OSLC’s Missions Ministry Team was pleased to sponsor an evening with the Rev. Dr.’s Neeraj (man) and Nijhar (lady) Ekka and their four children: Maani (12-daughter), Urbas (9-son), Puna (7-son) and Jhumpa (4-daughter). Jhumpa was well named, at least in the English meaning of her name, as she thoroughly entertained everyone with her constant motion!
The Ekkas are currently in the states where Nijhar just completed her doctorate in Literacy. They will return to Ranchi, India in August. They are working as partners with the World Mission Prayer League.
Pastors Neeraj and Nijhar provide vision and leadership for the partnership between the World Mission Prayer League and the North Western Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church, India. The Ekkas gave leadership to develop and continue to serve at Navin Doman (the first Christian convert in that area in the 1800’s) Theological College in Ranchi, India. The college is used to train pastors, evangelists and missionaries for holistic ministry; to host religious conferences, exchange students, foreign visitors, and mission trips; and to equip youth, women and lay leaders for witness and transformation in communities.
They were also instrumental in starting an after school program in that area of Ranchi. Many of the children and most of the women in that area are illiterate. Pr. Nijhar will have special emphasis with her ministry in the area of literacy.
OSLC’s connection to the Ekkas came as a result of deep friendship with the Rev. Melinda Melhus (former member of OSLC) and Gail Wieman (current member). AiM Brenda Tibbetts, Virginia Nelson and Bob Bjorum have also known the Ekkas for quite a few years, as the Ekkas have presented at Luther Seminary for Life Long Learning classes.
An enjoyable evening was had by everyone. We enjoyed great food, fellowship, a PowerPoint presentation featuring many fascinating photos, and visiting with Neeraj, Nijhar and the children.
Special thanks to the Missions Ministry Team for hosting this wonderful evening.