Rev.Dr.R.K.Nghakliana was born on oct 12th 1929 at Bukpui a little village about 60 kms from Aizawl.. His father Pu Chalkunga was a village primary teacher with a deep love and strong commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ. He died at an early age and prior to his death he prayed that his family might serve the Lord. Dr.Nghakliana fulfilled his father’s prayers.
He had his primary schooling at Bukpui then on to Aizawls’ boys ME school and Govt High school and Shillong from where he graduated in science. He was diligent in his studies and gained admission at CMC Vellore for MBBS. In his third year there, he felt God's calling to become a pastor. He asked for permission to study theology but his request was rejected by the Synod. Immediately on finishing his medical studies, he repeated his request but was turned down once again due to the scarcity of doctors at the Synod Durtlang hospital. He thus became the first qualified Mizo doctor at Durtlang hospital. He began working there from July 1957 and continued for 10 years, in later years he was also the medical superintendent and was the longest serving Mizo doctor to work with Pi Puii(Dr.Gwyneth Parul Roberts). Despite not being permitted to study theology, during his tenure there he worked tirelessly at spreading the gospel among hospital patients and young people... He actively involved himself at the local Durtlang Presbyterian church and was the ktp asst.leader from 1958-61 and leader in 1962. He was also one of the key person in bringing about gospel revival during the early 60s at Durtlang.
Reflecting his student days at Vellore an old friend fondly said,
“He was always with a smile. He was gentle with his friends and kind to his patients”. He relinquished his position as medical officer to take up theological training at dtc Singapore. It is almost unbelievable that a medical doctor could take such a daring step at the cost of losing his identity, popularity and medical skill.
In 1958, he married Zosangi and have three children Margaret, Mary and Moses.
After Dr Ringluaia finished his medical studies at Vellore and joined Durtlang hospital in june of 1968, Dr Nghakliana left for Singapore with his family to pursue his dream of studying theology. In 1970 he obtained a Dip. Th. from the DTC institute. after he felt the need to prepare for a bible teaching ministry. He was the first pastor of Mt. Carmel Church Singapore in 1970-71 when he was a student at the dtc. He hardly spoke about himself, his abilities and skill though is was more or less well known even during his training in Singapore that he was articulate, precise and very communicative as a bible teacher. He then joined BMMF (bible medical missionary fellowship). He completed his BD as an external student from Serampore University and was ordained in 1980 by Rev. Lianbuanga at Dawrpui Church Aizawl
After joining BMMF, they lived in Lucknow from 1972 to 1982 and Delhi from 1982 onwards. His ministry was with the UESI, EMFI and EHA and has been blessed of God. In Lucknow, he worked patiently with the local CNI. The same patience was evident in his relationship with the Mizoram synod mission board when in 1971 the mission board was unable to provide an official link for them as they came to work with BMMF. Six years later the work of patiently explaining his ministry and challenging his church to extend their missionary vision led to the synod seeking an official relationship with the BMMF. Soon the church was providing full financial support for the nghakliana family.
It was around this time that a new movement was emerging among medical students and doctors who were concerned about raising a Christian testimony in the medical profession. Few medical students from vellore, nagpur and few other places had the desire to start a nationwide Christian medical fellowship for medical and dental students and graduates in close association with UESI. This movement was known as ‘Medical Auxiliary of UESI, till 1974. Dr. Frank Garlick, Professor of Surgery in Vellore, provided initial leadership and was the key resource person to give form and shape to this at that time. But shortly afterwards he returned to Australia and there came a special need to find another suitable person as a staff worker for EMF. When Dr. Nghakliana was approached to take up this assignment he hesitated for a while because of the challenging task involved in it but when he finally accepted he did it in all humility. He said ” I have very little to offer but I would love to meet the medical students and doctors in various parts of India and be a friend to them”. His significant contribution in the development of EMFI has been his role as a bible teacher and focusing our attention on medical evangelism. He didn’t hesitate to visit the students in their rooms, sharing a bed on the floor if necessary. He enjoyed traveling with the students and sharing their pain. He is appreciated for his sensitive, caring and encouraging ministry. Along with his ministry in India, he has visited uk and south east Asia extensively where his bible teaching ministry has challenged many people. He became the EMFI's first Traveling Secretary and traveled all over the country visiting Christian students in medical colleges. He did the traveling in whatever way was convenient, which was most often by train with third class tickets. Despite lack of money and finances, he simply traveled wherever he felt the Lord needed him to go. Sometimes the Interserve would sponsor his travels and the church of Dawrpui also often helped with funds.
