Kohima,27 May: An Exclusive Interview with Prof. Yanger Ao, Mission Secretary, NCRC, Nagaland and also Pastor, NCRC Ao Dimapur
Given below are excerpts of the interview conducted by Ms Kaholi P., Youth Executive Member and Yehoto Swu, Youth Director NCRC, Sumi, Kohima after Sunday evening service of the ‘Youth Revival Crusade’ organized by Nagaland Christian Revival Church, Sumi, Kohima held from 23rd -25th May 2008.
1. How did you prepare for this Crusade?
Usually, I don’t prepare as such. My preparation is mainly spending time in prayer, because in a crusade we don’t prepare on what we’re going to speak. Our preparation is mainly a spiritual preparation.
2. What is your comment on the theme of this Convention ("Revive us Oh Lord". Psalm 85:4)?
I am very impressed by the theme of this Convention because Revival is a process, not an event. To accept Christ is an event, but after the conversion we need repentance again and again, and after we’ve been revived, we need to revive every time. So the theme of this Convention is the need of the hour. In fact, many of the revival churches are not revived, so the theme as such is very necessary to bring a change.
3. Last night in your message you said; "God hates sin, but not sinners". Would you kindly elaborate?
Sin entered against the will of God and sin took possession of man against the will of God, so when a man becomes the slave of sin, God really love the sinners because man becoming a sinner is not by himself. He is trapped in the evil devices of Satan. So we can sum up by saying that man unwillingly or unintentionally being bound by sin, so God love the sinners. All sinners do not want to be sinners, however, a sinner as he is in his heart of hearts has a desire to be holy. The greatest sinner in the world has also inner longing to realize God in him, so God loves sinners but he hates sin, because it is against the nature of God. Many sinners think that God hates them. No, God really loves them. So our gospel is that, "Sinners look, God loves you, but God hates sin". God loves the sinners- the hope for the sinners.
4. Don’t you think that such messages should reach out to the remote and neglected areas through different media such as T.V., booklets, newspapers and newsletter?
Sure, because these days, mass media has a great influence upon the people. Now, if we see the mass media, it is dominated or saturated by unchristian songs, expressions, values etc. But in this secular world the Christians should try to set in the gospel in every possible way, even in songs, dances and discussions. We should advertise the gospel and sell the gospel. The world is very quick and wise in advertising their products, but here we Christians are lagging behind, so I would appreciate and agree that the gospel messages should reach out to every possible corner.
5. How long have you been in this Ministry?
When I accepted Christ and revived, I was 13 years old and I started preaching at the age of 19 years. But I started mass preaching only in 1969 at Sastami. There was a Crusade and some Speakers were supposed to come from other parts of India but they failed, so I had to speak. It is now 45-46 years since I started preaching.
6. We were told that even in the College you were so much involved in Ministry?
Yes, it was in College days that I ministered mostly among the Sumis. It was by God’s revelation that I witnessed even after I joined as Lecturer during weekends and also after becoming a Principal in a College. I resigned leaving the job because though I have sufficient time during weekends to preach and witness His words but we have a divided mind, so I wanted to have a one mind direction.
7. What is your suggestion on how to involve the youth in such kind of services……
We should emphasize on small groups. Ministry will be effective when young people are involved by themselves. They don’t want to come just to see, but they want to come when they are involved. It is not only in the initiative for spiritual awakening but try to organize seminars, workshops in different areas; how to deal with social problems, how to deal with their parents, how to deal with love affairs of young boys and girls.
Coming to church, praying, getting filled with Holy Spirit, young people go back to the same condition. In Dimapur we had Youth Camp for 10 days with all the tribes; Angamis, Sümis, Aos, Chakhesangs, etc. In these 10 days we tackled so many problems on career guidance, education problems, social, political, health problems, spiritual problems and a follow up of every month through a common service where they share their testimonies. Just by spiritual awakening will not solve the problem.
………parents are more dominating so how do you convince the parents?
In Dimapur Youth Camp we invited the parents because these days young people are more educated than parents, more informed. I used to tell my children, look I am M.A., M. Phil and Honorary Doctorate. You are only graduates but you are more educated than me, because what you have heard I have not heard; what you know I don’t know; the songs you sing I don’t understand; the lifestyle you live I don’t understand and you are more advanced than me. So please have a parent seminar also. Invite me, I will come. When we talk to the parents they realized, oh my children not knowing is my responsibility and it’s my fault. You see….. loving the lord, filled with the Spirit, that alone will not solve the young man’s problems.
8. What is your message to the youth of Nagaland?
My piece of advice and challenge to the youth is that we have lots of singing; we have lots of preaching but less teaching; we have lots of encouragement but no direction and young people outwardly sing and pray and do lots of things on Sundays. You see many youths going to the Church with the Bible in their hands, it is good, but my challenge is that why not the young people live out with the gospel and show the world by their lifestyle; by their way of talking in the school or college or wherever they are, let others see Christ in them. I would challenge the young people, "why not we live the gospel, let it be a lifestyle". Now for example, young people are so much encouraged and interested in praise and worship, it is very good, but why not they make ‘Praise and Worship’ their lifestyle.