29th September 2015
Greetings to you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
This is my last letter to you as the General Secretary of the India Missions Association. I thank you all and the IMA Executive Committee for giving me an opportunity to serve the Lord through IMA in the cause of His mission for the past 17 months from 1st may 2014 to 30th September 2015.
It has been a challenging time for me and my small team of 8 to move things forward in IMA.
The Plans and the Results
We have strived to rebuild IMA and we have made small beginnings in the past year. They are as follows:
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 contact with IMA member missions: My colleagues and I travelled extensively and visited most of the member missions in the East, West, North and South of India, met with the leaders and had ‘get-togethers’ in different locations. Further, the Executive secretaries for North and South namely Mr. Zomingthanga and Mr. Prakash Nayak met with them separately and had several meetings with them. This was greatly appreciated by the member missions.
2. Having need based Mission programmes: With the lord’s help we were able to conduct 11 different programmes in Hyderabad and in various parts of the country to help missions in their God given task. These were well attended by member missions and were appreciated. I would like to praise God that all the programmes were self-financed without IMA having to subsidize the cost.
3. Having effective Communication: During my term of office I was able to launch the following:
a) A monthly INDIA MISSIONS E NEWS from 1st July 2014 which gives the General Secretary’s monthly letter, a Bible study, an article by a mission leaders, an Unreached Peoples Group and the latest news from IMA and other missions.
b) A journal called INDIA MISSIONS JOURNAL produced twice a year with thought provoking articles form mission leaders. The 2 issues for Jan-June 2015 and July-Dec. 2015 will be sent to you shortly.
c) A book on “MEGA LEAST REACHED PEOPLE GROUPS OF INDIA” was released in the Ethne 2015 Global Conference in September 2015. It is available at the IMA office.
4. IMA Vision City Campus development: A Library has been set up in the Multi-purpose hall complex and some basic improvements have been done there. Because of paucity of funds we could not undertake any major infrastructure project on the campus. There is a great need for new infrastructure such as new computers and other equipment in the office set up. We also need to develop other campus facilities.
5. Finance and Fund raising: This is an area of great concern. I took over when funding for IMA was very low. We have initiated various ways to increase the fund flow, but it still remains critical. Some are asking why IMA is always asking for money. This is because individual missions go to their own donors for their funding. However, IMA has only a handful of local donors as it was feltMissions should fund IMA. That is why I have to write to you. So kindly support IMA in the following ways:
(1) By regularly paying your subscription of only Rs. 5000/- per year.
(2) By contributing Rs. 5000/- per month towards support of a member of IMA staff. Lower amounts are welcome.
(3) By giving generously to the staff Children’s Fund and Health Care Fund.
(4) By giving a subsidy to run its various programmes and for the office infrastructure needs.
(5) By visiting the IMA office in Hyderabad and encouraging thee staff in their various activities.
IMA Staff with the Past and Present General Secretaries
Activities in August and September 2015
The following were the activities during August and September this year.
1. Training programme on Persecution and legal issues: This was conducted by IMA in partnership with the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) in Nagpur from august 5-7. About 35 mission leaders who participated were greatly benefited. We thank the NCCI leaders for this partnership.
2. Ethne 2015 Global Conference: Ethne 2015 conference was held in the Ashirwad global Learning Centre (Seva Bharat) in Hyderabad from September 7-11, 2015 where 270 delegates participated. We celebrated what has been accomplished in reaching the Unreached Peoples Groups, assessed what need to be done and considered ways to accelerate to reach the rest speedily. We were able to develop various networks to help in this process. Several IMA mission leaders took part in the various sessions and made significant contributions.
I thank Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India for honouring us by being the Chief Guest, Bishop Hrudaya for declared opening the conference, the various missions and churches who took part in the Cultural programme on 7th September for the 4 bishops who celebrated the holy communion on 11th September and all the volunteers including Mr. William Paul, the official photographer and the staff of Ashirwad Global Learning Centre. We praise God for the IMA Executive Committee, Ethne Steering Committee, the Local Organizing committee, various missions and IMA staff for their unstinted cooperation in making this a wonderful and successful conference.
We had a thanks giving meeting for the Local Organizing Committee today, 29th Sept, and we praised God for his help to all of us in conducting the Ethne conference successfully.
