on Bible translation.

 

The translation of the Bible into Gondi fueled the growth of the Church. Many started to read and follow the word of God. On the other hand they too helped with further translation by reading and checking the language. This in turn greatly assisted the translation. So in brief I must say that Bible translation helped in the growth of the church and vice versa.

 

But this translation didn’t happen without its own share of challenges. Gonds use more verbs than nouns and use unusual vocabulary and expressions in their day-to-day life. The major challenge we encountered during the Bible translation is to maintain the accuracy and naturality i.e. to effectively communicate the meaning of original text in the local language. Our attempt to interpret biblical concepts took much time as Gonds had different perceptions on those concepts. Despite many difficulties, we were able to complete 12 (68%) books of the New Testament and hope to complete the whole New Testament by 2020.

 

We departed from our work among this people group in the year 2008 to take up the leadership of India Church Growth Mission [ICGM] in Tamil Nadu. But this didn’t affect the growth of the church among the Gonds. It progressed twice as fast! While we were leaving there were around 2000 Gonds following Christ, but the numbers have now grown to 5000.  The reason for this I guess, from the beginning we were indigenous in our approach and carefully insulated the community from any western and foreign way of life. To make the church relevant to the community, we modified it 7 times. We were very keen in making the church independent and allowing the Church and its elders to make decisions on any issue that may develop. These principles assisted in the growth of the church in spite of our absence. Today they send Rs. 40,000 every month as an offering for the mission work. We have witnessed a holistic transformation of the people as the Gospel came and changed their life style, economic situation and much more.

 

What are the needs today?

·         The crucial need to reach the unreached is more workers. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37,38). We must seek more workers with a willingness to either ‘go or send’. A meaningful and committed prayer combined with action is needed today.   

·         Prepare younger leaders who will take up the challenges. We have a strategy in ICGM where in our Boys Home, we speak about missions to the boys from the very beginning, talk about the various needs and encourage them to go and study in Bible colleges. We train them as missionaries. We need more people to be trained. Training of future leadership is the need of the hour.

·         How can we get more Bible translators? First send people to work among a people group and soon they will realize the need for the Word of God and in a little while, they will start translating the Bible. As I said earlier, without the Word of God, the Church will cease to grow and spread. Therefore Church planting and Bible translation should go hand in hand for effective church growth.

 

[1] The Muria are an adivasi (scheduled tribe) of the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, India. They are part of the Gondi people.

[2] Wycliffe Bible Translators refer Muria Gonds as Magu


* Rev. Leslie Nagarajan is the General Secretary of India Church Growth Mission [ICGM] and a member of IMA Executive Committee.

 


IMA NEWS

 

IMA LEADERS VISIT TO ASSAM AND NAGALAND
10 - 16 FEBRUARY 2015

Zohmingthanga, Executive Secretary North & North East, IMA
  

Visiting missions and Churches across the country is important to develop and maintain healthy relationships between IMA and member missions and churches. So the leaders of the India Missions Association, Dr. Theodore Srinivasagam General Secretary of IMA, Rev Wati Longkumer, Associate General Secretary and Mr. Zohmingthanga Executive Secretary for North, visited member missions, prospective members and churches in Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya from 10th to 20th February 2015. Rev Dr Isac Soundararaja the General Coordinator (General Secretary) of Missionary Upholders Trust (MUT) accompanied the IMA team. The team arrived in Dimapur in Nagaland on the 10th and was generously hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Lotha at their “Life Springs Corner” guest house.

 

Visit to Golaghat (Assam)

On 11th February 2015, we visited Assam Baptist Convention (ABC) office at Golaghat, and had a fruitful discussion on church and mission issues and challenges with Mr. Roy Chawdhauri the General Secretary and his officers. One mission practice that caught our attention was the unique “house church” method of church planting they have devised. Through this method they now have over 500 house churches with 2000+ new believers. The ABC encourages these house churches to run in parallel with the traditional Baptist church, and we were told that there is not much tension between the two groups. This method of church planting is called the ‘Elephant and the Rabbit method.’

 

With Leaders of Assam Baptist Convention (ABC), Golaghat

 

Visit to Impur (Nagaland)

After the meeting with Assam Baptist Association leaders, we proceeded for Impur, where the head quarters of the Ao Baptist Church Association (ABAM), is located. It is to this place that the first missionaries came to Nagaland in 1872. We attended the evening church service at Impur Baptist Church and Dr. Theodore Srinivasagam was invited to speak in this service. On 12th morning we had a meeting with the leaders of  the Ao Baptist Church Association (ABAM), led by Rev Dr Mar Astongchanger the Executive Secretary. The involvement of the Ao Baptist Church in missions is encouraging. This is the association which is supporting Rev. Wati Longkumer, AGS of IMA. We are grateful to Ao Baptist Church Association for hosting us and for the warm hospitality.

