Gospel Goes Global
By Lunminthang Haokip
The gospel was there even in the Old Testament times in the implied sense in the shadow of the shape of things to come. Among other things that decorated Eden garden, the creator left the masterpiece of His creativity in the form of Adam, and later, in Eve.
Cover page of Gospel Goes Global album
However, Eve’s refusal to take divine warning seriously led to the subsequent fall of all the descendents of the original parentage.Adam was not proactive enough to get the lure of sin shut out in time. Banking heavily on falsity and fishing in the troubled waters of Eve’s vulnerability, the devil won in Eden and set up dens of its control over human affairs then, and even in the present times.
But the baiter could never upstage the maker. The word of God, potent as ever, in the shade of moments, had always proven for the world to know that it is He who “rules over the affairs of men (Daniel 5:21)” and have the final say in every situation in this mad bad world. The gospel was the guideline and the means for the Almighty’s master-plan to restore the fallen nature of humankind, binds the adversary, writes a new law on the table of a wretched heart and find a way out for a sin-bedevilled soul to be harmoniously re-linked to the real author of life.
Global Gospel: It all began in the Bible land – the places Lord Jesus treaded upon in his brief life-time. The “God who sees us” (Gen. 16:13) saw through appearances. Unlike in the present century, smartness and upward mobility were no plus points when Christ chose His disciples. In the hard-working fishing brothers, Peter and Andrew, the master saw potential that if they followed Him, the unlettered duo could be made fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). Except for Judas Iscariot who betrayed Him at the end of the day, the rest of the chosen eleven had no proper grounding in formal education.
The sagacious parables and other-worldly utterances of the Man from heaven needed proper recording. So, the wisdom of the Son of God felt the need to have a pen-pusher by His side to write down the historic miraculous events. The void was filled by Matthew, the pen-wielding collector, Matthew, “Follow Me. And he arose and followed Him (Mt. 9:9)”. The hated tax collector, who could have ended as a mere wealthy local mortal, gave up worldly privileges, heeded the saviour’s call and got His writing on the gospel eternally etched in the all-time best seller, the Holy Bible.
Universality of the Gospel: Jesus was a Jew hailing from the Middle-East. But the four gospels on his action-packed earthly sojourn were meant for all the races settling in the four quarters of the globe – the North, the South, the East and the West. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Mt. 28:19)”. In the words of the Lord, one can feel the universal love, concern and empathy that endearingly match His command and authority. To a believer, the urgency to make the last commandment the first commitment, is the be-all and the end-all of the gospel. Nothing meets the needs of men better than the “Good News” does.
The mirage-like answer that the most revered philosopher, atheist and scientist search in vain, if penitently sought, can be found with a revelation in the verses of the Holy Scripture. Nationalities and communities may dissect, divide and classify humanity and their nature. But the basic model-type of the mind in all the reasoning beings of the continents is the same. The maker set the bytes and bit-rates of the cardiac beat in such a way that until or unless the mooring, emoting and yearning of the heart is in tune with the teaching of the gospel, men will never have a soul-satisfying good spell.
Global Trouble: Kingdoms came, but were tamed, sooner or later. Dynasties ruled and got literally ruled out by another. But it is amazing to delve upon the glaring historical fact that no force on earth could stop the spread of the “Good News” to establish Christ’s kingdom worldwide. Prophet Isaiah revealed the mind of God on the future of His Son’s reign 700 years before Christ was born. “Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:7)”. Money had been lavishly spent to blunt the cutting edge of the gospel.
No trick and ploy had been left unemployed to nib Christianity in the bud by the likes of Herod the great, the High Priests and the 20th century non-believers of the ‘word of life’. But every move to throttle the voice of the Saviour was calamitously met, action for action, with an earthquake, a spell of darkness, a breaking up of United Republics, a super-cyclone, a Tsunami, a Katrina or a Nargis in different regions of the globe. The disasters could have been avoided had the writing on the wall in Romans 1:18 been trusted by all concerned in letter and spirit, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness”.
Gospel Went Global: What we called accidents of history, to the supreme ruler, were stage-managed plots to promote the cause of the gospel further in the global orbit. The Roman Empire had been nudged from above to construct roads in Bible-land towards the fag end of the B.C-era. In the first century A.D, St. Paul and the other Apostles used the same roads to drive the message of the Good News home. When science and technology were in mind-boggling doubt as to whether the earth was round or flat, Christopher Columbus was divinely guided, around the close of the 15th century, to locate and find the answer in Isaiah 40:22, “It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth”.
