A brief history of the women department
The NBCC Women Department was formed in 1967, with the suggestion of Meyatola Longchar, the former Director of School Education, who after returning from the 2nd Indian Women’s Conference in Balasore, Orissa in 1965, asked the Ao Women Association to initiate the formation of Naga Baptist Women Union (NBWU). The Ao Women Association agreed and invited two women as official delegates from each Association to attend the Nagaland Baptist Church Council annual session at Zunheboto in February 1967. There were twelve organized Women Associations then, out of which only six Associations attended the annual session. An informal meeting was conducted under the leadership of Noksangchila and J. Savino on 4th February, 1967. They resolved to form a Naga Baptist Women’s Organization to be called Nagaland Baptist Women’s Union (NBWU) and a working Committee was appointed.
The working Committee met on 24th May 1967, at Mokokchung Town Baptist Church where NBWU was officially recognized as an affiliated body of NBCC. Office bearers and representatives to the Executive Committee were elected. They also made the budget to meet the expenditures of the office work. The first budget of `900/-was allocated to twelve Associations and younger Associations like the Yimchunger and the Khiamniungan Associations were informed to contribute voluntarily, according to their capacity. The NBWU also decided to work actively in support of NBCC Home Mission.
The first NBWU Fellowship was held at the Mission Chapel Kohima from 4th to 6th April, 1969 under the theme, “You are witnesses of these things.” The first office bearers were J. Savino, President; Noksangchila, Secretary and Khrieü Sekhose, Treasurer. The Silver Jubilee of the NBWU was celebrated at the 20th annual meeting, from 30th September to 2nd October, 1994 which was hosted by the Khedi Baptist Church on behalf of the Angami Baptist Women Association.
The organization was looked after by office bearers, Noksangchila, J. Savino and Qhetoli from 1967 till 1981. On requirement of a fulltime Women Secretary, Sennangshila was requested to serve as NBWU Secretary in 1978 and in 1983 she went on to serve the CBCNEI as Women Secretary. In the meantime, Neikolou Mero was appointed as honorary Secretary and served until K. Kapfo joined in July 1984 as the full time Women Secretary. She served for twenty years until she retired in January 2005. She was succeeded by Toshinaro on 15th February, 2005. For better coordination with the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, the nomenclature was changed to Nagaland Baptist Church Council Women Department (NBCCWD) in 1985.
The NBCCWD consists of 20 Associations and six Town Baptist Women Unions with 1500 local Women Fellowships. All the Associations have fulltime Women Secretary who look after the local Churches under their Associations with holistic programmes. The town Unions came into existence mainly for fellowship and to have a common platform for social services. They are looked after by the seasonal office bearers of each Union.
The Women Department of the Associations and Town Unions form the NBCC Women Department with the objective to promote the unity and fellowship of the Nagaland Baptist Churches and to share experiences and exchange ideas among the women. It also encourages women to actively participate in the NBCC Ministry. It also aims to train women for leadership in areas where women can play a role in building Christ centered homes and be involved in the welfare of children. It also strives to appropriately address the socio-moral issues threatening the welfare of the society.
Since 2004, the Council has been conducting annual gatherings and Triennial Conventions where reports of the Associations and Unions are presented and spiritual awakening programmes are held.
The NBCCWD is affiliated to BWFNEI, NEICCWA, IBWU, ABWU and BWAWD. As a sign of working in solidarity, prayer days are observed and a lump sum of money is paid instead of offerings. The 11th General Assembly and Golden Jubilee of India Baptist Women Union (IBWU) was hosted by the NBCCWD from 11th to 13th December, 2009 at Dimapur Ao Baptist Arogo under the theme: “Enlarge your tent and reach out.” About 1200 delegates from all over India attended the Conference.
In 1983, the NBWU board members sensing the need of prayer for Nagas and Mission works, decided to observe 4th February, as prayer day which was approved by the NBCC Executive in 1984. The First Prayers day was observed in 1985 with collection towards NBCCWD Ministry. As part of NBCCWD Silver Jubilee Resolution, since 1995, a chain of prayer for peace in Nagaland is conducted all year round. Scripture memorization is a yearly feature. The office selects 48 verses from the Bible which are sent out to the Associations for women to memorize the verses during the weekly women fellowships. From time to time, at the end of the year, they are given a platform to recite or participate in Bible memory recitation.