 

With Leaders of Ao Baptist Church Association (ABAM), Impur

 

Visit to Wokha Baptist Church (Nagaland)

On 12th Thursday we then visited the Lotha Baptist Town Church at Wokha. We had an opportunity to meet the church leaders including the senior Pastor Rev Sulamo and share about the IMA ministry and issues and challenges of Indian missions. It was good to see that the church actively involved in mission.

 

With the Pastors of Lotha Baptist Town Church, Wokha

 

Visit to Kohima (Nagaland)

 We reached Kohima on 12th night and stayed at Nagaland Baptist Church Council guest house. On the 13th, we had a breakfast meeting with two pastors of very mission minded churches, Rev Moa Longchari and Rev Zütou Angami. Later in the morning the Nagaland Baptist Church Council leaders arranged a meeting with its officers and some pastors and  church leaders in Kohima. It was encouraging to see the enormous contribution of the Nagaland Baptist churches in terms of mission work across the country and abroad. We are thankful to NBCC for their hospitality.

 

With Leaders of Nagaland Baptist Church Council, Kohima

 

Visit to Jalukie (Nagaland)

On 13th afternoon, enroute to Jalukie town, we visited Kuki Baptist Association at Khaipong, and had brief fellowship with the family of Rev Minlien Singson the Executive Secretary.

 

 Leaders of Kuki Baptist Association, Khaipong

 

Jalukie is the headquarters of “Rongmei Baptist Association” one of the member missions of India Missions Association. Since we arrived behind schedule we straight away had a meeting with Rev. Lungdapou Rimei, Executive Secretary and other leaders of RBA on mission issues and challenges. On 14th February the leaders organized a morning church service and Dr. Theodore Srinivasagam shared the word of God and Mr. Zohminthanga shared about IMA and its ministry. Dr. Isaac Sundararaja also shared about MUT in this service.

 

Rongmei Baptist Association, Jalukie

 

Visit to Dimapur (Nagaland)

We reached Dimapur on 14th evening. We are grateful to Rev. G. Khing, Executive Director of “Asia Soul Winners” and other leaders for hosting a dinner meeting. On 15th Sunday we had the privilege to speak in five churches in Dimapur. Dr. Theo was invited by “Dimapur Ao Baptist Church”, Rev. Wati at “Indisen Baptist Church”, Mr. Zohmingthanga at Rengma Baptist Church and Rev Isac at Town Baptist Church. Apart from Word of God all of us had an opportunity to share about IMA and mission challenges of India.

 

 Asia Soul Winners, Dimapur

 

A unique experience was the visit on 15th afternoon to the Nagaland Police Baptist Church Association led by the Executive Secretary Dr. Hukashe Zhimomi. This is a grouping of churches which cater exclusively to the police personnel and their families.

 

 Nagaland Police Baptist Church Association, Dimapur

 

On 16th Monday morning a meeting was organized by Rev. Andrew Semp, Executive Secretary of “Nagaland Missions Movement” also attended by pastors and various Mission leaders. We had a fruitful discussion on different issues related to the missions and churches. We are overwhelmed by the hospitality and support given to us by the NMM leaders. Rev. Dr. Wati Longkumer, AGS IMA, was formerly the Executive Secretary of NMM.

 

  Nagaland Missions Movement, Dimapur

 

Visit to Diphu (Assam)

We had a very short visit to Diphu (Karbi Anglong) on 16th evening. During that time we had a meeting with Rev. Luke Rongphar, mission secretary of “Karbi Anglong Baptist Convention”. Although it was a short meeting, we had a good time discussing mission issues and challenges of today’s India. We also visited “Karbi Anglong Presbyterian Mission compound” a mission field of Mizoram “Synod Mission Board”, one of our member missions.

 

 Karbi Anglong Baptist Convention, Diphu

 

We are grateful for the generosity of various churches and individuals for their support in hosting and facilitating our visit. To Mrs Dolly, for providing us comfortable stay and food throughout our stay in Dimapur, Mr Apok Longkumer for making available his vehicle for our tour of Nagaland and Mr Mar who kindly and patiently drove us around. We are grateful to ABAM, NBCC, NMM, & RBA for facilitating our Nagaland visit.

 

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“SUSTAINABLE SKILLS CENTRES” TRAINING
3 TO 5 FEB 2015 AT IMA VISION CITY, HYDERABAD
- A BRIEF REPORT -
Jochen Tewes (Director, IID) and Solomon Babu (Training Coordinator, IMA)
  

In India we need to study available resources in churches, companies and Government.  India Missions Association organized a "Sustainable Skills Centres" Training programme in partnership with Inter-Mission Industrial Development Association from 3rd to 5th Feb 2015 at IMA Vision City Campus, Hyderabad.

