MSSU stands for the Mizoram Sunday School Union. In Mizoram, every locality has a Presbyterian “Kohhran” that consists of the Church, the Church elders, pastor, Church members etc. (Some localities have split into 2-3 separate Kohhran due to its voluminous size in population but are still unified as one single locality when it comes to VC, YMA etc.)
In Mizoram, Sunday School literally means that; a School on Sunday. Each Presbyterian Kohhran is divided into 7 departments: Beginners, Primary, Junior, Intermediate, Sacrament, Senior and Puitling (adult) according to their age group in the ascending order. Only the Puitling category sits in the main Church during Sunday School while the rest go to a separate location like a recreation hall or a school. Each group is further divided into sections and is headed by a qualified Sunday School teacher appointed by the Kohhran council (unsalaried ofcourse) except on special occasions when the respective department’s leader takes over the entire proceeding.
There is even a roll-call every Sunday, where the registered Church goer with maximum attendance are awarded at the end of the year by the community. Now that the end of the year is approaching, it is also time for the annual examination.
I was up last night till around 10pm helping my two nieces revise for this exam because the rest of my family’s busy studying too. I don’t have to give the exam because I am not registered in the Church due to the fact that I stay outside Mizoram most of the time.
It’s quite funny to see people of all ages sitting in silence in different corners of the room and mugging up for this exam and going through all the lessons that they were taught this past one year. And the kind of questions each group is asked differs and is compiled according to their respective IQ level.
For example, my 10 years old niece who is in the Junior department, has questions like
- What was the name of Josiah’s father?
- What is the meaning of the name “Gideon”?
- What was the name of Naomi’s husband?
- What’s inside the Ark of the Covenant?
- Who was the first martyr?
- Who was the first missionary to reach Mizoram?
- What is the meaning of Pentecost?
- Who were the seven elders chosen by the apostles?
- What was the name of the city that banished Paul?
- At whose house did Jesus stay at the city of Jericho?
- Who gave names to the animals and birds?
- Where did Adam and Eve live?
- What was the name of Moses’ father?
- What was the name of Jesus’ mother?
- Who tried to kill baby Jesus?
- Where did Joseph and Mary flee after Jesus was born?
- What was the name of John the Baptist’s father?
- Who was the son of Levi?
- What was the name of the town where Jesus healed the Centurion’s servant?
- Explain the significance of the places Korazin and Bethsaida.
- What was the name of the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household?
- Where did Jesus heal the ten lepers?
- What was the name of the village where Jesus appeared to Simon/Cleopas after his crucifixion?
- Explain the relationship status between Herod and Pilate before/after the crucifixion.
Pssttt! Stop googling! I can see you!
Nobody can flunk this exam . But those who score first divisions and honors (distinction) are awarded (Bible, cooking vessel etc). Sunday School in Mizoram is something that I completely missed out because I’ve stayed in a boarding school outside Mizoram since 3rd standard.
The invigilators for this exam come from adjoining Kohhrans and likewise, elders from our Kohhran go to other Kohhrans to conduct this exam. The entire procedure is very systematic.
In a way, this shows that nobody is too old for school. We keep on learning as long as we live, and learning from the Bible rejuvenates the spirit within us each and every passing day.