“ Yea, So have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named” Romans 15:20
C.S.I MADURAI RAMNAD DIOCESE
ABOUT MISSION & EVANGELISM (HOME MISSIONARY SOCIETY)
Indeed it is our immense pleasure in praising the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his wondrous guidance in mission and evangelism through Home Missionary Society. We have 46 full time Missionaries and 3 village Presbyters in the villages of our Diocesan jurisdiction. More over we have been extending our support to 6 native Missionaries in Koraput and Nabarabgapore Districts of Orissa and 3native missionaries in Myanmar (Burma) 3 missionaries of Sower mission. The Almighty God has granted a very broader vision in mission to fulfill his great commission of sharing the Gospel to all the nations and people groups unto the last soul.
RETROSPECTION OF MISSION
In early 19th century ABCFM (American Board of Commissioner for Foreign Mission) and SPG (Society for the Propagation of Gospel), CMS (Church Mission Society) Zanana Mission (Women’s Wing of CMS) were the missionary organizations launched the mission around Madurai and Ramnad Districts. The Pioneer Missionary of ABCFM Rev. Wilson Todd and his beloved wife landed in Madurai on 14th July 1834. After an year of their missionary work, Rev. William Todd lost his wife during his missionary journey to Devipattinam. Few catholic believers and Muslims helped him a lot to purchase a piece of land for the burial of his beloved wife. He himself buried his wife with prayer in the land which he has purchased. His Commitment to continue the mission even after the death of his wife became a great inspiration to other missionaries to enter into mission field.
The American Madura Mission had a lucid vision in reaching the souls . It has been stated in the early mission report that “This mission was not only for evangelism but as a foundation for cultural and economical advancement”. So American Madura Mission created a plan of polity in order to make the mission autonomous.
Due to the nature and place of mission the word “American” was given up and it became Madura Mission. This challenging move became an encouraging factor in the development of native leadership. Because of the active participation and eminent leadership of native workers 8 local missionary movements emerged soon in new mission fields where new born Christians had real zeal to share the gospel. The advancement of mission after notable mile stones, the early Board Of Mission was known as Home Missionary Society.
During 1855-1856 all regional churches had formed mission societies of their own and started gospel work as the foreign missionaries did earlier . The names of the societies recorded in American Mission Report as follows
- Thiruppuvanam : Day Break Society
- Thirumangalam : Society of Dawn of Spiritual Wisdom
- Batlagundu : Gospel Proclamation Society
- Madurai : Dawn of Salvation society
- Manamadurai : Sun Light of Truth Society
- Mandabasalai : Good way Society
- Melur : Little Drop Society
- Periyakulam : Periyakulam Missionary Society
After the formation of CSI, the Diocesan Board of Mission was known as Home Missionary Society. Mrs. Ranjitham George Devadoss the first Tamil Bishop Amma was the founder of Mission Festival & Sales on 5th August 1969 with the intention of creating a supporting system for mission to Papua of Thailand and inland mission.
TELOS (Goal) OF MISSION:
Gospel should be shared with all the people of other faith everywhere in our Diocesan periphery.
Extension of support to the genuine missions beyond our state and even beyond our Nation.
METHOLDOLOGY OF EVANGELISM IN FIELDS:
The missionaries are being equipped in such a way to share the gospel with the people of other faith based on their own personal experience of salvation. They adopt any of the following methods according to the situations they face in their respective fields.
- Personal evangelism is one of the best way of sharing the Gospel. In recent days we face religious tense prevailing every where. The people of other faith are very adverse because of the their misconceptions of Gospel. So our missionaries adopt personal evangelism as suitable method in sharing the Gospel in their fields.
- If necessary gospel tracts, New Testaments are being (given) to them. More over our missionaries organize art and culture based programs as a media for sharing the Good news.
- New believers are being prepared for baptism in coordination with the Pastors of the near-by Pastorates. It is a convention since Madura Mission that the new believers will be brought to the Annual September convention for baptism. We thank the Lord for the harvest of souls in vine yard of the church.
- Due to increase of the number of the new believers, our missionaries plan in co-ordination with the Presbyters to form a new congregation in the villages were in they work. Some pastorates have come forward to involve in giving spiritual nurture to the newly formed congregations. In the process of nurturing, the supportive congregations will get ready to build places of worship.
Special efforts are being taken by the HMS to meet the needs of the missionaries and the mission fields. The following innovative efforts are note worthy:
- Ø In order to increase the Monthly Allowance of 9 retired missionaries, the Pastors and Heads of institutions extended their co-operation in finding out benevolent members from congregations and institutions and encouraged them to share Rs 10000/- each as one time subscription for Life Membership with Home Missionary Society. So far 38 memberships have been reached. Because of this new venture, the Monthly Allowance of the retired Missionaries has been raised considerably form Rs 500/- to Rs 1000/-.
- Ø We have provided Insurance benefits through LIC for all the missionaries. At times of emergency, they will be able to claim the benefits. The maintenance of insurance policies and claims are being done through our Diocesan Treasury.
