BESY Choir of Aizawl, Mizoram – India

Youtube kept having a “recommended” video in my list that I ignored for a few days until I finally thought, “let me check this out to see what it’s about.” The recommended video is the second one in this blog, “He Hideth My Soul.” I was dumbfounded, amazed and awed by what I heard. My ears weren’t ready to hear what my eyes were seeing in the photo of the Youtube video.

By God’s Grace I stumbled upon this Treasure and Blessing of almost Angelic Worship Music. This is their English music and their story that I uncovered with just a small amount of research. Hope their music and story blesses you as it has me.

BESY Choir Aziwal, Mizoram – India

The Bible Society of India is a Christian body that is authorized to translate, produce, distribute and market the Bible and is a member of the United Bible Societies.

The motto of the Society is to translate the word of God in languages, which people can understand, and produce the scriptures (normally in book form) at a price people could afford to buy. The Bible Society works together with many organizations in India to translate the Bible into various languages of India. The Bible is now available in 65 Indian languages, the New Testament in 70 additional languages,  and Scripture portions in 48 languages.

The Bible Society of Aizawl Auxiliary has an acclaimed choir consisting of volunteer singers known as BESY Choir named after the Bible Society; they tour different parts of the Country and abroad on special occasions giving witness to the power of God’s Word through music.

Aizawl

Mizoram is a state in northeastern India, with Aizawl as its capital city. The name is derived from “Mizo“, the name of the native inhabitants, and “Ram”, which means land, and thus Mizoram means “land of the Mizos”. Mizoram was previously part of Assam until 1972, when it was carved out as a Union Territory. It became the 23rd state of India, a step above Union Territory, on 20 February 1987. Mizoram’s population was 1,091,014, according to a 2011 census. It is the 2nd least populous state in the country.

About 95% of the current population is of diverse tribal origins who settled in the state, mostly from Southeast Asia, over waves of migration starting about the 16th century but mainly in the 18th century.  This is the highest concentration of tribal people among all states of India, and they are currently protected under Indian constitution as a Scheduled Tribe.  Mizoram is one of three states of India with a Christian majority (87%). Its people belong to various denominations, mostly Presbyterian in the north and Baptists in the south.

There are several thousand people, mostly ethnic Mizo, who have converted to Judaism claiming to be one of the lost Judaic tribe group Bnei Menashe, with descent from the biblical Menasseh.  (Hebrew: בני מנשה‎, “Sons of Menasseh“) are a ethnolinguistic group in India‘s North-Eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram. Since the late 20th century, the Chin, Kuki, and Mizo peoples of this particular group claim descent from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel and have adopted the practice of Judaism.  In the late 20th century, Israeli rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, of the group Amishav, named these people the Bnei Menashe, based on their account of descent from Menasseh.

Aizawl Tribal

Prior to conversion in the 19th century to Christianity by Welsh Baptist and Evangelical missionaries, the Chin, Kuki, and Mizo peoples were animists; among their practices was ritual headhunting.

Most of those who now identify as Bnei Menashe had converted to Christianity. But in 1951, one of their tribal leaders had a ‘dream’ that his people’s ancient homeland was Israel. Since the late 20th century, some of these peoples have begun embracing the idea that they were Jews, while keeping the belief that Jesus is the Messiah (Messianic Judaism). The Bnei Menashe are a small group who started studying and practicing Judaism since the 1970s in a desire to return to what they believe is the religion of their ancestors. The total population of Manipur and Mizoram is more than 3.7 million. The Bnei Menashe are estimated by Shavei Israel to number around 10,000; close to 3,000 have emigrated to Israel.

Pastor B.H. Clendennen started the School Of Christ International in his 70’s. He said, “when I was old enough to be dead” God lead him to start this school to train pastors and equip the saints with NO Money, only a vision. Pastor Bert has gone on to be with the Lord for some years now but the school God built through him is still operating in about 130 countries. Mizoram is centered between the Bangladesh and Myanmar region of India and I found this 2018 update from SOC International concerning them.

https://schoolofchrist.org/bangladesh-graduates-second-school-among-the-hill-country-tribes/

https://schoolofchrist.org/category/myanmar/

One of Pastor Bert’s principals in training his students was seeking God early each day in prayer. It didn’t surprise me to read this from their ministry update,

the Bawm Tribe is the smallest tribe in Bangladesh, but they are almost all Christian. They go to the church every day at 4:30 a.m. to pray. They are dedicated to the cause of Christ. At the end of the School things had changed, pastors and leaders were revived, encouraged, and equipped to do the work God has called them to do.

If Pastor Bert Clendennen were still alive, they would have gotten along very well seeing their common love and dedication to “seek God earnestly and early.”

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