INDIA MISSIONS ASSOCIATION
Registered Office: 38, Langford Road, Bangalore 560025
Administrative Office: 5-47, Kundanpally (V), Keesara (M), R R District, Hyderabad 501301
Report of the General Secretary from April 2014 to September 2015
R. Theodore Srinivasagam
General Secretary, India Missions Association
I took charge as IMA General Secretary for an interim period on 1st May, 2014 and here are some of the salient features till September 2015.
I had outlined the 5 priorities for this period during the last AGM held on 30th April 2014 and they were kept in mind in all the activities that were planned for IMA. They were:
1. To develop close contacts with the IMA member missions
2. To make IMA programs need – based for missions
3. To have effective communication
4. To reinitiate campus development
5. To ensure financial stability by expanding prayer and support base of IMA
1. Developing close contacts with the IMA member missions
Mission leaders ‘Get together’ meetings which began in July 2014 are continuing in various parts of the country. In the initial visits I along with Rev. Wati Longkumer and the Executive secretary for the region concerned visited and met with the leaders of various missions.
We have so far visited and held meetings in the South in Tamilnadu (Chennai, Madurai, and Kanyakumari), Kerala (Trivandrum), Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad, Machilipatnam) and Karnataka (Bangalore). In the North we held meetings in Delhi, Uttarkhand (Dehra Dun) and Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow) and Eastern Maharashtra (Nagpur).In the North east we interacted with Mission and Church leaders in Manipur (Imphal, Churachandpur), Mizoram (Aizawl, Lunglei, Saiha, and Lawngtlai), Assam (Guwahati, Golaghat, and Diphu), Nagaland (Impur, Wokha, kohima, Jalukie, Dimapur) and Meghalaya (Shillong). In the East we met with leaders in Odisha (Cuttack). In the West we met with leaders in Western Maharashtra (Pune) and Gujarat (Ahmedabad). The leaders of missions and churches warmly welcomed us, provided us with hospitality and were eager to meet with us. These meetings were much appreciated.
After the initial visit the concerned Executive Secretary, namely Mr. Prakash Nayak for the south and Mr. Zohmingthanga for the north and the north east are continuing to visit them and keep in touch with the leaders.
In some of the regions Coordinators have been appointed from among the mission leaders. In some places in south India, the leaders of the regions have already met 4 times for consultations and prayer.
2. Need based IMA Programs:
Consultations and Training programmes were planned from September 2014 to September 2015 in the IMA campus and elsewhere to help missions.
A total of 12 programs were conducted from April 2014 toSeptember 2015.
1. National Women’s Conferencewas conducted on 23rd to 25th April 2014 in the IMA Vision City, Hyderabad. A total of 75 delegates participated in this wonderful conference. The conference was coordinated by Mrs. Asangla Patra and Mrs. Jaya Nayak. The main speakers were Mrs. Faith Kulothungan, Mrs. Koki Desai, Pastor Cynthia Fernandez, Mrs. Sharmila Peter, Mrs. SanjuPrabhaPani, MrsUshaDiwaker and MrsNirmala Abraham.
2. Seminar on Governance FCRA and Income Tax rules was held on 26th and 27th Sept. 2014 in New Delhi: This was an excellent 2 day seminar in New Delhi with experts such as Dr Manoj Fogla sharing and answering all the questions of the participants. At least a dozen IMA member missions from north India out of a total of about 30 participants took part in this. This was a partnership program of EFICOR, EFI, EFAC, IMA and CIM.
3. Partnership in Mission Workshopwas on Nov 12-14 at IMA Vision City campus, Hyderabad. 25 participants from 15 missions participated. Dr Rio Sibarani from Indonesia, Mr Prem James and Mr William Paul from Interdev, Bangalore led the sessions.
4. Seminar on Governance, FCRA and IT ruleswas held on Nov 14-15 at IMA Vision City campus, Hyderabad. It was ably led by Dr Manoj Fogla, Finance and Legal expert, Rev Kennedy Dhanabalan of EFICOR, New Delhi, and Mr Anbu of CIM, Chennai. 33 participants from19 missions greatly benefitted from this seminar.
