Remembering Mrs. Phalkhokim Singsit (Phalkho)

Published on May 9, 2006

Dr. Chong Singsit

May 9, 2006: Phalkho was born to pioneer Baptist missionaries to Burma, the late Tongkam Singsit and Palhai Singsit, October 1, 1939. Phalkho was the second of six children, three girls (Helhing Simte and Neinu Lhouvum) and three boys (Lalkhohen, who died in infancy, Lunkhosei and Chongkhohao). After a brief battle with cancer, Phalkho went to be with the Lord April 18, 2006, at the age of 66. Her daughter, Hoinu, and a nephew, Thangkholen, were by her side, when her eyes firmly fixed on heaven’s gate and glory, whispered, “Please let me go to the Lord. The pain is too much to bear.”

Hoinu whispered back in her ear, “I don’t want to see you in pain.  Please go and rest in the Lord.” Suddenly the pain subsided and Phalkho breathed slower and slower, passing away peacefully. She leaves behind a son, Haojakhup, a daughter, Nengtinhoi (Hoinu), a grandson, Letminthang (Charlie), and a granddaughter, Kimmonnei (Florina).

From an early age, Phalkho was a fast learner and excelled in her classes. Her older sister, Helhing, complained about Phalkho secretly listening to her reading out the lesson at night instead of studying, and then scoring higher on the test the next day. Phalkho had an excellent memory and was inquisitive right from her childhood. After completing the eighth class, she went to Eastern Theological College, at Jorhat in Northeast India, and completed a Certificate in Theology in 1960. She taught at Ngulhao Memorial Bible School for the next two years. Phalkho later completed ninth and tenth class and subsequently received a college Associate degree. She was selected as Secretary at the Kuki Baptist Convention annual conference held at Molphei Tampak in 1962, a position generally held by a man.

She ministered in music at the conference and thousands who heard her were blessed. One prominent publisher (Ngulkhohao Lhungdim) called her the Thadou-Kuki Lata Mangeskar (a popular singer in India with name recognition like Julie Andrews or Barbara Striesand in the US). A government owned radio station hired Phalkho as their first Program Announcer for the Thadou program at All India Radio Imphal, a position she held for 5 years. She touched many lives through her music while on staff with All India Radio. Upon news of Phalkho’s death, the radio station announced the news and re-broadcasted an interview with her from 1963. The broadcast was played throughout Manipur and the surrounding states April 19, 2006. During the interview, Phalkho was asked, “What is the happiest day in your life?” Her response, “The day I trusted Christ as my personal Savior.”

A side of Phalkho recognized early on by many was her love for music and literature. God gifted her in both areas. Her soft, beautiful and high octave singing voice was unparalleled among her peers while growing up. The attention given to her because of her voice may have been part of her downfall, for rather than drawing upon God for these talents, she failed to commit everything to God during her middle adult years. She wrote several songs in Thadou and translated over 20 hymns from English into Thadou. These songs are part of the church hymnal used across Manipur and Nagaland in India, and in the country of Burma. Many of the songs are inspirational and have touched lives, and will continue to do so. Phalkho also taught many youth group songs and was a founding member of Kuki Gospel Voice team. Just prior to her illness, Phalkho had begun translating hymns into Thadou again. She died while translating a song that some day will be sung in churches across Manipur.

Following the steps of their father, the late Tongkam Singsit, a pioneer to Christian education among the tribal people in Manipur and Burma, Phalkho was joined by her family, particularly her brother Chongkhohao (Chong) in starting Shalom Academy in Motbung in 1984. The purpose of the school was to impart quality education with a Biblical emphasis to the tribal children who didn’t have the means to go to the other schools. (Most parents are unable to pay for their children to go to the private schools where teachers are still teaching and children are still learning, thus their children have no opportunity for an education.)

The school has stood against the test of time and the winds of compromise with corruption prevalent in the state. As a testimony to the family and their unwavering stand against corruption in the area, the school has a good name and many Hindus send their kids to Shalom and are pleased with the character training they receive. Praise God, some of these children come to know the Lord as their Savior before they graduate. The school is a pivotal mission endeavor for the Singsit family. Countless labor, time, and money have been invested to make a difference in the lives of young people, as recorded in Jude 22 “for having compassion, making a difference.” Only eternity will reveal the true measure of the impact the school has had on young people in Northeast India.

Though small in stature, only about 4’10” tall, Phalkho was full of life and dreams. Friends and family described her as thoughtful, compassionate, intelligent, stubborn, loved to sing, has a beautiful voice, but most of all, she loved Christian education and gave her life for it. I have watched my sister for many years and this is how I would describe her—a gentle, peaceful woman, although her life was marked by hardship due to failed marriages, she never lost sight of her love for music and Christian education.

Ultimately, it was this passion for music and Christian education, which brought her back to the Lord, desiring to be used again if at all possible in spite of her mistakes. And the Lord did use her, as He uses any that are willing to submit to Him. Her later years have been humble years, watching others in the limelight, with her faithfully serving in the background. It has been my joy to co-labor with her for the kingdom. I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my sister and get to know her better. The legacy she leaves is that many of the students she once had are today in prominent places in the Indian society demonstrating that she was indeed an educator in her own rank.

Phalkho translated two books on prophecy written by Don E. Stanton, “Now and the Near Future Prophesied” and “The Four Kingdoms” into Thadou. Several people who read these books have expressed how inspiring, factual, and relevant of Biblical truth of the end times the books are. Others have found the Lord as Savior as a result of reading these books. Specific testimony among many who benefited spiritually as to the results of reading these books are given below:

After reading “Now and the Near Future Prophesied” as translated by Phalkho, I came to know the true stand of fundamental faith and practice of a New Testament Church.

~ Pastor Pathong Lhouvum, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Phoipi (Motbung) ~

My spiritual life has been strengthen by reading “Now and the Near Future Prophesied.”  

~ Mr. Seikhochon Misao ~

Someone left the book “Now and the Near Future Prophesied” in Thadou on a passenger bus I was traveling on. I picked up the book and read it, and have grown spiritually since I was young in the Lord.  The book laid the foundation for my future ministry.

~ Evangelist Paohen Hangsing ~