Previously called Kamarupa and alternatively, Pragjyotisha, Assam (also known as Ahom), the biggest and most accessible of the eight states in the North Eastern region of India, spans like a mammoth along the length and breadth of the only masculine mighty river Brahmaputra. Mesmerizing colourful hues ardor its distinctive multicultural hospitality of aromas and flavours exhibited in rich vibrant heritage of untold yet brilliant history. It boasts of picturesque surrounding green gold of manicured tea estates, enchanted by the blue mountains of Arunachal Pradesh in the north and the highlands of Meghalaya and Nagaland to the south. It shares international border with Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Historically 115 ethnic indigenous people groups beautify Assam. As per 2011 census, total population of Assam was 31,169,272 in the 33 districts where 61.74%, 34.22% and 3.7% form Hindus, Muslims and Christians respectively. Assamese (Ôxomiya) forms the state language. Vaishnava movement, one of the religio-cultural movements, led by Srimanta Shankardeva (Sonkordeu) added another dimension to present Assamese culture. Assam savours growing legends of historians, scientists, educators, writers and linguist.
It is extremely noteworthy that Nathan Brown and Dr. Miles Bronson, the American Baptist Missionaries, contributed greatly towards development of mission work and Assamese language. He pioneered in Assamese and its literature. In around 1843, based in Sibsagar, with the help of Atmaram Sharma (a local Assamese priest who accepted Christ) translated and published the New Testament as ‘Amaar Traankorta Jisu Christor Natun Niyom’. In 1846, with colleague Cutter, Nathan Brown published ‘Arunodhoi’, the first Assamese magazine.
Quick glance through the past:
Even before the inception of UESI ministry in this region, Assam has been privileged recipients of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the passing missionaries particularly American Baptist missionaries. The foundation was laid by Nathan Brown and Dr. Miles Bronson. The arrival of Dr. John Moody in Kolkata (then-Calcutta) in 1959 and Shillong in 1960 ushered new era of awakening.
In 1960, two students from Calcutta (now Kolkata) came to Guwahati University for their Masters degrees and having been blessed by the fellowship and care of UESI ministry while in Calcutta under the influence of Dr John Moody, they initiated the formation of an EU in the Guwahati university campus. Thus, Prof. Tali Alinger, now a retired director of Education and senior member of Kohima EGF andLt. Alemba Jamir who was also an EU member in Kolkata when Dr. John Moody was therestarted the fellowship, later on more Christian students joined the group and started meeting regularly for prayer and Bible study. They also helped in establishing student fellowship groups in other colleges such as the Medical Christian Fellowship and the Engineering Christian fellowship. They even visited Dibrugarh and started an EU in Assam Medical College in the year 1960 . With 8 students they started the Bible study in boys hostel during their vist.In 1980, Guwahati ICEU (GICEU) was formed which shouldered the ministry in the city.
The Jorhat Evangelical Students’ Union (JESU) was setup in 1972 under the initiative of Dr.(Ms.) Delphine G. Momin after joining the Jorhat Christian Hospital. She invited four young lady students from Guwahati Medical College EU (GMEU) and organized informal meetings to initiate EU unit in Jorhat. In 1974, the first Evangelistic Camp was organized in the Mission Compound where Mr. P.C. Varghese (UESI Staff worker), Mr. JG Paul (Imphal) and Dr. HV Sakhrie (Kohima) brought God’s Word. This camp laid solid foundation for UESI ministry in Jorhat.
Dr. Viu from Nagaland came to Diphu in 1978 for his official project. He was an EU member and with the help of Rev. H Hmar who was also an EU member of Guwahati University along with Prof Tali had initiated the work. In the month of May 1978 they had a first EU meeting with fifteen students.
Similarly, Silchar ICEU was formed in 1984. Engineering and Ayurvedic EU (EAEU) and IITG-EU were formed in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
In the past two year many more new places has been reached out and one could see God’s hand into it. In places like Nogoan, Tezpur, Udalguri. Bongaigoan and Kokrajhar where we have new EU cell growing in last few years was reached out during Dr. AK Lama’s time in 1990 -93 when he was based in Jorhat as 1stUESI staff for Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Out of 33 districts, Assam has EU ministry in 15 districts and contacts in 4 more districts. The formation of state EGF took place in 1992-93 with 1st meeting in Guwahati along with 2 staff and 5 members (7 members). Do continue to uphold us in your valuable prayers.
Both before and after decentralization of UESI-NE, Assam saw the sustaining hand of God through the committed lives of Dr. AK Lama, Rev. L. Malsawma, Mr. Tejdor Twisho, Mr. Nukshi Imchen, Miss Awon Shanglai, Ms. Awon Shimary, Ms Enolin Lyngdoh, Ms Amulin Lyngdoh , Ms Adhea, Mr. David Hininlo Mr. Nukshi and his wife Keteno were UESI staff based in Assam.
Previously, Mr. Micky and his wife Ms. Manuni, Mr. Chumthungo Odyuo took care of Silchar (South Assam)
At present, three Staff workers, namely, Mr. Protul Bania based in Jorhat, Mr. James R Debbarma based in Guwahati and Mr. Olive Mariyan based in Nagaon, are taking care of the ministry along with Mr. Ashung Wangror, Coordinator, based in Silchar.
Though the UESI started its journey 5 decades ago, ministry is still taking time to take roots in Assam. The presence of EGFs, though few, keeps shaping the ministry thus far. Though another land of temples, Ebenezer, Assam is certainly another land of potentials of witnesses.
UESI-NE staff State Staff in charge