 

It was an All India consultation on the subject "Sustainable Skills" where 50 mission leaders across India from Member Missions and Churches (plus 10 IID delegates) participated in this 3 days of training.

 

Those who came were all working in the field of skills training. Sharing of experiences among them became a very valuable part of the consultation and for our own study.

 

We had the privilege to have eminent speakers at the consultation. We had messages that touched our hearts from senior evangelical leaders in India, like Rev. Francis Sunderaraj and Dr. Theo Srinivasagam, who is the General Secretary of IMA.

 

Main resource People, Mr. & Mrs. Jochen Tewes

Rev. Francis Sunderaraj

 

We had teaching sessions on finding support from Government (Mr. B. D. Das, Supreme Court lawyer), income generation (Dr. Saji John) and through fundraising by Mr. P.K.D. Lee.

 

 Participants of the Sustainable Skills Centres Training

 

A few other subjects that were dealt with and discussed were:

·        Overview on Indian skills training scenario – lack of trained craftsmen, involvement of Christian missions, the challenge, the opportunities.

·        Opportunities (1):  Govt. Support Schemes for Skills Training - Questions and Answers regarding Government Support Schemes.

·        Opportunities (2): Corporate Social Responsibility - Examples of existing Employable Skills Centres & explaining Community College and ITI Schemes.

·        Opportunities (3): Income generation - Questions and Answers on Income Generation and  Other Indian Income (fees, loan schemes, volunteers etc.)

·         Opportunities (4): Skills Training and Mission

·         Opportunities (5): Fundraising - Questions and Answers on Fundraising  

·         Future Networking and Prayer Initiatives.

 

 

Training in Progress

 

At the Meal Table

 

We also had a field visit by bus to the remarkable sustainable skills training project Asha Jyothi of Dr. Saji John some 30 kms away from the IMA campus. It was a rewarding visit that everybody thoroughly enjoyed.

 

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FCRA CONSULTATION AT GUWAHATI (FEBRUARY 19-20, 2015)

Zohmingthanga, Executive Secretary North & North-East, IMA
 

The consultation on FCRA Rules was jointly organised by CBCNEI, NEICORD, WORLD VISION, CASA and IMA. It was hosted by CBCNEI at their Campus in Guwahati, Altogether there were 52 participants from different churches and missions from the North East. Dr. Manoj Fogla was the main resource person for this consultation. Dr. Theo Srinivasagam, Rev Dr. Wati Longkumer and Mr. Zomingthanga from IMA participated in this consultation. It was encouraging to see the response to this Consultation.

 

Consultation in Progress

 

We are grateful for the partnership with sister organizations and joint hosting of FCRA Consultation by CBCNEI, NEICORD, WVI, CASA and IMA. It was wonderful to have these partnerships and we hope that this will continue in the future too.


A PEOPLE GROUP PROFILE

 

MAHRATTA OF INDIA

 

INTRODUCTION:

The Mahrattas are found predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. They are also known as Marati or Maratha. They are a group of castes and their language is Marathi. Although for historical purposes the term 'Maratha' is used in a comprehensive sense to include all Marathi-speaking people, actually the word signifies a distinct community, which has dominated the political scene of Maharashtra since medieval times.

 

They also reside in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa and Tamil Nadu. They number around 27,748,000 and form one quarter of the population of Maharashtra and 5% of India's entire population. They are very nationalistic and much attached to Maharashtra.

 

HISTORY:

The history of the Marathas has been documented from the time of the Maratha Empire. The Marathas were a Hindu warrior group from the western Deccan area (present day Maharashtra) who rose to prominence by establishing 'Hindavi Swarajya' ("Indian self-rule" or "Hindu self-rule"). In the 17th century under the leadership of Shivaji, who revolted against the Bijapur Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, they carved out a rebel territory with Raigad as its capital. He is the most famous personality from this group of people and is well known for his guerrilla war tactics.

 

Known for their mobility, the Marathas were able to consolidate their territory during the Deccan Wars against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and later on controlled a large part of India. The Marathas are credited to a large extent for ending the Mughal rule in India. They are a genius in intrigue and guerrilla warfare but unscrupulous in dealings with friends and foes. Their armies were outstanding in attacks, but if forced into a fixed battle quickly fell apart. This characteristic in a sense is still in Maratha men, strong as a group, but not individually.

 

The Marathas dominated the political scene in Maharashtra from the middle of the 17th century to the early 19th century. Their role in struggles against outsiders and in the lead up to Indian Independence is often underestimated. They were the leaders in the movement to remove Portuguese influence from Western India after Independence.

