Testimony of brother Ninghor Mahongnao of LEF, LangolBack to life of order from the border of hell and death
As penned down by Lunminthang Haokip
I DRIFTED AWAY AS A STUDENT: I am Ninghor. I am glad that I can share my testimony to you all. I was born and brought up in a Christian family. But Christ was totally alien to me. As I grew up, I was inclined to throw my lot on Philosophy. I also relied heavily on the power of the mind. So I began to study the lives of famous people. I was curious to to know things; I wanted to taste the pleasures of life. When I was in Class IX, I was hooked to chemical drugs. They gave me some sort of pleasure. I nursed a desire to venture deeper into the illusory world of ‘getting high.’ In a moment of weakness, when I felt low, when I studied in Class X, I tasted heroin for the first time. The urge to seek false pleasure got stuck in my psyche like a leech ever since. Drugs are as irresistible to the emotionally heavy-laden youth of today as the ‘forbidden fruit’ would have been to Eve in Eden.
THE POWER OF MY MIND FAILED ME MISERABLY: All those years, I was confident that the power of my mind would bail me out from ‘temporary’ addiction. But as I diversified in my pick of drugs, the power of my mind that I banked on, failed me miserably. Drugs had a pincer-hold on me. It was like falling into a pond of quick-sand. In that state of ‘walking in a blur and talking ingot a slur,’ I somehow finished graduation. I saw myself tap-tapping here, and tap-tapping there, seeking entry into the big city Univ. premises. As my luck would have it, I couldn’t get myself enrolled in a decent University in outside States. I came back to home. There was a lapse in my studies. For lack of anything better to do, I began to take comfort in drugs again. I did it 4 or 5 times in a day. The devil would somehow provide the means to buy the slow-killing stuff. The wily enemy of our soul pushes you to fall flat into sin; but gets a ‘sadistic high’ when sin makes you suffer.
THE MIRAGE CHASE: Momentarily I was sailing on cloud nine. But once the deceptive ‘kick’ lost its sting, I fell back on earth with a thud of reality. The core problem was money. Where to get cash for the next shot ? That compelling worry made me lie and steal from wherever I could lay my hand on. At times I got terribly fed up of being a slave to my unstoppable habit. I could feel that my body was decaying. The power of my mind was gone for a toss. I had to find money for the next shot somehow. There was zero peace in my mind. Anything that money can buy cannot deliver lasting happines. The fleeting excitement that they create peters out with the nagging pressure of the need to find money for buying the next dose of the fake ‘joy-giver.’ So, to think was to be full of sorrow. Taking a shot before going to sleep kept me brooding over for the next dose. It was a never ending ordeal like chasing the mirage.
I THOUGHT MY DAYS WERE NUMBERED: With a heavy heart, I saw my body decaying. My looks changed for the worse, day after day. I would have looked scary because people treated me like an outcast. Of course, being hated hurt me a great deal. Feeling sad at folks looking the other way, when I drew close to them, I made attempts to discipline myself. But it all proved to be an exercise in futility. In those days, an outlaw outfit was ironically (was in the right side of the law) on an anti-drug drive in my locality. Some addicts were disciplined and a few gone-cases were finished off. I too was caught when I was on the act. They beat me up black and blue and locked me up for days. Yet, in the shade of moments, the love and lure of my ‘heroin’ ‘seduced’ me; and I was back to square one. I was sinking. The power of my mind became powerless. I thought my days on earth were numbered. Maybe, I was going to die soon ! Hassled though my existence was, I didn’t fancy to be dumped inside an early grave.
I RAN FOR MY LIFE: My family took me to Psychiatrists. I was given some treatment. But nothing and no one could help me to come out of the rut of the mess I got myself into. I myself was not responsive at all to discipline but reactive to the same. While the cadres of an outlaw group were disciplining and warning addicts, I was taking a fix in the vicinity. They told me, “You are a virus. You ruin the lives of innocent youth by showing a deadly example. You must die.” I thought my game of deceiving others was over. Fearing death, I somehow slipped away from the make-shift lock-up and ran for my life. I could have been as fast in running as Usain Bolt, if not more. I hid myself in a secret place for many days. Somehow, God saved my life. Makes me ponder over the saying, “A miss is as good as a mile.” Now in hindsight, I realise that I was spared by the Almighty to serve Him.
I CAME TO MYSELF: For several days there was no detox. I suffered withdrawal syndrome. Mentally wounded and socially high-strung, one Sunday, I sneaked out of my cell and attended a Church service of LEF, Langol, Imphal. I narrated my plight to the Pastor, Dr SV Job, and asked if I could stay there for sometime. The Pastor, Uncle Job, agreed and allowed me to stay in the house of God for sometime. The nights were nightmarish. My body ached. My fingers felt burning sensation. I slept on my Bible. I opened my Bible at Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” That verse gave me a wake-up call. I came to my senses. It was not others who troubled me. All these years, I was tormenting myself. People hated me because of my evil ways. Now, the Word of God soothed my outraged heart like a breeze ruffling a pond.
THE LORD WIPED MY SINS AWAY: I began to repent deeply in prayer. I confessed all my sins to the Almighty Jehovah. On my knees, I wrestled with my old nature to establish a relationship with God. I opened my heart bare to the Lord, “Lord, if you give me life to live, I will live for You alone; not for myself anymore.” One day, the Lord showed me His forgiveness, and assured me of my salvation through Isaiah 44:22, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and, as a cloud thy sins; return unto Me for I have redeemed thee.” I was overjoyed. My Pastor insisted that I go for an HIV test. I underwent tests as directed. The reports read ‘Negative;’ ‘Not detected.’ I told my Pastor that nothing was found in the tests. He said to me, “When God forgives a person, He also wipes away the tin and dross of the person’s past life.’ My happiness knew no bounds. I praised the Lord from the innermost part of my heart. Even the epilepsy I was suffering from was ‘gone with the win’ of salvation.
I CAN NO MORE AFFORD TO BE NEGLIGENT: I stayed in the Church for a few more days. The Pastor who had won many souls as a Professor of Madurai University, before his retirement, mentored me and prayed for me. When my friends heard that I have left my evil ways, they were very happy. I thanked them for their prayer support and for having come to my rescue. Then I asked the Lord as to whether I should seek a life-partner. God gave me a go-ahead signal through the Scripture. God even threw a hint about the lady I should marry. She was Ms Shalemi from Tarao tribe of Chandel District, Manipur. Shalemi, a World Vision functionary, took time to seek the Lord’s approval. God showed her His positive will. She knew what and who I was. But undaunted, by faith, we got wedded. We are serving the Lord in our own capacities. God called me to Ministry through 2 Chronicles 29:11, “My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister unto Him and burn incense.” Presently, the Lord burdens me to launch a Rehab Centre at Mapao Zingtun village in Kangpokpi Dist. Please pray for my family and the ‘Save-Life’ project.