Outgoing Youth Pastor of Mopungchuket Baptist Church, L. Yanger Pongen speaking during his farewell programme in the village church today, September 20, Mopungchuket.

Many youth pastors come and go but only a precious few leave their essence etched in the minds of the young congregation in the church. One of such precious few is L. Yanger Pongen, who served as the youth pastor of Mopungchuket Baptist Church from May, 2016 till today. A multi-talented youth minister, he served as the youth pastor in the village church for more than 4 years during which he initiated a number of creative activities for the youth apart from performing his appointed role as the youth pastor.

A warm farewell programme was held today in the village church which was followed by a special youth service in his honour later in the afternoon. With the zeal to serve God, L. Yanger Pongen did his theological studies and earned his Bachelor of Divinity in 2009. Before coming to Mopungchuket, he served as the youth director of Merangkong Baptist Church during 2009 to 2012, which was his first mission. He then went to Bangalore where he pursued his Diploma in Clinical Pastoral Counselling at Bangalore Baptist Hospital (2012-2013) and M.Sc in Counselling Psychology at Global School of Counselling under Martin Luther Christian University, Bangalore (2013-2015). He also served as the President, Ao Students Union Bangalore from 2013-2015.  

Under his leadership, the Mopungchuket Baptist Church Youth Ministry celebrated its centennial in 2017. During his stay, he initiated a number of notable ventures in the village. With the vision to protect God’s creation and to encourage the villagers to practice healthier lifestyle, the youth ministry under his leadership launched a Plastic Free Project February 2017, a project to commemorate the Youth Ministry’s Centenary celebration. Under this Project, the ministry has made significant positive impact on the villagers and beyond. His activism and advocacy was instrumental in the village banning single use plastic bags and declaring the village plastic free, formulating a waste management system in the village, building a landfill site by the village church, organizing a “teens nite” to identify and promote teenage talents, cleanliness drives including river cleanups and an evening sports ministry recently were some of his initiatives to name a few.

The young members of the church developed strong bond with their youth pastor over the years. “He is a dedicated, visionary man of God who have guided and mentored the youths of the church for 4 and a half years. He has continuously taught by example the virtues of self-reliance, to be true to oneself and most importantly to be brave enough to discover the abilities God has given all his children,” a youth leader testified. President of MALT, the village’s students’ union, Lepur Ozüküm also testified that Yanger Pongen was an exemplary leader and acknowledged his support and cooperation to The Greensight Project MALT. He also said that they would continue to stay connected even in the future.

Yanger Pongen, 36, is passionate about marriage and family counselling which he prays to pursue in the future. He is also an amateur farmer and believes in the “miracles” of a kitchen garden. As of now, he will be retiring to his native village of Mongsenyimti where his parents live.