- Ø A small part of voluntary contribution is being offered by our missionaries with the hope that their pension would be considerably above their expectation in the ensuing years.
- Ø The Diocese of Madhaya Kerala and Our Diocese has started a joint venture on Mission in Kodaikanal Hills which is known as Kodaikanal Palani Hill Mission.
- Ø Launching of this new venture in participatory mission and evangelism has widened our horizon to share the gospel with the inhabitants of the unreached hill villages all around Kodai Hills.
- Ø In collaboration with Korind Mission a new church building has been built at Adaikampatti of Maniakaranpatti Pastorate and it was dedicated by our Revered Bishop along with the Bishop of Royala Seema Diocese and Team of Pastors, Deacons and Elders from Korea on 12th of February 2016. We are so happy of sharing a word of great appreciation to our Revered Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. M. Joseph Iyah, The council chairman Rev. Johnson and all the pastors of the council and to our Local missionary Mr.Thomas Thangathurai. We are immensely pleased to thank Korind Mission for the faithful co-operation in building the new church for the Glory of God.
ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMMS IN PARTNERSHIP:
We are so glad to report that HMS is executing enhancement programs in order to equip the missionaries to work hard in fields with stead fast commitment in co-ordination with the local council chairmen and all Presbyters and congregation members. The following programs are being arranged for the spiritual enhancement of our missionaries.
Monthly meetings are being arranged in pastorate centers with the intention of strengthening them in prayer fellowship. The respective pastorates which consented to conduct the monthly meeting will make all arrangements. Our Missionaries are being empowered through Bible studies, group discussions, sharing of witness and field experiences and so on. The impacts of having the monthly meeting at different Pastorate centers are highly impressive. The Officer bearers of the Pastorates get an opportunity to know more of HMS and of our missionaries. At the close of the meetings monthly Salary will be disbursed with prayer and benedictions.
MISSION FESTIVAL 2015 GRAND EVENT
By the Sheer Grace of God the Almighty the Mission Festival and Sales took place on Saturday the 12th August 2017 at O.C.P.M Girls Hr.Sec.School Campus , Madurai which was known as the Athens of South India in ancient days. Though it is our Diocesan heritage, the spiritual impacts and treasures we derive from this are long standing. Mission Festival in our Diocese has a humble lineage emerged on 5th of August 1961 by the sincere and Prayerful efforts of our First Tamil Bishop Amma Mrs. Ranjitham George Devadoss.
The whole scenario of Home Missionary Society since American Mission includes so many memorable transitions. As a final transitional stage the mother American Mission left its off-spring Madura Mission once for all with the hope that it would carry the Yoke of Gospel to the unreached villages in the Diocesan jurisdiction, out states and even to the outlands. The divine hope which travelled through American Mission is still alive with full spiritual vigor in Home Missionary Society. The glimpses of 57th Annual Mission Festival and Sales substantiate that the Great Commandments of Jesus is being actualized through our missionaries.
RURAL TUITION CENTRES :
Missionaries of HMS have started tuition centers in the target villages in order to enhance the quality of education. It is one of the means of regulating their spirituality. In rural areas most of the Primary schools have become two-teacher –schools. There for the rural children don’t have the chance to get intensive care from the teachers as they have been under heavy burden of managing 5 classes at a time. The local congregations provide Biscuits for the children. The new scheme of conducting rural tuition centers get great appreciations from the inhabitants of the respective villages.
MIGRANT FRIENDLY CONGREGATIONS :
A small village called Kalaiyaarkurichi of Thiruthangal Pastorate has been situated in migrants prone area. The paper mills and fire work factories and match factories used to employ coolies from Bihar and Orisa. The CSI Primary School which is in Kalaiyaarkurichi has 45 migrant children for the past 7 years. The Correspondent and the Headmaster have been more caring and accommodative towards the migrant children. A hindi Teacher has been appointed with the support of the Tamilnadu Government.
By the dedicated efforts of the Correspondent and the Head master the Migrant children has been provided with blankets plates tumblers and note book with magnanimous donations from the Owners of the Mills and factories.
BAPTISM&“CALL FOR MISSION” IN SEPTEMBER CONVENTION 2017
In our Diocese we have custom of conducting baptism service on the second day of the annual September Convention. This year we had baptism service on 10th September 2017. The souls won for the kingdom of God will be brought before the congregation and they will be baptized. This year God gave us 32 new souls saved for Christ and they were baptized at CSI Cathedral Madurai.
TOWARDS THE EXPANSION OF MISSION:
Our Diocesan officers paid a visit to Goa in order to find out the feasibility for establishing a mission for the native tribes. As per the findings of the Diocesan officers, it is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural locality where inequality and disparity is strongly rooted. The natives of Goa are downtrodden and poor. Where as on the other hand the outlanders are incomparably rich. Kongini is the Lingua-Franca of the natives. So for there is no possibility for having worships in their own language. But the Roman Catholics succeeded in their efforts of conducting worship services in Kongini. Still there are people who don’t know the gospel. We hope the Lord will enable us to extend a new mission in Goa for the Glory of God.