History

History not used is nothing-for all intellectual life in action—like practical life, and if you don’t use the stuff well, it might as well as dead (Arnold J. Toynbee)

Amazing Grace: Stories

What a miraculous and beautiful thing it was for God to try, shape, and ultimately return our ancestors to their homeland. They toiled hard so that their Garo brethren may live forever.

The Starter

We can learn about important events from the story. Knowing more about what occurred is beneficial for everyone. It also aids in shaping the future for all walks of life. It also denotes the specific reference that was made. The Garos were suddenly given a lot of importance by one of the histories. That was enlightening and marked the beginning of a new phase in the Christian journey.

First attempt to the Journey

People like David Scott and Captain Jenkins made significant progress with the Garo tribes. Their viewpoints on the Garos seemed to be somewhat relevant and connected. The British government had given Captain Jenkins permission. His will to build a formal Garo school in Goalpara in 1847. As a result, few boys went to Goalpara and enrolled in school. (K.I. Aier, p24).

Journey to a Milestone

Our story has shaped Garo society ever since God established Christianity in Rajasimla on April 14, 1867. Missionaries like Dr. Bronson took on too much burden and they turned this fragrance into the Garos’ most alluring scent. On February 20, 1868, the church presented three members who were eager to go and enter another field-Sakhen (Chakin) and Possalu to go as colporteurs, to receive only 8.00 each; the third, recently a head constable in the Police named Ramsing, to serve as Bible reader and colporteur on 10.00 per month; the total amount 26.00 per month (D. Bronson, p324, 1868).

The First Garo Association

The Garo Christians gathered and congregated in the Gowalpara chapel on April 3, 1875, at 2:00 pm on a Sunday. Forty-three delegates were enrolled after eight churches sent letters of response. Articles of Association were read and adopted following a statement of the meeting’s purpose. The decision to establish the First Baptist Association of Garo Christian Churches was finally made by the members. Following that, the organization elected Rev. T. J. Keith served as moderator, Shri Atula, a teacher as scribe, and Shri Fokira, a pastor at Rungjulie, to serve as treasurer.

First Garo Church was Organized

The Church was not formally organized until February 1876; it was only founded on April 14, 1867.

The afternoon of February 14, 1876, saw the arrival in Rajasimla of Dr. Phillips and Dr. Keith. They recommended staying until Monday as well, but Dr. Keith started showing signs of fever on Friday, so they left on Sunday to go home. The first step in the much-needed forward movement of the Garo mission, however, was made on Friday, and it will be very helpful to the Rajasimla Christians. They established a traditional church that very day. Unless you consider the preacher’s or Pandits’ annual report to be the equivalent of an organization, there have never been any distinct organizations before.

The approximately 100 Christians in Rajasimla, including the nearby outposts, adopted a covenant after establishing a separate church roll and electing two deacons, a clerk, and a treasurer on this occasion. There is already an ordained pastor (Gongaram or Gungram) in the room. [E.G. Phillips, Missionary Correspondence, 1876, p142]

Church Building

Testimonials

Life’s experiences never fade away, but are preserved as immutable memories.

Suffering for Christ’s sake

Bago has had some trials. They have buried one of their children; and because they would not sacrifice demons during its illness, they received much ridicule and abuse from their heathen neighbors, who shun them as they would a pestilence. “But,” he says, “I shall never go back to such foolishness again.” He says the Lord Jesus is on his side, and that four more of his friends are now waiting for baptism.

How marvelously adapted is the rich grace of God unto salvation, to all conditions of men!

Bago D. Marak

Man of Christ

Heart-touching Stories

Dr. Miles Bronson

The work that was being done among the Garos was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life. These two assistants, Omed and Ramke, had to endure mockery, criticism, and even threats to their personal safety while working quietly and obediently, and they “had proven themselves to be reliable, trustworthy, and faithful men, as I took them to be when I baptized them at Guwahati.” I could tell they were sincere. Despite my lack of resources, I saw God’s hand at work and dared not object, only saying, “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Dr. Issachar J. Stoddard

Herein lies Omed’s domicile. The readers of the Missionary Magazine are familiar with the history of this village because it is also a Garo-Christian village. I’ve spent the last week in this stunning valley. In Christian communities, everything appears to be in order and are made and materials are gathered. The water of the purest quality is abundantly available from the two mountain streams. Their working oxen are always fat for the market, and their cattle flourish. In India, I have never seen cattle in better condition.

Bro Geo. Pearse, Calcutta

Rangkhu, your Garo assistant, impressed me because he seemed to have a good heart and to be sincerely committed to the gospel. He was a humble person. I’m not sure he would gain much by consulting with me. He is better with you, in my opinion. His current level of knowledge may be more appropriate for his own people than it would be if he had a higher general knowledge. The Apostle’s adage, “knowledge puffeth up,” contains much wisdom. “May you have many more occasions like this? We had a great conversation and I was surprised to find him to be so fluent in Bengali.”

"The spiritual development of the converts has not always been all that we could wish, yet we have that for which to be profound grateful. Is it not a grand privilege we have, brethren, when we can witness the miracle of God's grace in transforming a wild devil-worshipping savage, into a staid, substantial Christian man? Such many a time is our privilege. We can see from what they have risen, and what a change! We thank God for the privilege of laboring among the Garos."

E. G. Phillips—Missionary [p79]

Omed selected this beautiful little place in the valley at the base of the hills for Christ. It was then a dense jungle, inhabitants by the wild beasts, as tigers, bears and elephants. He showed me the little gras hut still standing, where he and his brave wife, also a Christian, lived two years while the "good news" was finding its way to the hearts of a few. At the end of two years several families from the hills had joined them.

I. J. Stoddard—Missionary [1868, p357]

We were obliged to go north to Balijana hat, as the bridle path across a narrow hill was impossible for our baggage elephant. Balijana is only three hours from Goalpara. The market here is very small. Still I hope to start a school among the Garos near here. In this village lives Ramsing, who was baptized at Rajasimla. He has been police constable for many years, in the employ of the government. He reads and writes well the Assamese. Thus God is raising up men for His work among the Garos.

I. J. Stoddard—Missionary [1868, p359]

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