3. IMA Annual General Body Meeting: The IMA Annual General Body Meeting was held at 2 pm on 11th September at the Ashirwad Global Learning Centre, Hyderabad after the Ethne 2015 conference concluded. This was well attended and the business of IMA was ably conducted by the Chairman Pastor Paul Radhakrishnan. The members thanked the outgoing interim General secretary Dr. R. Theodore Srinivasagam for his services and welcomed the incoming General Secretary Rev. Dr. Wati Longkumer.
CLICK HERE: Report of the General Secretary from April 2014 to September 2015
CLICK HERE: Treasurer's Report
Farewell to Drs Theodore and Diana Srinivasagam by Pastor Paul Radhakrishnan, IMA Chairman
New Executive Committee Members of IMA 2015-16:
Rev. Dr. Pran Ranjan Parichha, IEA - Chairman
4. Installation Service of the New General Secretary: The installation service of the new General Secretary Rev. Dr. I. Wati Longkumer was held at 4.30 pm on 11th September 2015 at the conclusion of the IMA Annual General Body meeting at the Ashirwad Global Learning Centre, Hyderabad.
5. Mr. Prakash Nayak, Executive Secretary – South leaving IMA: Mr. Prakash Nayak, who is the Executive Secretary for South India is leaving IMA from 1st October 2015. He joined IMA in 2002 and has been working in various capacities. His desire is to teach in a Bible college and also do doctoral studies in the future. We praise God for his faithful service with IMA for the past 13 years and we wish him well in the next stage of his service to the Lord.
As I conclude my term of office with IMA. I want to thank Rev. Dr.Wati Longkumer, the Associate General Secretary and all my other colleagues, the IMA Executive Committee and all the mission leaders for your cooperation and help in carrying out my responsibilities as General Secretary of IMA.
My request to IMA member missions is to extend your whole hearted support and cooperation to the new general secretary Rev. Dr. Wati Longkumer and his team remembering that IMA is YOUR ASSOCIATION and it is through the “Partnership in the Gospel” (Phil. 1:5) that we can reach India together.
Thank you once again for your help to me and my wife during the past 17 months.
As I sign off, I extend my warm greetings to all of you.
Yours in His service,
R. Theodore Srinivasagam
General Secretary, India Missions Association
THEME: ‘GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS…TRIBES, PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES” (MATT.28:18-20, REV. 7:9)
THEM ….” IN GOD’S MISSION
Baptism, whether administered by dipping, pouring or sprinkling, signifies a full and eternal consecration of the person to the service and honor of that Being in whose name it is administered.
In Baptism we deal with (1) the form and (2) the substance.
1) The Form: While the Lord Jesus Christ gave the command to his disciples to baptize’ them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’ (Mather 28:19) there are several references in the New Testament of people being baptized in “the name of the Lord Jesus,” or “of Christ.” Why is there this difference?
The apostles baptized the Jews into the name of Jesus the Son, and the Gentiles, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.The converts from the house of Israel, already of the family of God and who believed in the Father and the Spirit, were baptized into the name of Jesus as the Messiah, as the condition of their admission into the Church which He had founded. Their belief in the Father and the Spirit was virtually implied in their belief in Jesus as the incarnate Son.By this confession they gave a fresh life to doctrines which they had partially received before. In case of the gentilesit was different. They had worshipped “many gods and many lords ” (1Cor. 8:5), had been “without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), and so they had not known the Father, the Son Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. So they had to be baptized in the name of the triune God.
2) The Substance: What is meant by being baptized “into a name”? In the Old Testament Name of God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15 is “I am who I am”. It is in that Name, which is the union of three names, of Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in one formula as in the benediction (2 Cor.13:14)that we are to be baptized. This is in itself a proof of the distinctness and equality of the three divine persons. We cannot conceive of a command given to and adopted by the universal Church to baptise all its members in the name (not “the names”) of God and a merely human prophet and an impersonal influence or power.
Christian baptism is not just in the Name, but in the Name of the trinity; it signifies union with God, the God who has revealed Himself by this threefold ‘Name’, as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit (John Stott).
To be baptized into the name implies a professed dependence on these three divine persons, jointly and equally, and devoting of ourselves to them as worshippers and servants.As believers it teaches us to honour the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
People may become disciples secretly, but baptism is the public confession of those who claim to be Christ’s disciples. So baptism is moving from the private to the public, personal to the corporate and from conversion to admittance into His church.
