…and his extraordinary legacy lives on
All my heart to Him I give, Ever to Him I’ll cling, In His blessed presence live, Ever His praises sing, Love so mighty and so true, Merits my soul’s best songs, Faithful, loving service, too, To Him belongs. -Lyrics by James Rowe
In the noon of June 20, 2016, a momentous hour came when Rev Lano Longchar drew on the Lord to be with Him in the glorious dwelling. The preacher now has a place to call “home” for eternity — heaven.
To the world, he was a preacher and a towering spiritual leader; to friends, he was a mentor and guide; to colleagues, he was a teacher and leader; to some contemporaries, he was a fellow freedom fighter and a true nationalist; and to the countless spiritual descendants who looked to him as their father or grandfather in the faith, he was the loving and affectionate ‘Aba’.
Rev. Lano Longchar was the greatest preacher in our land and even beyond, who brought countless souls to the Kingdom of God with his preaching and counseling.
Very few of this generation know that Rev Lano Longchar inherited his qualities of being “soft-spoken, treating everyone with respect and always truthful and honest” from his father Longdangluin from Longkhum Village in Mokokchung district. He attributed his mother Mendangnaro for developing strong foundation for all the 12 children in the family. Rev. Lano Longchar was among the few chosen, who God calls for His service when they are still a child. He was only four years old when his entire family came to the Lord and embraced Christianity in 1939. Being a meritorious student, he went to pursue education in Mokokchung where one of his seniors gave him an English Bible and it led to accomplishment of his aspirations.
In his younger days, Rev Lano Longchar was actively involved in the National freedom movement. He was even in prison where he went through painful ordeals and trials and had to be admitted in the hospital for treatment. God showed up Himself and miraculously healed him.
It was during a Sunday service at Shillong Jail (where he was a prisoner), Rev. Lano Longchar was touched by the preacher’s question, “Are you saved?” It was the day he received the assurance of salvation and accepted Jesus as his personal savior. With his head bowed down, Rev. Lano Longchar said, “Thank You, Lord, for these handcuffs.” What followed next was a chain of miraculous encounters, divine interventions and his journey to winning souls for the Kingdom of the true God who delivered him from all the persecutions and led to freedom.
Not just once but thrice, he rejected jobs offered by Government of India and chose to go for theological studies. Along the journey, he met his wife P. Amenla Ozukum and together they had a beautiful family. Though Rev. Lano Longchar traveled often, leaving his wife to raise their five children, he always felt that he had her unquestionable support.
By the time he was ministering for the Lord, a great revival broke out in Mokokchung, which spread to the Chang and Sumi areas. Later, God opened door for him to study at the Baptist Theological College in Australia and Haggai Institute of Evangelism in Singapore.
After he returned home, many miracles and wonders followed. The Bethesda Institution, founded in 1976, was owned by Rev Lano Longchar and his four friends. The same year, Ao areas were hit by a great wave of revival and he was one of the key persons who preached the Gospel and performed healing. Thousands of decisions were made for Jesus Christ and many repented for their sins and sought forgiveness from God during that period of revival.
However, the most outstanding ones were during a revival in 1976, which was organized by the Mokokchung Ao Baptist Church. It is said that the whole town was touched by the Holy Spirit and the revival came to a close at Mokokchung Football ground.
According to the accounts of people who were present at that revival, more than 50 thousand attended the revival services. One night, white doves came and sat over the tents, and on another night, a huge Cross appeared over the tent and Jesus Christ Himself appeared on the Cross.
During his life as a missionary, Rev. Lano preached at national and international crusades from the very beginning. He was actively serving in various ministries in different capacities throughout the world. He continued as the channel of making alive the legacy of millions who made decisions for Christ through his crusades and other ministry platforms. He went on to preach in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and few other countries.
Bravely speaking about the Gospel at various crusade events, Rev. Lano preached about the greatness of God’s love. Around the world, he was honoured as a man of peace who walked close to God, and his humility and honesty always earned him more honour and respect.
The New Heart
Rev. Lano Longchar himself was a living testimony as he witnessed spiritual and physical healing in his own life. God rescued him from the prison cells, lifted him from the sick bed and even gave him a new hope. In the later part of the year 1999, he suffered a cardiac arrest, and as his condition worsened, there was no hope for recovery. One day, as he started to give thanks, God Himself showed up again in the form of “Bright Golden Rays” along with Angels and healed him completely.
In the year 2004, the Reverend was taken dead to the hospital by his family but he came back to life and was discharged in good health.
The Beautiful Finish
Few people can claim to have lived each day with God and also of having lived a life to the fullest, accomplishing the “plans and purposes of God.” But Rev. Lano Longchar was one of those people.
Sadly, at 81, Rev. Lano Longchar went to be with the Lord forever on June 20, 2016 at Mokokchung in Nagaland.
Even as he was at the end of life’s tunnel, Rev. Lano Longchar’s heart was for the revival. He was excited to speak at the ongoing 40 Days of Revival from July 1-3, 2016, and he even wanted to pray for the sick for healing. It is hard for us to believe that he left us and went to be with Jesus whom he had faithfully served for more than 50 years. Today, we cherish the words of wisdoms that the Reverend has left behind: “I don’t want people to remember me after I die, but I want them to remember JESUS through a small channel of the Gospel and I want to be a channel of blessing for the people long after I am gone.”
His message remains timeless, through commentaries he made, interviews he gave for journals and newspapers, documentaries in which he appeared, and books written on his life. His life and the words of wisdom that he left behind will continue to have an impact making his extraordinary legacy to live on without end.