Nagaland: Late Billy Graham’s message from Kohima, India – 1972

Nagaland: Late Billy Graham’s message from Kohima, India – 1972

Why we're in the beautiful remote in mysterious city of Kohima, Nagaland high up in the foothills of the Himalayas of Northeast India. During World War two this area was the hump that American pilots flew from India to China. This is a part of the mountains that extend all the way through northern India and Pakistan on one side and south through Burma, Thailand and up into Vietnam on the other side.

The Nagas are a small part of the millions of mountain people that live in the hills and mountains of Asia. In Vietnam, they're called mountain yards and considered some of the greatest fighters in the world. The rainfall just west of us is the highest in the world, because of the rainfall the vegetation is lush. The scenery is among the most beautiful anywhere in the world. Reminding me a great deal of Western North Carolina, except the mountains are much higher. Many people have asked me the question, why have you gone to hold a crusade in such a remote part of the world?

Until a couple of years ago I barely heard of Nagaland. It was only a place on a geography map for me. Then, I began to listen to missionaries tell stories of what God was doing in this beautiful and mysterious country. For one thing, I find that here in Nagaland is the largest concentration of Baptist outside of the United States anywhere in the world. The American Baptist came here a hundred years ago, and began their missionary work. And today nearly 70 percent of the Nagas people claim to be Christians.

I've already learned that the tribal people of this corner of India are remarkable people. We could learn many lessons in the United States from their way of life. Until a few years ago, they were known throughout Asia as headhunters. Today, because the gospel of Jesus Christ is made such an impact that headhunting has ceased. The Nagas are great family people. Relatives such as uncles and aunts feel duty-bound to look after nieces and nephews as well as other relatives. If you were to live near school and the children of a relative from some distance away were to go to that school, you would be expected to house and feed them.

The Nagas people also respect older people and take care of them. People here look forward to getting old because all the younger people respect them for their age. There is little rebellion against parents as we know it in the Western world. There is no women's lib movement here either. Women do the hard work they carry water and they do the fieldwork.

One of the problems of evangelism here in Nagaland is similar to the one we face an American Europe there are thousands of people here who profess Christianity as a religion or culture, but who have not received Christ as Lord and Savior. During this past weekend during the coming week, "Dr. Agbo Huck and I and Cliff Barrows" and others of our team will be engaged in meetings from morning till night.

The schedule for the services usually as two or three services a day. Beginning at 6:30 in the morning and the last service is at 4:00 PM in the afternoon so that the service can be finished before the sun goes down when it turns very cold. Each service last about two hours.

I found in preaching here that simple biblical illustrations are by far the best in presenting the gospel of Christ. I've never seen  people that loved to hear a story more than the Nagas people especially do they love stories about family life back in America.

Some people have asked why do you go so far away from home and hold these Crusades throughout the world.

First, we go because we've been invited. In all my years of ministry, I've never been under such pressure from a group of God-fearing people as the Nagas people to come and help them celebrate the coming of Christianity to Nagaland by holding a crusade.  In spite of the many dangers here and they're very real, we decided to come and encourage these thousands of Christians who love Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There is periodic warfare between some of the Nagas underground groups and the Indian government and we were repeatedly warned that this was dangerous territory at this particular time.  But deep down in our hearts, we felt that this was God's plan and God's will for us.

Secondly, we came here because I believe it's a part of the command of Christ. Jesus said, 'Go ye therefore and teach all nations teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.' Foreign mission is not just an innovation of a foreign mission board. It was the command of Christ. I believe that the work of an evangelist is to travel throughout the world proclaiming the good news. I do not believe it is right that our lips are to be sealed about the good news of salvation when other ideologies are stepping up the tempo of their propaganda program throughout the world.

If we have no living faith to share, then foreign missions would be useless. But if we know Christ as we should, the question will not be how we can witness, the problem will be how we can help from witnessing. John Wesley once said the world is my parish, the world today is our parish and God is enlarging our vision and by His grace and with his help we're going to continue to proclaim his gospel in country after country in language after language until the millions of men and women of our generation have heard that Jesus Christ has come into the world that he died for our sins and rose again.

