“Love should have a face, feet and hands…”
~ Mrs. Akeina Gonmei, MDiv 1999
OTS has prepared me for ministry with holistic approach-not a passive ministry but an active one, always Christ and His work in the center. My work in Rongmei Baptist Association Nagaland as Development Secretary is holistic in nature. RBAN works only with the Rongmei churches, but my department works with all tribes and across three Districts (Peren, Kohima, and Dimapur.) We work with 60 and more villages. Along with the Gospel we also work with Village development plan (physical), as we believe that our life is holistic and not partial. We mainly work in five areas: 1.Capacity building (Institutional building, training, awareness, and exposure), 2. Women/child and health, 3. Water and sanitation, 4. Livelihood (farm, off-farm and non-farm), 5. Natural Resource Management (NRM) with women, youth, and marginal farmers.
I studied M.Sw from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai. I became a social worker and worked with Prodigals’ Home(PH) with a project for HIV/AIDS patients called ‘Harm Reduction’. During that time, PH was the only organization working directly with people living with HIV/AIDS. There were patients in their last stages, but our churches were not ministering to them because of the social stigma attached with the disease. We called some leaders, but they will come and pray from the other room. That was the time I started going around with a Bible and started counseling them, with some of them even to their last breath. This has led me to go for full time study and full time ministry.
It took me some time to accept myself that I will be serving the Lord full time. It was a struggle within myself. My parents who know and love the Lord guided and prayed for me all along, giving hints about OTS (though I knew about OTS as my brother-in- law, Rev. Dr. Narong Tongsuk studied there). At that time I thought to study for three years is too long. But God who knows the best and loves me guided me to OTS.
Unlike other Theological Seminaries/colleges (in Nagaland) I was impressed with the kind of subjects and the teachers, a pedagogy of discipling centered on the cross. I could see the cross from a different perspective, a cross that not only saved me but a cross that saves the world.
My days in OTS geared me to be focused, preserver with my surroundings, family/lifestyle, ministry place/plan and, accept my shortcomings. I praise God and am proud to be part of the highest ministry of Christ that he has began on earth.
I’m grateful to OTS, specially Rev.Dr.Wati Aier and Ma’am Alongla, all the faculty, and OTS community for they have contributed in making me who I am today. It has really TRANSFORMED (my whole being) me to be involved in the mission of transformation.
Our Church has been PASSIVE for a long time. It is time for the church to reflect on Christ and start translating WORDS into actions, and bring change in the world. Our sermon on pulpit needs to be tangible that is, what is being in context/or relevant: Love should have a face, feet, and hands…
Akeina is married to Rev. H.M Gonmei. They have two children Mr. Gaisinrei 15 yrs, studying in Wai Hai International School, China in Grade 9, daughter Maruguangliu , 11 yrs, is in Little Star school, Dimapur, in grade 6. Presently they are residing in RBAN mission compound, Jalukie.
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