On to Kolasib and dedication ceremony for church

Friday, October 12, 2018
Kolasib, Mizoram, India
The first order of business today is to get us registered as foreigners at the police station.  It is mandatory, vital and important to do this in Mizoram. 
P.C. came by and we went to the Police Station. We waited for an hour for the clerk to come by.  We sat in an office with all kinds of paperwork on desks in full view.  We waited an hour before a nice-looking lady came in and asked us for our passports and visas.  Then she manually entered all the information in a large ledger book and had us sign. 
Then we proceeded on the road to Kolasib, a much smaller city of about 30,000, but the one where the larger UCG congregation is found.
The road was very bad.  There are huge trucks carrying goods on it and beating it up further.  It is raining.  But, they drivers are undaunted and take it in stride.  We straddle the edge of the road where if we slipped off, we would careen hundreds of feet below.  But, after a while you get used to it. 
People don’t honk so much here.  There seems to be a higher level of public patience, if I can use that term.   Again, the road is loaded with trucks, vans, scooters, pedestrians.  Life goes on. 
The road that we are taking to Kolasib is actually a secondary one to the “better road.  The reason is that we are stopping by the village of Mualkhanga to dedicate the foundation stone for the new United Church of God building.  
We first stopped at the elder’s home where a lunch was served. We say "kalome" which is thank you. Many of the congregation came to the house. The elder’s name is Engzuala.  He has throat cancer and cannot speak, so his son Samuel Laltanpuia is picking up the elder’s duties.  
After lunch we walked over the site of the old church where they have been meeting.  It is a building on a member’s property.  When the new church opens, they will dismantle the older building.
Then we walked a bit further to the site of the new construction of the United Church of God building. It is on sloping property (all property is sloping). Reinforced concrete pillars hold up the structure.   I was led to the very bottom of what will be a multi-story building and laid the “foundation” stone.  Earlier at the home I gave a short speech about the words that Solomon had spoken for the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem in I Kings 8.  He first blessed the Assembly of people, which IS the Temple of God.  Then he blessed the places that would be where the prayers of the people would be heard.  Finally, he blessed the Temple structure itself. 
From here we continued on the Kolasib. We were told that Kolasib was on "flatter" terrain. It didn't seem that way to us.  It was still hilly and structures built over air. Jolinda Schreiber twisted her ankle and has been in some pain.  She is a real trooper and this did not dissuade her from enthusiastic trekking on this journey. A doctor, member of the Church, by the name of Hminghlul Fanai helped Jolinda with a bandage. He is now a Facebook friend.
We finally arrived Friday late afternoon at Kolosib and taken to the tourist-like lodging.  This is where we will spend the next two evenings.  
Dinner tonight is at the home of PC Lalvuana and his wife who live in Kolasib.  A number of brethren are invited included a group from the neighboring area of Mamet that adjoins the Aizawl region. This included a Church of God 7th Day elder by the name of C. Lalhmangaihkima. 
A delicious meal was prepared. We were pleased to meet P.C.wife whose name is Lalbiaksangi,  It was a wonderful evening of fellowship and getting acquainted.  The biggest obstacle is the language, but we work though a few who know both English and Mizo.  Ezekiel even has to work with Hindi as a common language that is not the main language with these people to get by. I understand that both Ezekiel or the people here are totally proficient in Hindi.
Tomorrow is the Sabbath and we look forward to meeting in the new church hall.   
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Comments

gayle_hoefker
2018-10-16

I find it interesting that they covered up the foundation stone when the ceremony was finished. Truly part of the foundation. Kudos to you for keeping all the names of people and places straight along with their story. I look forward to seeing more pictures later.

Dan Deininger
2018-10-16

Truly a missionary journey.. reminiscent of Paul's second where he revisited the congregations he had established before. I am confident your visits will be remembered for years to come and serve as an inspiration and encouragement to those whose lives you touched.

Ken Murray
2018-10-20

Thank you for making that very arduous journey. I know those roads and relate very much to your hair-raising experiences. Our fellow brethren would have really appreciated your own personal dedication ...let alone your dedication of their new Church building. Yes, Jolinda is indeed a very valiant courageous trooper.

2018-11-16