For the second year running, hostellers at Divine Intervention School participated in the Global Hymn Sing organised by OMF International and Keith and Kristen Getty (composers of ‘In Christ Alone’). The song chosen for the 25th February was ‘Jesus shall reign where’er the sun’, with a contemporary new chorus. We sang the song in its Mizo translation (KHB 248), with the chorus in English. It was a very meaningful way to remind ourselves about the importance of mission and serving God wherever we go, especially since it was the last Sunday together of the academic session.
A few weeks ago, the hostellers were treated to a visit from Rev Sanga, a pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and a well-known singer. He entertained the children with stories and songs, and shared about his new role in establishing a Seventh Day English School in the southern town of Sangau.
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.