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Every year, our hostellers look forward to the Christmas season, not just for the chance to go home but also for the precious memories that will be formed at the hostel. This year was no exception, and just before we reached December, the campus was already glowing with beautiful lights that only the hostellers get to enjoy after darkness falls each night.
On the 2nd December, we enjoyed our annual Advent programme at the hostel, which for the past few years has consisted of a candlelit variety show, a candlelit dinner and a bonfire. The kids worked very hard and everything was a great and memorable success. They were also excited to see former wardens Joe and Gabriel, who came to join in the fun.
A few videos from this occasion can be viewed on our school Youtube account:
The next day, the entire hostel along with the principal and his family attended the Advent ‘Christmas Carol’ programme organised by the Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship (LEFI) at the YMA Hall in Khatla. We were thankful to Pastor Emmanuel for inviting us. The whole event was very enjoyable and we were especially proud of our hostellers for their two items, including a beautiful nativity play and a choir performance.
Class X hostellers remain a little longer than the others due to their exams. This gave them the chance to experience an entirely new worship context, thanks to the kind invitation of Pastor Emmanuel again. They attended a special multilingual and multicultural Christmas service at the compound of the Headquarters of the 23rd Sector of the Assam Rifles (Khatla) and once again presented a special item. Our teacher, Miss Manuni (C Lalnunpuii) also sang at both of Pastor Emmanuel’s events. It was a great honour to be invited to spend time with them.
The little church on the compound was started by Pastor Emmanuel himself and has grown over the past few years after he first started with an informal fellowship of about five Christians. It is a privilege to be part of his ministry and we are also thankful for the tokens of appreciation and expressions of hospitality through lunch that he extended to us on both occasions.
2017 has been a year to remember, and we sincerely wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
We are currently in our final week before the Christmas vacation, and all the children are working hard for their third unit exams. Class X hostellers will stay back for an extra week. However, that doesn’t mean the excitement has to stop, and we have been blessed with two groups of special guests just in the past week.
First, last Monday two veterinary doctors visited to give a fascinating presentation about a variety of issues relating to animal welfare, conservation and ecology. Dr Lallianpuii Kawlni and Dr C Lalchhandama raised awareness about issues that are sure to make the children think about their role both as they look after their pets and care for Mizoram’s precious but delicate natural environment.
Second, last Friday a team of enthusiastic young people predominantly from Nagaland visited to lead a praise and worship afternoon. This included plenty of lively singing and two short but meaningful messages. We do hope they will come again some time.
Sundays at the hostel usually consist of an early morning Bible study with Miss Joanna, a mid-morning service with the Principal, Sunday school with the wardens and an afternoon fellowship with special items led by the hostellers.
Today, all these seemed to unexpectedly converge into a Bible trivia fest! In the morning Bible study, the boys received their prize for collecting the most points for Bible knowledge over the past series of weeks. In Sunday School, prizes were also distributed following their Bible memory exam held last month. In the afternoon fellowship, our warden Sir Jehova led a very good Bible quiz. The ‘Mark’ group were the winners and they will receive their prizes next week.
This Saturday and Sunday, the hostellers were visited by evangelist Pi Mahmingteii and several of her friends. They led a total of four worship sessions which involved a wide range of different kinds of preaching, singing and prayer. The children were inspired to sing by themselves long into the night!
George Ebenezer is an internationally-renowned youth and children’s minister. We were honoured as a school to have him take time out of his busy schedule in Northeast India to visit us for the afternoon, in collaboration with members of Breakthrough Ministries who have visited us several times as part of the LiveJam Tour. They were also accompanied by Pastor Emmanuel from Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship, a friend of our school. Through highly engaging talks, songs, dance and puppetry, George and the team brought a powerful message of preciousness and self-worth to the children.
