Manipur Annual Meeting Sermons (Jan 2023)
Wanted to share these 3 sermons I did. Also the rest of the YouTube channel these sermons were shared on are interesting too, giving a flavor of life in Manipur, Northeast India. The first sermon is on the suffering that sin causes God, the 2nd is on design law, the 3rd is part of my testimony and identity message.
Here is a short report of the culture I sent to my dad and sister if people would like to know more about the fascinating region of the world.
Hi Dad and Lynny,
I have some free time now on the plane so I thought I'd write. I will land in Delhi in about 30min and then have a 2 hour layover to go to Kochin. The flight from Manipur to Delhi was 3 hours 15min, and same from Delhi to Kochin - pretty far distances.
My health has held up so far. A few times it was getting dicey, on the edge of a flu. It is so dusty, roads are bad in Manipur. The small state of Manipur hasa few million people but like 30 languages. I wonder if it is somewhere around here that Thais originated, that is what somebody told me, they are Thai Yai and we are Thai Noi.
The staple food is rice, and people can eat massive quantities of it - almost double per meal of Thai people, similar to Burmese. Their food is like Thai and Indian mixed. They eat with their hands, and eat with gusto and focus. I am constantly the last person eating cause I eat slower than them and talk alot, they don't talk much when they eat. Reminds me of [tennis player] Novak Djokovic who, because of his stomach issues, doesn't talk or watch TV or anything when he eats - he just solely eats haha.
I spoke at a massive conference that worked out providentially for them. Originally I was only going to a youth conference and maybe speak here and there (which is difficult because the roads are bad) but they were having a big annual meeting and the host village was upset there was no foreign speaker. The leaders have little money to bring anyone in, and so I just happened to be there and precisely the days they had it and so - I was the man for the job! Thank God I didnt let them down I think.
They dress up really well for being poor. At a wedding I was amazed and how sharp the attire was. I brought my suit jacket and definitely needed it.
So my trip in Manipur was: landed in Imphal, went to Ukhrul (3 hour journey, terrible road) with the Tangkhul tribe, then from Ukhrul to Khoupum Valley where the meeting was, hosted by the Rongmei tribe, a 6 hour drive going through Imphal. The village was all Adventist; in the past they had a 1 tribe one church rule, which considering all the nagas are basically baptist, meant that if u became a different church u had to leave. The two other ones were either Catholic or Adventist. I think they are becoming less strict on this though now. Then I went back and spent the night in Imphal.
Most of the hill people are Christian, but they did the whole meeting in the official state language of Manipuri, which is the language of the main tribe there - the Mei Tei. They call the Mei Tei people "plains people" and they make up a little over 50percent. The Mei Tei are predominately Hindu, so it seemed strange to use their language to preach when almost no Mei Teis were present at the meeting. But I guess this is like hill tribes in Thailand using Thai to communicate with each other or the EU using English.
The main Adventist center here is in Shillong, Meghalaya, so will probably head there one day. I made lots of friends and will probably be back. They have excellent English skills.
There is still some fighting as there are many insurgent Naga groups here. But a ceasefire for a while has improved things. I hope this part of the world can get some more attention, both from my church and from tourists, the people really are lovely.
Ok that is my anthropology report. I am ready to eat something at Delhi airport, should be landing very soon.