This singular verse led the adventurous marine hero to ultimately discover America. USA, in turn, was prepared to be strong enough to leave no stone unturned to see the teachings of Jesus go global. Faithful servants of God were equipped with savoir faire and skill to win souls for their Lord among the nations of the world. D.L. Moody for USA and UK, John Wesley for England, David Livingstone for Africa, William Carey for India, Adoniram Judson for Burma etc. were raised with the purpose to save sinners from hellfire.
Global Technologies: Great preachers like Billy Graham and Joshua Daniel trotted the globe preaching the Good News in the 20th and 21st centuries. To convenience preaching from country to country through air-travel, the master engineer put in inputs, in the beginning of the 20th century, in the minds of the God-fearing Wright Brothers to take heavy loads in the sky and not fall. The indelible imprint of the creator was there in every technological discovery and its advancement.
Be it wireless set, motor engine, remedial medicines, radio and TV, printing machine, audio and visual devices, satellite TV or the internet, despite men’s unfortunate misuses, were heavenly inspired and invented to speed up the pace of passing on the Good News that majority of the citizens of this ultra-modern world do not know is their prior and basic need. The Lord of Host could even use wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to send devout Christians in the rank and file of US and South Korean armies to witness in the battlefields and save souls to the uttermost.
Gospel and North East India: The word of God had been given in ample doses for the past one and a half century to the people of North East India. Heathen cultures and traditions, that initially challenged the smooth inflow of the spirit’s work, had undergone a drastic overhauling. Outlooks changed, lifestyles were given a lift, education dispelled and rediscovered ignorance, superstitious leanings gave way to institutional learning, Church buildings came up chock-a-block in earlier places of pagan worship and in government of states like Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and parts of Manipur, the Church was seen flexing its influential muscles in the right spirit in civil administration process.
Musically-inclined state like Mizoram, thanks to the pioneer Presbyterian missionaries’ lyrical bent of mind, took to gospel singing as Mumbai does to movie-making, and qualified itself to be dubbed the “music capital of India.” At the same time, labourers in the Lord’s vineyard have a lot to do, and pray for, to revive the spiritual wasteland of the churched region to make the will of God prevail over the will of the flesh. In some cases, the universal truth of the gospel took a beating under the suppressive impact of traditional norms to force the gospel to go, but tribal. There were moves to intimidate professors of the Faith. Yet, the cheering words of Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper” had steered clear God’s children out of danger zone.
GOSPEL GOES GOBAL Video Album: To salute and celebrate the globalisation of the word, this obscure author, who also writes gospel songs out of the overflow of a heart grateful for the divine gift to piece words together in a readable manner and partly to unwind himself gainfully from the additional burdens of provincial administration, in a bid to make his writings read globally, scribbled down many songs. Eleven of the songs had been recorded in Hauhnar studio, Aizawl, Mizoram, India and shot in video format in the picturesque natural scenes of the peaceful hill-town. Talented tune composers like JH Vanlalngheta, R. Lalbiakthanga, Chris MS Dawngkima, Mama, and Seigoumang Lhouvum had showcased their flairs in songs like, Gospel Goes Global Aids song, Go Gospel, Holy Marriage, Lonely in a crowd, I grieved Thee first, Hail North East, Kut, Light of life, Aizawl city and 50 years of blessing.
The video cam-men, Zova and Patea, took the shots in professional proficiency around Mizoram’s capital hill-top city-of-cheer. The Gospel Goes Global audio CD and video DVD, produced by Mrs. Nengkim Haokip under the banner of Go Gospel Ministry International, L. Thinglhangphai, Manipur, India is ready for worldwide release in the month of August, 2010. OM Books, Hyderabad will take care of sales in their network of Book stores across the globe except in parts of NE India and North West Myanmar. VIBES, Goa is to push sales of the DVD album within Goa state.
The Main Vocalist: The name is C (Chongthu). Lalhmingmawii. She sings gospel numbers like Jaci V, looks stunningly Latino and emotes like B. Mori. Her first Mizo audio album, “Kumsang Bithar” was a total sell-out. 30,000 copies bought across the North East Indian states in 2001 was no mean feat by regional standards. Yet, success never went to her head nor failure to her heart. Her second and third ventures, “Remna Palai” and “Kachakna Lalpa” made her a household name in greater Zoram and North West Burma (Myanmar). With her twanged Yankee accent, picked up from her musical tour of 22 states, with a choir of kids in concert, in the western coast of US of A from August 2002 to July 2004, she recorded her first English audio, VOG’s “Go Gospel” in 2007 and GGMI’s “Gospel Goes Global” in 2010.