 

They claim Rajput origin and several of their clans have Rajput names like Pawar, Solanki, Chauhan, and Suryavanshi. In the 15th and the 16th centuries, some leading families (Nimbhalkar, Gharpure, and Bhonsale) served as officials to Muslims in the district of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar. Shivaji, the great leader, and now a national hero was the 13th in descent from a Rajput prince. There are numerous Maratha divisions, some are higher in status and considered purer than the rest.

 

OCCUPATION:

Mahrattas are one of the critical groups in India. They occupy all sections of employment viz. politics, government offices, the military, police, education, judiciary, trading and business  and services.

 

They have dominated the state politics of Maharashtra since its inception in 1960. Since then, Maharashtra has witnessed heavy presence of Maratha ministers or officials (which comprises 25% of the state) in the Maharashtra state government, local municipal commissions, and panchayats. 10 out of 17 chief ministers of Maharashtra hailed from the Maratha community as of year 2015.

 

However, all are not rich and powerful. Only 137 Maratha families are the dominant players in state politics. There are 96 clans and most are backward and poor. The Kunbis, known as poor tillers, form a large part of this community.

 

CULTURE & LIFESTYLE:

A Mahratta man rides to his wedding on a horse. Girls are traditionally married young and the family pays dowry to get a suitable husband. They historically took Kunbi daughters for their sons and good Kunbi families could have Mahratta brides. Widow remarriage is accepted in lower divisions of their society. High class Mahrattas used to observe the “purdah” (covering the face with a veil) system for women, shielding them from the outside world. They wear the sacred thread. The dead are cremated.

 

They eat chicken and pork and drink alcohol. They make no difference between food cooked with or without water and accept food from many groups.

 

RELIGION:

Mahrattas are strongly Hindu. Khandoba, also known as Martanda Bhairava and Malhari, the warrior incarnation of god Shiva, is a major deity. He was supposedly born in a millet field near the district of Pune and led his people against Muslims in early times. He is often represented on a horse with two women- a Bania woman, his wife in the front, and a mistress behind him. The main temple of Khandoba is located in Pandharpur and it is a major pilgrimage center. Khandoba is sometimes identified with Mallanna of Andhra Pradesh and Mailara of Karnataka. During the last 100 years, god Ganesh or Ganpati has become a major deity.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Population in India:

27,748,000

 

Alternate Names:

Aray Mahratta, Are Kshatriya, Are Mahratta, Are Maratha, Arya, Arya Mahratta, Bargi, Maharashtrian, Maharathi, Maharatta Kshatriya, Mahratta Kshatriya, Maratha, Marathi, Maratta, Naratha, Rao

 

Top 10 states with population:

Maharashtra (24,344,000); Karnataka (1,916,000); Madhya Pradesh (387,000); Gujarat (279,000); Telangana (278,000); Goa (159,000); Tamil Nadu (142,000); Chhattisgarh (45,000); Kerala (42,000); Andhra Pradesh (31,000); Dadra and Nagar Haveli (18,000)

 

Top 10 languages with population:

Marathi (22,872,000); Konkani (1,782,000); Hindi (1,199,000); Khandesi (489,000); Kannada (479,000); Konkani, Goan (251,000); Ahirani (214,000); Gujarati (205,000); Tamil (89,000); Telugu (61,000)

 

Resources Available:

Complete Bible, Jesus Film, Gospel Recordings, Radio Broadcast. 

 

- from different sources (photo source: joshuaproject.net )


UPCOMING IMA EVENTS & PROGRAMMES

 

IMA CONSULTATIONS & TRAINING PROGRAMMES

 

1.       Training on Bhandu Seva (In Hindi); May 9-13, 2015 at Dehradun.

Cost Rs. 2,500/-

Coordinator: Rev Dr V S Bhandari, Dehradun.

2.       Consultation on Member Care, May 27-29, 2015 at IMA Vision City Campus, Hyderabad.

Cost Rs. 1000/-(Please note change of date).

Coordinator: Dr Ravi David,

3.       Consultation on ‘Church planting among the Unreached’ for CEOs, July 1-3, 2015 at IMA Vision City campus, Hyderabad.

Cost Rs. 1000/-

Coordinator: Dr. Theo Srinivasagam 

 

Please apply to Mr. Solomon Babu, IMA Training Coordinator at training@imaindia.org

 


NEEDS OF IMA FOR YOUR PRAYER & SUPPORT

 

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 advancement@imaindia.org

 


HOW CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO IMA?

  • 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.

 


IMA ADDRESS

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

 


©2015 India Missions Association. All rights reserved 
For further information please feel free to contact us at ima@imaindia.org