So in mission, the formation of a church and admitting of disciples of Jesus Christ into the church is important as it ensures continuous teaching, growth and spread of the Christian faith.
11 SEPTEMBER 2015,
ASHIRWAD GLOBAL LEARNING CENTRE, HYDERABAD
The IMA Annual General Body Meeting was held at 2 pm on 11th September at the Ashirwad Global Learning Centre, Hyderabad after the Ethne 2015 conference concluded. This was well attended and the business of IMA was ably conducted by the Chairman Pastor Paul Radhakrishnan. Pastor Paul Radhakrishnan retired after his term of office and for the one vacancy in the Executive Committee, Rev. G. Khing from Nagaland was chosen. The General Secretary Dr. R. Theodore Srinivasagam and the Treasurer, Bishop Dr. Lalsingh Lazarus presented their reports along with the audit report and was accepted with appreciation. The age of retirement of the IMA staff has been increased to 62 from 60. The new Chairman is Bishop Pran Ranjan Parichha, the founder Bishop of the Community Church of India and Director of India Evangelistic association, Cuttack, Odisha.
It was announced that Rev. Dr. I. Wati Longkumer, former missionary to Cambodia and the Executive Director Nagaland Missions Movement will be the next general secretary of IMA and will take over from 1st October 2015. The members thanked the outgoing interim General secretary Dr. R. Theodore Srinivasagam for his services and welcomed the incoming General Secretary Rev. Dr. Wati Longkumer.
OF THE NEW GENERAL SECRETARY
The installation service of the new General Secretary Rev. Dr. I. Wati Longkumer was held at 4.30 pm on 11th September 2015 at the conclusion of the IMA Annual General Body meeting at the Ashirwad Global Learning Centre, Hyderabad. This was presided over by the outgoing Chairman Pastor Paul Radhakrishnan.
Dedication of Rev Dr. Wati Longkumer and his wife Mrs. Arenla Y. Longkumer
Dedication of Rev Dr. Wati Longkumer and his wife Mrs. Arenla Y. Longkumer
Dr. K Rajendran, former General Secretary of IMA conducted the installation with all the mission leaders present stretching forth their hands and blessing Rev Dr. Wati Longkumer and his wife Mrs. Arenla Y. Longkumer. The outgoing General Secretary gave his farewell talk and Dr. Wati Longkumer gave his acceptance speech. He will take over his responsibility on 1st October 2015.
TRAINING PROGRAMME ON
PERSECUTION AND LEGAL ISSUES
This was conducted by IMA in partnership with the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) in Nagpur from august 5-7. About 35 mission leaders who participated were greatly benefited. We thank the NCCI leaders for this partnership.
Participants to the Persecution & Legal Issues Training Programme, Nagpur
in India: 4,538,000
Religion: Hindu (88.97%), Sikh (10.95%), Muslim (0.08%)
Main Language: Hindi
Introduction: The Arora or Ror are a respected Hindu cultivating and trading caste of the State of Punjab. Their ancestral home is the Dhak jungles between Karnal and Ambala districts in Punjab. Theyclaim to be of Rajput origin and in status similar to Jats.
Location and Language: During the partition of India in 1947, almost all Aroras left Pakistan and western Punjab and and entered India. Some live in Afghanistan and Central Asia. They speak Hindi, Eastern Panjabi, Western Panjabi and Gujarati.
Lifestyle and Culture: They have a reputation for enterprise, thoughtfulness and hard work. Arora marriage ceremonies are similar to that of Jats and Gujars and dowry is given in cash and kind. Widow remarriage is allowed.
Occupation and Food Habits: They are willing workers and good cultivators and women also work in the fields. Some are traditionally tailors, mat weavers, basket makers, makers of brass and copper vessels, and goldsmiths. Today they are in diverse economic activities. Their staple diet is pulses and roti (unleavened bread). Their status is inferior to that of the Bania or Vaisya.
Religion: The Aroras are divided into two main social groups, Hindu Aroras and Sikh Aroras. The Hindu Aroras worship the major Hindudeities like Krishna, Rama, Sita,and Lava. The Sikh Aroras worship their Gurus(spiritual leaders). The main festivals observed are Holi, Baisakhi, Guruparab, Lohri, and Diwali.
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