5. Advanced Neighbours Trainingwas conducted on Nov 18-22 at IMA Vision City campus, Hyderabad. This was for those working among Neighbours and 35 leaders from 14 missions participated. Rev Walter Eric, Dr Mobin Khan and others were the resource people. Those who got trained were issued with certificates.
6. Consultation on “Sustainable Skills Centres”was held on Feb. 3-5, 2015 in the IMA Vision City Campus in Hyderabad. This was held 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.
7. Consultation on “FCRA and IT Rules”was held on Feb. 19-20, 2015 in the CBCNEI campus in Guwahati in partnership with CBCNEI, NIECORD, WVI and CASA. The 52 participants greatly benefited from the teaching of Dr. Manoj Fogla the main resource person.
8. Seminars on Partnership for Missions in 21st century were conducted in 6 cities from June 5-16, 2015.Dr Theodore Srinivasagam, General Secretary and Rev Wati Longkumer, General Secretary designate together with Mr Prem 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.
These 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 32 participants greatly appreciated the seminar.
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.
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.
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.
In Kolkata, the seminar was conducted in the Baptist Mission society on 13th June with 9 participants.
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.
9. Research Workers Consultation, was held in Hyderabad on 14th July 2015and the participants discussed about various aspects of research work in the context of Indian missions. Some of the topics discussed were: urgent research needs of Churches & Missions, the present trends in research, kinds of research needed in India, levels of research work, training for research work, funding for research etc. It was felt that 3 levels of research need to be conducted, namely atthecentral research body level like IMA to coordinate the work, state level bodies to gather and disseminate information and the mission field level grass root research. This will help missions and churches immenselyin their work.
10. Church planting among the Unreached, Hyderabad – July 15-17, 2015 was held in partnership with India Campus Crusade for Christ.35 leaders participated in the 3 day consultation and wanted to see that the church planting work among the unreached was expedited and relevant churches were established.A need for “A Church for Every Person” and the importance of working together and form a network was felt.The participants showed much enthusiasm to establish a network, toinvolve in research to map the status of the unreached areas / village /people groups, mobilize concerted prayer for the nation, and focused on training to develop mission leaders, a website to share best practices and periodic evaluation of the progress in unreached areas and feedback to the missions etc. A network was formed an ad-hoc committee was established to take it forward.
11. A Bandhu Seva Seminar(Ministry to Hindus)was conducted in Ahmedabad on 25th July 2015. A seminar was planned by the India Missions Association in partnership with Churches and organizations in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 25th July 2015. About 80 people attended the seminar from CNI, Methodist and Alliance churches from across Gujarat. Further there were representatives form 14 different organizations. IMA General Secretary Dr. Theodore Srinivasagam and Associate GS Rev. Dr. Wati Longkumer were the resource people.
12. Training on Persecution and Legal Issueswas conducted in Nagpur from September 5-7, 2015. This programme was successfully conducted by IMA in partnership with the National Christian Council of India.There were 35 Mission Leaders including 3 women from 18 Mission Organization from all over India and represented7 language groups. This Legal Literacy programme helped the participants to critically analyze the socio-political and religious context of India, increased the knowledge of the Indian constitution and Rights of the (Christian) Minorities, enhanced the basic legal knowledge to handle the crises at the grass-roots level, introduced them to modern technologies to build net-works and sensitized them with a code of conduct for the grass-roots mission workers in a multi-faith context.
Ethne 2015 Global Conference
This was hosted by IMA and was held on 7-11 September 2015at the Ashirwad Global Learning Centre in Hyderabad. This conference was held with the theme “Collaborating for making disciples of all ethne”and focused on reaching the Unreached People Groups of the world.About 260 delegates from India and Overseas made this a memorable event in the history of IMA.
Some of the Programs planned for the near futureare as follows:
Neighbors (Ministry to Muslims) Training
Youth and Scripture Engagement
Bandhu Seva (Ministry to Hindus) Training
Member Care Consultation
3. Effective Communication
The following were done to enhance the communication of IMA in the past 17 months
General Secretary’s letter to IMA Member Missions: I am writing every month to mission leaders’ starting from July, 2014.
India Missions E-News: This E-News was launched on 1st July 2014 and is being sent out every month through internet giving the General Secretary’s monthly letter, a Bible study, an article by a mission leader and News from IMA and the Missions. This is well appreciated.
