Pastor Paris Lepcha is an original Lepcha from the village of Ringhem in North Sikkim.He is the assistant pastor in our local church.The north of Sikkim has a history of christianity which runs to the 1800s when the first missionaries set foot on the soil ,most of them with their eyes fixed on the tough tibetain plateau .The first christian convert in the north of Sikkim was from the village of Rimghem,in and around 1854,an old Lepcha couple who remained a christian in their lifetime but somehow could not pass it on to the generations that followed.
My father rightly observed that hundred years hence, Ringhem has it's second convert and that is pastor Paris Lepcha and his brothers.That is what makes them special.He is an assistant pastor to Rev.Jonathan Lepcha ,who took over the baton from my grandfather.
Mangan Local church has developed over the years from being a small local congregation to a church which already has branches in four other places in the North of Sikkim and is sending missionaries to difficult places like Nepal and Assam.It is a vibrant church which is little no more.Yesterday the church organised a huge christmas programme for the non-believers.My father was the chief guest,he was telling me how pastor Paris gave the main message of salvation relating it to the birth of Jesus Christ.Just before he turned in for his night's sleep,I asked my father if he was pleased,he said he was!He turns eighty five in April.
Sikkim has been through a difficult time.Though there is no obvious sign of the earthquake in the landscape in my hometown,the church referred to it during the christmas service and there seems to be some kind of spiritual awakening amongst the believers.Three days in the second week of January a prayer walk has been organised throughout Sikkim where all the churches are taking part.My church is responsible for taking the congregations of the north together.They have given a clarion call for prayers and participation.As my sister put it,churches in Sikkim are serious about their christian walk!
It is amazing how the Lord uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong.........!