3rd late Rev Dr I Ben Wati legacy talk held

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Dimapur, September 23: The third (Late) Rev. Dr. I Ben Wati Legacy Talk jointly hosted by ELIM Resource Centre (ERC), Guwahati and Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI-NE), Guwahati was held on September 21 at Hotel Gateway Grandeur, Guwahati, Assam. Representatives from World Vision India (Guwahati), Pine Brook Society (Shillong), North East India Committee on Relief & Development (NEICORD), Priscilla Centre (Guwahati), Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM), United Christian Prayer Fellowship (Lahorijan), Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI), Nyishi Baptist Church Council (NBCC), Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB), other well wishers and host Evangelical Fellowship of India (NE) attended this legacy talk.
The day’s program was presided over by Senti Longkumer, Executive Director, IMPACT Nagaland. In his opening remarks, he recollected one of Uncle Ben’s sermons on “arrows” and mentioned that, “Uncle Ben always encouraged us to be as sharp as the arrows, as sturdy as the arrows, as straight as the arrows and as consistent as a good Christian arrow in hitting the right target. And in archery terms, if there was one person who hit the bull’s eye consistently, it has to be Uncle Ben.”
In the message addressed to Chairman of Elim Resource Centre, on behalf of Uncle Ben’s family members, I Lanu Toy stated, “Ben Wati’s light continues to shine on through his memories and the many lessons and words of wisdom he planted in so many of us all over the world. I believe he was a very special individual who always saw the light, who walked the light, and most importantly one who shared the light. May his presence continue to light our paths for generations to come.” The message was read by Lucy Pau, Director ERC, Guwahati.
The day’s first session on the topic Socio-Religious Scenario of India was presented by Rev. Vijayesh Lal, General Secretary, Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI). He stated that, “….India is changing and it is a process that began many years ago and this change seems to be here to stay. This change is driven by issues of identity and belongingness. We must look at the big picture and respond with flooding prayers.” He also told the gathering that EFI is planning to hold a series of (Late) Rev. Dr. I. Ben Wati Memorial Lectures in Union Biblical Seminary, Pune in the forthcoming year.
Rev. Dr. Ngul Khan Pau, Senior Consultant (DAI), in his session Understanding Kingdom Leaders, contrasted between “Leaders with a Kingdom mindset” and “those with a Church mindset”.
He mentioned that, “….Kingdom leaders interpret Matthew 28:19-20 as referring to discipling all nations, whereas Church leaders believe it only refers to all individual ethnic people. Kingdom leaders turn the world upside down (Acts 17:1-7), whereas Church leaders restructure their local churches. Kingdom leaders equip people for life, whereas Church leaders equip people for church life. Kingdom leaders apply their faith to the earth, whereas Church leaders are focused on escaping the earth and making it to heaven.”
In the third session, Dr. Mansang Songate, former Director of NEICORD spoke on the topic Challenges and Issues Faced by Christian Leaders. He said the challenge for contemporary Christian leaders is that “….we are living in perilous times (1 Timothy 3:1-12)…. today we not only have people who love money but they worship money”.
One of the respondents during reflection hour, RK Raychawdhuri, President and former Treasurer of CBCNEI stated that, “I am going back home with the question, ‘what kind of legacy will I leave behind?'”. Rev. Tar Choya, General Secretary NBCC said, “As a church, we failed to live with Kingdom values.”
In his concluding remarks, Rev. Dr. Pau mentioned that we need to mobilize individual and corporate prayers and do that with increased and focused intensity. As Christian leaders, we must also work on how to translate these Kingdom values into our leadership role. (Page News Service)