Inspired by Mariah Carey internationally and nearer home, by the old-time Mizo female crooner, Lalduhawmi, Mami, as she is popularly known, in year 2001, added another feather in her musical cap. She won the coveted Rimawi Khawvel – “Best new Artist Award”. Accolades and applauses thundered every event the dusky husky new singer in town sang in, ever since. But the typical Piscean that she is, the level-headed Mami never bit the bait of ultra-glam offers that came her way to be an air-hostess, sing secular songs etc. Tempting though the lucrative offers on the surface were, the fish would not come out of water.
Christian Life: Well-groomed by her spiritually savvy daddy, C. Lalhmingmawii never strayed out of the bounds of Church activities and in-service values. Forenoon and evening time callers to her bsnl number usually get no response. She would be either teaching in school or seated on a church-pew hearing a sermon. This pretty well-self-managed itinerary vocalist, when she does not light up Christian bashes in Manipur, Mizoram and Guwahati and Shillong, goes to take classes 6 times, and to Church service 5 times in a week, sings hymns with the Vengthak Presbyterian KTP-choir, helps mom in household chores and relaxes with country gospel music tuned on in her cozy ITI veng home.
Emotionally attached to her dad and kid brother, Mami is proud of being a Mizo, loves to wear the locally woven wrap-around called ‘Puan’, delights in savouring Indian and Chinese dishes and dots on Psalm chapter 37 reading which gives her the spiritual succour to take on the sad side of life. Her burgeoning fan-following, that includes top-notch mandarins of the bureaucracy, may look her up as a star-performer. But Mami’s main ambition is down-to-earth. As a daughter, she wishes to settle down via a holy marriage with a pliable, reliable, amenable and honest man who can read her moods and let her live hassle-free life ever after.
The shooting of GGG: To make the video shoots of Gospel Goes Global songs look visually eye-catching, Mami took a month’s leave from duty in June, 2010. A perfect motivator and organiser that she is, she called the shots over locations, dresses to be worn, shot-angles and participation of back-up artists. It speaks well of the social good-will she enjoys that Vengchhak choir, on her request, willingly put up with the patience-taxing retakes for ‘World Aids Day’ shoot. She also managed to get permission from the state’s Arts & Culture department to shoot Kut song in the latter’s otherwise prohibited premises.
The toil and sweat paid off well. The previews were commented upon in glowing terms. The aid song which had been already uploaded on Youtube is the vocalist’s favourite. Mami also thinks highly of the tune-composition style of the title song by Chris, Gospel Goes Global. Barring 3 songs of the album in which Abea provided the back-vocals and duet-partnership, it was Mami’s show all the way. Watching the ace performer act out and voice the high-flown words of this song-writer with poise and ease, without missing a beat, like a duck takes to water, it will not be a mismatch to sub-title C. Lalhmingmawii as AVZ –Amazing Voice of Zoram.
If God blesses the songs of this nondescript North East Indian Gospel album to actually go global, the credit should go to the hard work rendered by the tune-composers, the studio technicians, the videographers and editors, the distributors and especially to the main vocalist who gave the brilliant shots that made the song wordings come alive in video frames.
Reproduced hereunder is the wording of this song writer’s passionate take on God’s globalisation of the gospel:
GOSPEL GOES GLOBAL
1. God told Adam not to eat the fruit,
Eve got sold on lies that hid the Truth;
Win for Satan, heaven was saddened,
Sin of Eden gave men a burden;
The good that he wants, he cannot do,
The evil he hates, he cannot spew.
We do what we like and guilt we get,
We rue o’er our lot and for sin fret;
The Word is grave but the world’s naive,
The Lord in Love calls His own to save;
Coz God wants to sin in all dispel,
The old Gospel is going global.
2. To the globe’s ends His trained the Lord sent,
That them who grope and faint may repent;
The Spirit moves, good- spell goes global,
Here creed dupes and Gospel goes tribal;
It’s time to re-link self with soul’s thirst,
Let’s rethink and put things of God first.
3. Crises have men bold, led down and fall,
Jesus loves souls and shed blood for all,
That all who life had pained to lose hope,
May come back to Him and regain hope;
That at home the Good News each may get,
God made Word go global in the net.
The writer is additional deputy commissioner under Manipur government, India.