George Ebenezer is the founder of Beyond Barriers, an organisation for ’empowering kids and teens’ through workshops for young people as well as meaningful training workshops for youth and children’s workers. A two-day workshop was held just this week at Folkland Park, Aizawl. Much of his ministry is born out of his incredible childhood experiences in which he faced the worst possible forms of abuse and poverty before encountering the saving power of Jesus. He and his wife have adopted nine children, many of whom have come from abusive backgrounds themselves.
On Sunday 3rd September, all the hostellers attended the one day Youth Retreat held at the Synod Conference Centre. It was organised by the Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship, Aizawl and featured speakers from other parts of India. The boys and girls also participated through special items. They seem to have had a wonderful time.
Pastor Emmanuel and his energetic team drawn from various parts of Northeast India have long been favourites among the students at Divine Intervention School. From leading devotions and fellowships, to holding retreats in the city attended by our hostellers, their ministry has had a great impact in the school. Under the umbrella of the Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship International, they work among young people and students throughout Aizawl.
After leading devotion last week, Pastor Emmanuel returned alone today to share on behalf of another ministry close to his heart. Ever since his grandfather was involved in its founding, he and his family have been actively supportive of the Bethany Colony Leprosy Association in Andhra Pradesh. For several decades, this colony has provided a safe haven for leprosy patients and their children and grandchildren who would otherwise be ostracised by society, especially since India was erroneously declared leprosy-free in 2005. Pastor Emmanuel shared about a recent visit made to the colony by leaders of the Leprosy Mission branch of Mizoram.
Despite the positive social environment offered by the colony, most still have to survive by begging, and the school and hospital facilities struggle to function without trained staff and adequate supplies. In order to meet the needs of the people, the colony established a tailoring centre called Bethany Weaves. Patients and their relatives work hard to craft good quality bags and textiles which are sold to raise funds to support the patients. More details about Bethany Weaves and how to purchase the bags can be found here and here.
An old friend of the school, Chhantea, visited recently, leading morning devotions last Wednesday and morning worship with the hostellers last Sunday. He stayed with us several years ago in order to learn English and has since been serving with YWAM as a missionary in many places. His enthusiasm for the Lord was very apparent and the children were blessed by his visits. We wish him the very best in his imminent plans to get married and move to Malaysia.
Zorina Pautu returned to Divine Intervention School for a whole weekend of praise and worship. From Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon, he conducted a crusade which was refreshing for all the students and staff, joined by many different musicians, singers and friends. Every programme had a different mix of short talks, singing, dancing, solos and dramas. Zorina Pautu has been based in Mumbai but will shortly be moving to Indore with his family to start a new chapter in his ministry life.
Divine Intervention School is very blessed to be able to invite such a range of visitors to the school to speak with the students. Since the academic session began we have had a special guest almost every week, including Debz Whybrew from the UK who recently spent three months in Lunglei, as well as a team from Nagaland and Manipur.
With the new academic session starting on the 12th April, the Easter weekend has proven to be the perfect time for the hostellers to find their feet and bond with each other.
Class VIII, IX and X hostellers headed to the Synod Conference Centre where they joined in with the Easter Youth Retreat from the 14th-16th April. It was led by several pastors and evangelists from different parts of India, and theme was ‘Journey to the Cross.’ It was an inspirational time for many of the students and a wonderful opportunity to focus on the whole story of Easter for the entire weekend. They all returned having made new friends and ready to start the new academic session in earnest from Monday 17th April.
Meanwhile, all the hostellers below Class VIII remained at the school where they were able to have fun playing and getting to know each other better. On Good Friday, they watched a film about Easter and discussed the story with the wardens. On Saturday, they were treated to an outing to KV Paradise and Aizawl Theological College in Durtlang. Finally, on Easter Sunday morning, they all attended the church service at BCM Government Complex, not far from the school. The church is the youngest Baptist church in Mizoram, with a small membership and incomplete building, so it was very special for the congregation to be visited by so many of the hostel children. They enjoyed taking part and returned to the school happily clutching the special Easter boiled eggs they had received.
For the hostel community, the Easter weekend has been both a relaxing and meaningful time. We are excited about the year that lies ahead for all of the students and their wardens.