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Mishilimi Village prepares for 100 years of Christianity

Mishilimi Village prepares for 100 years of Christianity
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/19/2019 4:59:57 AM IST

As a prelude to centenary celebration of Christianity in 2021, the churches of Mishilimi village on April 27, 2019, undertook a traditional stone pulling ceremony with the participation of thousands of people.

The stone will be erected at the compound of Baptist Church, the first church established in 1921 at Mishilimi. The impressive stone pulling ceremony was attended by thousands of people from Mishilimi village under  Pughoboto sub-division in Zunheboto district. One of the biggest and first Christian villages in Zunheboto district has also been credited for spreading the gospel of Christ among Sumi community in the area.

The first woman evangelist from Sumi community is Shikhuli Sheqi wife of Tuyizubonu from Mishilimi  village. She was evangelist from 1938 to 1956. The first person to receive baptism was Pilitha in 1921. The dedicatory function of today’s programme was chaired by Head GB Tokiye Wotsa and Almighty’s blessing was invoked by Rev. Vitoshe Wotsa. Mishilimi Village Council chairman Khulu Wotsa also addressed the gathering.

The stone pulling ceremony covered around 5 km via Pughoboto town. The first church which came to the village was Baptist Church, but for the centenary all churches are  united to celebrate in a befitting manner.

 The village is also one of the pioneers of Nagaland Christian Revival Church (NCRC) in the state.

Mishilimi village ( Therhuphema in Angami) is 56 Kms away from Kohima having 700 households with more than 4000 population is one of the biggest Sumi village after Lazami village in Zunheboto District.

 The village was established by Sheqi, Khisho and Visho. The village is so unique from other Sumi villagers in speaking and traditions as it is common in Sumi Aphuyemi (First settlers) villagers.  Christianity came to this village when late Pilitha went to Kohima for labor work and came to know Jesus Christ through Khulhou Angami (Khonoma) and was Baptized by Evangelist Viliezu Rengma (Tseminyu Village) in 1921. Later on in the same year W. Xishipu too took water baptism. Further Evangelist Viliezu Rengma often visited Mishilimi and through song (along with Gramophone which was looks in awe by the villagers) and preaching converted G. Sakha, Yevitha in 1922 and followed by Vilho, Ghujukha, Kivishe, Pinilho and Tulapu.

Like earlier Naga Christian converts the first convert from the village too faced opposition from non Christians and were even threatened to the extent of expelling them from the village. However, with the intervention of C R Pawsey in 1936 non Christian and Christian agreed to co- exist in same village. 

Earlier the converts used to gather around the compound for prayer and church services and later on constructed a church at the present compound of the Baptist church but was burned down in1945 due to fire incident at Atomi khel. 

The present Baptist church building was built in 1954 when late Kiqhena Wotsa was serving as pastor. The building materials were bought from Jorhat, Assam, Imphal, Manipur and transported till Kasha junction and from there the villagers carried the materials on the head for nearly 8 kilometers

When the Revival movement came to Nagaland, NCRC came to Mishilimi and now majority of the people are members of NCRC, the village too has members from Roman Catholic and Assemblies of God Church.

 The pioneer of NCRC movement late Rev. Vitoxu who hails from this village went on spreading revival in Nagaland and NE India. He is the founder of Christ For the Nation Bible College in Kohima. 

The first woman evangelist from Sumi community was Late Shikhuli Sheqi wife of Late Tuyizubo from Mishilimi village. She was evangelist from 1938 to 1951. Shovili D/o. Mixikha was expert in weaving Sumi traditional dress, so she was employed by J H Hutton in 1921 and stationed at Ghukiye Inspection bungalow to teach Sumi women on weaving and dyeing of color for making Sumi dresses. Mishilimi also  produced Xishipu who was a Teacher, pastor and later on became first Sumi to be a member of Kohima Town Committee. His son Pukhato was the first graduate (1966) and Circle Officer (1967).

Mishilimi is going to celebrate 100 years of Christianity in 2021, for which churches in Mishilimi came  together to celebrate centenary under one banner. As prelude to centenary celebration of Christianity in 2021, the churches of Mishilimi village organized a stone pulling traditional ceremony where  thousands of people took part on 27th April 2019.The stone will be erected at the compound of Baptist  Church, the first church established in 1921. 

 KV Nurumi

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