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The Challengers: Rediscovering a motherland forgotten
Alokali Zhimomi  :  Feb/05/2017 06:32:PM
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The group ‘Challengers’ was started way back in 2004 at Changtongya Town. Today, it has its member at Changtongya town, Mokokchung and Dimapur. It’s a multi-facet ministry based on the principles of the Christian Scripture. Since its inception, this group have been involving in the area of singing, preaching the Word of God, educating people to love and appreciate one’s own motherland, concern for the planet earth through plantation of trees, etc. Time and again, every section of the society talk about love for God and love for the people but the question is: ‘Where do we start from?’Often, to say what others say is easy, but to prove what we say, always come with a price. And so, in order to spread the message of God’s wonderful creation and His love for the people, the group took its day-off to visit different historical places with prayers in and around Dimapur city and Chumukedima.
At first, I was excited, yet there was a doubt hanging at the back of my mind whether there would be any places worthwhile visiting around Dimapur. For all these years I was told there is only one airfield. But then I was taken aback when we visited the Old Airfield built by the Britishers during the World War II. And from there, we proceeded to a place where two wells were made by the hands of the Britishers themselves. Spectacular places-a place one must visit. My spirit then lifted. Fascinating places, with lots of fun started our day. Having visited different places along with prayers, our day came to a close with a heart-warming thanksgiving fellowship at Rangapahar Zoological Park.
Listen folks! If you think our motherland is a lousy, second-rated place, I will prove to you, you were wrong! Here are some of the memorable experiences that was shared during the fellowship.
Experiences shared by the members of the Challengers:
Imnasenla:It was truly a challenging day with many new experiences and am excited to tell this to others too. Even in the future I wish this kind of educational tour is initiated whereby, more people would fall in love with our own land-Nagaland. Many people including me think Nagaland as a state do not have anything to give to its citizens but I admit I was wrong. I’ve realised Nagaland is truly God’s given beautiful place, richly forested studded with many historical and spiritual places. I think we must continue doing these things. If one is wondering to know that God loves us and that we also must love people, then we must start by appreciating what God has given us. I’m loving it!  
Yashirenla: Being an introvert by nature, I rarely hang-out outdoor. But today has been one of the most memorable day for me. In fact, such trip is the first time experience I had in my life. Not only exploring places around the city was a wonderful experience, but it was an opportunity for making new friends, mingling with others, getting to know them better in a deeper level. It was a bonus! I thank God for this opportunity and to our leader Kilang Longkumer for this privilege. 
Moatula: It’s been almost 15 years since I came to Dimapur and parks are the only places I often visit. Today coming here and exploring new place related to historic WW II like Airfield, Well, British Ammunition Hall, Bunker, etc. at Dimapuris an eye opener to me. I feel blessed for knowing different historical places and prayers we made. 
Nili: Honestly, being a citizen of Dimapur, I was feeling a bit awkward myself today, because I never heard people talking nor saw about these places where we went. It was indeed fascinating. I love nature and it was a time of rejuvenation, being mesmerised by the beauty of nature and different species of wildlife in the Zoo. The exquisiteness of God’s creation was literally prompting me into humming the song “How Great Thou Art.” Our God indeed is a Great God. The best day ever in many years. 
Imsumenla: This trip has been very informative and educational. 20 years here in Dimapur and I’m pretty sure I’m not an alien but I did not know places like Old Airfield and Ammunition hall even existed among us. A visit to the zoo has caught my attention on the importance of preservation of wildlife and it inspired me to work resolutely on Wildlife Conservation basing on Noah’s account in the Bible.
Maonginla: It was a good refreshing day for me. I was delighted to know various new places and for that particular moment I felt I owned the city out of Joy. As we strolled into British Ammunition Hall, I was reminded of God’s unconditional love for He saved many Naga people from becoming the victims of WW II. I’m blessed and yes it was a day worth cherishing. 
Imtisunep B. Jamir: Visiting new and unknown historical places nearbyDimapur district has been  the most enriching experience for me. Discovering our own place was also a time of discovering my own self too. Besides, earlier my friendship with other team members was just at fringe level.However now I know them better. Often wetake interest on the places of other states but if we try and search, there are lots to be learned from the things within our state itself. This tour has taught me to search, explore and respect our own land and our people. I believe these learnings will help me become a more effective leader. It’s my prayer that all leaders ought to open for exploring different places within the state in order to educate, teach and encourage people.
Khalong Aier: History of our land caught my attention.It was truly an eye-opener for me. One should not remain confine only with bookish knowledge but must go out and try to learn something new from nature itself. People often have stereotype notion for theologians saying, “Theologians know only the Bible” but we should acquire knowledge from all fields and prove to the world that we can do all things through Christ.
Alokali Zhimomi: Being thrilled by the recent educational cum spiritual tour, the desire for such more trip is growing stronger. All these days I thought educational trip can happen only outside of the city but it’s here just around us. Viewing different historic places engaged me to visualize the past events as it were; it was thrilling indeed.This experience inspired me to be more responsible person, and hearten our generation to reconnect with the treasures of our land which is beautiful and worth learning. 
People often go out of the state by shelling out thousands for educational purposes which is a good thing. However one must also remember that within the state of Nagaland itself we do have enough historical places and resources for exploration and information. If one can take some time to reconsider and explore those places, it would be source of information and will certainly draw people’s minds to appreciate and value our own motherland especially among our youngsters.
Lastly but not the least, these days we cannot deny that many of our young people stay glued to computer screens, internet, smartphones and online games. No doubt, media has a lot of good things nevertheless injudicious use of media could have detrimental effect on our kids - the future leaders of our nation. And therefore, we must encourage and motivate our young people to come out of this habit  and engage themselves in outdoor exposures such as exploring one’s own motherland. By doing so, one will understand the handiwork of God’s majesty, instil the spirit to value and love for the land and people, and make more friends instead of virtual friendship.It is my prayer that God would spur the minds of every individual to responsibly edify God’s gift- beautiful Nagaland in every way they could. Glory to Almighty.

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