An Interview with an Order of Founder Mr. C. Thangkima, Corps Sergeant Major & Mrs. Rodingliani, Home League Treasurer
'Order of Founder', Mr. C. Thangkima, and his wife Mrs. Rodingliani from India Eastern Territory, a loving couple and parent of six children made their visit to National Secretariat Office, Kolkata where their officer daughter and son in law have been serving, were interviewed by Captain Babu Samraj, Editor and Communications Secretary. Earlier to this they were welcomed by the National Secretariat family and were blessed with the prayer of National Secretary Lieutenant Colonel Davidson Varghese.
Come let’s have a talk
Editor: welcome Mr. Thangkima and Mrs. Rodingliani to the National Secretariat, happy to hear from you, what made your visit to Kolkata special?
Mr. Thangkima: Thank you Sir, for the year 2011, we declared it to attend church meetings regularly, visiting children's home to encourage them in faith and bringing people to God's family; as this year comes closer we came to visit our children here to encourage them in faith.
Editor: Mrs. Rodingliani, we were glad of listening your testimony, fine, we understand you serve the Lord with what you have been blessed, hasn't it? How all this? Can you tell us?
Mrs. Rodingliani: Good, let me briefly narrate, however, it's my long testimony. When my husband was admitted in the Hospital and unexpectedly it was diagnosed that he has a liver cancer. We all family members were so panic and distressed. Doctor clearly informed us that his is already in the third stage and no hope for treatment or surgery and would hardly last only about three months. But I had faith in God that who healed the blind and so many terminal illness during His sojourn in this world can heal my husband since Jesus is the same. Many people visited hospital and our home with their prayer, they earnestly prayed for him and almost all of them brought money to show their love of him. I categorically realised this that God has sent His Angels to help us. So with the same, I wanted to do others in my life. Therefore as per the instruction from God, I set a part of tithe (ten percent of the amount by adding some more from my side) from the money which we received from our visitors and prepared them to distribute to the sick and old age people who are in need of care and love along with the love letter printed out that I obtained from God, Isaiah 46:4, “Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your greying years I will bear you, I have done it and I will carry you and I will bear you and I will deliver you”. So, I enwrap this promise verse along with a gift and give away to the people with my own hands. Besides, mentally retarded and people in need of food and clothes come to our home for which we have a portion in our building to shelter them, as such I help them just because of God.
Editor: Being so advanced in yours years what kind of challenges you face in order to carry out this kind of ministry?
Both: We don't have anything like that, conversely, joyfully in the love of God serve the people in need.
Editor: Could you please tell us your 'Order of Founder”, How you were then?
Mr. Thangkima: While Colonel Sawichhunga was the leader of our territory the 'Order of Founder' honour was given to me by the then General, General EVA BURROWS. I was still unaware of my 'Order of Founder', when I had been invited with all my family members to the special public meetings. It was a surprising joy to hear in the meeting that I am to be honoured with 'Order of Founder'. It was beyond my expectation to receive such a big congratulations and hands to shake from friends, Officers and soldiers, friends colleague soon after the meeting over. Many congrats citations I received for this which I kept them safely in our home are the sweet memories of the great day. With a couple of days feast it was celebrated in my home corps, the surrounding Salvation Army communities too joined the celebration.
Editor: Do you see any difference between now and then Army?
Mr. Thangkima: Of course, very big, when I joined, there were not much Salvationists in the Army, I hardly saw the Salvation Army uniforms; there had been just 3 corps in the city, Aizawl, some people felt ashamed of the Salvation Army and of its uniform; one time my friends asked, what happened to you? So precious man you are why do you down yourself to join the Salvation Army? but now things totally changed.
Editor: What are the things you see new in the Salvation Army?
Mr. Thangkima: Now it is a big difference; the Salvation Army is highly dignified; it has changed lives; Salvationists become big dignitaries; top officials; some Salvationists are cabinet ministers and authorities in government services. Now they do not look down the Army; it keeps on changing the lives.
Editor: Do you think The Salvation Army, ever since you joined, moves on its track that God intended to be, particularly with the task of saving souls?
Mr. Thangkima: Yes, it is a collective effort, we all do our part well, this year we have brought 7 members of one of my children's family into the family of God, this we share just to encourage the readers; though there are lapses, as long as we all collectively do our best with the love of God, new souls will be added to our fellowship.
Editor: Do you have ever wished, you could be an officer and serve the Lord a bit more than what you do now?
Mr. Thangkima: hm..m. not exactly, but we dedicated our daughter Major C. Lalhriatpuii who is one among of my 6 children. While Commissioner Mannam Samuel was the leader of the territory he visited Aizawl, Bazar corps, there he preached and bid a challenge. So I and my wife dedicated atleast one of our children to become an Officer to respond the challenge. Following this, God nurtured her through various stretches, before she became an officer she had been for three years as a missionary in the ministry of “Youth With A Mission (YWAM)” ; this all happened and how this all happened is quite wonder; we just kept on praying.
Editor: As far the Indian Salvation Army context concerned, sometimes it is exhaustive for the parents to pick a suitable spouse for their to be officers children; what then about your case in this terms as a parent of an officer daughter?
Mrs. Rodingliani: Oh.... this is good, neither had we seriously thought of this nor did have any challenge in this. We did not have any check list to scale our to be son in law; we did not look education, and other social backgrounds. We trusted God and prayed to give a God fearing man and we just wished him a person primarily ever happy in serving the Lord and we believed a woman is created to help a man to serve the Lord; that is all the case. The Lord is good who favoured things and now their officership is the happiest thing for us.
Editor: Anything more you want to share in your Testimony?
Mrs. Rodingliani: Of course, being God's children, God used to speak to me many a times. About two years ago, it was in the month of November when people were setting their minds towards Christmas celebration, I received inner voice to prepare the chicken for the poor who could not afford to buy. I have domestic chicken at our home which I feed them properly. So I called our home helper and told him to prepare and dress the chicken. As per my instruction he did it and made into different packs. Therefore I was waiting some people to come and collect that chicken. It is quiet interesting to see God's miracle, wonderfully and surprisingly, the needy people whom I prepared for came to our home one by one, without prior knowledge since there's no way to inform them, besides, I did not mean to prepare for any particular individual person. It is really a joyful moments to see their bright face to receive the unexpected gifts for them. God is trustworthy and reliable. God sent those persons the exact number to that I prepared the chicken packs. God is Amazing !!
Editor: Wonderful and interesting ! What would you tell out of your experience for today's Salvationists?
Both: The ministry of the Salvation Army has been anointed by God himself, being used by himself; what we would like to tell is 'let the ministry with the same spirit continue as it was in the future and wish the Salvationists more faithful and loyal to hold the same flame ever on so that more and more people would come and join the family.
Editor: it is all beautiful to hear, we pray the good Lord give you all His grace and strength to keep this move continue.
Both: We too feel very proud and privileged of this. Thank you very much, Captain, God bless.
Prayer (Editor): Gracious God, we thank you for this hour of talk and we ask of your blessings to rest upon these couples who enthusiastically witnessed your name in the Army. Keep on blessing them, in Jesus name Amen!