The main object of these visits to medical colleges was to meet and encourage the Christian students there. He would discuss the word of God with them and pray with them over their problems and difficulties. In this way, he set up a wonderful precedent for EMFI traveling workers. For Mizo medical students in particular, we were often in cities where there were either very few or no other Mizos(?christians) at all. There would be no opportunities for us to worship together as a Mizo(?christians) community and this was where the EMFI stepped in to organize fellowships at our colleges. They would also visit us in our rooms and enquire about our problems, personal, spiritual or relating to our studies. The EMFI workers always made it a point to discuss and understand our difficulties and get to know us on a very personal basis. This helped us a great deal in coping with our hardships and we also reaped many spiritual benefits from the loving counsel of the workers.
The workers would visit us two or three times a month and would simply stay with us in our accommodations, sleeping and eating with us in our rooms. They would travel around by any means available, mostly with unreserved train tickets and we would help by funding their tickets and food out of our pocket money. This practice had been started and established by Rev. Dr. Nghakliana.
He had a moving passion for the younger people in the medical colleges and other professional services. He thought of them as the people who make a significant impact on the life of the church and of the country. Despite his heavy work schedule, Rev. Dr. Nghaka also found time for other activities. Among these were his translations of several hymns from English to Mizo. There are today as many as 10 hymns in the Mizo Kristian Hlabu translated by him. These include popular hymns such as Amazing Grace; I'd rather have Jesus, Blessed Assurance etc
During the last three years of his life, he often mentioned his desire to go back to mizoram and start a campaign for the care of the people who are neglected physically or mentally handicapped and those in various forms of physical and emotional needs under the name of Agape Fellowship. For him this was a dream, even when friends discouraged him from relinquishing his position then as a bible teacher to be confined to a small community, but for him this was an expression of his commitment to follow the life style of the master.
It was not easy for Pu Nghaka to remain so consistent and persistent in following the vision of God gave him. He was often physically weak and suffered from a number of health problems. Nor did he think of himself as spiritually strong. Yet, many experienced God’s strength ministering through that weakness. He was always a strong family man. He and Mrs. Zosangi were very much a partnership. He applied the same loving care and concern to their three children as he did to his work outside the home.
When it was more or less known in early October 1985 that he was suffering from primary cancer of the liver he did not take it as the reason to stop his bible teaching. In spite of the pain and difficulties he more or less completed his assignment in Scotland where he was the official guest of the BMMF ministering at the various meetings and conferences in connection with the silver jubilee celebrations of BMMF for over a period of 3months. The highlight of the annual Scottish BMMF conference was undoubtedly his bible studies. Although he was by that time suffering much pain because of the advancing cancer, it has been said that he was giving himself in the communication of Gods word and the two were inextricably linked. Pu Nghaka made himself a servant of the word and also” your servant for Christ’s sake ” Nevertheless the trip was cut short and returned with his wife to India on November 15,1985. He had two courses of chemotherapy but was getting weaker day by day. He was planning to go to CMC Ludhiana on December 19 but he suffered a serious setback on December 18 and was moved to a nursing home and later to mool chand hospital in new delhi.
By mid December, he was deeply jaundiced, delirious and was going down in health. As some friends tried to speak to him he kept on uttering “thank you” which was perhaps all that he could say, at that time he was sinking into coma. As friends recalled, the courage and confidence with which his wife sangi, children Margaret Mary and Moses accepted his home call on 24th December 1985 at 10.25 am, speaks to us of the tremendous spiritual depth that he had imparted to his family.
This man of God, whose heart was set on knowing God and following him, Dr. Nghakliana was always on the master’s service. He had a deep love for the written word of god and spent long hours meditating and studying.
He was a gift of God to the medical students and the doctors and to the fellowship of EMFI,BMMF,UESI and the Mizoram Presbyterian Church. His life testifies today of the highest devotion that we ought to give for God and his word, even when we seem to have accomplished great things professionally. This remains as a message of his life.
His life, witness and ministry has challenged us to a deeper commitment to the study of the word of God and to our saviour. God’s patience, grace, wisdom and love were evident in his life.
There are dozens whose lives God has changed through contact with Pu Nghaka and hundreds who have been blessed through him and his ministry - students, graduates, colleagues, Indians, Chinese, westerners….my purpose is not to idolize a man who would have shrunk from any such attempt but that we might together give thanks for every remembrance of him. Also perhaps that we might be further challenged in our own lives.