A Christian leader from the mysterious land of Nagaland, in north-east India, is to visit the United States in September.
|Phughoto Sema with his family|
The Rev Tim Phillips who, who has been visiting Nagaland each year since March of 1999, now wants American Christians to know more about the Naga Christians and to even invite this leader to their church.
He was talking about the Rev. Phughoto Sema who, Phillips said, “Will be speaking around the country about an amazing project he has undertaken. There is a need for quality schools among the tribal people of north-east India. There is also a need for orphanages for abandoned children. He has a story and a testimony uncommon in our time.”
Rev. Phughoto and his family, Phillips said, have adopted a number of these abandoned children and has plans to build a structure which will house a school, orphanage and shops for local tribal people to sell their handmade products.
“Part of the profits from these ventures will be used to support mission outreaches in the Himalayan region of north-east India,” he said. “Rev. Phughoto has been used of God to raise up hundreds of churches, Christian schools and Bible Colleges. Resources are very limited in his home country, so he is praying that Americans will catch the vision to reach unreached people through these ministries and commit to assist in providing the prayer and financial support to bring this project to success.
|Naga men pictured during a visit to Capitol Hill
(Photo: Dan Wooding)
“We have been ministering with Rev. Phughoto for many years now. He is a dynamic man and a gifted leader,” added Phillips. “Phughoto says, ‘All I ever wanted to be is a pastor of a small church,’ but he has been greatly used by God, not only among the Naga’s — his tribal group — but in reaching unreached people with the Gospel message.
“We have recently finished financing a Christian school in Arunachal Pradesh state of India. The school is among the Bogun people who have no school except what is provided by the Buddhist monastery. When the school begins its new term it will have over 100 students.
He went on to gives some background on Nagaland, which he says is located in the Himalayan region of north-east India.
“This remote region known as ‘The Seat of Satan’ is surrounded by China, Myanmar and Bhutan. This phrase was coined due to the fact that it is the epicenter of the primary world religions of Hinduism, Communism, Buddhism and Islam,” said Phillips.
“In the heart of this very dark land there is a people-group called the Naga’s. Nagaland is politically a part of the country of India, but really is a separate indigenous group both culturally and ethnically. They are a rare jewel in the hand of our Lord.”
Tim Phillips then explained how the Gospel first reached the Naga’s, who at that time were headhunters.
|The pastor with his wife Tozhile|
|Rev. Phughoto Sema preaching|
“Over a hundred years ago the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached to the Naga’s by an American missionary,” he said. “When the missionary left, the Gospel and its effect on the people, remained for over 100 years before missionaries returned. Today, 99% of Nagaland, which has a population of around two million, is Christian.”
If you would be interested in having the Rev. Phughoto speak in your church or support this project, please contact Daniel Hurt of Fire Around the World at 319/361-4700 or by e-mail at: Daniel@iowamissions.com.
“We are making a schedule of meetings and speaking engagements during his visit which are September 2-19,” said Tim Phillips.
Rev. Phughoto Sema Biographical information:
Married to Tozhile and they have four children.
Education: M.Th (Master of Theology).
Experience: 29 years in full time ministry:
1. 12 years as Youth Secretary of Western Sumi Baptist Church Association.
2. 10 years as Executive Secretary of Western Sumi Baptist Church Association.
3. 2 years as Director of Sumi Baptist Convention.
4. 2 years as Director of Nagaland Development Outreach.
5. Director of North East Outreach Ministries.
6. President of Sumi Baptist Theological Association – 2 terms.
7. General Executive member to Baptist World Alliance.
8. Member of Forum for Naga Reconcillation.
9. Recipient of International Peace Prize – 2010.
Rev. Phughoto has started over 300 churches in the Arunachal Pradesh area and 17 in the West Kamang District. He has started three children’s schools, two missions bases, seven churches among the Dimasa people group and 60 among the Nepalese who live in north-east India. He has authored several books in India and produced the The JESUS film in the Hindi language. He has published the Pictorial Children’s Bible for his region and started two Bible Colleges, one home and job training center for wayward women.