Thirdly, we've come to India because this great country is a strategic area of the world. The early Christian sought the leadership of the Holy Spirit in going to crucial strategic centers where the gospel would have the best overall effect upon the world. We feel that India is one of the most strategic countries in the world today.

She borders on both China and Russia she has won six of the world's population.

one out of every six people in the world is an Indian her masses are now restless their questing and searching for spiritual and economic answers to their age-old problems and someone is said, as India goes all Asia will go with them.

There are over 10 million Christians in India and there's a stirring in the mulberry bushes. Christianity came to India nearly 2,000 years ago.

Tradition says that the Apostle Thomas first brought the gospel to India.

What do we hope to accomplish by coming to India? First, we want to challenge the pastors and church leaders. week after next I will be meeting the leaders from all over India in New Delhi.

It's easy to become discouraged and apathetic in the land of India where Christianity is such a minority. There are visible signs that a new wave of evangelism may be about to sweep India.

There's a new hunger among Christians for real revival.  Here in Kohima high up in the Himalayas people are travelling many miles by foot to attend the meetings.

Hundreds of praying for a new vision, new strengtht, a renewed faith in their churches.

Secondly, we hope to see the salvation of many souls crowds of many thousands are already attending and many hundreds are coming to know Jesus Christ is Savior in Lord.

Hundreds of sleeping out in the open in spite of the cold air.

Thirdly, I believe that a crusade such as this builds goodwill between nations. During the past year relations between India and the United States deteriorated because of the war that India had with Pakistan and the emerging country of Bangladesh.

However, India was already getting disillusioned with the materialism and permissive-mism that they've read about in America. But they have also been thrilled and amazed at the tremendous movement among young people.  They've also watched some of our tourists that it poorly represented America.

I believe that if we put our hand under their spiritual load and show them by our prayers our services and our spirit of love that we love them and a concern for their total welfare that Christian goodwill could be built in India.

While it's impossible for you that are listening to go with us on this tour, there are several things you can do.

First you can pray.  Satan's power is very real in many parts of the world.  Certainly Satan does not like the gospel to be taken anywhere in the world. He's going to wage warfare and we're involved in a great spiritual conflict right here in faraway Nagaland in northeast India.

We need your prayers that the hand of Satan will be restrained.

We're also going to be flying in various types of planes and in all kinds of weather conditions in several climates. We will be traveling by Jeep on treacherous mountain roads; we need your prayers that God will continue to give safety.

We're dealing with audiences from any that we've ever spoken to here in India before.  We will need your prayers that God will give physical strength for this tour that is going to take us completely around the world.

During the past few days, it's been our privilege to proclaim the gospel in Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and now India.

We need your prayers that during this coming week hundreds will respond to Christ and receive him as Savior.

Pray that in Christian love, we will be able to be used of God as an instrument in his hands in these strategic areas.

Secondly, you can give financially. A missionary tool like this costs a great deal of money.

While we are here our expenses are continuing back in America and in our various offices throughout the world.

Just ten days from now, we will be on television throughout America for three evenings at prime evening time. We need your financial support now.

Our work is not underwritten or endowed as some people think it is. It is purely an adventure feed from week to week.

The purpose of this program is to proclaim the gospel of Christ and what is the gospel the gospel is good news that God loves you. Whatever your condition, whatever your sins, God loves you Christ died on the cross for you and because of his death, Christ can now forgive you of all your sins.

Every sin that you've ever committed can be forgiven right now. You can have a new heart and a new life. There can be a new direction and a new joy and a new peace and a new faith that you've never known before.

Christ can touch your family, he can touch your work, he can touch your body, he can touch your mind, he can touch your soul. Let Christ come into your life today.

Wherever you are in the world listening to me, I'm going to pray that you will receive him now our Father and our God we pray that many at this moment will come to know Jesus Christ and we pray that thy words continue what thou has begun here in India and that many people will come to know Christ as

Savior and Lord through this broadcast, for we ask it in Jesus name.

Amen!

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