India Missions Journal; This is a new Journal that is being brought out by IMA beginning from the January-June issue of 2015.This will bring out quality mission articles, which we hope will stimulate missiological thinking leading to action by mission and church leaders. This will be a half yearly publication.
A book called “Mega Least Reached Peoples groups of India” was brought out in September 2015 in commemoration of IMA hosting the Ethne 2015 Global Conference in Hyderabad, India. This is an abridged and updated version of the book ‘Mega Unreached Peoples of India’ published by IMA in 1999.
A Power point presentation has been made called “What is IMA”? This is appreciated by the member missions.
4. IMA Vision City Campus development
1. Office infrastructure: Several old P.Cs, the UPS system, telephone connections, Xerox machine etc. were all repaired. I am thankful to the IMA member missions in Madurai area who gifted a new laptop to the General Secretary and this has been a great help to him in his work.
2. Vision City development:We are beginning to upgrade the facilities in the Accommodation Block and in the Multi-purpose hall slowly as funds permit.We have been able to set up a library facility in the Multi-purpose hall facility. But we could not move ahead in what we needed to do because of paucity of funds.
5. Ensuring financial stability
Core Group: The core group consisting of the Treasurer, AGS and I are meeting whenever needed. Developments are kept informed and approvals of important matters are taken when needed.
Executive Committee members: I am grateful to the Executive Committee members forgiving their time and input into the functioning of IMA. I request that those who desire to be EC members should be willing to give their time and also raise finance for IMA.
All pending bills and property taxes have been paid and are up to date. A petty cash system was introduced in the office and is working well.
Finance continues to be at a low level and we are being as economical as possible. We are sharing our needs through meetings, letters to mission leaders and monthly E-News.
Missions Membership contribution: We are also concerned that all missions are not paying their membership contribution of Rs. 5000/- per year regularly. I request all member missions to help us in this regard.
Missions support:Several missions have come forward to support the IMA staff and also IMA Children’s Education fund regularly and we are thankful for that. But we need many more to come forward to support the small team of IMA staff regularly. I want to see the staff is fully supported by Indian Missions and churches so that we can stand on our own feet.
Honorary Church Relations Co-coordinators:We need to strengthen IMA‘s relationship with the churches. So we are planning to appoint Honorary Church Relations Co-coordinators in each state.
Mission Consultations and Training Programmes:We praise God all the programmes were financially self-sufficient. They were financed by the registrations and special contribution for that programme. No money was taken from IMA. In fact most of them was able to give some money to the IMA General funds.
Funding Agencies:I have sent out several proposals to funding agencies for their funding for various proposals. Please pray that the Lord will provide the necessary finance to run IMA effectively and efficiently.
I am thankful for each of the member missions, supporting churches and donor agencies and individuals who have contributed for the work of IMA this past year.
Staff :We are a small team of 8 missionary staff in the office. We are holding regular monthly staff meetings from May 2014 where work is assigned and the various programs and travel schedules worked out. The assigned work is also monitored for their implementation. The duties of staff have been redesigned as per the needs. Every 4th Wednesday is observed as a half day of Fasting and Prayer day in the office. This was started in May and is continuing. Different members of staff are in charge of those days. We would like to go out for a retreat as staff.
We also need more staff to help in various activities of IMA. We want to see people seconded from missions for a period of 3 years, paid by the missions, who can help us.
Office Infrastructure: We are in need of good infrastructure in the IMA office as most of the computers, printers, photocopiers, telephones, furniture are very old and we are facing constant break downs.
Library: We need a good library in IMA. We have to set up a good library room with good Mission related books and journals so all who visit IMA Headquarters will benefit from it.
Vision City: There are several needs. Accommodation Block and Dining Hall Block needs up gradation. Further we need to think of putting up the main building with office set up, conference hall and seminar rooms.
As I lay down my responsibilities, I thank the Chairman and the Executive Committee members of IMA for their support to me and my colleagues as we carried forward the work of IMA this past year.
I request you to kindly extend your support and cooperation to the new General Secretary Rev. Dr. I. Wati Longkumer as he takes over the responsibilities as the General Secretary of IMA from 1st October 2015.
God bless you all.
R, Theodore Srinivasagam
General Secretary, India Missions Association