Chakhesang’s art of trapping Helicopter

ZK Pahrü Pou
BTC, Pfutsero

Have you ever heard anyone trying to trap a Helicopter? May not be if you are not from Chakhesang tribe. The story of a Chakhesang man trying to trap a Helicopter may be too humorous or too good to be true for you. But this is not an invented story for children’s comic book. It is a true story that took place few decades ago. It took place in a Chakhesang village called P Village (name changed) under Phek District. When the inhabitants of Village P saw helicopter for the first time, they (mis)understood it to be big bird whose wings flap and make loud noise. Somewhere nearby their village, it rested and went away before they could reach. A man of that village wanted to trap that Big Bird. So he took few pieces of rice and traditional (tree) gum to the place where the helicopter landed just before. To entice the helicopter, he scatters the rice in the helipad. He then pasted traditional gum on sticks and put up around the place where he had scattered the rice. He waited patiently for long time for the Big Bird-Helicopter to come and eat rice. To his discouragement, the Big Bird never returned to that place to eat rice. His mission was failed.


Again in the Village P, another very interesting incident took place. During this time, it was with vehicle and not with Helicopter. When Jeep came to their village for the first time, they assumed it to be a big animal. Probably thinking that the big animal was tired and hungry, the curious or rather generous villagers cut grass and feed the big animal-Jeep. However, despite their great effort, the big animal-Jeep did not eat grass. The villagers were left disappointed.


This kind of stories appears to be funny for us today. But few decades ago, it was not so. They literally believed that Helicopter was a big bird and Jeep a big animal. However, the mission of Chakhesang people to trap the big bird Helicopter and feed the big animal Jeep was a total failure. It was a great disappointment for them. But we cannot blame helicopter for not coming back to eat rice or the Jeep for refusing to eat grass. The fact is that it is not possible to trap Helicopter with gum and Jeep does not eat grass. Anyway a great lesson was communicated through this incident: Chakhesang people have a heart of ‘trapping’ the impossible thing and ‘feeding’ the hungry ones.


The ideology of ‘trapping/catching’ and ‘feeding’ turned out to be a good strategy of doing mission work today. Among all the Naga tribes, Chakhesang tribe is one of the most successful tribes in doing mission work. One of their main mission projects is Baptist Theological College, Pfutsero. This College that was started with just 12 students has now 221 students from 28 different tribes. So far the College has trained and sent out more than 600 students. They are working in different places in different ministries. Although Chakhesang people, in the past, could not catch/trap helicopter or fed Jeep, today they are catching/trapping many lost souls and feeding them with the Word of God through the graduates of BTC. With the help of God, many helicopters (powerful people) are being trapped (converted) to Christian faith. Today, many Jeeps started to accept grass-in the sense that people of other faiths started to take in the Word of God. In the past, people trap birds and animals to kill and eat. Today, Christians trap people to feed and save them. In the past, people use ‘insects, meat or grains’ as baits to trap animals and birds. Today, we use the Word of God to bring people to Christ.


In 1977, it was here in Pfutsero that NBCC resolved to send 10,000 missionaries to evangelise the world. This is a great commitment given to God by the Nagas which is yet to be fulfilled. We have many ‘helicopters’ and ‘Jeeps’ within and outside of our state. They are roaming around making lots of loud noises drifting towards destruction and death. We need to trap them and bring back to Christ. There are many people who are physically and spiritually hunger. We need to take care of their needs and feed them with the Word of God. Indeed, it is not an easy task to trap a helicopter or feed a jeep. But with God, nothing will be impossible. Let’s join hands and do the ministry of “trapping helicopter” and “feeding Jeep” with faith, prayers and determination.