We are so excited to be members of the IM family as Endorsed Missionaries. Some of you may be acquainted with us from our involvement in World Mission Conferences as International Partners in the 1990's, or from related visits to your churches to share about God's work in North East India. If we've not yet had the privilege of meeting, allow us to introduce ourselves.
Taku is an Ao Naga, born and raised in Nagaland. His grandfather was the one of the first converts in his village at in the early 1900’s. His orphaned father received primary level education at the mission school before being sent out as a missionary to a neighboring Naga tribe that still practiced headhunting – this was in the 1950’s! Taku’s early years were spent in the jungle, encountering great hardship, but experiencing God's grace as the entire village became Christian. In later years Taku responded to God's call to ministry and was educated by American Baptists missionaries teaching at Eastern Theological College in Assam. Katie is from Central Illinois, the land of corn fields. Prior to meeting Taku she had been involved with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) ministry in South America, Mexico and on the campus of University of Illinois.
Folks often ask where we met. We respond that neither of us went searching for the other in their home place. Instead we each bridged half the distance, meeting in Hawaii! Taku had been working with the Naga Missionary Movement (Nagaland Baptist Church Council) who sent him to Honolulu, Hawaii to train with YWAM and partner with them in ministry in India. After our training we both were members of the team pioneering the YWAM ministry in South India. While serving together we discerned God’s call to unite our lives in marriage.
Since then the majority of our 27 years of matrimony have been spent in North East India working with the IM partner churches. We have three children, the first two sons (Meren & Lima) were born at home in Nagaland, India, (one by candlelight!); and our daughter Sentila was born in the US while Taku was attending seminary.
Our family has spent the last ten years in the US in preparation for the work God has placed on our hearts in North East India. Katie has completed her M. Div at Northern Baptist Seminary and received ordination while Taku Pastors the First Baptist Church, in Farmington, IL. He will remain in this position until we have reached 110% of committed support of the funds required for this ministry. When this goal is achieved we will be commissioned and deployed to the mission field.
For the past couple of years we have both served as Special Assistants to Ben Chan, IM Area Director for East Asia and India. In that capacity we have taken brief ministry trips to North East India. The latest of these was in February of this year. We were able to participate in a Silver Jubilee Celebration with one of the church planters who was commissioned from Nagaland while Taku served at NMM. Through great struggles over the past 25 years there have now been 29 churches established in the Bhutan Frontier Mission field. It was a joy to be reunited to celebrate the grace and goodness of God together. I’ll share more about that in my next postings.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We would be happy to visit your church if you would like us to come and share about God’s amazing work in North East India. We will soon begin our scheduling for church / region visits so please do contact us if interested. As our schedule develops I’ll make note of it here so you can see if we are heading your way!
We would appreciate your prayers and support. God bless you.
Taku & Katie Longkumer