Monday, January 9, 2012

Beyond the Next Mountain

Hmar Highlands, the Power of God and the faithfulness of ONE servant

Written as a drama with a documentary narration BEYOND THE NEXT MOUNTAIN tells the story of 
Rochunga Pudaite's life and his mission to bring the gospel to his people, the Hmar of northeast India. Branded as ruthless heathens by the British at the end of the 19th century, the Hmar were forever changed when a copy of John's Gospel made its way into their village. Rochunga's father, Chawnga, adopted Christianity and believed that his son was chosen by God to bring Christianity to the entire village. (taken from Netflix)

Rochunga Pudaite (born 1927) translated the Bible into the Hmar Language 
and in 1971 founded Bibles for the World. 

At the close of the 19th century, the British branded the Hmar people of northeast India as "the worst headhunters". In 1871, they beheaded over 500 British Soldiers. Then, in 1910 a missionary from Wales named Watkin Roberts, armed with a copy of the New Testament, arrived in the area where the tribal group lived. He lived under the same roof and taught the Hmar people about God, specifically the Gospel of John. Through that lone missionary, Chawnga, the father of Rochunga Pudaite, was introduced to the teachings of Jesus.
Chawnga and a few tribesmen believed in what they learned and became dedicated Christians. Chawnga believed that his son, Rochunga, was God's chosen instrument to bring the Bible to the Hmar tribe in their own language. 
Rochunga Pudaite's biography is recounted in James Hefley's book God's Tribesman: the Rochunga Pudaite Story (Holman, 1977), Joe Musser's book Fire on the Hill(Tyndale House Publishers, 1998), and in the film Beyond the Next Mountain (which can be watched instantly on Netflix). Pudaite is the author of My Billion Bible Dream(Thomas Nelson, 1982) and The Greatest Book Ever Written (Hannibal Books, 1989).  (excerpts from Wikipedia)

Rochunga Pudaite and his wife. 

Until Watkins Roberts journeyed to the Hmar people, they had no contact with the Western world. They still practiced the barbaric way of headhunting and inter-tribal warfare. The outside world was unknown to them and they were unknown to the outside world. And this was more or less the picture when a Welsh missionary Watkin R. Roberts came with the Gospel at Senvawn village in south Manipur on February 1910. Watkin R. Roberts is fondly called and remembered by the Hmars as Pu Tlangval (Sir Youngman). With the introduction of the Gospel, a wind of change swept the Hmar community. Pudaite wrote, "…to the Hmar it was more than just the mere newness that appealed to their heart. It was the amazing transforming power of the Gospel that had captivated their hearts and imaginations. They had been headhunters but now were heart hunters. They had been savage and 'uncivilized' people but now they were counted among the (rank and file of) civilized society of the earth. They had once been filled with fear and with frustration but now with friendliness and assurance of life." As of now 99% of the Hmars are now Christians.

Independent Church of India

Mizo Story and Watkin Roberts

1 comment:

The Benson Family said...

I have been a movie lover since the days of Million Dollar Movie Matinee when I would hurry home from school to watch TV with my best friend, Valerie. I still love a good movie but today that movie has to meet one of the following 1. take me somewhere - like Kenya in "Nowhere in Africa" 2. Introduce me to a new culture - like China in Mao's Last Dancer 3. Tell a true story like Beyond the Next Mountain. I will admit that sometimes the movies that speak the greatest to me are not necessarily great academy winners but the message speaks volumes. In Beyond, one mans obedience to God brought thousands to know Jesus. Beyond is about a small tribal area in NorthEast India along the Burma border. A movie the whole family can watch and feel good about.