Gariphema: One village, two tribes, one VC and one Church

Gariphema: One village, two tribes, one VC and one Church
The ‘Trinitarian Spot’ at Gariphema village, where the convention was held in 1962. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, FEB 7 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/7/2019 10:54:06 AM IST

Talk about faith, favouritism, protection of wildlife and forest, developing work culture, peaceful co-existence, etc, and Gariphema village has set a perfect example, though many do not know about these attributes of the village.

The village lies 50 km away from the State Capital and its settlers comprise of two tribes (Angamis and Semas) speak both the languages, has one village council and one church denomination. And in spite of lack of tourist amenities, the village has many untold stories to share. Having one Christian church denomination within a village or community in Nagaland is not very common due to high birth under various denominations as can be seen lately.

Located 12 km away from Botsa on NH-61, Gariphema has a population of 1,500 approximately and has 70% literacy rate.

Also, Gariphema village was declared as the first tobacco-free village in the country in 2014. 

Interestingly, the villagers do not address themselves as Angamis or Semas and are commonly addressed only as Gariphema.

According to the history of revival movement in Nagaland, the impact of revival that took place across the State in early and late 1940s culminated in convening of the first convention at Zhadima (Keruma) village in 1961. Subsequently, as per directive of the Holy Spirit, the second convention was held at Gariphema where the believers sought God’s will for recognition of the denomination. 

On January 9, 1962, Church elders from different parts of Nagaland met at Gariphema and “with fasting and prayer and under the power of God”, formed Nagaland Christian Revival Church (NCRC). And today CRC mission has extended across the nation and globe with about 300 Churches in Nagaland, 600 in Arunachal Pradesh, while CRC also has its presence in 25 states in the country and in eight countries worldwide.

As per book ‘History of Revival Movement in Nagaland’, God revealed his will through late Vilhounyü of Keruma, late Rongsang Ao of Changtonya village, late Neivilhoulie of Kohima village and Rev Yanarao Lotha.

According to the book, it was prophesied by one woman from Gariphema in 1958 that one denomination would emerge from the village that would grow and spread across the world. And it has turned out to be a reality as churches were increasing the world.

Speaking to Nagaland Post at Gariphema village on Thursday afternoon, social worker Vibeilietuo Kets offered heaps of praise to God for His abundant grace.

For developing work culture among youth of the village, Kets had initiated coffee plantation and planted more than 80,000 coffee saplings in 2018 with assistance from the land resource department.

He said though production might not be high, yet the villagers were harvesting coffees planted in 2015 too. Mentioning that the potential of coffee marketing was immense, he added that he wanted to motivate the youth by engaging them in coffee growing.

The village has almost a quarter of its total area as reserved forest and as the villagers are eco-friendly, they avoid any hunting or fishing in the village. 

In a lighter vein, Kets remarked that wild animals sometime ate vegetables, yet none dared to kill any. He said the villagers were very supportive of any projects, and thus no effort went in vain.

Through the church initiative, the villagers also planted nearly 300 mango trees along the stretch of village road and they carry out awareness drives twice a year to maintain the saplings.

The church has also made it mandatory for each head of a family to plant a mango tree along the road and nurture it so that the village could, in a small way, contribute towards combating climate change.  

Also, it was from Gariphema that a young boy of 19 years performed miracles and the news spread widely in social media.

According to Kets, the young boy started performing miracles at a very young age and, as words spread about him, sick people from across the State turned out in massive numbers on a single day in 2018.

He claimed that even now the youth performed miracles and healed many sick people.

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