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Pastor Anungla: An inspiring journey

Morung Express Feature
Soft spoken, shy and with very compassionate eyes, Pastor Anungla Chang comes across as one of the many Naga mothers that rules their home roost with love and kindness. But this mother of a little boy has been a guide, preacher and soul saver for a decade and many years. Anungla Chang is said to be the first woman Pastor from the Chang areas.
She has been working as a full fledged pastor at the Chang Baptist Church Kohima (CBCK) for a year now. Anungla has done her Bachelor of Theology at UBS, Pune after which she trained at the Eleutheros Christian Society (ECS) Tuensang with drug addicts in rehab for three months. She then went on to complete her B.D, UBS Pune. Later, she joined Oasis India and worked for a year from 1998 to 1999. During February 2009 she retuned home to work as the women Secretary at CBLT which she did for ten years.  In 2001 she got married after which she transferred to Kohima.  
"Somewhere, someone is whispering my name in prayer to God-That makes me work more hard"
Dealing with children, youth, and women Anungla has been quietly observing the marked changes happening in society. She reveals that young people are more open to discussions and new ideas than ever before. In fact, she smiles and said that she can relate to the newer generation more. She also said that a new addiction has crept into society i.e. technology. “Youths these days are so addicted to technology that they do not want to come and attend Church,” she said. A solution that CBLK has come up is that every Saturday a special time is set for the youths where they can come up and share their problem. “We are trying to develop more church going youths,” Anungla shared.
Anungla also opined that the parent-child tussle being faced in Naga society is because there is definitely too much generation gap between parents and children and because of excess westernization.  She also warned that many parents are blind to technology and its ill effects. “Parents do not know what their children are doing in the room. The mentality that as long as the children do not go out it is okay is dangerous.”
Having worked both with youths and families extensively, Anungla shared, “I should say that parents should try to understand the problems of their child, build the relationship with the child first, attend parental guidance seminars, be more open to their kids problems, be more up-to-date with technology. Above all God’s word should be taught from the beginning.”  
When queried on what changes she sees in Naga women today, she replies that there are definitely major shifts in the role of a Naga woman in our present day society.  She lists that women have come up in all fields, and in a positive way, there is more attendance of women in Church. Also women are becoming more outspoken in society. But she also feels that women again are holding back just a bit. “Women somehow do not really want to come out from their shell and maybe in ten years there will be more changes. We seem to sidestep and give a chance to the men first, this is my thought,” she said. Maybe, the reason why women are still holding back a little maybe because of our culture and upbringing and we are still trying to ascertain to stereotypical role of what a women should be like,” she said.  
For Naga women all over, she said that she prays for strength because it’s a struggle to break the shell but once broken it will be easy. “The beginning is very hard but once we come out of that, it’s easy. Always try to come to God with discerning power,” she advises. For herself, she says that as a woman leading a group of people- from different backgrounds, gender etc. it’s not easy to deal, so I pray for a brave heart, mind, for courage and the discerning power from above.
Commenting on the condition of religion in Nagaland, Anungla stated that there has been a loss of zeal. “Ours is a Christian State, and everyone knows that. In reality it is not there in the Church. What I’ll comment is Nagas should go back once again to the Word of God. Once we are deeply rooted, politicians if they know God they will be able to rule wisely, if people know God there won’t be extortion in the society. If young people are deeply rooted in the Word of God they won’t go astray. If we live as we say according to the ethic of Christianity there won’t be divorce, suicides and there won’t be ism in the society.” She also felt that people are not serious about being a Christian.
For somebody who grew up in a Christian family, with loving parents encouraging her to walk always in the path of God, it is no surprise when Anungla says, “It’s the commitment that I have to serve faithfully that motivates me everyday to continue my service. My daddy is no more but I still remember his encouragement. My parents were the ones who encouraged me to live a life walking in the path of God. I used to think of people who pray for me when I am feeling down. And I know somewhere, someone is whispering my name in prayer to God-That makes me work more hard”.

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