With respect, he was locally called Bah Dishing. In the late 70s he studied his masters from the Cincinnati Bible College and graduated in 1974. He returned to India and founded North East India Christian Mission the same year at Nongpoh, Meghalaya. He served as its Director till his death in May 1999. His son Bill took over his baton.
During his lifetime, he had never been to Shidi. But looking at his contribution to our society, I am so much amazed to see what a person could do even from a distance. In a sense, he was “savior” to us. His support came at a time when all the State Government rights and privileges had been cut off from us.
WHAT HE DID
- He supported us in education and Bible training for two decades, from May 1979 to 1999.
- During this period, he provided hostel to stay, money for food, taught Bible and school education. Each student was support for a period of four years.
- Most probably about 100 students had an opportunity to be in his hostel. Many did not complete their term because the transition from village education to town (that too in English) was too much to bear. Gratefully several went on to complete their graduations in theology and secular. Almost all graduates in 80s and 90s were those who have gone through him.
- A partnership with a school at Nongpoh called Ri-Bhoi Presbyterian School so that we could get admission easily. The Headmistress of that school, Mrs K. Ranee, loved us and supported us. Like Dishington she had never been to our area.
- People who had been in his school became government servants, school teachers.
- The study in Bible provided a platform for our people to study further in Chennai at Madras College of Evangelism (Now Lakeview Bible College and Seminary). These graduates became key church leaders among us, many became missionaries, some became directors of mission organizations/NGOs.
Once again I thought: what would the situation among us if we did not have the privilege of studying at Nongpoh?
PEOPLE IN THE BACKGROUND
In addition to Dishington, many played their part to ensure this support system functioned well. Late Mathi was at that time posted at Shillong. He corresponded with other missionaries (primarily Joseph) to help us and then routed support through Dishington. Then there was the Gospel Evangelizing Committee of Shidi Churches of Christ which took active interest to educate our young boys. Finally, we had the early graduates from that institution taught in the Bible institute. They were Nathaney, Barnabas and Stephen, who taught and gave much moral support to our students.