In 1985, the Board resolved to observe 1986 as the “Year of Family Altar” to encourage personal devotion and family worship in all the Christian homes. Under the initiative of Women Secretary, K. Kapfo, lessons were prepared and sent out to the Associations for translation into dialects and to use in family worship. From 1987, an Editorial Committee was appointed to write as well as to collect devotional articles, thus the first issue of Daily Path in booklet form was published by way of commemorating the Golden Jubilee of NBCC. As and when published, the booklet goes to more than a thousand homes and is a blessing to many. With a view to strengthen the Christian homes, in 2006, the Board resolved to observe Christian Home Week Programme in all the Churches under NBCC. Every year, a week long programme is prepared and is sent to all the Associations to observe uniformly.
The NBCCWD is upfront in their fight against social evils. It has conducted awareness campaigns where the main activities centered around:
- Free and fair election in general elections
- Liquor prohibition
- Drug addiction
- HIV and AIDS
- Prostitution and human trafficking
For an effective Ministry, leadership trainings are conducted for Associations’ Women Secretaries every year. Retreats are initiated for families, couples, widows and young girls. Seminars are conducted on different issues like green environment, human rights and empowerment of women. The NBCC Women Board decided to take up a project on social Ministry for under privileged women and girls who are at risk. A Board was constituted to spearhead this project. As such, the Miqlat Ministry, an undertaking of the Women Department of NBCC, was first launched on 30th August, 2004 at Dimapur. Here is a brief narrative given by a Miqlat staff of how a daughter was brought back to her father.
“What would it be like to be meeting our loved ones after being apart for almost a decade? Indeed, it would be a delightful moment. But what about if we have hurt our dear ones and made them feel miserable because of us? It would have been a hard task to take a step of courage, to return and seek forgiveness. Ellen, whom we found when at her worst and whom we thought would die soon is one of God’s miracles. She is a symbol of His unceasing love and healing. As we took her home to meet her family after a decade, we did not know what to expect. We were nervous. However, our weariness dissolved in the hope and anticipation of the reunion of a father and daughter. Finally they came face to face. It was a beautiful sight, filled with mixed emotions. For the father, it was like the return of a prodigal daughter whom he thought had died. There was no external form of embracement or feasting. Yet it was explicitly evident that the father had accepted her just as she was in his heart. The father said, ‘People say this and that about my daughter but in my heart I always knew God will surely bring her back to me someday. No matter what kind of life she has lived, she is still my daughter and you have blessed me with the best gift this Christmas. You have brought my daughter home, forgiving her is the best gift I can give to her now. When I heard that you were bringing back my daughter, I bought two kilos of fish on credit and was waiting for you at the bus stop.’ I was there speechless, tears rolling down my cheeks yet so satisfied and proud at the bold ”
With the initiation of the Christian Institute of Health Research and Sciences in collaboration with the Ministry of CIHSR with the NGOs at Dimapur, an integrated Urban Health clinic was set up at Miqlat Office on 25th March, 2010. The clinic is open every Friday with a Doctor and an assistant deputed from the CIHSR.
In the Mission front, since the inception of the NBWU, the first organizing Committee in 1967 decided to actively support NBCC Home Mission and therefore on the advice of the NBCC, the Mission Projects of NBWU was channelized through NMM. On the occasion of the NBCCWD Silver Jubilee Celebration, the NBCC Women Board decided to raise funds to send a lady Missionary out of Nagaland. As a fulfillment of the Resolution, during the Conference of Naga Women in 21st Century Celebration, on 7th October, 2001, Apeni Enyie from Lotha Baptist Church, Kohima, was commissioned by the NBCCWD as a cross-cultural Missionary to Sikkim and she served for three years. After a gap of two years, Ruokuovino Keyho was commissioned by the NMM on 26th June, 2005 at Khedi Baptist Church. She is commissioned for Myanmar but is initially stationed at Noklak and teaches in Baptist English school, under the Khiamniungan Baptist Churches Association (KBCA). During winter breaks, she travels to Myanmar to visit Churches, conduct leadership trainings and to provide basic medical aid. In 2010, she walked for two days at a stretch and visited 29 Churches.
With the zeal to continue the Mission for the Lord, the NBCC Women Board decided to keep the remaining amount collected during the Naga Women in 21st Century Celebration as seed money for Mission work. More funds were raised as per the decision of the Board. The fund is now being utilized for the construction of a commercial building which is to be named as Mission Building of the NBCCWD Ministry. This act is in itself a testimony as to how Naga women are involved in propagating the Gospel in the neighboring villages, States and other countries. Therefore the challenge for Naga women is to continue to strive harder to reach for higher goals in all aspect of life and in all glory of the Lord who created womankind.
