It may take a detailed globe or some nifty navigation on Google maps, but yes, this part of the world is indeed India.
Technically, it’s known as the Seven Sister States, but after Will Graham was finished preaching in this region that curls around Bangladesh, there were many new brothers and sisters in Christ.
“It’s a part of India that most people don’t even know exists,” Will Graham said.
Taking after his grandfather Billy Graham and his father, Franklin Graham, to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, Will’s efforts in these two remote Northeast India states of Mizoram and Nagaland followed that pattern.
“In both places, we saw a great response to the Gospel,” Will Graham said. “And that’s something only God can do.”
Surprisingly, though, Mizoram and Nagaland contain heavily-filled populations of Christianity.
Will Graham found himself preaching mostly to Presbyterians in Mizoram, a state of nearly 900,000 people.
And in Nagaland, with its population of 2 million people, Will Graham’s sermons fell mostly on Baptists’ ears.
“Both are very strong Christian areas,” he said. “But with that, there’s a lot of nominal types of Christians. Very much like the United States, where a lot of people claim to be Christians or believe in God but their life has no resemblance to that whatsoever.”
The challenge was taking the Scriptures and piercing the hearts of many who may have grown up hearing the Gospel message.
“They know what sin is. They know who God is, who Jesus is. They know all that,” Will Graham said. “It was a really a time to preach to the church and call them back to repentance, to put their faith back in Christ.”
Will Graham’s trip to this region came four decades after Mr. Graham preached in Nagaland in 1972 and is remembered so fondly that the city of Kohima named a mile stretch of one of their streets to the north “Billy Graham Road.”
It also may explain the royal treatment Will Graham received from the Chief Minister and his family.
“I’ve never been a state guest before or anything,”Will Graham said. “I don’t even think I’ve been a mayor’s guest anywhere. It was fun to meet a lot of the church leaders. And I had a lot of fun preaching the Gospel.”