Page 14: 1906, the first ‘Mizo Revival’.
There had been considerable expectations for the Mairang Assembly among Christians in Aizawl and in the school-cum-chapel prayers had been offered every evening on behalf of the delegates. However, though they were welcomed on their return there was no sign of any revival and the delegates themselves were disappointed. Thanga was downcast. “Those who had not been there (at Mairang) were very suspicious and thought we were merely imitating what the Khasi people were doing. The sneered at us”.
The dawn of the ‘Great Awakening’.
They looked forward to Sunday expecting that the Holy Spirit would descend on the public meetings. But it didn’t happen. The three delegates from the South decided to return to Serkawn the next day. At the Sunday evening meeting Jones ‘Zosaphluia’ invited all who could come to attend a farewell meeting on Monday morning. A few came together early and the meeting continued quietly, but as they sang the farewell hymn ‘God be with you till we meet again’, something mysterious happened. The hymn was repeated time and again, together with other hymns. An ecstasy possessed the congregation as others came to join in. Soon it was time for school and the pupils arrived clutching their books and slates. At the sound of hymns being sung with such fervour they were puzzled and hesitant but by and by they came in and joined the singing. By this time the congregation had grown quite large and each hymn seemed sweeter and sweeter.
Jones ‘Zosaphluia’ tells us that the meeting went on for hours, flowing on of its own accord, as it were. Sometimes the whole congregation would unite in prayer, and then a hymn would be sung with gusto. It sounded like a sea thundering on the shore. Some were praying on their own behalf, others for their friends and neighbours. If someone continued too long in a prayer another would start a hymn. The sound of the prayer was drowned as the hymn was repeated over and over.
A woman in the congregation called Hlunziki stood up and made a spontaneous confession of her sins, a confession which affected them all deeply. Thanga writes, “She stood up and confessed her sins and asked for our prayers on her behalf. We felt certain that she had been inspired and that the Holy Spirit had descended on us.”. The missionaries were in tears.
Jones ‘Zosaphluia’ was especially moved when he saw school children and young people coming to the front though no one had asked them to. They confessed their sins and dedicated themselves afresh to the Saviour.
The people from two nearby villages heard the sound and hurried to the schoolhouse. All the doors and windows were pushed open and the villagers were fascinated by what they saw and heard. It was with difficulty that they were persuaded to go home for a meal. A meeting in the open-air, on a neighbouring hill, was promised for the afternoon. So ended the strangest meeting that Mizo Christians had ever experienced.
After this similar meetings went on daily for several weeks, sometimes continuing till midnight. Believers were confirmed in their faith and a considerable number of non-believers were converted.
Jones ‘Zosaphluia’, who was a quiet, stolid man, admits he had some strange experiences at that time.
‘Some sank so deep into a coma that it was impossible to detect either their pulse or their breathing. They seemed as though dead and at first we were greatly perturbed by this. It seemed as if they had crossed into the spirit world. But we were assured similar events took place in the Khasi Hills, and that there was no danger nor any need to worry. When they regained consciousness they confidently related the visions they had seen during their trance. There were prophecies of things which had been told while they were in that condition and which were later fulfilled. (translation from Welsh)