President – Mrs.Pusuinla Longkumer
Vice President – Miss Chongtei Heno
Recorder – Miss Meribeni Ngullie
Asst.Recorder – Miss Azon
Association Women Secretaries
ABAM – Mrs.Alem Mozür
ABCC – Mrs.Ravikhoü Kera
CBCC – Mrs.Neingupeü
CBLT – Mrs.Noksen
CRBC – Mrs.Shanile Kath
KBCA – Miss Chongtei Heno
KBA – Miss Neisi
KBBB – Mrs.Lemya
LBA – Miss Azon
LBES – Miss Meribeni Ngullie
NPBCA – Mrs.Pusuinla
PBCA – Mrs.Angbhenla Phom
PBCC – Miss Külovi
SABAK – Mrs.Teli
SBAK – Mrs.Kuholi
USBLA – Miss Aprie
WSBAK – Mrs. Kakheli
YBBA – Mrs.Toshila
ZBA – Mrs.Joshila
ZBCC – Miss Heuyisile
Nagamese – Mrs.Mhabeni
Gorkha – Miss Shanti Pradhan
Miqlat Ministry: Miqlat Ministry is an outcome of the celebration of the Women in the 21st Century in 2001 where Naga Baptist women gathered together and felt the pressing need to address and tackle social evils in our society with regard to women. As a result, Miqlat Ministry came into existence in 2004 and was officially launched in 2005.
Miqlat is a Hebrew word which means “shelter, refuge” and true to the name, it offers shelter and refuge to broken-hearted mothers, women and daughters languishing away in Naga society. Miqlat is there to listen to the despair of wounded women and to stand with them in prayer, counseling and encouragement. Miqlat is holistic social Ministry dealing not only with the physical, social and emotional well-being but also with the spiritual well-being of a woman. Miqlat is not only a registered organization but also a business set up which focuses on “Business as Mission.” The aim is to train and empower, and to offer better life-style alternatives to girls and women so that they have a chance to live an improved, more hopeful and dignified life. The business set up produces soap, candles, handloom products, lanterns, cards, etc.
The vision of Miqlat Ministry is to share the love of Jesus to those who are living a life of shame, guilt, fear and dejection. It works towards bringing them to the knowledge of their Maker. It works diligently in strongly advocating against human trafficking and prostitution. The Mission of Miqlat is, “To reach out, to touch, to share, to embrace, to empower and to transform,” and with this Mission, offers counseling, prayers, vocational trainings, retreats, seminars, Bible studies, sports etc.
To know more about Miqlat ministry you can visit our website.
Sisterly Care Ministry: This ministry aims to focus on ministry of edifying and building up each other. Therefore, the bigger and abled associations are to help the smaller associations depending on the area of their needs. Those associations which are having expertise or resources etc can give needed help to another association and through such programs our member associations will be benefited.
“Imagine the Future” Conference: This conference is to provide platform for Naga women from different backgrounds and various fields to come together, reason and to express themselves, their concerns, aspirations, and be positively challenged for a better future in Christ. Towards this the department has initiated a Women Conference called “Imagine the Future.”
Christian Home Week: Every during second week of May ‘Christian Home Week’ is observed in all the churches under NBCC with different theme each year. Each day were designated for targeted group with different activities, visiting hospitals, old age people, orphans, getting to know ones neighbors and having fellowship.
Leadership Development: There is a strong felt need for leaders to be empowered, to update their skills and develop vision for women ministry in their own given context. So the department organize or arrange trainings particularly for Women Secretaries.
Chain of Prayer: This is the 22nd year of NBCCWD, praying for peace and tranquility in Nagaland. It started from from January 1, 6 am and will end on December 31, 6 pm for this year, but this chain of prayer will continue till peace prevails in our land.
Clean Election: As a stakeholder of Clean Election Campaign of NBCC, the NBCCWD resolved to actively participate in the ongoing campaign by encouraging all the Women Department of the Associations to support the Campaign/Movement in letter and spirit. Further, Women Department of the Associations are empowered to direct the local churches Women Department to set up checking points at strategic areas to control the inflow of liquor, drugs, weapons, cash etc into Towns and villages in their respective areas.
Collegiate Girls Camp: We are living in an age of social pressures and media influences. Many young girls are influenced by the pressure to be beautiful and perfect. There are many young girls struggling with personal issues – pre-marital sex, abortion, early pregnancy, self-worth, emotionalism etc. Therefore, with the theme “Exquisite Inside Out” we encourage young girls to live a life of purity, godly virtue, integrity, good works, accountability, individual worth and faith in God. This ministry was started in 2016 and since then the department conduct the Collegiate Girls Camp once every year.